SkyCab Langkawi 

Heading to Langkawi and looking for things to do? Look no further!

Float over the jungles and head for the clouds with Skycab’s famous cable car, The longest free span Mono Cable car takes you to the tip of Machincang mountain over 700 meters above sea level.

Located in the west of the island you’ll only ever be a maximum of 45 mins drive from the ground base and with Uber and fixed rate taxis you’ll find access is super easy!

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Reaching these heights is dizzying with a steep climb to overcome the ride is pretty exhilarating but gives you some beautiful views like the one above!

We purchased tickets on a combo B package which within the 120 RM price included the cable car return with express lane queue jump, the 3D art museum and the Skydome and  we also added on the sky bridge once we got to the top station for only an extra 5RM each.

The skybridge is the longest free span curved bridge in the world, It makes for a pretty interesting photo. With glass panels it’s pretty scary seeing down against how high you are!

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For a great half day trip out it’s well worth the money no matter the weather, With release from the sun in the breeze or if the weathers bad you can easily wait for the clouds/rain to pass by using all the indoor inclusions within the ticket, Be sure to check out the 3D museum for a laugh and some fantastically funny shots to send those back home!

Places To Vist From Ubud, Bali

Located in the uplands of Bali only 2 hours from the popular coastal resort, Ubud sits pretty amongst Bali’s most famous landscapes.

Most may recognise Ubud from Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ the picture however is a little different from that you will find when you arrive. Having built on the back of the tourism with the books popularity there now is much more than perceived in the movie, Not that this doesn’t better benefit the local communities it does mean you won’t fall off the beaten track as she does in the movie.

Having recently visited I wanted to share my top not to miss tips to show how you can get off the beaten track!

 

Tegenungan Village Waterfall

Located only a short drive from Ubud plan a day to visit the beautiful falls, As it is only a short drive and a small entry fee (10,000) plan a full day here to give you time to climb down and spend some time in the waters. Although a steep climb is is not as far as it appears! As we were on a day trip we only got long enough to visit for a photo stop however we’d of liked to spend a long morning there, Taking a slow walk back to the restaurants and stalls along the entrance and car park before we headed home.

 

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Tirta Empul (Holy Spring Temple)

With so many great places to visit in Ubud a couple of days in the town will not go a miss! Tirta Empul or for the tourists known as the holy spring temple is a place where the local Hindus are able to self cleanse the mind and soul using the holy waters in the natural springs within the temple. It was super interesting to obverse each person ‘cleansing’ themselves and there was nowhere I felt as calm while I travelled in Bali.

Entrance was approx 15,000 per person and it does included a sarong hire (bring your own if you wish to use the cleansing pools)

Plan to spend a hour or two to enjoy all on offer, and to capture photos. There is some of the most beautiful architecture I’ve seen and I spent ages trying to capture the intricate details.

On a side note if you were looking to get some shopping done and knick-knack shopping done the market maze on your exit is the place to go! You can enter the markets without having entered the temples so if temples aren’t your thing check out the stores. They have the same produce as the markets in Ubud market but the ladies here see a lot less visitors in the same space of time so get less trade. I brought so much while I shopped I spent my daily budget within 15 mins.

 

 

Tegallalang

Often seen blazoned across the front of the Bali guide books the rice terraces in Bali are unmissable. Only a very short drive from Ubud you enter into the small village set around the planting fields.

As one of the more recognised this unbelievably is located on the side of the main through road, Surrounded by shops and restaurants, It feels so out of place. When we travelled the fields had just been recently cut back so it wasn’t as spectacular as I’d seen in previous photos and it turns out had we arrived only a day before this wouldn’t be the case (ask your hotel and local drivers as they’ll be able to advise locally the last time it was cropped)

You must pay an entry fee when arriving in the village, and is a per car/motorcycle and less than £2. You then are free to scramble in the fields and capture as many photos as you would like.

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Goa Gajah (Elephant Temple)

Located only 6kms from Ubud this beautiful carved cave is not to miss if you are looking to include some culture in your trip to Bali.

Somewhat misleading the Elephant temples name comes from the intricate carvings on the entrance into the medication cave. You can easily spend an hour or two and hire a local guide on arrival to talk you through the history of the temple and it’s historical purpose for the locals of Indonesia.

Entry is approx. 10,000 per person

If you are after shopping the markets surrounding the temple are a great place to grab a bargain. The stall holders get less trade here due to the lack of visitors so make the most of an afternoon and give your money into the local communities and grab your self a treat or two.

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Please remember as when visiting any local religious sites and small communities to dress appropriately. This will mean ladies covering their arms and legs while in the vicinity. As the weather can get humid I recommend wearing a t-shirt with a pair of shorts and purchasing a sarong from the local traders to use as a wrap up and cover your legs.

