The favourite past time of so many young individuals, hunting for the best cafe for the best photo op, and hope to god they have some good food… what a time to be alive!! Don’t worry I’m guilty of this, too, and you shouldn’t have to worry at all about the good food part either! This is why I’ve put together a list of your top cafes in Seminyak to smile and snap that photo!
1. Paperboy Bali
What a better back drop than a bright pink and tropical leaf painted wall?? via @_molliet
The catch phrase here is “Not Another Instagram Wall”. IS there some kind of hidden message they’re trying to tell us? via myself @jessiekoehler
3. Shelter Cafe
Need more food content on your gram? Then Shelter Cafe Bali has you covered! Via @lucreziaworthington
4. Folie Cafe
Boys can have fun too! These colours are just so pleasing aren’t they? So are the afternoon tea sets too! Via @smashpop
Feeling a moody vibe? Then head over to the Junction House via @nazvoyage.
10. The Coffee Cartel
Last but not least! Grab a friend, strike a pose! Or don’t, and just drink your coffee. But does it count being there if you didn’t take a photo? Thats for you to decide! Head over to the new Mini Coffee Cartel located in Legian, via @pearliewhitee
Check out these other blog posts about Bali below:
Ahhh Bali! I LOVE Bali! And so do many, many others, too! And there’s a great reason why; Bali is great for just about anyone. Singles, Couples, Families, Digital Nomads, Luxury Hotel Go-ers, Adventurers, Budget Travellers, Sun Seekers, and The Eat, Pray, Lovers. Shall I keep going? The only people Bali isn’t great for is if they absolutely hate basking in the sun, being pampered for a reasonable price, don’t like the sounds of the ocean, or being in awe of magnificent rice terraces. If that’s you, you should probably stop reading now!
But there’s one question that I get time, and time again. Where should I stay in Bali? My answer is never simple. It usually involves a series of questions like;
What do you like to do on vacation? Sight see? Never leave the hotel? Be pampered? A mix?
What kind of hotels do you like to stay in? Ultra Luxury? Boutique? Budget? Some where in the middle?
Do you have children? If so, how old? Do you like to bring them along for activities? Or, would like to do activities, but you’re afraid they won’t like this or you can’t do it with them? Great thing about Bali is nannies are readily available to care for children for the entire trip or on call. And they’re usually very affordable! Most care takers in Asia come from Indonesia or the Philippines.
If you’re the type of person that’s up for just about anything then that’s perfect, too!
Seminyak is located about 45 minutes north of Denpasar airport with traffic. Five-six years ago, Seminyak was on it’s way to the top, now it’s BOOMING! Which if you’re trying to avoid the crowds, maybe this area isn’t for you. Seminyak is still on my list of places to visit because it’s great for first time Bali goers who want some action. But to be honest it is home to some of my favourite shops, and cafes as well. Seminyak is also home to the popular beach clubs like Ku-De-Ta, Potato Head Bali, and Mrs. Sippy Bali (this place isn’t on the beach, so it’s more of a day club). When you hear beach club, it’s not like your Las Vegas, Ibiza, Mykonos clubs, it is A LOT more mellow. If you don’t want to go during the day, then I HIGHLY suggest going a least for sunset. Sunsets are quite the activity in Bali, people tend to not miss a single one.
Like I said before, I go to Seminyak for shopping. You can find loas of good brands here; local, and international. There are even little amazing knock-off stores here (if you’re into that). Seminyak is also home to a lot of those great instagrammable cafes that you see in Bali, however, you’ll find those just about anywhere in Bali. Seminyak definitely has the most!
The beach in here isn’t the nicest. So it’s probably best to try to get a villa, or hotel with a nice pool to cool off in the middle of the day.
Click Here for the most instagrammable cafes in Seminyak.
Canggu is probably my favourite areas of them all! The first time I visited Canggu was April 2018, the last time I went was April 2019, and so much has changed even in that one year! This place is what Seminyak used to be one 6-7 years ago, but maybe not even as cool. Canggu is a super chilled out place, a few beach clubs, a few luxury hotels, and a little main road you’ll find full of great little shopping boutiques, and restaurants.
Click Here for the best hotels and villas in the Canggu area.
