Christmas in Bali…the most bougie, unusual, but amazing, tropical Christmas ever!
Ok ok, getting to Bali isn’t very budget friendly so this post is slightly cheating. However, it’s a bucket list destination and once you get over the hurdle of getting there you don’t have to spend much money at all.
We were on the island during December (obviously), so the weather was incredible – a little too hot at times, but who could complain? Not me!
The only downside to visiting at this time of the year is that it is the height of the season for all the Aussies flying over to celebrate Christmas and New Years, so the roads are filled, and I mean JAM PACKED with chaotic traffic (it took us over an hour to travel, what should have been, a 20 min journey!).
So be prepared if you’re planning on going December/January time – lovely and hot, but bussyyyyy.
Seminyak is located in the South of the island; Google defines it as a ‘beach resort area’ which I would disagree with.
Where we stayed, on the outskirts of Seminyak, near Umalas, our villa was surrounded by rice paddys and just down the road from local convenience stores and quirky cafes. The area was lovely and quiet and felt like you were right in the depths of Bali.
So, if you’re looking to get lost and experience the ‘real’ Bali and everything this gorgeous island has to offer, then opt for Seminyak, or somewhere nearby. Speaking of ‘nearby’, Canggu has a similar, beachy, chilled out vibe.
I have heard that Kuta is particularly ‘touristy’ and have heard it be compared to the likes of Magaluf and Kavos, so if that’s not your style, stay away from that area.
Although our local beach was a little windswept and lacked sand to lounge on, we found paradise in Nusa Dua; the peninsula of Bali, providing a stretch of clear, light blue ocean and crystal clear white sand. The sea was also so warm, which was a bonus!
Mengiat Beach, on the West side of the peninsula, is where we decided to head. The beach here was pretty quiet and had plenty of options of where to grab a drink or something to eat.
Ubud (south of the centre of the island) is the islands spiritual hub of arts and culture. I realise that sounds very generic, but Ubud deserves a grand introduction.
Surrounded by luscious rice fields, rainforest and greenery upon greenery, it is the place to visit if you are up for a jam-packed, nature day out.
The roads into Ubud are lined with rows of shops that stock literally everything you could imagine; all created from the island’s resources. Think vases, wooden furniture, antiques, homeware, decorations…they’ve got it all and are definitely worth delving in to.
Amongst the vast greenery of Ubud is Tegallalang; a hugggeeee (out of use) rice paddy open to the public. It really is stunning and appears to go on forever, climbing up the sides of the hill and surrounded by palm trees – it looks surreal.
TOP TIP: Make sure you stop off at the Bali sign, to the left of the fields, above the terrace. It is the perfect photo op!
Also in Ubud – yes, this place really does have it all – is Tegenungan Waterfall.
Due to Instagram, it has gained a pretty popular presence and is pretty crowded once you get there buuuuuttt, it is worth it. Try not to let the crowds put you off. When I went, we waited a little while on the side, and it soon cleared out; at one point we had the water all to ourselves!
TOP TIP: So, when you arrive at the waterfall there are two levels that you can enter – the plunge pool at the bottom and this side terrace area to the left of it. We were unlucky when trying to get up to the side platform (an angry Indonesian man denied us access!), but I can imagine the view up there is incredible – and perhaps even worth arguing with the man up there to let you through!!
Nook – beautiful rice paddy location (Seminyak)
Potato Head – bougie cocktail night (Seminyak)
Motel Mexicola – eat Mexican tapas and dance the Macarena (Seminyak)
Sisterfields – enjoy a relaxed brunch, Australian style (Seminyak)
Chez Gado Gado – for dinner with a view (Seminyak)
Old Man’s Restaurant – sip on a cocktail at the beach (Canggu)
Mengiat Beach Bar (right of the road on to the beach – the one that isn’t a massive, swanky hotel) – for the best Nasi Goreng (Nusa Dua)