Haven’t even started writing this post and I’m already so sad that it’s over and that I’m recapping it. I’ve dreamed of traveling to Bali, Indonesia since I was 16 years old.
When Josh and I started talking about where we should go for the honeymoon the first thing I asked him was if it would be okay if we did a place further away. Mexico, Bahamas, all of that is SO amazing but pretty easy to get too. We can do those for anniversaries and future travels but we had 3 weeks between the wedding and Josh starting his new job and I wasn’t sure when the next time would be after he starts his job that we would be able to jet set for 14 days or more. SO, thankfully he said YES and I started planning.
I knew Bali was one of the furthest places to travel to. I was in between Thailand (that’s next!) and Bali and I read about how Bali was a really chill honeymoon. So I started tracking flights and booked it.
It was the dreamiest, most adventurous trip that I will forever remember. I’m already planning to go back for about 20 days next time haha!! Today I wanted to share all about our trip in case any of y’all are planning honeymoons or just want to visit Bali, Indonesia.
Two things to know as far as travel… Bali is 14 hours AHEAD of Dallas, TX. And the flight time is about 24 hours. Yup… 24 hours lol.
The biggest question I got my whole trip was “how much are the flights, villas, etc” Totally understand people want to know how much a trip to the other side of the world is. The flights are THE MOST expensive part.
If you book during the low season, and are open to 10+ hour layovers and foreign airlines, you can book your ticket for about $900-$1100. I didn’t want to have long layovers on our honeymoon so I found the most affordable option with 2-4 hour layovers. Our flights were about $1500 a person. Here’s what our flights looked like:
- DFW to LAX – 3.5 hours and then a 2 hour layover
- LAX to Hong Kong – 15 hours and a 4 hour layover
- Hong Kong to Bali – 6 hours
On the way back:
- Bali to Malaysia- 3 hours and a 4 hour layover
- Malaysia to Hong Kong- 3ish hours and a 3 hour layover
- Hong Kong to Dallas- 16 hours
I planned the whole trip myself. I didn’t use a travel agent. I enjoy planning trips and mapping things out and love to take on the challenge. We received some AWESOME recommendations from a few friends and that was super helpful when booking where we were staying.
After we arrived, we always exchange our money in the airport. This was Josh’s first time out of the country so he was starstruck the whole time haha. I grew up traveling to different countries so I knew to have things set up for us! I booked a driver to pick us up from the airport and take us to our first stay. When traveling to a foreign country, I highly recommend having your resort arrange a pick up for you or hiring a driver- makes things way smoother.
Like I mentioned above, I like to exchange a little bit of money in the airport just to have for our drive. Bali has been on my map for quite some time because of how AFFORDABLE it is when you get there. If you followed along on stories of our honeymoon… we lived LARGE. And we had so much fun doing it! We joked about how if we went to Europe, or Mexico, everything we were doing would’ve cost us hundreds or thousands, but Bali is EXTREMELY affordable. Their money in Bali is Indonesian Rupiah. About $13,000 rupiah equals $1 US dollar.
Everything from our villas, to our driver, to taxi’s, to food, drinks, massages, etc was SO cheap we had way too much fun. OK now onto the itinerary.
Day 1- Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
We got in the night before and ate, walked around our villa, and then went to sleep. The next day is what I’m counting as day 1!
Ubud is more in the middle of the island. It’s surrounded by lush rice fields and rainforest. We chose this as our first stop and it took us about 2 hours from the airport to get there. We stayed at Bliss Ubud Resort & Spa.
On Day 1 in Ubud we:
- Walked to breakfast in the morning…. most villa’s/resorts come with free breakfast but we wanted to get out and walk and then just popped into some small breakfast spot.
- Massages- Our resort is rated high for their spa and it was just a few steps away from our room! We went and received traditional massages together and it was so relaxing to start our trip.
- Hung by the pool- Our resort also had a beautiful pool overlooking some rice fields. We laid out, read books, and kept relaxing.
- Ubud Markets- After the pool, we headed into the town to where the Ubud Markets are. My friend Chelsie had told me to do all of our little market shopping here and so glad we did! We bought all of our families a little something and enjoyed looking at all of the items. P.S. you’re never supposed to accept the first price they give you at the markets. We ALWAYS negotiated down.
- Union for lunch- For lunch we stopped at an adorable spot that had a really fun drink menu and DELICIOUS sushi. Highly recommend!