Canggu is also known for its surfing, that’s how this area became popular. The beach itself isn great, in fact it’s a bit disappointing because you’ll come to find the beach is a bit littered. But don’t let that deter you. Canggu is an amazing little gem and definitely more of a younger hipper vibe, but that doesn’t mean families are out. Lots of families like this area because there are sprawling villas fit for 6-15 people. Which is ideal if you’ve got a crew!
You can tell Canggu is more health diven due to the amount of yoga studios, fitness studios, and healthy cafes. If you ever go to cafe in Canggu and wonder why so many people look to be at work rather than just enjoying the scene, it’s because they actually are working! There is a high concentration of digital nomads here in Canggu. They probably set up shop here in Canggu because villas and housing tend to be a bit more affordable than the rest of Bali, cafes are a plenty, wifi is decent, and the environment is a little less hectic than Bali’s counterparts. At least for now!
Uluwatu is probably the most breathtaking area of Bali. It’s located in Balis’ southernmost part. It’s know for it’s incredible cliff side views, as well as surf break just near the famous Single Finns restaurant. Single Finns is great just about any time of day the views are next to none, and great surf watching. If you’re super lucky you might even catch a very rare Dugong frolicking just below the surface just out front of Single Finn. Best to see this in the morning, sunset there will be too much glare. No one knows why the Dugong is there, but mostly likely the food is rich here and not much competition.
If you’re not able to pony up the money for the cliff side resort digs, there are plenty of cliff side day clubs to choose from here, even one beach club, too. All of these venues require a minimum to enter usually good towards food and beverage. But it’s WORTH it!
Click Here for to see a list of all the day clubs in the Uluwatu area.
Ubud is probably unlike any other place you’ve visited before in the past. It’s far from most other places in Bali with its location near the centre of the Balinese island. It’s beautifully green, has a monkey forrest near the centre of town, can see those famous awe-dropping rice terraces, and the people here are some of the friendliest people on the island. Ubud is also unique in a way that no outside companies can set up shop here in the centre of town, so you won’t see a McDonalds, Starbucks, Hungry Jacks, Jollibee, or Shell Gas! This is a law to protect and preserve the local economy. Although, you will find a Four Seasons, and a Ritz-Carlton so I’m not sure how that works? Ha! Regardless, I wouldn’t recommend staying there only because you can get the Four Seasons or Ritz-Carlton experience just about anywhere!
Ubud has some pretty incredible villas and boutique hotels. One of my favourites that I continue to go back to time and time again is The Udaya Resort and Spa. But just about anywhere you go to in Ubud you’ll find the true Balinese style service. So warm and welcoming.
Ubud even has a certain type of smell to it, if you’ve been before then you’ll know what I’m talking about. This smell is due to the morning incense ritual that everyone one does, but the smell is very distinct. It’s hard to explain how magical Ubud is. It’s definitely one of those places you just have to see for yourself.
Click Here for a list of all the popular activities to do in Ubud.
I feel a bit reluctant to put this area of Bali on here. Mainly because I’ve never personally visited here. And two, Bali has so much to offer it’s difficult for me to want to stay here because this doesn’t seem like the type of place I want to be at in Bali. However, I know that for a lot of people this may be the perfect place! Nusa Dua is known for it’s world class hotel resorts like; Hilton, Hyatt, Ritz- Carlton, Four Seasons and many more luxury and international hotel brands. This is the most developed resort area of Bali.
In Nusa Dua you probably won’t leave your hotel much, as I believe a lot of hotels offer all-inclusive option. Many resorts boast an awesome kids club, which is very enticing for families with small children. What makes Nusa Dua even more attractive is this place also great is because of it’s white sand beach, which generally isn’t found in most areas of Bali. Not to mention if you just need to veg out and relax and do pretty much nothing, Nusa Dua is great for that since you won’t want to leave the property much any way. Besides the fact Nusa Dua’s location is far from most other places.
Click Here for the best hotels in Nusa Dua via The Bali Bible.
https://www.fromjessie.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/IMG_3009-scaled.jpg19202560Jessiehttps://www.fromjessie.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/logo.pngJessie2019-08-15 05:58:042019-08-15 07:16:06Which Areas To Stay In Bali?
This recent trip to Siargao my friend and I had the pleasure of experience Nay Palad Hideaway in Siargao. Let’s just say it did not disappoint! As soon as we were driving through the gates of the property and an entourage of staff was there to welcome us, we knew that this was going to be good!
Click Here to find out how to get to Siargao Island, and more info.
