TRAVEL: Backpacking in Bali

After taking a year out after Sixth Form to resit some of my A-Levels, I chose to carry on and have a second gap year. At this stage in my life I wasn't ready to go to University and the more I thought about it the more I wanted to travel the world.

Most of my school friends were starting their second year at uni whilst I started working full time in a cocktail bar, I finally booked my flights and was so excited to get somewhere hot. With less than 10 weeks to go and my travel funds not being as high as anticipated, I got a second full time job - working for The White Company in Harrogate. After a pretty hectic Christmas period, I set off on my adventure on the 8th January 2015. First stop.. Bali.

I fell in love with Bali straight away. Arriving in Kuta having only booked one night's accommodation beforehand (bearing in mind I'm normally stressing and love to have a plan!)
I wanted to get straight to the famous Gili T island. I'd heard it was amazing, and I was not disappointed when I got there - the first day I saw two sea turtles! Gili T is a must if you're travelling to Bali anytime soon! You can hire snorkels and bicycles from pretty much all of the hotels/guesthouses on the island for next to nothing. The water is crystal clear and if you're lucky, you'll come across a turtle whilst snorkeling and it is the most surreal thing ever. You have to cycle around the island, on the way around you will come across cute little jewelry stalls, beach bars and the famous sea swing in front of the Sunset Ombok Hotel.

Island life is the best, waking up to banana pancakes and fresh pineapple juice - everyday. So after Gili T, I got on a boat back to the mainland and then another boat to Nusa Lembongan. This island is so small and lovely, not as commercialised as Gili T is, but unfortunately I feel it may be on it's way. It's home to some of the famous surfing beaches in Bali - Dream beach being one of them. The only mode of transport on the island is moped/motorbike, so we decided to hire one so we could easily get around. P.S don't be surprised if you see the local children driving themselves to school on their own mopeds!

The neighboring island Nusa Ceningan is joint to Lembongan by a yellow suspension bridge. Ceningan is home to Le Pirate Beach Club, a small beach club where you can just go for the day (no charge) to relax in the infinity pool and drink lots of fresh coconut water or watermelon juice!! You can even stay in their boat shed style rooms - if I ever went back I'd love to stay there, located on the sea with such a beautiful view.

Next I travelled to Ubud, a city in the rain forest in central Bali. It's a very spiritual and arty place, the streets are full of healthy cafes, art shops, and quirky yoga retreats. You have to visit the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary - but if you're not keen on being chased by big male monkeys don't buy the bananas that are for sale at the entrance. I tried to feed the babies but a huge male obviously caught sight of this and chased me causing me to throw the bananas away from me! But apart from that, it's a lovely place where you can wander around the rain forest (holding on to your belongings tightly, another monkey stole my water, began to unscrew the lid and drink it!).

One morning I got talking to the man who owned and ran the guesthouse where I was staying, and he told me his friend is a driver who could show us some of the best sights around Ubud. For the equivalent of £12, the driver picked us up and took us on a tour, first to Tegenungan Waterfall, which was absolutely stunning! A fair few (250+) steps down from the car park, and a small walk along the bank of the water and you're there. The sound of a waterfall is one of my favourites, so calming, and the water was so fresh, unlike me, remember to take a towel so you can go in for a dip without having to be wet for the rest of the car ride.. oops.

He then drove us to a coffee plantation in the middle of nowhere, I wasn't expecting this, nor did I even know these places were open to the public. We were greeted by a member of staff who talked to us about the coffee and tea that they grew. We walked to the end of this maze like path, and sat down on a bench facing an amazing view of the plantation in the valley. The staff then brought us all of the tea and coffee that they had made for us and some banana chips to snack on. I had the most amazing lemongrass and ginger tea, but my favourite was the hibiscus tea so I had to purchase a pack to take home!

I asked our driver where was best to see elephants, he told me truthfully that the elephant 'sanctuaries' aren't what they all make out to be, and the best place would be to visit the Bali Zoo. So we arranged for him to take us the following day. We chose to ride the elephants, which I was really nervous about. If I'm honest, I wish I never did. I felt so guilty after because the poor elephants spent their whole day walking the same track round and round for what purpose?! I will never do that again! After the ride we got to feed the elephants, and I was actually petrified of the trunks, but it was nice to be able to feed them! Something I wish I had known you could do without having to ride them.

All in all, Bali was truly amazing, every where I went felt magical and I would go back in a heartbeat. But my travels continued, up next Australia.

I'd love to hear what you think about this post! Are you going to Bali anytime soon? (If so please take me with you.)

Kirby X



  1. Oh my god! It looks SO beautiful! you're so lucky to have been there, I'm pretty jealous hehe 🙈

    I really want to go to Bali, it's up there in my top 5 places I want to visit along with Fiji, Budapest, The Maldives and Mexico! (Which I am going to Mexico in 3 weeks eek!).

    You've made me want to go to Bali even more now! It's so pretty!

    Glad you enjoyed your time there! Good post :)

    Love Rachel X

    1. It really was incredible! I'd recommend anyone to go if you have the chance. Such a beautiful place!

      Enjoy Mexico - that's on my list too!

      Love Kirby


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