 

All prices are quoted in local currency and based on an exchange rate correct at the time of posting. £1 is equal to 17,000 IDR

Monkey Forest, Ubud Bali

Located on its name sake’s road, Nestled in the town of Ubud The Sacred Monkey Forest sanctuary is a popular tourist attraction in the inland resort.

The sanctuary was built to conserve the area which is based on the concept of Tri Hita Karana which translates to ‘three ways to reach spiritual & physical well being.’

There are 3 temples that date back to the 14th century that unfortunaely to help preservation you are no longer able to enter. Although you are able to admire there beauty from a distance.

The monkeys that live within the area are Macques or as they are locally known as ‘long tailed Balinese monkeys. There are around 600 to spot while you are there that live within 5 groups. It is quite interesting to watch the different groups as they interact, you certainly can tell when they are within their own groups and when an outsider approaches.

For a small entry fee of 20,000 (£1.50) you are able to freely wander within the grounds of the sanctuary. With some of the most beautiful art and sculptures in the area we took hours to walk around and capture all the photos I wanted.

Here are some of my favourite snaps from my visit to the monkey forest.

 

 

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Which Gili Island Is For Me? A Guide To The Gili Islands, Bali

Heading over to Bali and hoping to check out the Gili’s? Have a read of my guides below and find your best suited island to get the most from your trip!

 

Gili Trawangan 

The largest of the three islands and often referred to as Gili T or simply the party island you’ve been pre-warned! As it is the most developed of the three islands there is a mixture of budget hostel rooms, mid-range and luxury accommodation so would suit any budget.

With an abundance of bars along the east coast there is something for everyone, with the beach shacks with laid back vibes, to the nightclubs which will keep the drinks and music flowing until the early morning. Personally I think if travelling as a family avoid the main throng on the east coast and head for some of the hotels along the north and west of the island to avoid the party lifestyle that is normal any night of the week.

With plenty happening on the island everyday there will be something for everyone, and you can read my list of recommendations here

 

Gili Memo

Nestled between T & Air this is the smallest of the chain in the Northern Gilis. Arguably it has the best beaches of the Gili’s and I truly believe this is due to the lack of tourism on the island. With less choice of accommodation than it’s sister islands Gili Memo it still compares with pricing and has rooms starting from £14 per night.

Without bike hire you are left to wander the island on foot, but don’t let this put you off! A loop round the island will cost you an hour and most likely a full memory card. With the only salt water lake on the Island chain there is wildlife spotting to be done and sun soaking. After rumours of the island having large numbers of mosquitoes due to its lake the island has been quiet since, however I am happy to report I had no new bites after my visit, but if like me you suffer with bites check out my post here on how to avoid bites and prevent itching!

With the laid back locals it is hard not to fall in to island time, not that you have any reason not to!

 

Gili Air

The closest of the three to Lombok this has the shortest journey time from Bali or Lombok islands. With plenty of choices to dine and drink this comes up as the second most popular of the Gilis as the ‘Goldilocks choice’ Not as much partying as Gili T and not at quiet as Gili Meno this one is right right for those in-between.

With everything located in the east of the island it means the west of the islands host the best beaches not unlike Gili T, but as the waters are quiet there are snorkelling reefs all around the islands which haven’t yet been destroyed.

With a range of accommodation from hostel to 5* boutiques there is something to suit everyone, there is also more chance of larger rooms to host families.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The What’s What Of Gili Trawangan

Located only a few hours by fast boat from Bali this Indonesian isle is famous for its nightly parties and stunning beaches, Often referred to as the party island or simply Gili T.

Having recently returned from Bali and spending some time on the popular Indian ocean island of Gili Trawangan I wanted to share my top tips of how to spend your time while travelling.

 

Turtle Conservation

A humble offering of insight to the life of the local turtles surrounding the islands, This little spot plays a huge part to the local wildlife numbers. Nesting does not happen on the Gili islands, the guys who run the site actually rescue the eggs from the island of Lombok where it is considered a local delicacy. They allow the turtles to hatch as naturally as possible given the circumstances and allow them a safe home while they grow (to 10 months) before releasing them in to the wild. Often the public are invited to such an occasion, normally happening in September of each year and for a small fee can release them. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the conservation programme and the allowance of the public to be involved, however speaking to a few of the workers changed that by advising how little they would be able to raise if this was not an occurrence. Please give generously when visiting and take the time to read the information board they have provided to explain the necessity of the programme.

