Bali - Diving in the jungle, jumping off ropes and living like a pirate
Yihaaa!! I heard my sister splash into the pool as she purposely lost the grip on the rope in Finn’s Beach Club in Canggu. It reminded me of the year before - also in Bali - where she and Philip were climbing ropes in Pirate Bay and were running around ships and treehouses. This time I was 1 year older, and now able to walk, crawl and join them on adventures - here’s the full Bali guide - through the eyes of us kids.
Inspiration by Christopher Juul Nyegaard - written by Mathilde Moyell Juul
I have been to Bali two times, my brother, sister and dad 3 times and my mum 4 times! We love Bali. That it's so green and lush, the food so good and the people super nice. Last week we stayed in Canggu and on the trips before we have stayed in Jimbaran, Ubud and Seminyak and made trips to Sanur, Uluwatu and Nusa Dua.
Now, let's start with the memories most present:
In Canggu, we stayed in a beautiful villa, Villa Fajar/Oshan Villas about 800 m. from the beach, in the middle of a rice field. There was a great pool, shallow enough for Sienna and Philip to stand in and with a baby end for me to sit down and splash!!
See my sister show you around here:
There was a very sweet woman who cleaned the house and offered to make us breakfast, but as my mum is obsessed with all the great food in Bali, we always went out for breakfast. Our regular and closest to us, was The Machinery that had the best "Canggulicious" smoothie and banana bread muffin that a baby could wish for.
We more or less munched our way down to the beach, at Cafe Organic, Motion Cafe, Crate, Betelnut, Monsieur Spoon, Vida and the list goes on. And by the beach was a beach Club, The Lawn, where we (ate of course), swam in their pool by the beach and Philip and dad loved to go surfing. The place was great as you didn’t have to pay to use their mats on the gras and you could stay and watch the sun set and dance to music - before baby sleep time.
Canggu have other beach clubs, Finn’s Beach Club which is a larger version of The Lawn, and Finn’s recreation club which isn’t at the beach, but a paradise for kids!! Slides galore, huge water area where I could splash around and a lazy river with floaties. This was enough entertaitnment for a day - but had we been hungry for more, there was a trampoline park and a whole range of other activities that our parents wouldn’t let us try ("you can do this in Singapore, we’re in Bai!" hmf.).
Here you can get an impression of the beach clubs:
As you could see at the end of the video, it was a very young brother and sister there! Long before I was born, when Sienna was 2 and Philip 4, Bali was the first Asia trip they did out of Singapore.
5 days in Seminyak where they stayed at the very flash Seminyak Beach Spa and Resort. My parents say that Seminyak took over where Kuta left off and has been very hip for a while, but Canggu is now slowly gaining this terrain. The beach is nice, but with big waves like Canggu. Seminyak has a lot of great restaurants, beach bars and shops, but is also growing very fast, which apparently is why many now prefer Canggu and why many expats chose to live there. My family’s hotel was out to the beach in Seminyak, but they stayed mainly at the pool because of the waves being too big for little ones and they also gave up shopping as Seminyak isn’t stroller friendly (my mum made up for that on a girls trip 2 years later!) - Another great beach club here is Potato Head - Philip and Sienna and has told me that it was very cool, especially because of all the coloured shutters that are used for decoration. But if you want more info on where to eat and hang out, there are more up-to-date guides and blogs out there on Seminyak- e.g. thelostguides.com
If you want a beach without waves, Sanur is a great place for kids. Last week, we went there for a day to visit friends and I loved being able to run around in the sand and dip my feet in the water. We hung out on the beanbags of the Genius cafe all day and I had so much fun playing garden chess with my brother, looking at the kites and walking through the seaweed to see 6 bright orange star fish and 7 sea cucumbers!
My mum says she doesn’t like Nusa Dua very much. She thinks it has too many dated hotels and it is like a Las Vegas on the beach - which means, not Bali. However, we were not complaining, when we went to Pirates Bay for the afternoon, a restaurant made like a pirate place with treehouses, a big ship and swings! I From the corner of my stroller, I could also see other fun stuff for kids next door, like waterslides and water sports. Like Sanur, Nusa Dua have quiet waters as well, which is good for us little ones, but beware that the hotels generally don’t own the beaches, so you don’t have it to yourself.