- Acai Queen for boba and pics- This was the an adorable spot in the area that we stopped for boba tea and to snap a few pics. They had a fun wall and hanging benches.
- Room4Dessert– This was an amazing recommendation from my friend, Marie. If you watch Chef’s Table, you may have heard of it before. It’s a 2-3 hour dessert coursed meal that was featured in an episode of Chef’s table. When I tell y’all it was the most incredible thing I am not lying! When you arrive, they take you through their garden where everything is grown. After, you start at the outside bar for a drink and a “snack” that consists of a few small bites to start the night. From there, you go inside and we chose to do the desserts and corresponding cocktails. It was about 9 courses I think and each one had a cocktail to go with. It was incredible! After that, they move you to the side patio to finish off a few of the last desserts. So amazing!
Day 2- Full day of adventure
Our second day in Ubud we hired our driver for the day to take us around. HIGHLY recommend hiring a driver and doing all activities together. It’s much cheaper than getting taxi’s each way. What we did:
- Tegalalang Rice Terraces – This is the place you check out the beautiful rice terraces and also do the fun swings! We did the couple one and it was so fun.
- Lumbung Sari – We came here for a little coffee tour next. We got to try about 30 different teas and coffees (my favorite was the coconut coffee!) and then also got to try and see how the Luwak coffee is made. Luwak coffee is their special coffee. The Luwak is an animal (reminds me of a ferret or a cat haha) and they eat coffee beans and then poop them out. From there, they sterilize the beans, roast them, and grind them up to make coffee. It’s less acidic and more rich in taste. It was actually pretty good too despite the fact it came out of an animal like that haha. Still a cool experience!
- Lunch- Our driver took us to a cool little spot for traditional Indonesian food called Warung Dewa Malen.
- A few Temples– We went to a few temples and it was our driver even walked us through them and talked about them to us.
- Tegenungan Waterfall- There are many waterfalls in Ubud but we went to this one. It was pretty busy but it was cool to see and also get into the water.
- Sacred Monkey Forest- A must-do! Over 300 monkeys live here and you walk through the forest just watching and hanging out with them. They’re not in cages, they’re not trapped in a facility, they come and go through here as they please. As cute and funny as they are, they are actually really scary lol! If you look them in the eye they get mean or if you mess with them they will come after you!!! But the babies are so precious.
Halfway through the day Josh got super sick. There’s this thing called Bali belly where if you drink their water, or just eat the food sometimes, it’s just different than what we are used too and a lot of people get extremely sick… I brought everything I had researched about it and stayed away from super funky meals and I was fine, but unfortunately Josh got it really bad. We went out to dinner but he was so miserable and I was so upset about it that we didn’t even really enjoy our food.
Day 3- To Uluwatu!
On Day 3 we had breakfast at our place and then headed down to Uluwatu. Uluwatu is at the peninsula of the island. It’s the best spot for surfing as the water is the clearest and it has the best waves. It took us about 3 hours to get there in the holiday traffic but let me just tell y’all…. Uluwatu is STUNNING. Wow! Most beautiful place there! I really hate that we only did one night there.
When we got there, we checked into our next stay. We stayed at Dreamsea Bali. I found it online, it looked adorable (and it was!) butttt…. I didn’t realize it was actually a surf camp LOL. Josh & I do not surf and although you don’t have to surf to stay there…. let me just tell y’all this story.
Since it’s a surf camp, it’s one of the only places I could find that was down by the water. Most surfers there had all their luggage in a backpackers backpack and then their surf board. MAKES SENSE because once you arrive to the front of the place, you have to get out of the car and walk your luggage about a mile. Mind you, Josh and I had 4 giant things of luggage AND 2 backpacks. Not ideal. Once you get to the top of the cliff after that walk, you have about 100 STEEP stairs to go down to get to Dreamsea and their reception area. Like I said, ideal for surfers or backpackers… not honeymooners from Texas with WAY too much luggage haha. But, we got a good sweat in and did it.
This place was so cool though. I loved seeing people surf each day, the food was amazing, and it was super boho everywhere with a ton of young free spirited travelers. The room was nice but not the greatest TBH- definitely meant for a gypsy traveler. I felt like the sheets weren’t cleaned and the walls are paper thin we definitely woke up every hour of the night to our neighbors drinking and talking or being intimate HAAH. Cool spot but don’t know that we would stay there next time. VERY affordable though 🙂
- Checked into our stay at Dreamsea Bali
- Headed to Omnia Dayclub– Such an awesome spot! There’s also Single Fin beach club and Ulu Cliffhouse that are other fun spots we didn’t have time for. Omnia is the newest spot and is SUPER cool right on the cliff.
