We ummed and ahhed over pictures of Bali, Indonesia for such a long time, until we finally bit the bullet and booked our flights - with our various accommodation bookings to follow.
Now, traveling from London meant us facing a 19.5 hour journey to get to Bali - terrifying if you sometimes suffer from travel anxiety like I do - but I can't explain enough how worth it it was.
I'd highly recommend booking flights & accommodation separately when looking at Bali as a holiday destination. It works out far more cost effective, and allows you to explore the various areas of the beautiful destination without restriction. Under no circumstances should anybody ever consider going All Inclusive when looking at Indonesia - the food there really was to die for, it would be criminal not to try as many places as physically possible!
We spent nearly 3 weeks there in total & spend our time traveling around various areas to make sure we really got a good taste of what Bali has to offer (figuratively and literally - SO much food).
Our first stop was Seminyak. After a whole lot of deliberation we had booked to stay at Villa Bali Asri. When looking to book hotels I really do take doing my research quite seriously, so I can be sure I'm getting a good deal and am not going to be disappointed with any aspect of my stay - this one was a complete winner.
A gorgeous mix of tradition balinese culture with modern decor - set 2 minutes from the beach and 10 minutes from central Seminyak.
Seminyak as a place is buzzing and full of tourists, but equally as rich in culture. It's very evident how full of colour and vibrancy the balinese people decorate their towns, it's incredibly beautiful.
My top recommendations for things to do in Seminyak:
1. Eat. I can't put it simpler than that. And boy do I have some good'uns to recommend.
I think my favourite of the bunch has to be Shelter Cafe. A beautiful little cafe up in amongst the trees, hidden away from the hustle & bustle of the main streets of Seminyak.
They serve an array of mouth watering sandwiches and salads, all cooked and presented really nicely - definitely not one to miss, and ideal for lunch.
2. Grab a beanbag on the beach to watch the sunset.
This is one of the fondest memories I have from our entire stay in Bali. Words can't explain the atmosphere. I genuinely think that sitting on one of these beanbags; listening to live music, sipping a cocktail and watching the sunset, I was the most content I've ever been in my entire life.
When you think of peace, you tend to think of silence and serenity. Somehow, this place manages to allow you to feel complete peace whilst being surrounded by quite the opposite. As I said before, It's something words can't quite describe. Just go, pick any beach bar (they all put bean bags out) but get there early enough to grab a bean bag, you'll understand exactly what I mean.
3. Nalu Bowls
This one doesn't need much more explanation than a picture. Visit Nalu Bowls for breakfast or for lunch. Vibrant smoothie bowls, with fresh fruit & granola toppings - SO. GOOD. (& actually located right underneath Shelter Cafe.
4. Another place to eat - are we noticing a pattern here?
Ok, so it's not traditional, or very Balinese at all, but we found very quickly that Bali does 'western' food damn well.
Bo$$man Bali is a small burger phenominon located near Seminyak Square. It's quick, easy, and delicious. (If you ask nicely they even deliver to your villa).
Get these fries & thank me later.
Basically, I dare anyone to stay in Seminyak and try to resist smiling from ear to ear the entire time.
This location might have surpassed every one of our expectations, but the next one was potentially even better - stay tuned.