About Nay Palad
Nay Palad Hideaway is one of a kind in Siargao, boasting barefoot luxury and sans wallet kind of place. This all inclusive resort is really all inclusive! From food, to drinks, to snacks, spa treatments and activities; everything is tailored, and curated to your specific needs.
Nay Palad is located slightly away from General Luna area, so if you’re wanting to check out the local area you’ll have to go off property and drive about 20 minutes. Personally, I would recommend spending as much time on property because it’s stunning! Although, the team at Nay Palad ensures that you are getting your fill of the island with all the activities they offer.
About The Rooms
The property itself has 10 rooms, ranging from 1 bedroom- 3 bedroom villas. We were lucky enough to check out the 2 bedroom villa during our stay, and it was exceptional. We walked through a private sandy curved path up to our gorgeous veranda, once inside the villa we were greeted to the sounds of Adele playing on the in room sound system with playlists already uploaded to the provided Apple device. Just beyond the first bedroom was the bathroom with a beautiful stone rainfall shower, and all the all standard five star amenities wrapped nicely with seashells and bamboo leaves. Continuing to the side of the bathroom was the second door to the second bedroom with its own private rear patio, in room lounge area, and desk. In fact the entire villa had three lounging daybeds at your convenience just incase you got tired walking from one room to the other. Although, we didn’t use the second bedroom it would be enough space for a small family in this particular villa.
About The Property
The property had several areas to make you feel at home and space for privacy to spread out. The Main hang out area besides your villa was the pool area. The beautiful blue pool was surround by many shaded and non shaded daybeds. Just to the right of the pool was the bar area, and it was a “help yourself bar”. I actually missed this detail and when my girlfriend went behind the bar I was in shock and asked her what in the heck she was doing?! Well, it’s a free for all at the bar and it was stocked!! They said treat this as your home and help yourself, if you didn’t feel like helping yourself then you could certainly ask one of the staff members roaming around to assist you. They even had a drink book behind the bar in case you wanted to get creative in the cocktail department. However, even the bar was a help yourself kind of thing, you won’t find people being disrespectful or crazy. It’s just not that kind of place. To be honest I don’t even think anyone was even drinking during the day from what I saw.
The beach was about 40 meters in from of the pool. Between the pool and the beach the lawn was dotted with palm trees and several beach side beds. Literally beds! It makes for a very cool aesthetic pool and even better photo op!
To the left of the pool was the covered dining area. Which had many open but divided spaces which made for more of a private dining experience. There was also a pool table situated in the back, and a larger lounging area, but could turn into a big table for larger groups. Beyond that you could see a kitchen, but an open kitchen. The chef explained to us that they can offer cooking classes for guests if they wish, or the guests could cook something they wanted to share. This space was completely flexible.
Back need the villas there was a separate spa area with several palm thatched covered rooms for different services. Services you could indulge in included, but not limited to, was a foot scrub, manicure, pedicure, foot massage, romantic baths, and various types of massages.
About The Food
The food at Nay Palad was amazing. Once on property we were personally introduced to the chef, we were also told that they do not provide menus on property. That lunch was served family style between your group, and dinner was a fine dining experience, but they did have a breakfast menu serving all the familiar options. They do this to keep things fresh, and to go with what is available on the market for that day. Since receiving shipments on the island isn’t easy or damn near impossible, they have to rely a lot on what’s local, and most importantly fresh. You will not go hungry here! Trust me! There are little nibbles provided in your rooms and each meal was more than enough and we even told them to go light on the portions.
About The Activities
We didn’t get to try all the activities they had to offer only because we had limited time, and we had already spent a few days prior exploring. Our first evening we were offered to try our their paddle board experience in the mangroves. This was an unforgettable experience! You can see these mangrove shots in the recap video at the beginning of this post.
They also offered their own island hopping experience. I’m not sure if they went to the same three-island hopping tour that is typically advertised in Siargao, but on the way to Nay Palad the driver pointed out another island closer to them, and that could be one of the stop off points, too.
Click Here to check out my three island hopping tour video.
Besides water and spa activities, they also have sporting activities on property such as beach volleyball, cricket, badminton, and soccer available. You won’t be short on things to do here that’s for sure!
Hope you’ll be able to experience this beautiful property some day or just Siargao period, it truly is a hidden gem!
Click Here to learn how to book the three island tour.
