Stress-Free Guide To Bali | Bali in 12 days? | Explore Indonesia

In short, YES.

My Guide To Bali + The Gili’s

Bali, one of the most popular destinations for our Aussie and Kiwi counterparts is starting to make headlines here in the UK. A paradise island, which offers all the wonder and mystery of Southeast Asia culture intertwined with modern influences.

Many of us who are limited to the usual 28 days annual leave, may see Indonesia, as a destination that would only be available to someone who is traveling. However, I have created this stress-free guide to getting some of the highlights of Bali and surrounding islands in just 12 days. Timed right – you could include bank holidays – ensuring that your precious annual leave is still intact for other explorations.

Indonesia, Bali and the islands have so much to offer that you could spend weeks here – but I have created a small succinct trip to indulge your wanderlust but leave you wanting more.

Gravity Hotel Bali Cyncity Cyntra Charlesworth

I can’t cover everything but here are my top places if you escape the city to Paradise for 12 days.

Indonesia in 12 days

  • 2 days Bali
  • 2 days Gili Air
  • 3 days Gili T
  • 2 days Nusa Lembongan
  • 2 days Bali

How to get there from the UK?

You can get there in about 18 hours and pretty stress-free if you use the right travel company. I went BA via Qatar Airways and true to form it was stress-free, great service and reasonable.

What to wear?

Click here for my list of what to pack for Bali & the Islands


Bali: Uluwatu

Uluwatu is the perfect location to start your expedition to Bali. It is often hard to decide where you want to base yourself, as there are so many places to choose from. Away from the popular and often overcrowded areas of Seminyak and Kuta; Uluwatu is a Paradise to begin your trip. Well known for its waves and cliff side views – I could not have asked for a more beautiful place to start.

You can easily get to wherever you want to visit via a driver. Ubud is an hour away by taxi, Seminyak is 40 mins and you can easily get to other destinations.

Gravity Hotel Bali Cyncity Cyntra Charlesworth

Amazing surf and tranquillity – this is the ideal location to ease into your trip and forget the Jet Lag.

Where I visited:

Ubud

Monkey temple

Zen hideaway Swing

Getting there:

An easy transfer from the airport. It is about 45minutes from Ngurah Rai International Airport

Where to stay:

Gravity

This eco-boutique resort is one of Bali’s best-kept secrets, offering a stunning hilltop resort with the most beautiful sea views and although we only got to enjoy two nights here, it was one of my favourite hotels of the trip.

The location is peaceful and tranquil. The view from the infinity pool is breathtaking. The staff are kind, sweet and helpful and the facilities are great. By the pool, there are bar areas serving up cocktails, juices and ice cold fruit infused water all day long.

The rooms are beautiful. They have a canopy style bed and gorgeous outdoor bathrooms. The breakfast is wonderful with options to suit all. My favourite hotel on my trip to Bali.


Gili Air Travel Bali Cyncity Cyntra Charlesworth

Gili Air

Gili Air Travel Bali Cyncity Cyntra Charlesworth

Where I visited:

Coffee and thyme – Most mornings you would find me here sipping on excellent coffee washed down with their incredible menu – an absolute must (plus wifi)

Watch a Sunrise

Pachamama – Organic cafe nestled just off the main walkway around the outskirts of the island

Scallywags – for supper

Gili Air Cooking School – book in for an Indonesian immersive cooking lesson with the wonderful team.

Yoga – Start or end the day with a sea view yoga class at Mandala Blue

Gili Air Travel Bali Cyncity Cyntra Charlesworth

Where to stay:

Stay at Coco Lodge for the best view of the sunrise

Ardi Beltza Bungalows – Amazing staff and close to the end of the night Reggae bars and north side of the island

Getting There

Boat prices vary but when we booked it was around 7500000 IDR. This took us Bali – Gili Air – Gili T – Nusa Lembongan – Bali

Gili Air Travel Bali Cyncity Cyntra Charlesworth

Little Tips

Everything is walkable or get a bike

There are better swings around the island rather than the Instagram favourite you may need to queue for

Top of the boat to any destination as it gets dark and muggy below


Gili T

Underwater Statue Gili Meno Cyntra Charlesworth Cyncity

What I did:

Boat trip to go Snorkelling, see the Turtles, Underwater statue and Coral reefs

Sunset Horse Riding at 5 pm along the beach

Yoga

Favourite Eats:

The Banyan Tree brunch is an absolute must when on the island – especially if you have been to a beach party the day before.

Casa Vintage – Head to the rooftop cafe to reset, unwind and have a delicious smoothie or bite to eat

Gili T CynCity Cyntra Charlesworth Travelling Gilis

Where to stay:

Wilson’s

A beautiful lodging slightly off the beaten track right on the beach. Gili T doesn’t have a bedtime, therefore, it was nice to escape the hustle and retreat back to this divine boutique hotel.

