11 years ago by

You know my friend Cisco that I met in Australia? She’s since moved to New York but like many Australians, she frequently takes trips to Bali and loves it, especially since she and George (her husband) have built a house there.

Here’s her super personal city guide to Bali – and all the best places that I’m going to try and visit during my trip!!!

I’m packing right now, what should I bring?
Bikinis, flip-flops, light silk tops and kaftans, good sunscreen, mosquito spray, surf wax, a few good books, some neoprene booties (I always like to surf with booties, as the coast in Bali has a lot of reef) and maybe some Imodium (you never know).

Where is your favorite Bali spot (city):
Bali is all about not being in the city. It’s about beaches, waves, massages and sunshine.

Where to eat…the best food in Bali:
Great food in Bali is everywhere, just depends which mood you are in. From the local rice dish “Nasi Goreng,” which you can find anywhere, to amazingly raw food menus designed by world famous chef Daniel Moran at the Como Shambhala Estate in Ubud. Other great places in Ubud are Alchemy, Mozaic and Clear Cafe (you must try the smoothies). The best Indonesian food is at Batan Warung.

In Canggu, I love the “gado-gado” salad at Betelnut Cafe, the amazing “vegetarian organic pizza” at Desa Seni (served on paper thin pita bread with pesto), the “larb” dish at Green Ginger (very healthy and only vegetarian food).

In Seminyak, one of my favorite restaurants for dinner is the Korean BBQ “kobe beef” at Kaizan. For relaxed food and drink and a good atmosphere I recommend Motel Mexicola. If we feel like we want to step out for a more fancy dinner, we pop in to Ku De Ta for some sunset cocktails and beautifully prepared dishes by our friend and chef Phil or an “Indian prawn curry” at Sarong.

Where to pray…the best yoga classes:
Desa Seni is by far my favorite spot to do a yoga class. It is a beautiful sustainable resort, that has amazing atmosphere. The gardens set the tone right from the start, it feels like an old world Balinese arts village. They offer outdoor yoga and all sorts of other amazing classes. The classes are very popular so make sure to be on time. I recommend the Hatha yoga class with Octavio or his girlfriend, Angela’s class. Angela teaches Ashtanga that can be quite challenging in the heat. No matter which level you are at, you will find a class that suits you.

After class I would recommend having a cooling smoothie or juice in the restaurant. It is tucked away amongst the enchanted garden and serves up to 80% of the produce that is grown on the property.

In Ubud, I recommend Como Shambhala, Radiantly Alive with teacher Daniel Aaron and of course The Yoga Barn.

Where to go to fall in love with Bali:
Pretty much anywhere off the beaten track. Get away from the crowds so you can dive into the real Bali. Ask the locals some questions and get to know them and feel their amazing energy.

Where are the unmissable spots that I have to see?
A few must see spots are the rice terraces in Ubud, the top of the Mount Agung, Balangen Beach, Gunung Kawi Temple in Ubud and the colorful fisherman boats of Jimbaran Bay.

Best place to surf (and meet cute surfers!) (Scott, Alex totally asked that one):
Where to surf really depends on your level of surfing. The Bukit, which is the headland, hosts some of the world’s best reef breaks. When it’s over 3 feet, I make sure I stay out of the water as it is more for experienced surfers. The Bukit definitely is the most magical part of the island, with crisp white sand beaches, crystal clear water and amazing tropical reefs. Other great spots for more advanced surfers are Nico Nico, Nusa Dua, Sanur and Keramas. These are located on the east coast.

If you are looking for some softer, friendlier waves or you ride a Malibu (longboard) like me, you can try Old Man’s, Balian or Tugu Beach. There are always boards to hire in most places, if you go to Tugu, my personal favorite, ask for Billy. He will rent you the right board for you to have fun on. He will also take you out for a lesson if you like. He is one of the many great characters of Bali.

To watch some local rippers and hang out with cute surfers, I would go to Echo Beach. It has four different great waves and there are plenty of places to eat or have a beer while you watch the action close up.

A very touristic place that’s totally worth it?
The Ubud Monkey Forest, the night climb to the top of the Mount Agung (make sure you bring some warm clothes, it gets cold up at the top), canyoning at the waterfalls at Git-Git, seafood dinner on the beach in Jimbaran Bay.

A place to avoid…
Kuta, it just doesn’t reflect a true Bali. It’s very touristic and definitely a place to avoid.

The best beaches:
For the best white sand beaches with beautiful reefs and atmosphere, I recommend Balangan Beach and Padang Padang.

