Bali and the gili islands

Hey, hey guys.

What’s up? As I’m writing about Bali, I’m currently in Thailand!

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After way too many hours in a boat, mini van and plane – I’m went and did the exact same thing for Christmas holidays. Why do I keep doing this to myself?

I guess I love exploring new places way too much.

I’m happy to report though, that I’m feeling re-inspired and ready to give be more consistent on this blog. It feels like my time in Bali flew by in 5 minutes and I’m already itching to go back! Hopefully sometime soon.

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Okay, so a little history: Bali has always been a favorite childhood destination. I don’t even remember how young I was when my parents first took me there. There are so many amazing memories tied to that country and I felt all of them light me up when we left from the airport and saw the colossal white statue of the mythological battle scene from the epic Mahabharata.

It was the perfect little get away. We had so many laughs, a lot of cocktails, walked endless kilometers, explored new islands, enjoyed some amazing Indonesian food, “rode” bikes, and enjoyed the slow pace of Bali.

One of the many things I love about this place is their beautiful culture. All the temples, sculptures, creativity and handicrafts are just mind blowing.bali03

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Our first Villa, Pandan Tree Villas was really beautiful. They had amazing service, even providing us with a mobile to call them whenever we needed and a private van to take us wherever we desired. The 3 brothers took shifts in providing us with the best service. We arrived at midnight to an amazingly clean villa, set out perfectly with fresh chilled coconut water and fresh tropical fruits.

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If you are planning a Bali get-away, be sure to check out the family-run villa. You won’t regret it…especially because it comes down to just $30 each person a night (if there are 4 of you).

FRESH coconuts are everywhere. I’m no stranger to coconuts – I grew up in Brunei, but I know people get crazy at how easy it is to have one. Bottled water or Fresh coconut water? Um, that’s not even a question.

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  1. Pandan Tree Villas – Worth the stay! Look it up.
  2. Karsa Spa. Such an amazing spa and location. Do make sure to take the 40 minute trek leading to the spa! We arrived late, so opted to take the trek after our massage. Not the best idea but still 100% worth it. The landscapes were so breathtaking I didn’t even think of snapping a picture.
  3. Finns was a great place to chill after too much sun at the beach. We went for lunch, drinks and some pandan ice cream. so so good.

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We wanted to experience something new, so we took a boat and went from Bali to the GIli Islands.

The Gili Islands are 3 islands just off Lombok. FYI – Indonesia is a Muslim country…the reason Bali has had so much hype all of these years is because they are separate and practice Hinduism. So keeping that in mind, we didn’t really know what to expect at these islands.

First stop – Gili Teragwan.

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I’m going to be real with you guys…we were already disappointing when we had to wait 2 hours to get onto the boat to Gili T. We thought it would be a pretty simple 1 hour trip…get on a boat go to Gili T and get off. IT WAS NOT.

Firstly, they told us there were 3 boats…one at 9am, 11am and the last boat leaving at 1pm.

Since our villa was an Canggu, 2 hours away from the port, we had to leave at 9 to get there for the 11 o’clock boat. Apparently the 11 o’clock boat was under “maintenance”…and so we had to wait and catch the 1pm.

Maintenance my ass.

There were only about 8 of us waiting for the 11am boat in comparison to the hundred tourists which came for the 1pm boat.

Luckily we decided to walk around and find a cafe to chill at. We found a cute little coffee shop called Oorganic were we met this guy, Omang Olo. He was so friendly and helpful. He recommended us to get a free ride up to a little hotel called Bloo Lagoon Village which overlooks the whole bay area.bali34

One veggie burger later, we were set to head to the boat…

They proceeded to transfer us all to an outdoor waiting area where we waited another who-knows-how-many hours.

Fast forward to 5pm we finally get off the boat to the famous Gili T. – Party central.

Or as our horse driver liked to call it, Gili GIla. (Gila in Malay means crazy)

I had later gone on to read a blog post by thegirlabroad, about the 5 things you should know about Gili T. She is pretty much spot on – must read if you are going there.

Gili T is all pretty on the outside. Instagram Island with ready made backdrops to make amazing photos…but dig a little deeper, go inside the island..and it is filled with landfills of rubbish.

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Some things I do recommend:

  1. Pearl Resort – we ate a good breakfast here, and then headed to the beach. The beach was AMAZING. Walk a little to the right and you’ll find trees to shade you, a cute little swing where you can take all the pictures you like (without lining up like the other swings scattered on the island) and a little surf shack where you can rent out boards. The water there was breathtakingly turquoise.
  2. Casa Vintage – Amazing food, mango daiquiris, and atmosphere. This place is a must visit if you are on Gili T. Also rated #3 on Trip Advisor, they do not disappoint. They even lent us a guitar to jam on the beach.
  3. Shopping – There are some things in Gili T that you can’t find in Bali, and that will be more expensive in Gili A. If you see something you love, buy it! Also, always always bargain. We usually got 2 items for the same price they were selling one.
  4. Boat Ride – Sit upstairs (bring a hat and plenty of sun-screen) when on the boat to the Gilis. We spotted a whale and it was the most amazing experience!

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Second Stop – Gili Air

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Considered more chill than Gili T, but more lively than Gili M…Gili Air was just what we were looking for. We stayed at the cutest little bungalows, coco republic which was on the coast and with a 20 minute beach side walk to the port, it was the perfect place for relaxing.

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  1. A massage! I really don’t remember the name of the spa that was on the island, but I’m sure all massages will be just as great. If you have time, go all out and do a massage and scrub. Or if you are sunburn go for the fresh aloe vera treatment.
  2. Take time to just walk. We took a late night walk to the port and back, and even though it was off season and most places were closed or empty, it was a really nice.
  3. If you are into scuba diving, apparently this is the island to be! Unfortunately I do not dive so I don’t have much experience to tell you about it…but I do recommend trying it if you have a licence or want to get one.

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Okay, guys. I have something else to announce….

*Drumroll*

I’m making a YouTube channel!

It was such a back and forth decision and I wasn’t sure I wanted not only to start something new when I (clearly) am not consistent with the website I already have…but to also spend more time on my camera. I already see myself a little too obsessed.

With that said, I really enjoy editting and creating videos from all my travels! I started years ago, creating little videos to give to all the people that I was on holiday with and everyone loved them. I love that we can go back and re-watch videos of times we were the most excited, relaxed, happiest.

I’ve already made 2 videos since starting the blog, however those were using copyright-ed music, which isn’t allowed on YouTube. If you would like to check them out click here and here.

Or check out my YouTube channel and vlog of Bali here:

Vlog Day 1 of Bali

 

I’d love it if you guys could support the channel – like, comment and/or subscribe! It would make me a very happy bunny.

OK, I’m off to run some errands.

See you soon – probably a Thailand update! I hope you guys could take something away from my trip that will help on your next holiday to Bali.

Let me know on the comments section below!

-Sofia x

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