We stayed in an airbnb villa here last year - 100 m. from the beach. The beach is nice, with fewer waves than Seminyak, but not all flat like Sanur. In the evening all the restaurant's tables come out on the beach and you can get fresh fish grilled in the back of the beach restaurants - it was a bit smokey and smelly, but Sienna and Philip loved running around the beach, looking a the streetsellers selling fluorescent toys and dancing to the music. One day we also had drinks at the Four Seasons
hotel and they let us use their pool and
kids club out to the beach which was quite fun!
We liked Jimbaran, especially as our villa had a kids room, pool table and tv-room - but the restaurant scene near the beach was a bit poor according to my mum!
This is as close as you get to Maldives or at least the color of the sea. But you either have to walk down a lot of steps (or in my case, cling on to my parents in the baby carrier) or in some cases, get a mini-train down the cliff side to get there. That’s how we got down to Sundays’s beach club last year where Philip and Sienna spent the day kayaking and swimming (still waves, so with an adult). The water is very clear and very turquoise, mmh!
Another (and free) place which is just as nice, is Thomas’s Beach, where we went last week. Here you can put your towel or rent a bed cheap while watching all the surfers or try it out yourself like my brother Philip.
Another cool thing is to go up to Blue Point - and then walk down to the sea and the caves there. Philip and Sienna said that the scenery there looked like something out of a film, I stayed up at the restaurant as the steps were a bit slippery. You can watch a beautiful sunset here from a big choice in bars - something we also did from The Rock Bar last year. It’s the longest bare that stretches around the rocks and my dad managed to get a table on the very top next to the DJ so we could see everything - and Philip could DJ right next to the actual DJ!:
Away from the beach and into the jungle. My mum says that this is more hte real Bali! Last year we stayed in this crazy amazing hotel, that my dad had seen pictures of and had heard it was the most spectacular pool in the world and had to try despite the cost! Hanging Gardens in Bali is half and hour north of Ubud and other than having pools with all the villas, has this crazy pool with a big drop into another pool that then drops again!
Because the hotel is on a hillside, like Sundays’s you also take a small train down to the different levels, which i loved!
Yes, as you can see, my brother and sister enjoyed themselves!
Ubud town is nice, has the monkey forrest, lots of shops and restaurants and people hanging for longer periods to do yoga and meditation. You can do a lot of cool things from there, like biking in the rice fields or the lazy option like us - a taxi to take you around and up to Teggellan. Check out me in my mum's tummy when she went on a girls trip 6 months before vs. me out of tummy!
As you can see on above and picture to the right - I preferred to chill by the pool in Ubud - now I would probably walk into it, or lean over the edge - so I think being 4 months was probably not a bad thing when staying in Hanging Gardens! Not so many other kids there, more people who had just got married, but we didn’t worry too much about that - I certainly didn't!
Now I am 16 months, have been to Bali twice and definitely going back - my mum and dad says that next time will be in the very north - so watch this space for an update!
TRANSPORT: Flight from Singapore - Denpasar return, 2,5 hours.
REASON: We'd heard so much about Bali and it's recurrent destination from many who live in Singapore. The more we go there, the more we want to come back.
ITINEARY: Trip 1, 2014: Staying in Seminyak - day trip to Ubud
Trip 2, 2016: Staying in Ubud and then Jimbaran - day trips to Nusa Dua and Uluwatu.
Trip 3, 2017: Staying in Canggu - day trips to Sanur and Uluwatu.
PRICERANGE: We've gone from free (houseswap) to high end (Hanging Gardens) - Bali can be done on all budgets, and the food is generall cheap and good.
STRETCH: Trip 1: 5 nights - May 2014
Trip 2: 3 nights Ubud, 4 nights Jimbaran - October 2016
Trip 3: 8 nights Canggu - October 2017.
CHRIS: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ MATHILDE: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️
Hotels: SeminyakBeach Resort & Spa: http://www.theseminyak.com
Hanging Gardens: https://hanginggardensofbali.com
Jimbaran - villa rented through http://www.balisoulvillas.com
Canggu: house swapped through http://lovehomeswap.com