Three things you should know about Balinese food:
Spicy, fresh & exotic.

The most important thing about culture in Bali…
The most important thing about Balinese culture is the Hindu religion and the traditions behind it. This gives Balinese people a very spiritual approach to life, a positive way of thinking and a very open mind to others. It’s the reason why foreign people are so welcome in Bali. Ceremonies are held to celebrate every single passage in their life. Every morning and throughout the day locals prepare little offerings for the gods. Balinese people are very superstitious and these offerings are prepared to please the gods in their favor and protect them from bad spirits.

Where to partay?
To start the evening, go have a sunset drink. I would go to Echo Beach or if you wanting something more fancy, Ku De Ta In Seminyak. From there you could head to La Plancha, which is a Spanish style beach bar. Or you can pop your head into Mantra, which is owned by my great friend Phoebe and her husband, Tipi. It is a cool New York meets Bali wine bar with great margaritas. After that you can go to Potato Head for some late night and noise. This is where the biggest touring acts generally play.

I must confess that I don’t really do late nights in Bali, as the days are more important to me. But I understand the need to shake it loose sometimes and the places you can do this at are La Favela, WooBar (W Hotel), Mint and Hu’u bar.

Always remember to…
Write down your address correctly in order to get a taxi home.

Never forget that you are a visitor on the island and to respect the beautiful Balinese people. They are amazingly accommodating, generous and extremely genuine. Their energy and smiles are what make the island so special.

The best season to visit:
The seasons are slightly shifting and moving around but generally the dry season is from April through October and considered the best time. Wet season is November through March and the best waves are from July through September.

Where should you stay?
The Amankila Hotel in Chandi Dasa is amazing. Alila Hotels in Uluwatu.

In Canggu, for a very original Bali experience I would stay at the Tugu Hotel or for a more yogic experience, at Desa Seni. My favourite luxury villa in Bali by far is Reddoor located in Canggu. It is the beautiful home my husband and I built together and it is available for rent all year around.

In Seminyak, I can recommend the villas at the W Hotel or The Elysian Hotel.

In Ubud, Como Shambhala Estate, Uma Ubud, Wapa di Ume and Ubud Hanging Gardens.

What is the best way to get around?
Definitely a motorbike or scooter. It just adds to the whole experience, there is a feeling of real freedom on the island and your hair blowing in the wind on a bike is perfect. Be careful on the bikes, a lot of people tend to think they are invisible and accidents are common if you are speeding or riding drunk. Try just to cruise and you will be fine. Respect the neighborhoods and how loud you are when you drive through them. Alternatively get a taxi, which is cheap and easy.

Where to rent a bike:
You can rent a bike on almost every corner for about $6 – $8 a day. Make sure to ask your villa manager or the staff at your hotel to have one ready for you for when you arrive.

Is that true about that Eat, Pray, Love doctor, that he’s still here and you can meet him? And do you have healer there?
Yes, indeed it is true. His name is Wayan. Wayan used to be the local healer and many Balinese people would go and visit him. After the success of Eat, Pray, Love he has now become more of a celebrity healer for long line of tourist fans.

I don’t have a particular healer in Bali, but I find practicing yoga, surfing and getting massages is enough healing spirit for me.

Where is the best shopping in Bali?
If you are up for the hustle and bustle head to the Oberoi Road in Seminyak. It has a lot of shops, my favorite one is called Kalyan. It is an Indian store that sells beautiful kaftans and silk scarfs (more on the pricey end), it is located on Jalan Legian. Most of the local handy crafts are a bit repetitive and very tourist orientated. If you’re looking for antiques, the good ones a very few and far between, but you can find some at places like Metis in Seminyak. Check out the jewelry there as well its amazing but be wary, prices are expensive. I always find good sarongs on the beach outside Ku De Ta.

What should you bring back from Bali?
I recommend picking up a a traditional Balinese Batik Sarong. Batik is an ancient art form of printing with wax and dying, this process is a labour of love and you can watch it being done in Tohpati Village. It’s great to support the locals.

Any Bali beauty secrets? Are there any must have beauty products you can find in Bali?
I personally love everything with frangipani. In Bali they grow everywhere in beautiful white and pink shades. The Balinese make a beautiful oil with it that can be used for skin, face and hair. I always make sure I get myself a bottle of it. It is divine and when you are back at home and apply it after a shower, the scent takes you right back to the holiday in paradise.

