This post took me a long time to write. I returned from Bali, Indonesia June 16th and it’s now the middle of November, where does the time go! I had so much to say and took over 700 pictures, but I don’t want to bore you all so I’ll just stick to the important stuff!
When I heard Bali (Island of the Gods) is a raw food paradise I just knew I had to go! I have never been outside North America and thought this trip would be really good for me. I originally had planned to visit September 2016 but life got in the way so I re-booked for May/June 2017 and thankfully it all worked out!
I was going to Bali by myself, I wasn’t nervous to travel alone but I was more worried about the long flight. I had never been on a flight longer than 6 hours, so I wasn’t sure how I would handle it. I was really surprised, the flight was not bad at all, it went by really fast, I just slept or watched movies the whole time and I met some awesome people!
One VERY important thing I learned on this trip; NEVER plan your entire trip before you arrive. I made that mistake and I ended up staying in only one hotel I had previously booked, which was at the beginning of my trip in Canggu.
I really liked Canggu, I was staying at a villa only a 5 minute walk from Berawa Beach. The surf town Canggu has an alternative, hipster vibe, and is more popular with expats and digital nomads than with tourists. Sunset walks are a must there and are very popular among the locals and tourists. It is also a good place to do day trips from. The only thing I really disliked about Canggu is that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to walk anywhere, so unless you rent a scooter (no way I was going to), then getting around was really difficult.
I decided to hire a driver and take a day trip south to Uluwatu, Bingin Beach (pictured above), Padang Padang and visit the Uluwatu Temple. Padang Padang is famous for a scene in Eat Pray Love with Julia Roberts. This was the best spot I found for swimming, it was absolutely beautiful. The other surrounding beaches are for surfing with big waves and not really swimmable. I picked up a salad from the Cashew Tree (a vegetarian restaurant in Uluwatu) to enjoy on the beach at Padang Padang and had some beach time!
My favorite part of this day was visiting the Uluwatu Temple; it’s built at the edge of a 70 meter high cliff. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking; there is just something about cliffs meeting the ocean that I find so mesmerizing. To enter the Uluwatu Temple you need a wear a sarong, which they give to you upon entering. I can’t remember how much it cost, but I know it was fairly cheap. You can read more about the temple here.
One thing that really struck while in Bali is the dedication and commitment Balinese have towards their Hindu religion. I would see young teenage girls at temples preparing their offerings. This was such a breath of fresh air since here in Canada I’m so used to seeing teenagers glued to their phones and other electronic devices. Balinese women prepare these beautiful offering pieces to lay out at temples and anywhere else to give thanks. If you want to learn more about the offerings, I found a wonderful blog post on the subject, click here.
If you haven’t read my post on the Spirulina Farm, I suggest you do! It was one of the highlights of my trip. Pictured below is fresh harvested spirulina and “crunchies” once dried. You can visit my blog post here.
On my way to the Spirulina Farm, I decided to stop at Tanah Lot Temple; a huge tourist spot and popular sunset destination for photographers. At low tide you can walk out to the rock formation and see the temple, as you can see pictured below, it was high tide when I visited. This place was way too touristy for me, there were crowds of people and a huge souvenir market with restaurants before you enter the temple grounds; although, I’m still happy I went.
After Canggu, I made my way to Ubud, which I was most excited about because I planned to take a few courses and meet up with some other raw foodies I met online. Ubud is a very special place; as soon as I arrived I felt at peace. Surrounded by lush green vegetation and noises from birds, roosters and other animals I was surrounded by nature.
Ubud is a Raw Food and Vegan paradise; I ate cleaner in Ubud than I do at home, with all the fresh juice, coco kefir and plethora of healthy cafes and restaurants at your fingertips! Check out this list of all the raw vegan restaurants and cafe’s in Ubud here; there were so many I lost count. Raw food courses are also everywhere and so reasonably priced.
I took 3 food classes while in Ubud. The pictures below were taken during a raw food class by Raw Food Bali; I attended 2 days out of the 3 day raw food class. Although I had completed many raw food courses at home, I still found this course very beneficial. You can always learn something new from a chef including ingredients you wouldn’t think of combining or techniques. I wrote a detailed review on Trip Advisor about my experience with Raw Food Bali, you can read it here.
The second class I attedned was “All About Turmeric” at a raw food academy called Alchemy Academy. Who knew Bali would have their very own raw food school?! Shanti Allen first opened up Alchemy Restaurant in Ubud and then opened her beautiful academy. Located just on the outskirts of Ubud, and after walking down a little path you come to a beautiful building, all white and open to the fresh air. The ambiance is really peaceful with lots of “cooking” stations, a large kitchen and places to relax. If you are visiting Ubud and are interested in taking a raw food course, I highly recommend this place.
The third class I attended was Raw Desserts at Sayuri Healing Food. I did not get any photos while at this class but we made raw cheesecake and chocolate truffles. I was staying just down the street from Sayuri Healing Food so I ate there almost every day. They serve mostly raw and some cooked vegan food and was definitely one of my favorites; I could not get enough of their Jamu Tonic.