Naked Island– The name sake describes itself. A bare island with fine white sand; nothing else besides sea shells, and crystal clear blue waters surrounding the island. You can walk across this island long ways in 5 minutes. Great place for photo ops and sea shell hunting. Pack the sunscreen for this place there is absolutely no cover!
Daku Island- This island is the biggest among the 3 islands on this tour. There are tables for rent here to allow you to have some lunch. The rental fee is 300 PHP. You can bring your own food, or there are vendors on the island who have food to purchase. The water here is also equally as clear with little corals off the coast, however, this area isn’t really known for snorkelling, but you might see a few fish under the surface. You’ll probably spend most of the tour here especially if you’re having lunch here.
Guyam Island- Also another small island of the three. There is an entrance fee to pay here, 30 PHP per person. First stop is posing with the colourful Guyam Sign, then explore the little palm tree oasis. There is a nice swimming area that’s shallow and warn with again the clearest blue water you’ll see while in Siargao. There’s a little snack shop here as well serving up smoothies, chips, and burgers. You’ll also come to notice that half of the island is scattered with sharp volcanic rock. Things can get pretty crowded here quick given the tiny size of this island. So take a dip, take some photos and head out!
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https://www.fromjessie.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/DJI_0400-min-scaled.jpg17072560Jessiehttps://www.fromjessie.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/logo.pngJessie2019-08-10 09:13:522019-08-10 09:19:15Siargao Three-Island Hopping Tour
One of my favourite activities in the Philippines is taking a paraw or filipino boat out for the day to visit nearby islands, sandbars, coves, reefs, or shipwrecks. This is very popular to do in Coron, and El Nido. I knew there were a few islands we could do this in within Siargao, but there wasn’t a lot of information on how to go about getting a boat before arriving. But I wasn’t concerned, it wasn’t my first time doing this and I knew it would be easy to book once I arrived.
Private Tour Cost- 1500 PHP
Click Here for the Siargao three-island tour drone video, and more.
You ask how I managed to get this price? Well, I asked locals for one. Unlike other Philippine islands there aren’t a lot of dive shops set up, or tour agencies. I walked into one tour agency and their price was 2500 PHP per person. Inclusive of island fees and environmental fees as well as pick up, and food for the day. From one other place I read, I felt like that price was high, and from experience never take the first offer you find!! That’s a life lesson to use anyway.
We were passing a dry market and needed to pick up a few things, I saw a small printed sign for private car hires behind the cash register so I decided to ask the cashier (who spoke English) if she knew anyone who took people on the three island boat tour privately. She quickly picked up her phone and said yes! Rang someone, and within a few minutes she told me the price and that someone would be at our hotel in the morning at our desired time. However, this price did not include food (which we decided we didn’t want), one island fee (30 PHP per person), pick up/drop off fee (80 PHP total), and environmental charge (100PHP). All together, 210 PHP extra, excluding any snacks or drinks we wanted to bring or buy on the little islands.
Now, I don’t usually recommend just walking up to strangers and asking someone to take us out on a boat for the day. But seeing as she ran quite a large shop, was super friendly, and had a few small signs advertising car tours I figured why not! And again, I had other experiences booking tours like this, and it’s all basically the same on the other islands. Someone calls up some random person, and says be ready at your hotel at X time in the morning.
If you also want a private tour for an inexpensive price just try to show up early on the main boat docks before 8:30am and someone will be available for the day.
Alternatively, you can go with a group tour. This definitely is the more cost effective way. We were given the price of 300 PHP per person. Personally, I do not prefer this. Going privately allows you to take control of what you want to do, and how you want to do it. For example, if it starts pissing rain and you’re out with a tour… suck it up you’re in for a longgggg cold ride because someone on that boat will want to keep trucking along as long as its safe. Or, let’s say you got a mad case of sea sickness, or somehow food poisoning.. nope it’ll be a slow death until you safely birth back to the mainland. If you can swing it, taking a private tour is worth it!
https://www.fromjessie.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/DJI_0405-min-2.jpg36485472Jessiehttps://www.fromjessie.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/logo.pngJessie2019-08-09 07:58:472019-08-09 08:01:48Booking A Siargao Island Hopping Tour
While living in Asia I constantly find myself in search of somewhere new to travel to. Living in the US I didn’t have the luxury of hopping on an airplane and within 2-7 hours I was surrounded by a completely different culture, people, food, and all sorts of unfamiliarities. Instead, I saved, and waited all year to travel for a period of 3-4 weeks to seek new and exciting places and it still took me around 24-30 hours to get to.