I’m a total spa junkie, where can I get an awesome massage? 
In Seminyak, I recommend Prana Spa. They offer a massage where two people massage you at the same time, but it’s quite expensive. For a more local experience, go to my massage place called Devira on Jalan Batubelig and ask for Putu. If you are in Ubud, again I highly recommend Como Shambhala Estate, best health retreat on the island.

What books should I read before I visit?
Fragrant Rice by Jane De Neefe, it will help you to understand the culture a lot more. The Interpretation of Cultures by Clifford Geertz and Lonely Planet: Bali.

Click here for more city guides.


Add yours
  • Super ! Je pars aussi à Bali en aout, et je suis à la recherche de bonnes adresse ! Merci pour cet article qui tombe à point nommé ! :)

  • HOLIDAYS! CELELBRATE! This article makes me wanna go on vacation right now!

    Paris-New York Fashion Blog
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    Xoxo Cory

  • i’m so jealous! enjoy! :)

  • Très belles photos et super article!

  • camille July, 2 2013, 9:22 / Reply

    Pour moi le meilleur hôtel reste : Mù .
    Il faut impérativement demander la chambre sur la falaise ;)

    Bon voyage

  • J’espère quand même qu’avec tout cela tu vas te reposer.
    La bise

  • Love this city guide! Bali must be a wonderful place. I really look forward to see photos of your trip to Bali!

  • She is gorgeous, enjoy your stay in Bali Garance, Bonne Vacances!


  • Super article :) Merci pour tous ces bons spots et ces bonnes adresses :)

    Des bises

  • Amazing post! :)

  • Nice reviews. The book by Janet de Neefe is excellent. She also has a cook book out on Balinese food. You can take super delicious cooking classes at Casa Luna/Honeymoon Guesthouse in Ubud. The food is excellent at her restaurant. I can’t say enough good things about Bali. Looking forward to all your photos, etc/

  • Garance, I wish you a wonderful holiday and a lot of fun.

  • Take lots of pictures for us, Garance!

  • mrcarter July, 2 2013, 10:19 / Reply

    best post ever. so funny and real.
    can’t wait to go to Bali again to explore those sites.

  • Sign me up please. I would love to go to Bali some day. Sounds like a perfect vacation away from California beaches. I love that her best advice is to correctly write down you address- seriously right. Great interview!


    *Come join our Patriotic Hash Tag Party and contest- on the blog!

  • Camille July, 2 2013, 10:41 / Reply

    Ton article me donne envie de retourner à Bali fissa!
    Nous avons passé 3 semaines de rêve au Desa Seni l’année passée et je ne peux que te recommander d’y aller faire un tour, pour un cours de yoga, un repas sain et un plongeon dans la piscine!
    Passe d’excellentes vacances, profite bien!

  • Thanks you so much for this information! I’d love to visit Bali someday…


  • Christelle July, 2 2013, 11:08 / Reply

    génial ! j’adorerais y aller genre, demain ;)
    profite bien garance et fais-nous de belles photos ! et merci à Cisco !

  • Son city-guide donne vraiment envie de découvrir Bali ! ;-) Je ne peux que te souhaiter un bon voyage à Bali alors !

    Des bises !

  • Vanessa July, 2 2013, 11:21 / Reply

    Quid du fameux Wayan ? Saurais-tu où comment on peut le rencontrer ?

  • Justine July, 2 2013, 11:24 / Reply

    Si tu veux voir les plus belles rizières en terrasse de Bali, je te conseille d’aller faire un tour à Jatiluwih dans le centre de Bali (à 1h d’Ubud, route superbe pour y aller).
    Très bon voyage!

  • Cisco is Beautiful!! Enjoy Bali dear :)


  • A travers les bons plans de Cisco, ça donne très envie de partir à Bali et de se détendre sur la plage! Profites bien de ton voyage :)

  • MERCI pour les bons plans !! y’a plus qu’à y aller maintenant… :(

    Check out my new outfit post :

  • I hope one day I ll see Bali. It is one of my dreams.

  • Judith July, 2 2013, 12:36 / Reply

    Elle est magnifique, j’adore ses yeux!

  • Seriously, you can take all the tips you want for going to Bali, but whatever you’re planning to do, just don’t go to Kuta and Legian. They’re full of drunk wild tourists–which is NOT Bali at all.

    Cheers from Jakarta,

  • Bon…tu nous emmènes !!!???

  • Merci pour ce super article, ça donne envie d’aller à Bali !!

  • Superbe images !!!! <3

    Je ne sais pas si c'est une ville ou j'aimerais trop aller. Trop touristique surement…

  • Lovina is my favourite beach; you can take a dug out boat at sunrise and watch the sunrise over the volcanoes while surrounded by dolphins. The word yum means bland on the island ;) I can’t tell you my favourite place to stay because it is a secret!

