Bali – the tropical dream, foodie heaven, shopping paradise, yogi mecca, meditation central. For as long as I can remember I wanted to visit Bali and experience the beauty and lushness of the island, and finally, I made it happen.
It happens so suddenly that we don’t have time to prepare ourselves, but when the rain comes down it is a pleasant surprise. Suffocating the scorching heat of the afternoon sun, the rain pours down in thick stings. We tilt our heads upwards and let the plump drops hit our faces. We spread our arms, letting it soak us – and smile.
After arriving the night before, we woke up at Abian Biu, a beautiful little hotel situated in Umalas 2 (we quickly learned that there are two parts to this suburb, and it is a necessity to know which one you’re staying in). Our room was pretty spacious and had a cute balcony overlooking the pool. We headed to breakfast at ‘The Spicy Coconut’, which is a fully plant-based cafe. My travel buddy Mel and I shared the coconut date pancakes topped with banana, dragon fruit and caramel sauce and the ‘Fuel Up’ breakfast plate. We also got some fresh young coconuts and sipped on some coffee, which unfortunately was pretty mediocre. I absolutely loved this place and couldn’t have asked for a better way to kick off this holiday than at The Spicy Coconut!
After breakfast, we explored Canggu, which has a very confusing layout and takes some getting used to. There are many cute little shops to explore and we definitely spent our fair share in one called ‘Bungalow’, where I also acquired a straw hat and a beautiful notebook.
After a few exhausting hours of shopping, we stopped for lunch at the ‘Green Ginger Noodle House’. The restaurant’s focus is on sustainability and only serves vegetarian food, with plenty of vegan options. I ordered a green juice, fresh rice paper rolls and the San Choy Bow, which was a treat and an explosion of flavours! And since we’re in Bali, we treated ourselves to some Jamu shots, which are a blend of turmeric, lemon, ginger and cinnamon – surprisingly tasty!
After lunch, we continue down the street but soon had to stop because of the pouring rain, so we stopped for some mani-pedis. I’m not usually a girl who spends money on getting my nails done (I think I’m quite capable of doing them myself), but since everything here is crazy cheap we decide to give it a go! Plus, a little pampering every once in a while can’t hurt, right?
We returned to the ‘Green Ginger Noodle House’ for dinner and met up with our friend Ida and her boyfriend Alex, who coincidentally were travelling in Bali at the same time. Not surprisingly, dinner was also a treat. I had the vegan Pad Thai and the Papaya Salad, which were both super rich in flavour and fresh tasting.
After we headed to Old Mans Beach, just in time to watch the sunset in a sea of red and orange. Old Mans is slightly touristy, but not so much you shouldn’t visit. There are comfy bean bags to lounge in right at the beach, where you can relax after a long day and sip on a cold beer or a fresh coconut, whilst listening to a live band playing Bob Marley tunes.