Bali

HAPPINESS. This one word sums up the general feeling of being in Bali. The island has been a popular destination for beach-goers, surfers and yogis since the 1980s. The west coast and its surrounding islands are more chill than other areas that draw crowds of tourists.

With many options, it can be difficult to choose a base-location in Bali. We planned our travels around culture, relaxation and surfing. The best time to visit is during the dry season from May to September.

Fly into Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar just south of Kuta. Take a private car or taxi (Blue Bird Taxis) to your base location. Note that traffic can be very congested!

JIMBARAN & Seminyak

EAT

Cuca Restaurant Tapas-style dining using local ingredients. Highly recommend.

Kayumanis Resto Modern, traditional Indonesian dishes.

Sea Circus Bali Go to brunch spot in Seminyak sporting a colorful, vibrant atmosphere.

DRINK

Finns Beach Club Trendy beach club in Canguu.

Rock Bar Bali Scenic sun-downers in Jimbaran.

PLAY

In both Nusa Lembongan and mainland, we recommend renting a scooter to check out the hidden beaches and restaurants. Our must-dos are below and other ideas pinned to the map:

Badung Beach

Bingin Beach Hidden swim and surf spot near Uluwatu.

For a little retail therapy, check out Jalan Petitenget street (From the W to Potato Head) or Jalan Kayu Ayu in Seminyak or several contemporary, beach wear boutiques selling unique prints.

Uluwatu Temple A Balinese Hindu temple on a steep cliff offering beautiful views of the Indian Ocean. Experienced surfers can catch a break here, but there are strong tides.

STAY

Kayumanis Jimbaran Private Villas & Spa this tucked away gem is five minutes from the beach and offers a five star experience. Think private pools, spacious (super comfy) rooms and outstanding service. It does not get any better! 

Blue Karma Seminyak A boutique resort and spa in the middle of Seminyak. Note: Seminyak is a bit more commercial than other locations.

NUSA LEMBONGAN

EAT

Hai Bar and Grill Dinner near Mushroom Bay.

Indiana Kenanga Restaurant For a change of taste from the local cuisine, this European, waterfront spot will not disappoint.

DRINK

Sandy Bay Beach Club Waterfront beach cafe.

The Deck The BEST views in Nusa Lembongan. We can promise no Sunday scaries here; the bar has live DJs and craft cocktail specials on the weekends.

PLAY

The island is best toured by scooter and offers surfing, swimming and beautiful beaches. It is a bit less crowded than mainland Bali.

Klungkung Beach

Dream Beach Swimming and relaxing.

Lacerations and Shipwreck For experienced surfers.

Manta Rays Hire a local boat and captain to explore the islands, snorkel and swim with these gentle giants.

Monkey Surfing Beginners can head to Monkey Surfing for lessons.

Mushroom Bay Another day, another white sandy beach.

STAY

This island is southeast from Bali and best reached via boat from Sanur (45 minutes). Our recommendation is to stay at the Batu Karang Lembongan Resort.

UBUD

EAT

Fair Warung Bale Casual restaurant in Ubud where 100% of the proceeds support the local community.

DRINK

Smiling Coffee Bali refreshing stop after a visit to the Tegalalang Rice Terraces.

PLAY

Mount Batur For some physical activity, opt for the sunrise hike. We organized this excursion through our villa.

Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary It’s touristy but who doesn’t like monkeys? Go during non-peak hours to avoid the crowds and don’t feed the monkeys!

Tegalalang Rice Terrace Scenic views of rice paddies featuring traditional Balinese irrigation. Go early to beat the heat and crowds.

Ubud Palace Iconic landmark in Ubud and a lovely example of traditional, Balinese architecture

STAY

We highly recommend Purist Villa, a luxury boutique resort with a relaxing atmosphere, great food, and friendly staff.

Tokyo

Tokyo is one of the most dynamic and fascinating cities in the world. The Japanese capital is a bridge between centuries of tradition and the modern world.

The easiest way from the airport to city center is via the Narita Express or a JR train to Tokyo, Shinjuku or Shibuya Stations. The trains run a few times an hour and the journey takes one hour.

Tokyo is a great starting point for a longer trip around Japan. Kyoto, Osaka, Nagano and Kobe are all a few hours by shinkansen, Japan’s bullet train. If you have time, consider heading out of Tokyo for a 48 hour visit to one of the picturesque towns around Mt. Fuji. Lake Kawaguchiko, a hot spring resort town with stunning views of the mountain, is a lovely option for hiking, biking and relaxing in the onsen (a traditional, Japanese bathhouse).

Coming for Cherry Blossom (sakura in Japanese) season? The best viewing time for Tokyo is near the end of March, beginning of April.

Want to see a sumo wrestling tournament during your trip? Check the Grand Tournament schedule to align your visit.

EAT

Fonda de la Madrugada A Mexican restaurant in Harajuku with mariachi singers.

Lawson’s or Family Mart These convenience stores are all over Japan and sell tasty fast food. Try the curry or pizza buns, and onigiri (stuffed rice balls wrapped in seaweed).

Toyosu Fish Market Tsukiji Fish Market was formerly the world’s largest fish and seafood market, but closed its doors for good in 2018. The new market, Toyosu, is slightly further east and twice the size. The market is surrounded by tiny sushi shops, all serving the freshest fish in the world.

DRINK

Izakaya alley in Shibuya or Shinjuku. Izakaya are Japanese pubs that serve umami snacks. Try a Japanese whiskey or one of the top beer brands - Sapporo, Asahi, Kirin or Suntory.

Starbucks Shibuya Not one to visit a Starbucks abroad? We promise the views are worth it! Grab a coffee and watch thousands of people cross the street at once.

Shinjuku, Shibuya or Roppongi Go out in these neighborhoods and you won’t go wrong.

PLAY

Asakusa Visit the ancient Buddhist temple, Sensō-ji, and surrounding festival area.

Harajuku Know for its fashion, this neighborhood is for shopping and people watching. Look for the teenagers dressed as Little Bo Peep, pop into an arcade to take photos in a purikura photo sticker booth, or head to the DAISO shop for cheap home wares and gifts.

The Imperial Palace

Karaoke Duck into any karaoke bar and pass a few hours singing your favourite 80s jams.

Shibuya One of the busiest areas in the city. Besides its famous crosswalk Shibuya is full of crazy electronic and adult shops.

STAY

K’s House Tokyo For the budget minded, K’s is a clean and safe backpacker’s hostel in Asakusa.

Keio Plaza Hotel Four-star, luxury hotel near Shinjuku station.

LOCATIONS NEARBY