The Blog

Travels To Bali - Part Two

In my last blog, you got to hear all about the hotels in Bali that Steph and I stayed in. But I need to get across a lot more about the island itself - and why it's so special to me. Despite being a small island, it has so much variety and contrast. The water is the clearest of blue, with 3000 species of fish, even more than the Great Barrier Reef.

Bali, part two:

Bali again! Well, the truth is - I can't get enough of the place. I'm literally dreaming of getting back there already. There's undoubtedly something magical about Bali that can't be compared to anywhere else on earth, but until you've been there, you can never quite feel that je ne sais quoi.

In my last blog, you got to hear all about the hotels in Bali that Steph and I stayed in. But I need to get across a lot more about the island itself - and why it's so special to me. Despite being a small island, it has so much variety and contrast. The water is the clearest of blue, with 3000 species of fish, even more than the Great Barrier Reef.

I always think Bali is just one of those places that has something to offer everyone, no matter who they are.

Most people go to Bali and only stay in one area and never really see all there is to offer, so as a Bali veteran, I'll be your guide.

Firstly, let's talk areas. Most people seem to gravitate towards the biggest town 'Kuta' as it has the most to do and usually the best deals on hotels. Despite this being true, it also has the least character in my opinion. It's the most commercial bit of the island, and honestly - not for me.

Kuta always reminds me of a Benidorm kind of place, massive complexes and all-inclusive hotels, Irish bars, drunk tourists wandering the streets all times of the day. It's just the kind of thing you could get anywhere, so why go all the way to Bali to do it?

But Kuta does have the redeeming qualities. It is cheap so anyone on a serious budget can just use Kuta as a base and still travel around the island to see what's on offer. Also Kuta does have the best beaches for surfers, and with the main bulk of tourists coming from Australia - this is quite a big deal.

Astonishingly, 80% of the people in Bali at one time are tourists. But when you've an island that beautiful, it's not hard to see why.

Kuta is pretty much on the doorstep of the airport too. Some people may argue that's a negative, but honestly, even though Bali is a small island - the roads are not exactly superhighways. Even a 20-mile journey can take three hours.

Perfection of an island: Bali, part two:

Bali again! Well, the truth is - I can't get enough of the place. I'm literally dreaming of getting back there already. There's undoubtedly something magical about Bali that can't be compared to anywhere else on earth, but until you've been there, you can never quite feel that je ne sais quoi.

In my last blog, you got to hear all about the hotels in Bali that Steph and I stayed in. But I need to get across a lot more about the island itself - and why it's so special to me. Despite being a small island, it has so much variety and contrast. The water is the clearest of blue, with 3000 species of fish, even more than the Great Barrier Reef.

I always think Bali is just one of those places that has something to offer everyone, no matter who they are.

Most people go to Bali and only stay in one area and never really see all there is to offer, so as a Bali veteran , I'll be your guide.

Firstly, let's talk areas. Most people seem to gravitate towards the biggest town 'Kuta' as it has the most to do and usually the best deals on hotels. Despite this being true, it also has the least character in my opinion. It's the most commercial bit of the island, and honestly - not for me.

Kuta always reminds me of a Benidorm kind of place, massive complexes and all-inclusive hotels, Irish bars, drunk tourists wandering the streets all times of the day. It's just the kind of thing you could get anywhere, so why go all the way to Bali to do it?

But Kuta does have the redeeming qualities. It is cheap so anyone on a serious budget can just use Kuta as a base and still travel around the island to see what's on offer. Also Kuta does have the best beaches for surfers, and with the main bulk of tourists coming from Australia - this is quite a big deal.

Astonishly, 80% of the people in Bali at one time are tourists. But when you've an island that beautiful, it's not hard to see why.

Kuta is pretty much on the doorstep of the airport too. Some people may argue that's a negative, but honestly, even though Bali is a small island - the roads are not exactly superhighways. Even a 20-mile journey can take three hours.

In fact, writing about Kuta always makes me think of a funny story from a few years ago when I was there for six weeks. I was on a holiday with my mates but for the first week I was out there on my own. So I met a Russian girl who lived out there and got hold of her for that week.

After that, my mate Joe flew out and I started spending all my time with him but she wasn't happy about it. She kept trying to get my attention and turning up at laces that she knew I would be.

One night, Joe and I were in a club having a laugh and posting things on Instagram. We'd accidentally bought a bottle of champagne, which cost way more than we thought it did and as a result, we ended up getting wasted.

But this girl spotted where we were on Instagram and came down, barging her way over to sit with us on our table. Joe had really had enough and told her to go away this time. Of course, she was absolutely fuming about this.

Ten minutes later, she comes over and pours a drink over my head. I was totally soaked and then got chucked out of club. There were no cabs so I ended up walking back to my hotel an hour away, dripping wet. Not a night I'll ever forget!

Seminyak is next, an area north of Kuta with a totally different vibe.

It's a busy place with a lot to offer, with mainly fashion and culinary businesses as the industry there. There are tons of clothing and jewellery to be found with one-off items that are really worth a look. It's not something you'll find anywhere else in Asia in my experience.

The second thing you'll notice is that Seminyak is very big on its edgy, new-age food joints. You wont have to look very far for your acai berry bowl or your smashed avocado on sourdough, a bit like an Asian Shoreditch I suppose.

My favourite place to eat is the famous Sisterfields cafe on Seminyak square; second to none for breakfast/brunch dishes as far as I'm concerned. My personal favourite is the smashed avocado with poached eggs on sourdough and sprinkled with feta cheese, sided with some of their incredible polenta chips. Then deliciously washed down with a double-date iced coffee. Literally mouth-watering grub.

Speaking of food, here's a fact about Bali that you'll never forget: The world's most expensive coffee in the world comes from Bali. It is called Kopi Luwak and is not your typical coffee bean... They collect the beans from the digestion of a Civat Cat, which is a shy cat-like creature living in Asia. The Civat cat only eats the ripest and finest coffee cherries but doesn't digest the bean. Gross, or refined? The decision is yours!

What's perhaps even weirder is that it's considered polite to leave a little food on your plate when you finish a meal. This is often difficult when meals are as delicious as those in Sisterfields.

For bars and clubs the best place in Seminyak the famous Potato Head beach club. With something going on pretty much every day, it attracts a cool crowd from all across the world. One thing that can be guaranteed is that their pool parties never disappoint.

My other favourites are KU DE TA (perfect for dinner and drinks) Jenja club and La Favela.

So I'm half way through my Bali, so next week - I'll tell you about my last two areas of interest, Uluwatu and Ubud, then it's Selamat Malan to Bali, until next year...