  • Ca me donne vraiment envie d’y retourner!! Je suis allée a Bali il y a plus de 15 ans, ça a dû énormément changé ! Mais je suis sûre que c’est toujours très agréable de se perdre dans les petits villages, de respirer l’encens des offrandes qui sont déposées le matin sur le bord des routes, de surprendre une cérémonie religieuse.. et de faire de la route avec un super taxi ou tu as la peur de ta vie ! ( le notre était borgne c’est pas une blague, il fallait juste l’aider un peu pour faire ses marches arrières, enfin un garcon adorable, comme la plupart des gens la bas.. )
    Bref, ton article m’a donné une bonne raison d’y retourner :) Profite en bien !!

  • DE L’IMODIUM MDRRRR hahahahh, dans ce cocktail glamour j’ai pas compris hah

  • I ? Cisco! Such thoughtful answers to all your questions and excellent cultural and surf tips, thanks for posting! Cisco forever!!!

  • I know a girl who lives in Bali. Looks like paradise. Lovely post.

  • I’ve been interested in Bali for some time, and after reading this interview all I can think about is what a beautiful experience visiting would be. (Mmmm, I’ll have to look up that frangipani based oil, too.)

  • Rhiannon July, 2 2013, 3:23 / Reply

    Bali Belly – SERIOUSLY!!!! We were there in 2011 for our brother’s wedding and we brough grapefruit seed extract and took it every day in our coffee (its super gross) to kill the bugs. the first time we went in 2006, 4 of the 7 of us got it REAL BAD!! which left the 3 of us looking sideways at eachother as to who was gonna have it on the plane ride home haha. I ate what Bali Nani ate – she always put lots of chilis on her food and I avoided anything that just didnt ‘feel’ right. TRUST YOUR GUTT! Our one friend ended up in hospital to get rehydrated from being so sick. It is super common but easy enough to avoid if you’re prepared. The food is so good that you’ll want to eat everything!!

  • Christine July, 2 2013, 3:30 / Reply

    If you go to Ubud, visit a textile shop called Threads of Life (they have a website). This shop has got the most amazing artisan fabrics and supports traditional craftsmanship and women in their local communities. Go!

  • Bali is a dream island: coconuts, blue light sea, sun…I d like to go :)

    New post on my fashion blog: harness + white shirt


  • daniella July, 2 2013, 4:51 / Reply

    buon viaggio Garance!!!!!mi hai fatto voglia
    di tornare a Bali !!!!! Aspetto foto …..

  • emilia July, 2 2013, 5:06 / Reply

    Merci Garance et Cisco(bien sur)-c’est sans doute mon city guide préféré………………ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  • Love this guide! Bali looks so simple and fresh, I wish I could go one day!

  • A wonderful story on Bali. The best part of traveling is always the spiritual reward from meeting new people and experiencing culture besides your own.

  • reading this makes me want to go back immediately. such a lovely beautiful place!

  • Don’t forget to try Balinese Suckling Pig (Babi Guling). Just ask the locals for the best restaurant for it. It used to be Ibu Oka, but on my last trip there in 2011, people were saying that Ibu Oka is not the best anymore. Traditional Balinese Mix Rice (Nasi Campur) is my favorite too, and I always go to Warung Made for this.

    Also, if you’re thinking of doing some shopping, Balinese lace is beautiful. There are lots of boutiques along Seminyak that sell gorgeous lace dresses. As for jewelry, go to Pasar Ubud (the art market), and remember to bargain ;) Rule of thumb, start with half of the price, and hold your ground. They’ll eventually give in. Lastly, don’t miss the Kecak Dance in Bali

    Bon Voyage, Garance!

  • julie nyc July, 2 2013, 6:55 / Reply

    Je ne sais pas si quelqu’un te l’as déjà recommandé mais vas à la plage de cet hôtel passer une journée : Il y a un petit resto très bon au bord de l’eau pour déjeuner, des lits/transat, des massages, tu peux te baigner tranquille car il n’y pas de grosses vagues, l’eau est transparente, c’est sublime. Bon voyage !

  • And I’m now adding Bali to my ever-growing list of places to visit :) It sounds beautiful! :)


  • Melissa July, 2 2013, 10:16 / Reply

    Hey Garance! If you’re looking for more tips on Bali, you might find this useful:

    Have a great trip – you’ll love it!

