- Katie Hodge
My BaIi Guide
Updated: Feb 28
As it’s my last week in Bali I thought it would be apt to write down tips on the places I’ve visited during my time here, a short guidebook.
Top Line: The spiritual hub of Bali, a mecca for yogis, healers, expats. It has a real buzz of emotion in the air, you can tell people are here to heal or be healed.
You must attend a yoga class whilst in Ubud, there is so much choice, the Yoga Barn for example had 150+ classes per week taking place in a variety of beautiful shalas in their oasis on the edge of the city. If you’re looking for more than a yoga class and want to go a little deeper with spirituality, there are many spiritual events such as coca or full moon ceremonies, kirtan, sound healing to name a few.
Alongside loads of yoga, I also put on my trainers and did the Campuhan Ridge Walk, it goes past a beautiful temple near the start and then out into the countryside where you can see the rice farmers working and the locals going about their daily lives. Also visited Creyta Ubud, a pool complex built into rice fields, it was beautiful and very much the ‘must go place’ but if you want my honest opinion it was very expensive and very targeted at 'instagrammers' getting their perfect shot.
Accommodation: Yoga Barn.
10/10, I stayed in a female only dorm room. The dorm felt luxury, had a view of the pool, and the whole yoga barn village was so beautiful and perfect location to head into Ubud if needed.
Top Line: Busy, dirty and noisy – it’s the place where you go to party or a hub for digital nomads.
During my time in Canggu I felt like my nervous system was on edge. I went from feeling grounded and relaxed in Ubud, to the complete opposite when arriving here. There were so many loud tourists, scooters beeping, dogs barking, the noise was constant, the hustle and bustle of the place drained me. The beach was black sand (bit of a beach snob here) and dirty. 2 nights would have been enough, but unfortunately I had booked 2 weeks under the allure of it being a digital nomad hub – which it was. On the plus side, co-working spaces were great and plenty to choose from, Tropical Normand was my favourite, also visited B work Bali and Zin cafe. Never had an issue with WiFi in Canggu, so if you’re going there to work that’s something to consider. But if you want to see the real Bali, to chill and relax then avoid. I also visited Tanah Lot temple which was about 30 minutes drive from Canggu, a beautiful little temple just out to sea.
Accommodation: Komala Homestay
8/10 location was very central - maybe a bit too central for noise. Lovely hosts, big spacious clean rooms with cute pool.
Top Line: Beautiful waterfalls and rice fields, untouched, peaceful and calm. Locals here have a simple farming way of life, the place is charming.
Munduk was the yin I needed to the yang of Canggu – the complete opposite. It was also great to see some friendly faces from home as travel companions. Towards the north of the island Munduk is a couple of hours drive up into the mountains, it felt a lot cooler and the air was fresh. The roads got smaller and more track like, the pace of life slowed, there were no tourists, it was calm. On the first day we had a guide called Yoman, he took us into the rice fields, telling us all about the different plants and fruit which grew, and taught us about the rice growing process. We then went to a couple of amazing waterfalls – Red Coral & Munduk Waterfall.
It rained a lot in Munduk – combination of it being rainy season and the mountainous location, this was the only draw back, but spending time resting in the afternoons as it poured outside was quite cosy. On the next day we went for a self-guided walk around the area, seeing more rice fields and absorbing being in nature.
On the way to Munduk our taxi driver kindly stopped at the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple, a stunning temple on the lake.
Accommodation: Nadya Homestay.
8/10 charming little place nestled into the Munduk hills with infinity pool.
Top Line: Pretty promenade - European vibes, beautiful sunrise. Quiet and laid back, hub for getting on the ferry to Nusa Lembongan/Penida.
Only had one night in Sanur, and were unfortunate with the weather as it was very wet! But went for a walk along the promenade. It felt quite European with a long stretch of pavement just behind the beach. Found a cute swing to take some pictures and a delicious Italian restaurant with the best ice cream I’ve had in Bali (Massimo). Also found a beautiful yoga venue for practice in the morning called Koa Shala.
I came back to Sanur for my last night as it was close to the airport and had been told about the beautiful sunrise - it was worth the early start to see the sun rise on my final day in Bali.
Accommodation: Hotel Jati Sanur.
7/10 well located, basic but everything I needed.
Top Line: Striking coastline, surf vibe, very bouji. Everything is spread out so not easy to get around.
I loved being near the sea in Uluwatu - and it was very different to the coastline I had previously visited. Shear rock faces and steep narrow pathways to get down to the ocean - very beautiful. Also lots of cheeky monkeys around, so be careful of where you put your belongings on the beach. I found it quite expensive in Uluwatu (in Bali terms), lots of western places to eat. On Padang Padang beach you can hire surf boards and an instructor to help you catch the waves. Then there’s Uluwatu temple, beautiful setting but I’m not sure if I’d say it’s a ‘must see’.
Accommodation: Homestay, La Cama.
9/10 - lovely pool, great location near Bingin Beach.
Top Line: The island that stole my heart, beachfront living, chilled vibes, home away from home.
This little island is small but mighty. It gives you the real feeling of local life, local island life. Most of my time I was here my accomodation was on the beach front, I could hear the waves from bed, my daily routine involved yoga, meditation and a beach swim - glorious. For entertainment I hired a bike and cycled to different parts of the island for breakfast. I had a surfing lesson with We Surf Lembongan and went on a snorkelling trip with Aquaman to swim with Manta Rays which was incredible. I stayed in an area called Jungutbatu which is where the ferry drops you off and I’d say the ‘main area’, however Mushroom Beach and Dream Beach are definitely worth a visit. Also you can go across the yellow bridge which takes you to Nusa Ceningan, I visited the blue lagoon and secret beach, both beautiful places and worth the cycle.
I did a lot of research into the best ferry company to travel with from the main land to Lembongan after reading horror stories of the journey online. Went with Arthamas Express and they were great, very attentive and I felt safe and informed the whole time.
Accommodation: Sagara Homestay.
10/10, the dreamiest homestay on the beach, with the cutest family running it.
They always say fully booked on booking.com but if you want the owners WhatsApp let me know!