My time in exploring Bali was amazing, but before we get into that, a disclaimer: purchasing a TEFL course through the link here will result in us receiving compensation. We appreciate you trusting our opinion on the products that will help you teach and travel in 2020!
I had a great time in Kuta and absolutely fell in love with Ubud. A few aspects of Bali really stick with me as the best things about my time there: the food, the scenery, and the people.
The first time I had Balinese food was when I went to Bali. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, since most Asian countries I had visited were quite meat-heavy. I was pleasantly surprised when I could go into any restaurant in Bali and had multiple options to choose from that were not Western.
Most restaurants in Bali are out in the open air. I’m sure there are people who would not like this considering the heat, but I loved eating alongside the hustle and bustle of Bali. Most also have menus out front, so you can wander along the street taking in all your options before deciding what you’d like to eat. We did this many times on our trip, comparing dishes and prices.
The standard Balinese fare included fried noodles or rice, cooked veggies, and tempe or tofu. If I was really lucky, I got both. Typically the dishes came with a good amount of food, and most meals were under $3 USD, including a juice. Since food was cheap, Molly and I almost always splurged for vegetable spring rolls.
There was also always the option of fresh juice. And man, I drank a lot of juice. I made sure to try as many different flavors as possible, finding that I love dragon juice and really don’t care for pineapple juice. Perhaps the best juice I had was a strawberry watermelon juice. In the Balinese heat, these fresh juices are so refreshing.
While I tried to eat Balinese food the majority of the time, there were some days that I indulged in Western foods I haven’t eaten since leaving America, including a Greek pita topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, Tzatziki sauce, and french fries.
I’ve never been anywhere more beautiful than Bali. From the amazing ocean views in Kuta to the lush green scenery in Ubud, Bali is heaven on earth. Because of the holiday, there were also palm decorations hanging from lamp posts and buildings through the island. These set against the backdrop of Hindu temples and palm trees was breathtaking.
I did my best to take pictures that do this island paradise justice, but nothing compares to seeing it with your own eyes. There were moments where I was completely in awe of everything I was seeing.
From Kuta Beach, you can see the mountains rising up along the distant coast. This was one of Molly’s favorite views. The way the island landscape changes from beach to rain forest is just incredible, especially if you’re someone from a temperate climate where rainforest does not exist.
While both Kuta and Ubud had their own beauty, I was particularly drawn to Ubud. Being surrounded by greenery was so relaxing and refreshing. Being able to swim and look out over palm trees and rice terraces was beautiful beyond comparison.
Finally, the thing I loved most about Bali is the people I met. Staying in hostels allowed Molly and I to meet travelers and expats alike. While visiting places like the monkey forest and sipping coffee at Bali Pulina was great, those experiences would have been nothing without the people we met.
When traveling, there is nothing more special to me than meeting people along the way. We were particularly fortunate this time around that we met Victoria on Molly’s second day in Bali. We ended up traveling with her the entire week, and I know that we will keep in touch for a long time.
Other people we met, both in Kuta and Bali, shaped our time there. They brought us closer together and closer to Bali. There’s something indescribably special about meeting people from across the world and bonding with them simply because you are in the same place at the same time.
My second night in Bali, I met people from all across Europe. We bonded over Bintang and card games, sharing stories from our travels and our lives back home. These themes continued throughout the week with everyone we met, regardless of what corner of the Earth they came from. It seems like every night, there were tables of empty Bintang bottles, empty bags of snacks devoured, and a sharing of stories that lasted late into the night.