Indonesia is a country comprised of 17,000 islands. We barely scratched the surface in our visit there, but we loved our time exploring as much as we possibly could. Scott and I flew into Bali where we spent a day or two before taking a boat to a little island called Gili Air. It was much needed time to relax and to try and get over the virus I had caught in Korea. After a few days we headed back to Bali (Ubud in particular) to meet up with one of my best friends, Lauren. We spent 3 nights in Ubud drinking fresh juice and doing yoga before heading off to a new island, Nusa Lembogan.
Our time in Indonesia was a great mix of relaxation and adventure. I also think that it might be one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to and I am so thankful our travels took us to Indonesia. We found paradise!
Kuta Beach, Gili Air, Ubud, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan (we took our bicycles over to this smaller island for a day trip)
Things We Liked
Beautiful scenery, traveling with Lauren, surfing, seeing sea turtles (!), free breakfast everywhere, cheap, yoga, chill vibe, fresh juice, and biking. Also, the beach! The beaches were absolutely stunning.
Things We Disliked
Trash everywhere, Kuta Beach, difficult transportation, aggressive vendors, no sidewalks, living in luxury when people have so little, bugs that bite (especially when they like to bite just me), lack of ATMs on islands, and uncomfortable/potentially unsafe boat rides to the islands.
1. Surfs Up!
Scott, Lauren and I decided to give surfing a try…we are so glad we did as it is so fun! We took a lesson with Newbro Surf School and our instructor Robot taught us the basics while we were still on land. We took a boat out to the break in the waves and rode the waves for the next few hours. We were all able to get the hang of it and we had so much fun! We all need some more practice, but we would all gladly get on a board again.
2. All the Outdoor Activities
There was so much to do in Bali and the surrounding islands. In Gili Air, we went snorkeling where we saw beautiful reefs and even a sea turtle. We did a stand up paddle boarding tour at sunset. We met up with Lauren and the adventures just kept coming! We did yoga, we took a surf lesson, explored trails, and we went mountain biking a few times (a few of the times it was quite by accident, but awesome nonetheless).
3. The Islands
We really liked Bali. It is a large island and it isn’t necessarily easy to get around from place to place. We only hit the usual places tourists hit, Ubud and Kuta. I would have liked to see more of Bali, but for me I loved all the smaller islands we visited on our trip in Indonesia.
Gili Air is one of three islands that make up the Gili Islands (Gili Trawagaran is the largest, known for being a party island, Gili Meno is tiny and there is not much there, and Gili Air is supposed to be a perfect mix of these two islands…so Scott and I knew this was just where we wanted to be.) The only activities on the island are snorkeling, stand up paddle boarding, diving, yoga, and walking around. The island was small enough where you could walk anywhere in about an hour and there were no motorized vehicles on the entire island. It was peaceful and was just what I was looking for at the time.
Nusa Lembongan was totally opposite of Gili Air, but in the best way possible. There was so much to do there and you could stay there for a while and never get bored. The island is much bigger than Gili Air and most people get around by motorbike. All of us decided the safer, and maybe more fun option would be to rent bikes and explore the island. Everywhere we would go there would be another beautiful place and it never got old. We even rode our bikes over to Nusa Ceningan which is much smaller, but equally beautiful.
1. Getting Sick in Paradise
While I actually got sick in South Korea and traveled to Indonesia with a bad virus, I was sick for the first week of our time in Indonesia. Thankfully it was before Lauren arrived in Indonesia so I was able to rest and try to get completely better before she arrived, but really I would have preferred to have not been sick at all.
2. Presidential Election
I am not getting political here, but I will say it was a tough day for us. I will just leave it at that.
Total Number of Nights: 13
Languages: Bahasa Indonesian and Balinese
Currency: $1 USD = 13,375 Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
Number of Miles Traveled: 4,275 (including our flight from South Korea)
Number of Miles Walked: 83.8 miles (average of 6 miles per day)
Steps Taken: 180,246 steps (average of about 12,875 per day)
Transportation Used: boat, taxi, and van
Type of Accommodations: Hotel (3), guesthouse (1), plane — overnight flight (1)
Number of Beds: 5