The Proper Man’s Guide to BaliJanuary 13, 2017
Just because it’s winter in North America doesn’t mean we have to suffer through the colder months without relief. One of our favorite warm weather destinations is Bali, Indonesia. We obviously can’t give you an exhaustive guide of everything to see, do and enjoy. Besides, those tend to be filled with so many options that they end up not being very helpful. What’s more useful is an edited guide highlighting what you shouldn’t miss. Feel free to bookmark this post, share it and start planning your tropical escape. You’re welcome.
Where To Stay
We recommend going to Seminyak for the beach experience and Ubud for the jungle experience. You’ve gotta do both. Wander and get lost on the streets of Seminyak, where every other building in this resort town is a crunchy restaurant, hip bar or art gallery. It’s definitely worth carving out time to head inland to the jungle of Ubud to experience an unjaded culture. Rice terraces, local craftsmen, early morning markets are the heart beat of this area. When choosing a hotel in Bali, go for one with an infinity pool. Trust us. We took a lot of quick dips throughout the day to cool off. Komaneka at Bisma has an infinity pool right in the middle of the jungle. Pretty awesome, right? We thought so too.
Where To Eat
Make a beeline to Mama San, which has a “Tasting Club” on the second floor. The chefs prepare small plates with incredible South East Asian cuisine. For an elegant atmosphere paired with beautifully plated Indonesian dishes head to Merah Putih and order the Bourbon & Tea cocktail. At Sisterfields you can get a healthy lunch in an airy environment perfect for people watching. If you’re in need of great coffee, ginger tea and a damn good açaí bowl, Café Organic is the spot for you. This casual spot is what Bali is all about. No matter where you go, make sure to try a pint of Stark. It’s Indonesia’s only craft beer and is brewed right there in Bali.
What To Do
You’ll want to snag a day pass to the best beach club on the island. Sundays is a place for day drinking and socializing. Whether you want to chill on their bean bags with a drink in hand or SUP board, the options are endless. Stay for sunset and enjoy a bourbon by the bonfire with s’mores while you plan your assault on the town. Experience local culture by visiting Uluwatu Temple which dates back to the 10th century. Check out the Ubud Monkey Forest. It contains Hindu temples home to hundreds of Balinese long-tailed monkeys. You can feed the monkeys, but you better watch your back! Although these monkeys are cute as hell, they’re also cheeky little bandits that love to take anything shiny from you. Best to leave your shades at home. Ubud also has the beautiful landscape of the Tegallalang Rice Terraces with some mesmerizing views. For shopping, the streets of Seminyak are littered with small stores selling local art, clothing, furniture and handicrafts. Get a Balinese massage by walking into any spa off the street for roughly $15 USD an hour. Looking to keep the party going? Potato Head Beach Club is where you need to be after hours. Enjoy the company of Bali’s most stylish locals and visitors at this beachfront nightclub.
What to Pack
It’s important to take into account the humidity. Think breezy t-shirts, relaxed shorts and lightweight button downs. They’ll be your go-tos in this extremely humid climate. Indonesia sits right on the equator, so be prepared to sweat no matter what.
Know Before You Go
Ginger is everywhere. It’s in everything from tea to candy and even soap. If you’re not a fan of ginger or can’t develop an appreciation for it, then Bali might not be the right destination for you. It’s really that ubiquitous.
Hire a local driver. They’re about $40 a day and can take you wherever you want to go. Traffic can be a bit overwhelming and no one wants to be crammed in a cab for that long.