- Rock Bar at Ayana Resort- My friend Chelsea recommended this and it’s at the most gorgeous resort. The bar is down a bunch of steps towards the water and we watched the most gorgeous sunset with fun drinks.
- Back to our stay for live music and drinks- after we headed back to Dreamsea and they have really fun live music out on their patio by the water too!
Day 4- To Canggu!
On day 4, we spent our morning at Dreamsea eating a delicious breakfast by the water and then headed to the beach to enjoy the crystal clear waters one more time.
We went to Padang-Padang Beach for a few hours and laid out, got in the water, and relaxed! They had fresh coconuts and monkey’s too haha.
After that, we checked out and went to a spot called Mango Tree for lunch and it was really good. P.S. Josh was feeling a lot better by now!! After, we headed to Canggu!! Traffic was extra terrible and it took us another 3 hours to get there.
We checked into our next spot, an Airbnb! This was VillaOceans apartment and it was the coolest villa with a loft. We had a pool with 2 other villas by us. Once we got settled, we rented a motorbike finally because EVERYONE drives them. Hence why everything takes hours to get to in the car which is why people ride the motorbikes. Girls drive them, little kids, tourists, etc. We rented one and were headed to an awesome spot called The Lawn to watch the sunset and then we wrecked……. we unfortunately ended up in the hospital the rest of the night and I was fine but Josh broke his toe and gashed open the top of his foot. Not fun!!
After a traumatizing night in a foreign hospital (everyone was so nice!) we slept in and then met our friends for coffee. An Australian couple that lived in the villa next door to Villa Oceans actually helped us after we wrecked and got us to an emergency clinic. We exchanged numbers and met them the next day!
- Breakfast at Crate Cafe– Cutest, pink cafe! They have incredible food and their iced lattes are to die for!!! It’s extremely busy here though. Very popular.
- Finns Beach Club– Since Josh was on crutches and couldn’t get his foot wet, we headed to a beach club and rented a daybed. This was our favorite thing the whole trip honestly. This beach club was fabulous, the music was great, and it wasn’t too rowdy for us. You pay a minimum to have the daybed FYI so basically get to order a ton of food and drinks all day to reach the minimum.
- Dessert at Milk & Madu- After our day at the beach club, we stopped by Milk & Madu for dessert. They have this cookie dessert thing that I wanted but learned they stop serving it at like 8pm and we got there at 9pm sadly. But they had other desserts that were good too! They also have delicious pizza.
Day 6- Christmas in Bali!
Since most Indonesians are Hindu or Buddhist, they don’t celebrate Christmas so everything stays open!!
- Breakfast at Crate Cafe- We had to come back! So good and well worth the wait.
- CHRISTMAS— Our Australian friends kindly invited us to spend the day with them on the beach with their friends. It was a wonderful Christmas!!
- Dinner at Lacalita– Josh and I grabbed dinner nearby at this delicious Mexican spot. So good and strong margaritas!
- Old Man’s for a drink and sunset
- Dessert at Mad pops– I’m still dreaming about the waffle cone…. best waffle cone of my life lol.
Day 7- To Seminyak!
Our last morning in Canggu sadly…. Canggu was our FAVORITE spot. It was so relaxed, and had the best beachy vibe. We got coffee with our Australian friends and friends from the UK we met before we checked out.
- T.M.O coffee– Our friends brought us here so you know it’s good! They introduced us to the iced cappuccino with coconut milk and it was THE BEST. They also make these smoothie bowls and they are just so delish.
- Checked out of our villa (favorite villa too!)
- Drove to Seminyak- about 2 hours with the holiday traffic
- Checked into last villa
- Lunch at Strawberry fields- Recommendation from my friend Jack and this place was super chic. It had like badass cali vibes to me. Really fun drinks and awesome burgers!
- Coconut bowls at Balibola– Super fun spot that’s all vegan.
- Dinner at La Plancha– A bean-bag filled beach spot. It’s seafood (have a little bit of everything though) and it was the perfect spot to watch the sunset, have dinner, and relax at.
Our last villa was more of a splurge than the rest. We stayed at Kiss Bali Villa’s and had this epic villa with a private pool, outdoor kitchen, etc all to ourself. So fun!