My stay in Ubud was longer than expected; 16 nights total. Out of all the places I have traveled in my life this was the first place I did not want to leave. I did a lot while I was there, one of my favorite places to walk is the Campuhan Ridge (pictured below), I have never been surrounded by so much green, I was in heaven! This is a great place for exercise, it does get really busy in the evening, so best to go early in the morning.
I also visited the Ubud Art Market; it was huge, so much to see! It is a farmer’s market in the morning and then turns into an art market. I purchased some wooden bowls, cutlery and spices while I was there. You can get ripped off easily here as everything is really overpriced, so just be sure to barter.
I could not go to Ubud without going the Monkey Forest. It is located right in town and walking distance. I forget how much entry was but it was cheap. Warning: these monkeys are aggressive! They will jump on you and try to steal anything; you cannot wear sunglasses, hats or have anything in your hands, trust me they will steal it! I was not even in the park for 5 minutes and I got punched in the face by a monkey (no joke!).
Apparently you cannot look at them in the eye as it shows a sign of aggression. I was playing stupid tourist and of course looked right at one while taking a photo and he decided to jump on me while hitting me hard enough to give me a bloody lip. Thankfully there is security everywhere and they managed to get the monkey off me. But that didn’t deter me from walking around the park, I was just very cautious after that.
I was a little disappointed in how they have become accustomed to handouts from tourists. I saw one monkey holding a prescription packet eating pills, I felt horrible for the poor thing but you can’t try to take it from them because they will attack you. There was so much garbage and litter it was kind of sad, but I still enjoyed myself as I have never seen a monkey in the wild so it was a good experience.
One of the highlights of my trip was touring Big Tree Farms, a chocolate and coconut producer outside Ubud. Their entire factory is made out of bamboo and is the largest commercial structure of bamboo in the world!
The tour was very informative; Big Tree Farms makes raw cacao products so I was eager to see the process. Their cacao products are cold pressed ensuring they never go above 48 C in temperature.
Our cold pressed raw cacao powder and butter are known globally as the premiere and authentic truly raw cacao products. Our raw cacao ingredients (powder, butter and nibs) are available from our select network of global
Here are details about the tour:
- Group tours begin at 2pm Monday to Friday and last about 1 hour
- Tour cost, with reservation: IDR 40,000 per person (children under 3 no charge)
- Drop-in charge: IDR 60,000 per person
- Private tour: outside of scheduled tours is IDR 120,000 per person (reservation required) and are scheduled at 10am and 4pm
- Retail store is open 9am to 4pm (closed from 12pm to 1pm)
Starting the tour with our favorite drink COCO MOJO, guests will be introduced to our products as well as provided a sampling of our cold-processed cacao. The tour consists of viewing the machinery used to make several of the products including Coconut Nectar and Chocolate.
If you go to Bali, you have to visit the Butterfly park. It’s about an hour drive from the center of Ubud. Wow, walking through a garden surrounded by tame butterflies was an experience. They are so tame it was easy to take close pictures of them. Once you walk around the park, you enter a building which houses cocoons and the largest moths you will ever see and are greeted by lovely gentlemen whom give an informative talk on the process.
I decided to spend the last 3 nights of my trip in a small town on east coast called Candidasa. After staying inland for a while I needed some beach time! There are beautiful beaches near Candidasa, my favorite being Virgin Beach, with it’s turquoise blue water and white sand, it feels like you are in a tropical paradise.
Candidasa is very small with little to do, I mostly relaxed on the beach and managed to tour a coffee plantation close by (I don’t drink coffee and was more interested in the spices) and the oldest village in Bali called Tenganan Village. It was honestly really hard to enjoy myself while touring Tenganan as I was so focused on the sick dogs in the village and roosters caged up for cock-fighting.
There are a lot of street dogs in Bali and unfortunately not very good animal welfare practices. I really didn’t understand how the Balinese people could be so spiritual and connected to the earth (seem to be) but don’t practice compassion for animals. I asked a lot of questions surrounding this (honestly I think really annoyed some), and I was alwyas told they follow tradition. Besides this, the Balinese are still my favorite people I have ever met and I admire their dedication to their religion. As a woman traveling alone, I never once felt unsafe or uncomfortable; and found the Balinese to be so respectful and kind.
I came to Bali to find inspiration, heal, immerse myself in raw food and have time to really think about what makes me happy. I accomplished this and a lot more. And… I learned so much about myself, especially that I am WAY stronger than I realized!
Vegan and Raw Food Restaurants I visited:
I did not venture out to too many restaurants, when I found my favorites, I stuck to them. Here is a list of the restaurants I visited in Bali that were either Vegan, Raw Vegan or had Vegan options. I only took some food photos with my phone so sorry for the low quality.
|Finn’s Beach Club
|Sayuri Healing Food
Seeds of Life
|Refresh Family Restaurant
Aquaria Restaurant (vegan options)
Samuh Restaurant (vegan options)
Thank you for reading my Bali post, I hope you enjoyed it and found some information helpful! 🙂