I went with a few friends to Bali and Flores in the end of June. We were told it was dry season, and according to every source it is indeed dry season, but it poured and poured and poured every day for us. We got a few hours here and there of no rain, so we would get out and try to do a few activities (and a some instagrammable pictures 😉 ). We stayed at the Dipan Resort in Seminyak, Bali. It was perfect for us. I would say it was more of a budget option, but it was still very nice. Given there were enough of us, we got a three bedroom villa which was fun. I was also really happy we stayed in Seminyak. Each town in Bali has its own vibe. Kuta is insanely touristy, honestly the whole island was far too touristy for my liking, but Seminyak had a slightly hippy, Aussie personality to it which I really liked. There are tons of healthy restaurants, a few beach clubs, and lots of cute shops, so I think it’s a great area to stay. Most of my friends who have gone have stayed in Seminyak, although Kuta if you’re trying to really party, and then a few in Jimbaran for some of the larger, higher-end resorts.
We went to a few healthy, easy restaurants in Seminyak which I would definitely recommend checking out. Sisterfields Cafe and Earth Cafe were my two favorite. Sisterfields was more of a trendy vibe with awesome food, and Earth Cafe was more geared toward the healthy eater (although I think the food was both healthier and better at Sisterfields). We went to a nicer dinner near the hotel one night at Bambu. Both the food and drink were great, and I think the bill was under $25/person with a main and a drink or two. That night we also stopped by Potato Head Beach Club, which is a gorgeous beach club in Seminyak. Given it was down-pouring, the club was pretty empty, but I imagine on a sunny day it is packed and a really fun spot.
We also spend one day in Ubud. We decided just to do a day trip there, but I know a lot of people really enjoy spending a few nights up there. It took us a little under two hours in the car to get there, but we were there during a holiday week so traffic throughout the week was absurd and apparently worse than normal. If you want to walk around the rice paddies, Ubud is the place for that. Naturally, I jumped on one of the big swings. It was ~$6 and I thought it was good fun. There were two restaurants we went in Ubud which were outstanding. The first was Atman Nourish Kafe. It’s a cute little shop in front and then the back is a cafe with tons of seating and an open back to a big green paddy area. We just sat for a kombucha and matcha, but everyone’s food looked great and there were tons of healthy options. The second place we went was Sayuri Healing Food Cafe, which might have been my favorite restaurant from this trip. It reminded me of some of the really good whole food, macro, plant-based restaurants in the States. The menu was creative and exciting and completely plant-based. I got “lox and bagel” and have never had anything like it. It truly tasted like a lox and bagel, except I didn’t feel gross and too fully after. It was a seed based cracker and cashew cheese of sorts. I would hands down eat that every day. We tried a few of their drinks, teas, and sweets, which were also really great. If you are ever in Ubud, I think this is a must go. Finally, in Ubud we went to The Yoga Barn, which is one of the main yoga studios there. Great spot to check out if you’re craving some yogs.
After Ubud and a few days in Bali, we flew an hour east to Flores. Flores feels more like an undiscovered island – without much of anything at the moment – but from Flores you can take a little boat to all the islands. From my understanding, Indonesia was never conquered by a Western country (although it was by China), so many of the islands are still completely remote. Each of the islands we went to, while tiny, had their own language which was significantly different from Indonesian. The languages were so different that my Indonesian friend on the trip couldn’t even communicate with the natives. But, because these islands were so remote and so disconnected, they were unbelievably gorgeous. I felt like we were exploring islands that had never been found before. It was really special and unique. Aside from the boat tour from Flores, we went to two restaurants there that were pretty good. Bajo Bay for dinner one night and Atlantis Beach Club for a drink and lunch on day. The beach club was decorated and set up to be super cool, but it was completely empty because Flores isn’t exactly touristy yet. Give it a few years and that’ll be an awesome day drinking spot!
Overall, the trip was incredible. Indonesia is such a cool place, but I think it might have been better a few years ago. Bali felt super touristy and overrun already which was a little disappointing. Flores on the other hand wasn’t developed quite yet, but I think will be an awesome destination in a few years!