My mini travel guide to Bali
Between a seafood rice and some stir fried veggies, my friend Chloe asked me if I wanted to go to with her to Bali. 'Cool! when?' I asked, 'this week' she said. 😬😬😬
I won't lie, that caught me off-guard.
I poked my rice a couple of times and tried to process the thought as fast as I could, but I found myself looking for the perfect excuse. 'It would be wonderful, but I have work to do this week!'
Brief pause. Wait, what did I just say?
Sometimes we hold back from things that will make us happy only because they don’t fit into some sort of mental scheme. Trust me, a 10hrs last-minute international flight + work to be done, did not excite me at all. But what the heck! I was given the chance to visit a new place I might as well take it.
A few days later I was on a really bumpy flight on my way to Bali.
Bali is one of the most spectacular places I've ever been, it has this wild energy and intoxicating beauty. I could spend hours walking on the side of the roads that cross the rice fields, staring at the multitude of kites and how they dance carried by the wind.
Before this trip I didn't realize how much I missed the sea, I love being close to water. The ocean makes me feel so small and puts everything into perspective. I had plenty of time to reflect on my next projects and dreams, and how I'm going to achieve them. I truly felt inspired and peaceful.
A great reminder that when you step out your comfort zone, wonderful things happen!
I couldn't be more thankful to Militza for letting us stay at her place and introducing me to all-natural, whole food skin care. While I was in Bali, I got my hands on her book SIMPLIFY Skin, which is all about using common ingredients to make your own products. The recipes are really easy to execute, and I was super proud when I made my very first tonic and moisturizer! So far it's been game-changer for me, especially because in Shanghai I can't find most of the products I was used to! You can get a copy of the book here.
MY TRAVEL TIPS
3 REASONS WHY I WOULD GO BACK
01. THAT TELLURIC ENERGY
Everything in Bali has that exotic energy: the incense fumes, the chants, the poring rain. It has something primal and deeply fascinating about it.
02. LOCALLY SOURCED FOOD
In Bali locally-sourced and organic food is a lifestyle rather than a trend. If you're a foodie, this is your place!
03. THOSE DESIGN DETAILS
This was a real surprise! Every place is so carefully designed and branded that I couldn't stop taking pictures of menus and store fronts!
For the most extraordinary culinary experience on the island book a table at Locavore. You have to book weeks in advance and keep in mind that it is a bit pricey but I promise it's 100% worth it! If you can't get a table or your budget does not allow it, grab a bite at Locavore to go.
For the perfect bakery/brunch spot try out Livingstone
Bali Buda it's an excellent Slow-food concept. Everything you'll find here, from the food on the menu to the products at the store, is homemade, organic or chemical-free. Here's where I got all of the gifts I brought back for my friends.
The Savage Kitchen is another lovely spot you shouldn't miss! It is a health-driven food concept that revolves around the way we are supposed to eat.
For a chilled surfers afternoon drinking beers and eating some freshly caught fish, Old Man's is the place to go.
Don't miss Akademi Bar! Outstanding drinks and staff, great design and branding. Each month they create a new "case study" drink which focuses on a single indigenous ingredient.
Motel Mexicola for some tacos, tequila and fiesta!
The Night Rooster in Ubud is a must-go, they offer complex drinks that change based on the seasonal availability of local ingredients.
SHOP HOME DECOR
Looking for classy and clean bohemian decor? Head to Kim Soo in Seminyak. I could buy every single piece in this store!
Another place totally worth checking is The Jungle Trader in Canggu, it has the most beautiful jungle inspired decor.
In case you're feeling adventurous, you can go to the Tegallalang markets, for a non-touristy, wholesale type shopping. I recommend getting a driver and have at least half day free. Here you can find anything from big furniture pieces to woven baskets, wooden tableware, textiles and much more. You can easily bargain on the prices, especially if you buy more than one thing.
Practice yoga at one of the hundreds of studios on the island.
Visit Tanah Lot Temple, which is located on its own mini island right next to the beach.
Spend an afternoon strolling around Ubud, check out the local markets, relax and read a book at one of the charming cafes, or go see some really cheeky monkeys at the sacred monkey forest.
Go hiking at 1717m above sea level on the active volcano Mount Batur.
Sunsets! It doesn't matter where. Just don't miss them!
Take it easy and chill by the pool at one of the astonishing (and cheap) villas in Bali.
I wish I had at least another couple of luggages to fill with all of those beautiful wooden bowls!