Well the Australian holiday season is upon us and it seems that every man and his dog wants a tip about Bali, and with me being half Balinese I seem to be the go to woman!

So to save my phone bill I thought I might do a new list of the “do’s and don’ts” whilst visiting this beautiful island:

1. Try to book your flight back to Oz during the afternoon or if the option is there, go through Singapore. Although the night time option might not sound too bad when booking (especially the price point) it is HELL in reality and even worse when you have kids. It will undo all the relaxation gained on your holiday and is definitely not worth it.

2. If at all possible, try not to come right now! Being school holidays and peak season the place is FULL of Australians and is bursting at the seams. As lovely as it would be to see you all, Bali is beautiful anytime of the year and you can get some great rates going at alternative times. If you do decide to come now just keep in mind that it is peak season, it will be busy and realistically less pleasurable for those that want that “get away” holiday.

3. Those places that used to be popular such as Kuta and Legian now seem to be overrun with your typical bogan, so I would tend not to recommended these places, unless of course you are after the perfect Bintang wife beater! Even Seminyak is becoming a bit crowded however this is where all the good shops and restaurants are.

4. Please do NOT get your hair braided! Although it might seem like a good idea (although it never would to me) it is not cool unless you are under the age of 10, no one wants to see that. To add to that, don’t go getting a tattoo! Again, as great as you may think it will look from the appearance of some of these “tattoo bars”, at the very least they could land you some time in the Bali Clinic with an infection and at most you could end up with a slight touch of HIV – just saying!

5. Definitely try and get out and about. Believe it or not there are some amazing sights outside the realms of your hotel. I would suggest trying to visit some other parts of the island such as Candidasa, Lovina and Karma Kendara. These places are all amazing and you will be thanking me the whole time! It’s sad as I know people that have been going to
Bali for over 15 years and still haven’t seen a temple. Understandably everyone is different but if you are going to the hassle of visiting another country, you might as well make the effort to learn a little more about it than just the hotel and gift shop. If not, you might as
well just trim your holiday back to Brisvegas.

6. Don’t bring prams, car seats and drugs! It might sound like the last one is simple and I don’t want to point any fingers, but I think we can all think of someone that might have had a far better 8 years if she had thought about this more before packing her boogie bag and purchasing her ticket.

7. Do bring alcohol as it’s very expensive! I would also suggest packing your Milk Drytouch sunscreen for adult and baby (Protect Me + Sunscreen is our latest and greatest product), and a baby carrier if you have children (or need to carry your partner home after drinking all that alcohol you packed). Anything else is pretty much accessible whilst in Bali.

Now to eating, my top five restaurants:

1. Mama San . Kerobokan no 135

This is my absolute favourite, the roti here is unbelievable!

2. Sarong

3. Petitenget – no webiste that I could find but the number is 03614733054

The  guy that owns  Petitenget (Sean)  also owns Corner Store. Corner Store has a great feel and is a fantastic meeting place, it’s even a great to people watch. The food is always famtastic and the wine list isn’t too expensive (this is very unheard of in Bali)

4. Deus

This place is super cool and is famous for their hotted up motorbikes and surf boards as well as their clothing line, so a definite must. Again, the food here is amazing with a Thai flavour. They have great artists performing all the time and it’s set in the middle of rice fields which adds to the atmosphere. This place now even boasts a half pipe for the cool kids to use (not sure if Rocco is brave enough just yet?)

5. Sea Circus – this is a great place to come and eat as a family! Most of the dishes are for sharing, make sure you get the churros for dessert as it’s to die for!!!

I know I said five places but we can’t for forget Ku Da Ta, this will always be one of my favourite places to eat. It’s an institution and with a head chef like Phil Davenport on deck you know the food will always be incredible.

Favourite places to hang out:

– Karma Kendara – this is by far is my most favourite! For those of you who complain about Bali beaches you obviously haven’t been there! The beach cafe is super cool and serves up Greek cuisine all day long.
– KDT – for kids’ Sunday sessions
– Echo Beach – see Michael and Rocco after catching a few waves here below.
– Candidasa
– My family temple

Best day spas:

My favourite is Lux at Sentosa in Seminyak. The facials are amazing and the staff are wonderful, they have had the same ladies working there forever and they will give you the best tasting Lemon Ginger and Honey Tea ever. I think about it all the time.

Karma Kendara – you just can’t go past it.

Chill in Seminyak ph 0361734701 – we will go at least once a week if we are on an extended stay and every day if on a short stay.

A lot of people have told me of late that they are enjoying Body Works and I am not sure why. The times I have been the place has been disgusting and I have felt like I am getting a massage in the Kerobakan prison. Honestly you’re better off getting a massage from any of the beautiful ladies on the beach for around 15 bucks! Just make sure you
take your own oil.

Things for kids:

– Lollypops
– Horse riding
– Water sports
– Animal safari park
– Elephant riding

Also my kids love to hang out on the beach and learn how to kite fly with the local kids. It’s the best! There are also millions of kids club they can join, my kids love Spice School in Seminyak and 3V Kids Club. They are always guaranteed a good time and you can come and go as you please.

Spice School ph +6281514571738, 3v +623617898967. Photo Head and KDT also have kids’ sessions on Sundays – these are always great.

Costs:

– Babysitters around $4-5, 40-50 thousand rp and hour try and work out a day rate… who has time to add up all of that rupiah!
– Motorbikes – $4 a day
– Car about $10 a day but this becomes cheaper the longer you rent it
– Driver for half a day about $25

So there you go! I think I have covered off almost everything.

To finish though I do have to quickly say that although Bali has become incredibly Westernised over the last 20 or so years, in reality it is still is a third world country. Although it does have those amazing shops, restaurants and bars with many of the locals speaking well articulated English, there will of course always be things like a bad smell here or there, a few ditches in the roads, mosquitoes in certain places and who knows you may even get a touch of Bali Belly if you take ice in your water. If these things are going to irritate you there are plenty of other places such a Noosa or the Goldy to visit and are
probably far better suited!

For those of you who don’t care have a great time and safe travels! Who knows, you may see me on a scooter taking MK and all three kids for a spin!

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