A place to explore.
I wanted to take a long break after 9 years of working 9 to 5 and the burnout I felt. I needed something far away, sunny, not that expensive and with positive people. Fortunately, my friend Maciek (hi Maciek and thank you!) was telling me about Indonesia all the time, so I did not need much time to buy the tickets and plan my trip.
I decided to spent there 1 month – November 2018. For me, November is the worst month of the year in Poland so the possibility to spend it somewhere warm and sunny was really appealing.
As this was my first solo trip (not including 5 days in Bieszczady Mountains in Poland) I wanted it to be tourist friendly so my first stop was in Bali. The island is currently one of the top holiday destinations in the world (and I could see that!). Then I did not have a special plans beside Singapore, where I had a direct flight form Warsaw. During my stay I decided to visit Gili Islands, Lombok and Sulawesi. Not many islands but every one of them was beautiful and unique.
This was my vacation trip to charge my batteries and clear my head so I spent nights at hostels and hotels where I had a private room and planned my trip on the go, depending on my actual needs.
The whole trip was really AMAZING! One of the best experiences in my life and I regret nothing. Below you will read about every island I visited (I will update this information soon). For more specific information please visit my Facebook page where you will find the information about every day of my trip. With photos and a desrciption of visited places.
As I have mentioned before, Bali is currently the top vacation spot so I wanted to see if It’s really that amazing as picture shows and people says. I have decided to check the most popular places described in the guides and the Internet. Below you will find the list of spots that I have been to with a short description and the places which I recommend.
- Kuta – BIG NO! I booked 2 nights there just because it was close from the airport. Unfortunately after the booking on AirBnB everybody I knew told me this is the worst place in the whole Island. And it really is! I have ran away after one night there. Dirty, crowded party place. Only the famous Kuta Beach is worth seeing.
- Canggu – a friend (thanks Bartek!) told me this is the place with Californian vibes. I have never been to California but I have seen the movies and Canggu may have a similar atmosphere. There are lot of young beautiful, free, hippie surfer people. And there are many of the fancy places to eat. Of course for „Western” people. The place is nice itself but too much „for Instagram” and not enough real Bali for me. Places to eat: Sprout for breakfast, Banh Mi & Beans for vietnamese Banh Mi.
- Ubud – famous from „Eat Pray Love” with Julia Roberts, full of hindu temples and Ketut’s places. Ketut was a charakter from the movie, the wise man who tought Julia Roberts how to live and after the movie lots of Western People went to Bali to discover how to live . Ubud has this really magical atmosphere but is overcrowded and loud. Only on the backroads you can truly relax and think about how to lead a new happy life or you can get a real balinese massage which I took twice because it was that good! Place to sleep: Umari Ubud, places to eat breakfast: Gangga Coffee and Muse Cafe & Art, places to take a massage: Jembawan Spa.
- Uluwatu – came there at the end of the journey. Definitely a beautiful place, full of fancy coffee shops and the best waves to surf. Oh, and the famous Single Fin Bar with a huge party every sunday. Overall a nice place but too fancy and artificial for me. Place for breakfast: Suka Espresso, place for dinner: Ulu Resto.
Summing up, Bali is an amazing island, full of beautiful landscapes and positive, chilled out people but it is overcrowed, sometimes too fancy and expensive. I have not explored the less popular places (which I heard that are the true spirit of Bali) and my opinion can change in the future. Anyway go to Bali If you want to have a vacation in some beautiful resort, dine in some really good restaurants and spend some money .
The three paradise Islands are also very popular among tourists. Gili Trawangan – the party island, Gili Meno – the honeymoon island and Gili Air – the chill out island. You can choose whichever you like! I chose Gili T. as it the bigest and most popular of them all. During my stay there were not many tourists because of the low season (November) and recent earthquake on the North of Lombok which left the large part of the island destroyed. Anyway, after 2,5 month from the disaster island was rebuilded and majority of the places were running as usual. And I fell in love with this place! No motorbikes, crystal clear water, smooth sand and beautiful sunrises and sunsets. When I am writing this I wish I was there!
The island is tiny – only 6,8 km in circle and you can run it around during the morning jog. But you can still find some privite places on the beach where you can rest and relax. I wish I stayed in Le Pirate which offers acommodation in white and torquise houses as from the movie play but I got to know about this place too late. I will try when I come back . The are also many nice places to eat. For breakfast: Kaya Cafe and The Bayan Tree. For dinner: Fan Chinese Food.
Summing up Gili Islands are for those who want to have a vacation in paradise. For sure I will be back .
Tickets – around 2800 PLN round trip (Warsaw – Singapore) + 2 flights – 700 PLN total (Lombok-Sulawesi and Sulawesi – Denpasar), accommodation: 2800 PLN, food & drink: 2000 PLN, other activities and commute: 2700 PLN. Of course it could be cheaper but my main goal was to rest (finally!) so I chose private rooms, nice restaurants and wanted to spent the time doing fun stuff.
Rather low prices (except for Bali), good food, beautiful landscapes, nice and welcoming people, many English speaking locals, warm weather, a great variety of activities.
Crowded tourists spots in Bali, trash.