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Lookout View Point

Located in the southern part of the island this view point will take you to the highest point of the island, and give you an incredible view of the sunsets you will grow to expect while staying on the islands. A steep but short walk will take you to the top of the hill and opens into a clear grass area where you can enjoy a sun-downer or two before the sun settles behind the sea. Be sure to leave quickly afterwards as it will become dark very quickly.

There are two paths you can take to get to the top of the island. I recommend coming from the south path which is more of a scramble up and is located next to the stud horse farm and then come back down the path near happy house as this has more steps (although if it was like anything when we travelled some of the steps are inaccessible so you will need to detour from the path a couple of times.

 

Sunset At The Exile

If like me you don’t always want to have to work for the rewards I highly recommend getting yourself to The Exile. Located on the southern tip of the island this little beach bar was my favourite place we stopped. After cycling past and see the fun bean bags and colourful umbrellas I was sold. Approaching the beach I saw they had a sea swing and my day was complete! With a great Indonesian menu and cheap drinks I was happy in my pink bean bag and spent the whole day watching the world go by and waiting for the sunset.

After a day at the bar, with lunch, soft drinks, Bintangs and sunset snacks our bar bill was only 270,000 (£15 between the two of us)

Hiring Bikes

Cycling around the island is the best way to get around, and is the best way to avoid the horse and carriages on the island. Hiring a bike can start at 25,000 (£3) for 1 hour but you are able to barter your way down on a full day cost. We paid 100,000 (£6) for us both for about 30 hours of hire. We didn’t feel the need to barter further than that and were happy with the price we paid. Please remember they do need to make some form of a living!

Cycling around the island is super easy, pick whether you would like to start north or south… then go! There is one main road that takes you around the whole island and in an hour/ hour and a half you’ll be back to where you started. Don’t the scared about travelling down the side streets all roads will take you to the beach and you’ll be able to catch your bearings.

The best beaches for snorkelling are located in the north of the island avoiding the boat paths, And the more popular beaches along the west coast of the island are best for sunbathing and something a little more peaceful.

 

Spa Treatments 

Where else in the world would you expect to have high serviced beauty saloons and rock bottom prices than in south east asia, and Bali/Gili will not disappoint. You have your pick of the salons along the east side of the islands all offering similar prices and services you really are spoilt for choice. I treated myself one rainy afternoon to a pedicure, manicure and full body massage for only 250,000 (£15)

 

Sama Sama Bar

One of my favourites along the east coast, Sama Sama have a nightly reggae band for your easy listening. Perfection to me is nothing more than a cool beer and a beat to sway to. I loved the atmosphere in this bar and my favourite for a couple of evening drinks.

 

Movies On The Beach

You have a few choices for the evening movie entertainment schedule with Villa Ombak (located on the east coast) Jessica’s Homestay (located on the east coast) Think open air cinema screens with bean bags, fresh popcorn and free of charge wave sound effects. Each of the hotels advertise the offerings of the day and normally have 2 nightly showings.

 

Gili T Night Markets

Just opposite the harbour are the nightly night markets of Gili T. A foodies delight, these markets are set up daily from 7 until 10 pm and where you will find the cheapest food on the island. With fresh Indonesian dishes to choose from be sure to grab yourself a seat at the communal dinning benches and soak up the atmosphere.

 

Shisha 

Treat yourself to a real Boho evening of Sisha at a few bars along the east coast strip. Aptly named horizontal is bean bags and low tables ideal for those looking for a couple of drinks and some fun flavoured shisha. Another popular bar is Pesona further south along the east coast.

My Recommendations Of Places To Dine In Senggigi, Lombok

Having spent a week in Lombok recently I wanted to share my top places to dine while staying in Senggigi!

La Chill Bar

Located on the most southern end of Senggigi’s main road La Chill is the ‘place to be seen’ with lush surroundings and located in a prime sunset viewing spot La Chill is as its most busiest as the sun goes down. We arrived at 5pm and treated our selves to a couple of cocktails before dining after the sunset. Prices were the most expensive we had seen on the island so far, But comparing them to back home it is still cheaper!

Budget – £££

You can book a table online through the website here.

 

Taman 

Located on the main road in Senggigi this ever popular diner was always filled when we passed so we took a look at the menu to see what we were missing out on! The menu was varied and had a mixture of western, Indonesian and Indian dishes, and prices were good with cheaper options for those on a budget.

Honestly my favourite thing about the menu was the Bintang Radler…. Basically flavoured larger with a choice of lime and GRAPEFRUIT!!! Have to say I’ve never been so excited to try a drink, and it did not disappoint it was so moreish! Weirdly I was only able to get this in one other bar after this on Gili T.

Budget = ££

Follow them on facebook by searching Taman Restaurant.