Now I feel sooo lucky to not only have the means to travel, and to visit places within such a short reach! Last week I had the great pleasure of finally visiting the island of Siargao (say it with me Shure-a-gao). Apparently, I had been pronouncing it wrong for years, and to be quite honest I still don’t know if I’m getting it right! Pronunciation police step aside! This tear drop shaped island is located on the most western side of the Philippines. The island is known for its wetlands, mangroves, surfing, and off shore coral reefs.
When To Go?
I had my doubts about visiting here in the month of July. SEA tends to be very wet in the months of July, August, and September. But as we to found out one of the directors at Nay Palad Hideaway said that April and August were their driest months, and that due to the location of the island it didn’t see the type of weather the rest of the Philippines does. But as with any island in SEA it’s best to keep in mind that you should experience some rain on your getaway. Don’t worry though, the rain usually passes, and it’s just as beautiful when it rains!!
On Siargao; January is their wettest month of the year. The low season is November- January and into February is considered low season because it experiences the most amount of rain fall.
How To Get There?
This is the toughest part. Since there are so few flights from destinations to get here finding flights to fit your needs may be tough. The main hubs that they receive flights from are Cebu (1 Hour flight away), and Manila (2 hour flight away). I was able to pull an arrival directory of flights that come to Siargao. I’m not sure how accurate this information is, but it gives you a good idea of the schedule that arrives here on most days.
Two airlines fly to Siargao for now; Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. If you’re coming from far away it’s probably best to fly into Manila, or Cebu first; then purchase a separate flight to the island via these two airlines. Prices can vary greatly doing this and can save you hundreds to thousands of dollars rather than buying your ticket directly there. Just give yourself at least 4 hours between flights.
Where To Stay?
Like I said I’ve been wanting to travel to Siargao for some time now. Years ago when I was first researching there weren’t many places to stay. The most desirable place to stay was Nay Palad Hideaway, however, aside from the ultra luxury resort, the rest of Siargao was greatly lacking. Fast forward, things have changed! There is more of a range of options, although you still won’t find your hiltons, Hyatts, shangri-las (thank god actually, because you know that the island is no longer a hidden gem), there are plenty of nicer boutique resorts and villas to choose from. It’s also growing. There were construction sites everywhere.
We had the pleasure of checking out two options; a small boutique resort called Bulan Villas Siargao, which had just opened 3 months prior to our arrival. The second place was the islands coveted, ultra luxury; Nay Palad Hideaway. Both were amazing in their own respect, and we got to see so much of Siargao this way.
Bulan Villas Siargao – is a newly opened eco friendly villa hotel located in the heart of General Luna almost across from the ever popular Mama’s Grill. It’s set right along the main road. The Property consists of 6 villas with a private bathroom, air con, and wrap around balcony. The property also has several more economic rooms private rooms, but these rooms share a main bathroom facility. (Rooms $40-120 USD)
Nay Palad Hideaway– is one of a kind in Siargao, boasting barefoot luxury and sans wallet kind of place. This all inclusive resort is really all inclusive! From food, to drinks, to snacks, spa treatments and activities; everything is tailored and curated to your specific needs. (Rates begin at $630 USD Per person/night)
What To Do?
Siargao has a lot to offer and so much to see on and off the island. Since I was only there for 5 days I barely scratched the surface. Here’s a list of the top highlights and things to do in Siargao:
Three Island Hopping Tour– (Click Here to learn how to book a tour!)
Surfing at Cloud 9 Beach
Have a smoothie Bowl at Shaka Cafe, breakfast of champions!
Surf Watching at Cloud 9 Peir– (Click Here my surfing video.)
Visit Magpungko Rock Pools
SUP at the mangroves labyrinth– (Visit the Instagram @sup_siargao for tours, the owner is super friendly!)
Watch the sunset at Isla Cabana Resort– (300PHP min. per table good towards food and drinks)
White Banana Beach Club– (Chill out to the music vibes here)
Sohoton Cove– (VisitJourney Era blog post about how to get here and many more awesome things to do in Siargao!)
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https://www.fromjessie.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/DJI_0388-min-e1565334150932.jpg20003000Jessiehttps://www.fromjessie.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/logo.pngJessie2019-08-09 07:05:582019-08-09 08:27:31All About Siargao