- Breakfast at Kynd Community- A pink vegan cafè that is ALL about spreading kindness, and being kind to animals too (hence why it’s vegan). This wasn’t my favorite food but the coffee and atmosphere was worth the stop!
- In-villa massages- We booked another round of massages since they are so affordable in Bali. Our villa offered in-villa massages too so they actually came to our villa and did them there. We had plans to go to a beach club after but it started storming.
- Motel Mexicola for lunch- Josh’s favorite lunch spot! A funky Mexican spot and apparently it pops off at night and turns into a fun bar atmosphere. The churros though, y’all!!! LOL Everything we ate was incredible.
- Walked Seminyak Square- Seminyak is a beach town but definitely more built up and more of a city. The square has a mall and is really fun to walk around at.
- W Bali for drinks and sunset- Y’all can probably tell we didn’t miss a sunset! They’re incredible! We stopped at the W Bali for a drink at their beach bar to watch the sun go down.
- Dinner in the room- We popped champagne and ate delivered food and swam in our private pool to end our last night haha.
- Coffee Cartel for breakfast and coffees- Our Aussie friends came to meet us in Seminyak one more time!! So sweet. We met up at THE most fabulous cafè (this one and Crate were my favorite spots!). This one had more pink tones and just really cool vibes too. Loved the food and coffees. They also do the cool writing and pictures on your coffee here too.
- Checked out of villa
- Headed to Potato Head Beach Club- We needed a spot to hang until the airport. Our flight was at 1am and we were going to leave for the airport about 7pm. So we headed to one last beach club for the day since they could store our luggage. This one was FULL by the time we go there at 12:30pm. We waited on the waitlist about an hour and a spot opened up by the kids pool haha…. Not ideal but hey, it was a spot! This club was fun but I loved Finns WAY more. Another one we didn’t have time for is Mrs Sippy.
And that was our honeymoon! About 14 days with travel and everything!!! Not near enough time still. Bali is incredible, has the kindest people, and the vibe of it is amazing. I will DEFINITELY be back. Most incredible honeymoon spot too!
A few things I want to add in:
Things to Know about Bali-
- Hire a driver- Like I mentioned earlier, so worth it and actually more affordable than hopping in taxi’s as they raise the price because they know they can.
- Whatsapp- The drivers and people communicate through Whatsapp with you since they’re in different country codes. I would download before your trip!
- Blue bird- This is the taxi service we learned was the best. The taxi’s upcharge and the bluebirds are SUPER kind drivers that use a meter so you only pay exactly for the amount of the distance of the drive. I would ask your resort to call one for you or download the Blue Bird app.
- Tipping- In Bali, most restaurants and everything already include service charge. It’s actually not really common to tip at all and if you do tip (we did a lot with our sweet drivers), only like $1 US… as it’s much more in rupiah and they are so grateful for it. We learned that honestly the tipping throws off their tourist industry anyways so it’s really not recommended to tip.
- Water- DO NOT drink the water. We only drank filtered water from restaurants and from water bottles. We kept a few in each of our villas too because you can’t even drink the sink water. We used bottled water to brush our teeth.
- Food- There are a TON of vegan/vegetarian restaurants in Bali!! It’s very popular. The food is incredible no matter what though and there are A BUNCH of options for picky eaters too.
How we will do things next time:
I feel like whenever you travel somewhere for the first time it’s the guinea pig to see how you would do things next. When we go back, this is how we will do the trip:
However many days we are there, stay almost the full amount in Canggu. It was our favorite spot. I would go straight there from the airport, spend a few days there, take a day trip to Ubud, a day trip to Seminyak, and then do 2-3 nights in Uluwatu. Then end back in Canggu. Uluwatu and Canggu were our favorite spots!
Well. I think this takes the cake for the longest post EVER. If you’re still reading this, you’re a trooper and I hope you had a snack lol. Thanks for joining us virtually on our honeymoon and if you still want to see more Bali things, check out our Youtube Vlogs.
Great post. Trying to plan my honeymoon and Bali is at the top of the list. We also will have our honeymoon in December (late December) and I got worried about it being monsoon season. Could you share a bit about the weather while you were there in Dec.?
Oh my gosh Bali is THE BEST! There was a bit of rain but they get rain everyday. We didn’t experience anything crazy- the weather was so lovely!
I was torn between a destination wedding verse at home with our family and this post definitely sealed the deal! Thank you so much