The rooms are exquisite with outdoor bathrooms. The beds are incredible and perfect to catch up on snoozes from all the activities in the day.

The staff are welcoming and go above and beyond every day with a smile.

Their breakfast (which is included) is one of the best I had in Indonesia – served with fruit, coffee, and even Eggs Benedict.

Guide To Bali

Gili T CynCity Cyntra Charlesworth Travelling Gilis


Nusa Lembongan

Green Gardens Nusa Lembongan Cyncity Cyntra Charlesworth

What I did:

Rented a scooter to explore Nusa Lembongan and neighbouring Nusa Ceningan (which is connected by a bridge)

Head to the Blue Lagoon and Mangrove Forest

Book a boat trip to Manta Point through Big Fish Diving and even head to one of their educational talks or yoga events on their onsite hostel

Go Surfing

Nusa Lembongan Cyncity Cyntra Charlesworth

Favourite Eats:

The Deck – for all breakfast, lunch and fabulous cocktails.

Ketut Warung – the BEST Thai in Indo – it is notoriously hard to find but if you can this hidden gem you are in for one treat. Known well by locals and dive masters – be prepared for the best food and to meet amazing people.

Green Gardens brunch is one of the best and leaves you feeling totally nourished for your days ahead

Lemongrass Bar for dinner and live music

Green Gardens Nusa Lembongan Cyncity Cyntra Charlesworth

Where to stay:

There are a variety of options depending on your time and vibe on the island.

When you arrive on the boat you have sea view villas for luxury or if you head inland more cottage style relax vibes for those who want some R&R on this beautiful island.

I stayed at Lembongan Villas which has one of the most incredible views right from their infinity pool. Beautiful villas spread up the cliffs to give you the best views of the ocean. Incredible staff and the perfect place to relax after a long day exploring.

Guide To Bali


Seminyak

KU DE TA bali cyncity cyntra charlesworth Guide To Bali

Where to stay:

Vila Kay’s Raja – Beautiful Villas just a short way out of the hustle of Seminyak. Each villa comes with its own indoor pool – perfect for a dip after a long day in the busy centre.

Seminyak places to stay cyncity cyntra charlesworth

The beds are perfection and each room comes with a shower and a bath. There is a wide variety to choose for breakfast, which is delivered straight to your room in the morning.

Where to eat:

KU DE TA bali cyncity cyntra charlesworth Guide To Bali

Ku de ta – A perfect spot for lunch. There is a variety of healthful and delicious items on the menu while taking in the ocean view. Let the soundtrack ease you into the day while taking in the views. I highly recommend their cerviche!

Potato Head – Head here for the beach club vibe. Amazing views of the sunset, epic late night parties and excellent supper.

Going out:

By far my favourite night on Bali main island started at Motel Mexicola and finished at La Favéla.

The vibe in Mexicola is fun – with drinks in hand while dancing on the tables it is the perfect way to begin your evening. The Spanish influence will have your body moving and the energy is incredible. You can also stop here for supper – just ask one of the staff to find you a table and sit back and enjoy some Mexican treats.

Guide To Bali


Things to remember:

Do’s

  • Be respectful at all times.
  • Bring a torch – this is invaluable on Gili’s.
  • Bring first aid kit, toothpaste, and toiletries for the islands – it is expensive otherwise.
  • Get a massage – I really did not get enough.
  • Do try all the activities
  • DO TAKE EAR PLUGS. This is a land of dogs barking and cockerels… that trust me…not not rise with the sun.
  • Do barter – you can do it – do it with a smile and be fair.
  • Leave your Western, Busy Schedule, Fast paced lifestyle and creature comforts behind and come with an open mind.

Don’t

  • Get angry. Like most Asian countries you must save face and never lose your cool. If a situation gets difficult just smile and walks away.
  • Spirits… buy a litre of spirit at duty-free and just stick to the beers.
  • Do not be afraid to sit and enjoy the wonderful welcomeness of these people and how they are willing to share the food from their table, the drinks from their kitchen and question you about your life.

Indulge and Love Every Moment


bali swing Abigail Charlesworth Cyntra Charlesworth Guide To Bali

bali swing

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1 Comment

  • Reply TS April 25, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    Such an great guide thanks so much – I don’t think I went anywhere that wasn’t mentioned here! Ubud definitely my favourite place and zipping around with scooters is a must-do! I also tried an incredible restaurant there called Sambal Matah which you just have to try next time you go. Great asian fusion style dishes and delicious cocktails. Would go back in a heartbeat! xox

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