  • Sandra July, 2 2013, 10:53 / Reply

    Bali sounds divine! Would love to go there but for now I’m enjoying your beautiful island of Corsica as I watch the Tour de France. It’s absolutely breathtaking.
    Have a wonderful vacation!

  • Monique July, 2 2013, 11:29 / Reply

    Oh! This couldn’t of been more timely as I’m heading to Bali next week for 10 days! Now I have the Bali bible. Many thanks Garance and Cisco xx

  • the monkeys in the Ubud monkey forest are scary. Don’t bring any bananas in because the hungry monkeys will jump on you for the bananas. Even when you put them in your bags, they don’t. Make sure you keep all the dangling stuffs in the bags. Otherwise, the monkeys will take them away.

  • Hello,

    Je suis fan :p

    A , Laëti

  • Have an amazing trip! I will definitely be bookmarking this for hopefully one day my future Bali vacation! This post makes me want to read/watch Eat, Pray, Love all over again

  • Amber H July, 3 2013, 1:19 / Reply

    Hi Garance, If you are looking for a quick and casual lunch spot, you must try Cafe Zucchini (Jl Laksmana 37 (also known as Jl Oberoi), Seminyak). They have the most amazing homemade salads using fresh and organic ingredients, bread made on the premises and many other delicious dishes! Have a wonderful time!

  • I’ve been to Bali many times, and agree to stay away from Kuta. As an Australian, it upsets me the way people behave in that place. This interview is a great resource for what to do/see over there, and will definitely be referring to it when I go there next time.

  • Clarisse July, 3 2013, 2:01 / Reply

    I live in Singapore and Bali is just a 3-hour plane ride away, so we go there all the time. Please try out Naughty Nuri’s, which is a great place serving ribs and smoked goods, the martinis are strong and wonderful, and the smells are out of this world. I think it has previously been featured on the NYT and is run by a husband-wife team (though they have since expanded). The original place is a little shack by the road in Ubud, but everybody knows it and you should have no trouble getting there. The other is at Seminyak and a full fledged restaurant. Please try it out! Eat away and enjoy yourself!

  • Her tips sound perfect, I would love to be there and try everything she recommends! I want holidaaaaaay!!!

  • Vous pouvez retrouver la villa RedDoor directement sur (ainsi que beaucoup d’autres à Bali). N’hésitez pas à me contacter, je connais la destionation depuis longtemps et je serais ravi de vous aider ;)

  • Qu’il est bon de lire ces jolis conseils autour de Bali. C’est vraiment l’une des destinations où je rêve d’aller depuis fort longtemps. Je goûte donc chaque ligne de cette chouette interview.
    J’attends tes photos avec impatience !
    (Bonnes vacances !)

  • Merci pour cet article :)


  • Merci pour ce city guide qui résume parfaitement bien Bali… et j’en parle en connaisseuse pour avoir bossé pendant 4 ans entre Paris & Bali. un vrai petit écrin qu’il faut découvrir et surtout fuir Kuta !

  • Everything above is spot on. Some more, you must try the upstairs restaurant Mozaic in Seminyak for a beautiful fine dining experience and they also have a beach bar (although I haven’t been there). Actually, everything I recommend is in the Seminyak/Kerobokan/Pettitenget area. Metis is a lovely special restaurant as well and set looking over lotus ponds, it’s beautiful. Mamasan is owned by same as Sarong and I prefer it actually. Full bodied, ‘hawker’ food with great design space. La Luciola an institution, beautiful setting and I prefer for weekend breakfasts. Word of Mouth on Kunti is cute and worth a look for shopping and light lunch. Also, Biasa (Jl Legian, long shopping drag) has been in Bali forever and does lovely light cotton and linen clothes that are like a blank canvas and you can wear back in normal life. Better coffee than Bali average at Zuchini and Anomaly, both in Seminyak. I could go on and on, Bali is one of my favourite places. Enjoy.

  • What an informational interview and what a cool babe! Thanks Garance, you always present something fresh and ?ber cool :).


  • Mountassir July, 3 2013, 7:28 / Reply

    Hi ! J’étais à Bali il y a un mois et c’était magique… Je logeais au W retreat Hotel, très décalé de la culture Balinaise car super moderne, mais d’un confort hors du commun !! Je t’encourage à aller au WooBar (le bar de l’hôtel) prendre un verre ou même passer la soirée dans la petite boite !! Il y a toujours des DJ super !! Sinon évite le Ku De Ta… pas de Balinais, trop de français, des cocktails qui était placés à coté de l’alcool mais sans alcool dedans… une cuisine dite “gastronomique” en mode flip flop d’escalope sur un lit de soja… vaut mieux aller dans les vrais petits resto Balinais !! essaye Bebek Bengil a Ubud, c’est LE restaurant pour manger du canard cuisiné à la Balinaise un vrai délice !!
    Je pourrai te faire mon propre city guide tellement il y a de choses à voir… profite bien !! Je rêve déjà de mon prochain séjour sur l’ile !!

