At the end of my big Australia trip – I’ve been travelling, living & working there for 10 months – I decided it wasn’t quite time to go home yet and I really wanted to also see a bit of Asia on the way back to Europe.
So I flew from Cains to Bali and reunited with one of my best friends, Anna, that came from Germany, so we could have an epic time together exploring Indonesia. I was really glad at that stage, that I had her as my travel buddy. Travelling solo is so amazing and so much fun, but I’ve done it for quite a while and was really looking forward to having my best friend by my side and share the experience.
As we had a whole month in Indonesia, we could really see a lot of this beautiful country and not just Bali, but we still spend the majority of our time on that island as we really wanted to see a lot of Bali and travel slow.
Our First Days in Kuta
Our trip started in Kuta, where we met after I flew in from Australia and Anna from Germany – we haven’t seen each other for 10 months and it still felt like we haven’t been apart really :D
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend Kuta, as long as you are not really into partying. That area is mostly for big hotel / package holiday kind of visitors and not really for travellers like us. But it was still great to get used to the cultural differences slowly, there were some nice and cheap massages, shopping centres and a beautiful (crowded) sunset beach with nice waves.
We ether booked over AirBnB or Booking, but mostly AirBnB. If you are early, you can find really beautiful and still super cheap treasures there. Little bungalows with your own pool, treetop houses or jungle villas.
We wanted to be very free and spontaneous on our trip, so we always only booked a few days or a week in advance and that worked really well.
If you are used to European or Australian prices, everything seems really cheap anyways and there are some really luxurious places to stay at for not much money.
From Kuta, we booked a day-trip via AirBnB to go to Nusa Penida. We had a private driver and guide that picked us up at our hotel, drove us to the jetty and guided us around on the island.
I don’t really know what to think about Nusa Penida really… I mean, the touristy sights that we went to were really really beautiful but also crowded, the streets were awful and I really would not want to drive around on a scooter myself and there was sooo much rubbish and plastic EVERYWHERE. But then the water is so turquoise and cristal clear.
I would probably go again, but stay for a night and also go to Nusa Lembogan and/or Nusa Ceningan – they are supposed to be less touristy.
Booking Trips & Activities
We always booked our day-trips and activities via AirBnB because it felt safe to us and there are so many options. We did a surfing class, batic-art class, Yoga, a sunrise boat tour, a waterfall & temple tour… but I will talk about all of these when I get to the location, so it makes more sense.
Just know that AirBnB offers really great options, mostly with a private guide.
We also booked a boat from Bali to Lombok at the counter, but it was more stressful. You have to make sure that you book the right thing and the person understands what you want, you need to haggle over the price for quite a while and you only get a little piece of handwritten paper as your confirmation – still worked out fine though.
5 Day Boat Trip
Lombok – Komodo Islands – Kinca Island – Flores
We got recommended to do a boat tour with Parama Tours by a friend, to see more of Indonesia and it was a hell of an adventure. Not always easy, not always comfortable, but a real adventure and looking back, we are so glad we did it and would do it again.
From Bali, we had to take a boat to Lombok, which was already quite stressful and uncomfortable, especially because Anna wasn’t feeling really great. We had one night on Lombok and then went on the Parama Bus. First, we drove around Lombok and got to see some more of this island and at night time we arrived at the boat and our home for the next few nights.
As we always had to go places overnight, the motor was always on and that made it so hard to sleep the first nights. Especially because Anna was really sick the first two nights it was hard, but we got used to it and everything we did and saw was totally worth it.
We always had several stops on different islands, did hikes, watched the sunset, went swimming, snorkelling, exploring. We got food on the boat and could relax and sunbath while we went to the next location.
One of the highlights for me was a tiny island with only palm trees that you could walk around in about 3 minutes. A little paradise, besides the plastic. We snorkelled there and had some time to take pictures and relax.
Komodo Island was another highlight of the tour. The national park is home to the biggest reptiles on earth. They can get around 4 meters long and their bights are deathly, but we had rangers with us and they don’t commonly attack humans.
We also went past an active volcano and watched the smoke coming out of it. And we went to pink beach, that isn’t really that pink :P
Our tour ended in Lombok and at that time we were really glad it was over and we were on land again :D Five days on a ship can be quite exhausting, but it was such great time!
Our travels continued to Amed, Lovina, Ubud, Canggu & Seminyak, but I will write a second post about these stops and more information (about how we got around & more places to eat epic food), as this would get too long!
If you have any further questions or topics, comment down below and I will get back to you and include those in the 2nd part of my Bali posts!