5 things I learned about Bali second time around

1. Stay in Airbnbs: last time I did solely hostels and hotels, and while super cheap, it confined me to the more tourist centric areas in Bali. Staying, for example, in an Airbnb in Uluwatu, I had the chance to explore more of the not so typical attractions with a scooter, as we had our own place and more of a chance to try and figure everything out on my own. While it was relatively more expensive than a hostel, in terms of actual spending you can find a really great deal with a group of friends.

2. Walk a lot more: This is kind of ironic since I didn’t get to do too much of this, but the days that I did, I found some really unique places that were a bit off the beaten path. Even in extremely tourist heavy places like Kuta, it’s easy to find treasures if you let it be so. I was exploring a side road near my hotel and stumbled upon a petite cafe with a mouthwatering menu made from locally produced ingredients. Crumb & Coaster is a hidden gem in an area full of overpriced pubs and I might not have found it without wandering around a bit. 
I had the Mashed Avo with poached eggs and a strawberry smoothie. Worth the extra few dollars.

 

3.Money changers: BE CAREFUL. Late one night, a friend and I exchanged some money then headed out for dinner. At the restaurant we ate at, Warung Tujuh (amazing by the way, a must have), we encountered this sign:

 

Upon returning to the hotel, we checked our money and were missing about 60USD in money. The next morning we returned and demanded to get our money back, and without much hesitation they refunded it all. It was clear that they do this often and that when they count it themselves, keep some of the money.

4. Hotel spas: Bali, only behind Thailand in amazing deals for fantastic messages, can be hit or miss for spa’s. They may have good prices or great looking storefronts, but its hard to judge what you’re going to get up front. This time around, I spent the extra money, about 5USD more, to get a massage at the Four Points by Sheraton, and it was AMAZING. The staff was professional, well trained and used great products; it’s the real deal. If you’re into massages, splurge a little and check out a hotel spa for a change.
5. Relax: On my first visit to Bali, everyday was go-go-go. There is so much to do and so many things to see that you’re either in transit, surfing, paddle boarding, doing yoga or out for some drinks. Take a day or two to check out some rooftop pools, hang out by the beach and really relax and enjoy the unbeatable weather and sunshine. I know that last year, before I even knew it, my holiday was over and I was exhausted, counting the days until the next one.

 

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