  • Sunny Side July, 3 2013, 7:35 / Reply

    Oh Cisco is so gorgeous, dommage qu’elle ne soit pas si présente ! Ou tant mieux d’échapper à tout ce cirque … Toutes ces infos sur Bali sont archi précieuses ! J’espère que tu es à l’abri de ce terrible tremblement de terre ! L’anneau de feu s’est réveillé ! Give news !

  • Garance, I am a travel writer and I have to say that Bali charmed me more than anywhere on the planet. It is just the perfect combination of beauty, kindness, tradition with a dose of branché :). And yes, the people are what makes it so wonderful. My photographer honey and I went for two month long trips where we did several stories each time for Grands Reportages magazine (including one on Desa Seni and I really do think that you would love it there) and have seen pretty much the entire island. Cisco’s addresses are–of course–amazing! Although watch our for the monkeys at the forest in Ubud or Uluwatu–I have seen them snatch out earrings (ouch!) and steal cameras…rascals.

    Yes, it is touristy but seeing a dance performance is lovely, hearing a gamelan orchestra play, watching the children’s faces during a shadow puppet show. There are fine eats everywhere–martini night at Naughty Nuri’s in Ubud or the restaurant at Uma Ubud just up the road, definitely babi guling or reserve the balé table at Metis for a special night (chef “Doudou” is French and makes his own foie gras). I have also had fantastic sushi on Bali–because everything–the seaweed, rice and fish–is local and crazy fresh.

    I know that you will have a wonderful time wherever you go…I can’t wait to see Bali through your eyes!
    Bon Voyage! :)

  • Un peu de rêve dans une journée prosaïque… Merci!

  • A quand un city guide de Madrid ? J’en rêve et c’est plus proche de l’Europe que Bali qui a pourtant l’air si paradisiaque :) !!

  • Judith July, 3 2013, 6:09 / Reply

    I have been living in Asia and so visiting Bali a lots of time. So I rode every word of this city guide with a lot of interest and there are great recommendations. But, this is not exactly my perception of Bali. Bali is not about beaches (even less light blue sea & coconuts)… Most of the beaches have dark sand (& huge waves) as it is a volcanic island (especially on the East). The Bali I know is about People, Nature and Temples.

    The nature is a really wild & an important part the culture of the island. Balinese people offer flowers every morning to their gods. It is a beautiful tradition. Incense is everywhere and make you escape… I recommend you to meet the guardian of the temples & local people in the small villages, so they will explain to you about their stories, belief & spirits. Actually Eat, Pray & Love is very close to the reality.

    You won’t feel the candor & gentleness of these people through the luxury hotels or restaurant. This is not NY and I wonder if you would like to be in the fashionable places. Nevertheless, it is good sometimes to have a drink at Kudeta for sunset. But do not forget to mix luxury with more authentic discoveries. I recommend you to rent a scooter (as Cisco recommend too) and just to lose your way through the small roads into the forest and nature and stop to the temples… Ask to a local guide for a walk in the rice terrace & climb a volcano (as Cisco said). It is a magic experience…

    Massages are amazing. No word to describe that… It is also part of the tradition as women pass on this “savoir-faire” from mother or aunt to daughter…

    Totally agreed that you have to avoid Kuta. That’s a good example of how mass tourism may transform an area (in a bad way). Ubud is fantastic, touristy as well but worth to spend several days there. Go through the Sidemen valley & its temples. I love the East.

    For your luggage, pack clothes in cotton. When it is hot & humid, this is only what you can manage to wear.

    Last but essential, Bali has amazing painters & artists. I always try to discover new of them. You will be delighted… This is something to bring back with you to NY.

    I would have so many things to tell you but this is only a comment box :)

    So wear a Frangipani flower in your hair (they are everywhere) and escape with your bicycle or scooter for adventures..

    I wish you to fall in love with Bali & Asia as much as I am,


  • mathilde July, 5 2013, 10:47

    Totally agreed with you
    Crush on Amed, by the way, some small villages on north coast, with black sand and clear water, so quiet and peaceful

  • I looked up the Como Shambala Estate, that is the stuff dreams are made of!

