Once upon a time in Bali

Three months after my initial birthday festivities, I decided that I wasn’t done. As an unquenchable desire, I vowed myself to pursue my perpetual quest: da party. A few Facetime calls later I got my clique together, ready to boogie down. Dad’s favorite expression, don’t hate.

Before I get started, I have to warn you that Bali is far, very far. There are no direct flights, except if you have a private jet (and if so, hit me up). 18 hours later, after one stop in Bangkok, we made it. Others took 52 hours with Philippines Airlines touring the world in reverse, but that’s another story.

We certainly made it, but we looked like rescues from an earthquake or the cast from the TV show Survivor, at least that is how I felt.

Is this heaven?

Have you ever been to heaven?

Have you ever seen the gates?

Have you bowed unto your highness?

And do you know how heaven taste? Knock me down

Jay Z

Coconut oil scent, palm trees, effortlessly gorgeous surfers and happy hour all day… Yes, we made it to heaven.

Just like Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, Jalan Laksamana Oboroi is the main street offering a taste of moderate decadence in Seminyak. Whether you’re looking for clothing stores, souvenirs places, massages or restaurants, Jalan street has it all.

We chased around surfers, thinking whether we should enroll in a surf camp or carry a surfboard around to be more convincing. However, after some discussion, we concluded that we should instead start the happy hour earlier.

La Brisa caught our attention with its Robinson Crusoe vibes: wooden everything & sustainable food. Most importantly, I noticed that we’re able to scan the whole area which consisted of aesthetic surfers practicing in harmony.

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Seminyak Beach

Por la Noche

We instantly got acclimated to the Balinese lifestyle and spent our first days exploring the city by night.

Motel Mexicola was our instant crush. We fell in love with the Latin ambiance, the picturesque dining tables and most importantly the food. At 10 pm sharp, like the metamorphoses of the werewolf, inebriated tourists (slightly drunk or maybe they’re just sober I couldn’t tell)  invaded the dining area and danced on tables.

Later on, we took residency at La Favela, the hub of Seminyak nightlife. What seemed to be a tropical jungle was, in reality, a well-curated club and restaurant. The DJ allegedly just discovered Despacito since he played the track five times in a row.

After what felt like 10 Zumba classes, our appetite grew, and we ended up devouring the best fish and chips ever made (considering the 5-am perspective).

Healthy not by choice

Without my express agreement, we have been immersed in that “no meat” environment. I was craving and dreaming about prosciutto all day long. Bali’s community is inherently in that vegan, gluten-free vibe. Since they draw animals or smileys with veggies on my plate, I wasn’t too mad.

Seminyak is the capital of food lovers. You might spend your day deciding on the restaurant you would like to try or like Pokemon “catch them all.”

Breakfast Bali

Everybody loves the sunshine

Marleny convinced us to retire from the party scene for a minute and meditate. At 6 am, she dragged us out of bed and took us to all the temples around the island. Her being on that meditation quest, she went on praying with locals wearing a Chinese kimono. Setting trends.

Ubud is the type of place where you want to let yourself free and enroll in a 2-year yoga class. On the way, we encountered a few female instagramers imploring their spouses to capture the perfect angle.

Tremendous rice fields surrounded us as we headed toward the unknown. Hours later we arrived at Tegenungan Waterfalls, a major tourist attraction in Bali. We had to be “mainstream” since we didn’t carry our North Face equipment to explore and wander around.

Temple Ubud

48 hours on Gili Trawangan Island

We’re running late for the 9-am departure, and our chauffeur was driving against the traffic flow while finding new matches on Tinder.

The ferry happened to be over capacity; therefore, we rushed to get inside; meanwhile, the sailors threw our bags over the deck.

Inside portrayed the definition of chaos: random people were selling beers, parents arguing over rebellious children, monks reading out loud and us imploring god to provide a wifi signal.

On Gili Trawangan, the local cab station consisted of a few horse carriages covered with carnival ribbons from head to toe. As we loaded our bags, the horse starred at us, nonchalant and visibly disconcerted to get back to work.

As we discovered our villa pimped in honeymoon style with the outdoor jacuzzi, the girls and I spontaneously got the island fever. At 9 am you could hear Reggae / Dancehall classics blasting from our dwelling.

The hotel management allegedly saw potential in us and lent us Go Pro like true National Geographic explorers. My fear of invisible white sharks made me stay 2-feet from the seaside.

Gili Island is accessible for everyone whether you’re on a romantic date, family trip or even divorce celebration. I attempted to lost my friends a few times but didn’t succeed since the island is barely 3 km long and 2 km wide.

Gili Island

Mad Crush

Tuiti Fruiti Beauti Salon & Spa

JL Petitenget 147X Seminyak Bali Indonesia 80361

You deserve a treat. Get yourself pampered and get a fruit massage. Choose among 20 flavors from Coconut to Nutella (maybe it was just chocolate so don’t get mad at me). An astonishing staff that has a 1000 jokes to tell.

Kynd Community

12x Jalan Raya Petitenget, Seminyak 80361

After a long night out, I suggest a morning detox. Grains, fruits, proteins they have it all. Healthiest breakfast on the block!

Potato Head

Jalan Petitenget 51 BKerobokan 80361

Bali’s favorite beach club will delight you whether you’re a party animal or you just like to spend your day reading Harry Potter long ass novels. On the music side, expect a selection of international hits including one or two hip-hop songs if you’re lucky. Hey, they don’t want the crowd to be overwhelmed! Reservations for cabanas are highly suggested to avoid any disagreements.

Seminyak Beach

Sit on cozy buns on the beach and watch the pink sunset while enjoying the daily “extended” happy-hour.

Omnia

Jl. Belimbing Sari, Pecatu, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80364

If you get homesick and you miss Las Vegas, Omnia will immerse you in a festive environment that you won’t forget. Futurist setup and maybe a tribute to the extravagant Apollo Liberace.

Tony’s Resort Villas

Jl. Petitenget, Kerobokan Seminyak 80361

I randomly picked this hotel on booking.com, and I felt blessed! Conveniently hidden from Bali’s madness and across the street from Potatoe Head, Tony’s Resort Villas is the spot. Complimentary welcome drinks and breakfast included, what else do you need! Rooms vary from 60 to 80 dollars per night and 100 dollars for the villas if you wanna stunt with your own pool.

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