  • Charlie July, 4 2013, 3:09 / Reply

    Hey Garance,
    Cisco has given you some fantastic tips! I’ve been to Bali many times too and thought i’d just add another couple of recommendations:
    Finns Beach Club and Nammos Beach Karma Kandera are beautiful- have a bit of a European vibe.
    Rock Bar at sunset is touristy but worth it for the view and sitting on the cliffs with a cocktail.
    Cafe Petitenget – great duck salad and chocolate cake if you feel like Western food.
    Sea Circus – good food and ice-cream. Revolver for coffee.
    There are some great fashion designers based in Bali too (mostly in Seminyak). Balinese people have a great sense of design which must stem from their artistic history and traditions- the interiors are beautiful most places you go and the shops reflect this- I always end up lugging back mirrors, platters and lamps.
    The Bali Bible on facebook has a tonne of tips too.
    Have a great trip!

  • Bonjour Garance,

    J’ai découvert Bali l’année dernière “C’est un paradis les yeux ouvert”.
    Je pense que pour la circulation il est plus préférable de prendre un chauffeur 50Dollars par mois …car le scooter à Bali et son code de la route aie aie aie.
    J’adore le programme de ton amie qui est très pationnée de surf c’est évident.
    Pour ma part mes vacances ont été plutot d’une personne intèressé par la culture balinaise,les villas et le paysage (je ne surf pas) mais j’ai été à Padong Padong ma première révelation “J’aime regarder les compétitions de surf et je eu mon premier coup de soleil”
    Pour tes photos je n’ai qu’un endroit “la villa les rizieres” tu peux y aller de ma part,tu seras plus que la bienvenue.
    C’est un mini paradis qui donne sur la jungle balinaise avec visite etc…tente mon ami te fera venir son chauffeur si tu souhaites visiter et gouter le riz de ces rizieres.
    Il s’agit d’un citadin qui est entre Bali et les grandes ville du monde.
    Il a su le faire sans rien perdre,ni ces tableaux,ni ces livres, ni son dressing pour gentlemen…c’est à voir et à coupé le soufle.
    De plus il parle balinais,fait des prières et dors dans un joglot (maison des moines balinais) donc son intégration est complète.
    Ta copine a eu parfaitement raison sur les endroits ou danser.
    Pour Diner il y a aussi le “Metis Bali” il est magnifique,le directeur est un jeune français acceuillant.
    Pense à une jolie robe de soirée car les soirées mondaines ne manquent pas Bali
    Pour le sarong c’est magique,c’est comme un vetement africain (le pagne) ou plutot un pareo traditionnel balinais.
    Enjoy Bali et encore merci pour ton blog qui nous rends toute singulière;;;
    Pardon pour mes fautes d’orth..;

  • I really want to go to Bali now! And get a bottle of that frangipani oil!! :P

  • Greetings to Bali Garance!

    You have made it here to our Isle of the Gods!

    If you run short of time come take a day with me and will show you the best in shopping.
    We have amazing shops but you need to know where to go, once you start walking around it’s totally overwhelming,

    I can fill you in on the best of restaurants and cafes too, beauty spas etc, visitors have their
    faves, but when you live here and out in the rush of everyday, you do get to know the coolest places.

    It’s now summer season and the vibe is high, take each day as it comes, relax and enjoy, Bali is a unique island in the sun!

    Marilyn x

  • Passant July, 4 2013, 7:19 / Reply

    Please! go to Ketut! and see if he’s still alive or not and Wayan!, and write about your healing experience, please please PlleaseEEE!!, since Eat Pray Love and i really wanted to go to Bali but i couldn’t, so Please document every single detail about your vacation and share it with us!

  • Nadia Pur July, 5 2013, 6:07 / Reply

    Im Indonesian and we love Bali as well :) Have a marvelous trip!

  • Geertz! Smart girl ;)

  • Dear beautiful Garance,

    Lovely little list although I must warn you about the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud- be careful if you do go as I wasn’t feeding the monkeys and got bitten 7 times, I blogged about the experience on my other blog here:

    That said, maybe if one doesn’t bring food for the monkeys, you become the food? let me know ;)


  • Marvadlcs July, 8 2013, 6:09 / Reply

    I love Bali! I’ve travelled quite a bit around SE Asia but Bali is really special. Must do’s….rent a bike, go to the Monkey Forest (I was ambushed for the bananas in my bag!), go horse riding in the rice fields, watch the sunset from Seminyak beach (it is beautiful against the black sands), visit the market in Denpasar (it’s where the locals shop), dine at Bumbu Bali (great traditional food) or Kayaputi St Regis (fine dining) and finally speak to the people! The Balinese people are so warm and welcoming! (goes off to look at holiday pics) x

  • i went to Bali and I loved it !!!!!!

  • Brilliant article – thanks a million. we are getting married in Bali in 6 weeks time – very exciting!

  • You explore Bali more than I, as Indonesian did!
    Btw G i have to add you one info just so you know that in Bali you could bargain until half of the price they offer you when you buy something in the traditional market that you could find almost anywhere in Bali.
    and hey, i really like your blog! inspiring and i love your illustrations too.
    I just graduated from college majoring fashion design and pattern making and there was one time when my teacher gave his students list of good blogs or websites of fashion and of course you’re on the list. :)
    Keep inspiring G,
    hugs and kisses from Indonesia!

  • I just came back from Bali : thank you for this amazing city guide!
    We have been to Batang Waru in Ubud, an the food was very tasty.
    So much too see, so little time to spend here. We will surely come back.

    Next time, you should go to the Gilis, wonderful diving and snorkelling with sea turtles (prefer Air than Trawangan if you are looking for a peaceful retreat)

  • Bali is the most amazing place for relaxing, spa and beautiful beaches. Totally agree about Kuta!

  • Recommended Unique Villa at Seminyak

  • Ce blog est vraiment extra j’aime beaucoup les articles et les photos (mon dieu je suis jalouse)

  • C’est quand même dommage qu’à chaque fois qu’on parle ou décrive Bali, on ne cite que Seminiak, Uluwatu, Ubud et Kuta. Bali est une île certes mais tellement riche en paysages et autres petites communes/îles. Les îles Gili et le Nord de Bali sont vraiment un autre côté de Bali que nous autres les touristes devont voir et faire partager.

    Mon parcours perso pouvant servir (merci encore, tout en sachant qu’entre chaque destination il y a milles et une chose à découvrir encore :
    – La jungle de Wongaya Gede
    – Les omptueuses rizières de Jatiluwith
    – La région de Pemuteran (nbreux temples, l’île de Menjangan …)
    – Les sources chaudes de Banjar (plutôt touristique mais à voir)
    – Munduk (village, cascade et le fait d’être en montagne)
    – Trail autour et les superbes traversées des lacs Tamblingan & Buyan
    – Le mont Agun, le volcan Batur et le magnifique lac Kedison les séparant
    – Ubud
    – Le temple Tanah Lot
    – Et enfin les îles Gili & Lombok

    A bon entendeur :)

  • Love this city guide! Bali is amazing place for traveling, spa and beautiful beaches for anyone who looking for a relaxing.

  • Thanks for your guide, i just visit in Bali, nice and great place but so crowded now

  • Great ideas, love Bali everythings us great there except for the traffic

  • Hi friends, nice piece ?f writing and pleasant arguments commented ?t thhis place,
    I am actualy enjoying by these.

  • merci pour cet article très complet.

  • Article très intéressant, il y a tellement de choses a faire a Bali!

  • Merci pour vos formidables articles plein de richesse !

  • Merci pour votre article qui m’aide à y voir plus claire.

  • Merci, je n’y avait même pas pensé. Merveilleux !

  • Merci pour toutes ces actualités !

  • Quelles magnifiques photos ! La plage de Nusa Dua j’y rêve toujours…

  • Nice post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m
    impressed! Very helpful info specifically the
    last part :) I care for such info a lot. I was seeking
    this certain info for a long time. Thank you and
    good luck.

  • My partner and I stumbled over here different page and thought I might check things out.
    I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to going over your web page

  • Enjoyable read, I redesigned our blog and the search rankings plummeted
    I will surely be returning, ’tis a nice blog

  • Wow Hurrah, qui est ce que je cherche pour explorer, ce qui a informations!
    existante blog, grâce administrateur de ce site Site.

  • Je suis sûr que ce alinéa a touché tous les utilisateurs Internet personnes,
    fastidieux morceau d’écriture paragraphe sur la constitution nouvelle site web.

  • [URL=""]Sabrina[/URL]  December, 11 2015, 6:12 / Reply

    Really great article, nice advice, all the places suggested are worth visiting
    If you are looking for a villa I can suggest using this new website, great guys, professionals and caring

  • Down to Earth est une entreprise qui détient pleins de restaurants végétariens et végétariens sur Bali !
    Paradiso, divine earth, Zula Vegetarian Paradise et Earth Cafe

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