 

Lina

We stumbled across this little delight on our way to La Chill one night and resolved to head back later in our week.

This little hideaway is located right on the beachfront and seemed to be very quiet considering its location. Having compared the prices to other restaurants in the area Lina seemed to be a very cheap comparison!

Focusing on local dishes they were half the price of other local places, with most dishes starting at only a couple of pound.

They also have Bintang special offers for sundowners.

Budget – £

 

The Chandi Resort

After a walk around trying to find some loungers on the beach to rent we came accross the Chandi Resort, Which for 75,000 (approx. £6.50) in a bar tab bill you could hire the loungers for the day and use the bar/ restaurant and bathroom facilities all day. I personally thought it was very good value and meant you had an excuse to not move from your lounger for lunch! I tried the stone baked pizzas and thought they were great! 


Happy Café 

Located on the main road, this is spot always seemed to have live music (every night of the week) which makes it a winner for me! We arrived early and took advantage of the drink offers while reading through the menu. 

When we arrived at 7 pm it was very quiet and once the band started about 9 pm there wasn’t a seat spare in the place. It seems to be very popular and having to turn people away from then. We left at 10:30 pm to head home and the staff seemed confused that we wanted to leave as early as we did…. We were just ready for bed! 😉

Budget = ££

Temptations Bakery

Noticing a pattern where all these recommendations are yet? With everything being on the main road you don’t have to walk far to find the best spots in Senggigi. Luckily/Unluckily for us Temptations was right across the road from our hotel and boy did we take advantage, With a cupcake here and another there it wasn’t long before we’d tried half of the menu between us both.

Although we never ate in nor anything that wasn’t in the beautiful display I did have a chance to read through their menu and the lunch offering they had all looked very good with lots of vegetarian options and even gluten free which I have to admit I hadn’t seen much advertisement on anywhere else.

Budget – £ (Cupcakes and some main dishes)

 

 

I based my budget suggestions for a savvy saver…. With £ = Less than £5 per main course, ££ = Between the values of £5-10 per main course and £££ = Over £10 per main course.

La Plancha, Seminyak. Bali

I had to share the not so secret La Plancha with all my followers!

For our last night in Bali we wanted to treat ourselves (meaning pay on credit card and worry later) We’d read all about Potato Head and as much as I wanted to go I didn’t think visiting one of the most popular bars on the island was high on my list of places to visit, I wanted to try somewhere without the snobbery and the hype, Low and behold we found La Plancha.

Located on the beach between Jl. Dhyanapura & 66 road it is nestled between a few other bars offering similar set ups, However I had already been to a bar owed by the same people and knew if it was even slightly similar I would enjoy it.

We had pre booked a table on facebook a few days beforehand and were advised there is a 250,000 IDR minimum spend to do so (approx. £15 at the time of my travels) Which we were happy to do. The menu is not extravagant and is mostly bar food but the portions are good and overall the prices are not as expensive as the Potato Head.

My favourite part of the evening watching the sunset in the distance, Listening to a playlist I couldn’t of put together better myself enjoying some of the best cocktails of my whole trip!

 

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Budgeting For Bali

Having just returned from Bali I thought a helpful guide to the country costs might come in useful for those looking to or are about to travel to this beautiful country. The rumors are true and spending your money wisely means it can be a backpackers paradise.
Store Prices 

Bottle of large water – 4000-10,000 

Packet of Malboro Red – 20-25,000

Ice-cream (Magnum) – 10-12,000

Coke/Diet Coke – 5-7,000

Restaurant Prices 

 Indonesiaian meal in small restaurant – 45-65,000

Western Meal in small restaurant – 65-85,000

Meal within an expensive restaurant – 80-150,000

Bottle of Bintang – 25-35,000

Bottle of water – 8-13,000

Cocktails – 80-100,000

Deserts – 45-80,000
Prices in the marketplace 

Kaftans – 40-60,000

T-shirts – 40-60,000

Wooden crafts – 50-100,000

Poncho kaftans – 40-50,000

Jewellery (silver rings) 30-80,000

Fake Dvd’s – 10,000
Day Trips and Ferrys 

Fast boat from Bali to Lombok, one way – 300,00 (including a pick up transfer to the boat)

Fast boat from Gili T to Bali, one way – 300,000 (including a drop off transfer from the boat to town centre of your choice)

Fast boat between Lombok and Gili – 200,000 (pick up in Lombok included)

Snorkeling trips from Gili and Lombok – 250-300,000 per person 

Driver Hire – 100-300,000 (will depend on the length of journey and how many hours)

Private Driver from Ubud to Kuta (via versa) – 200,000

Blue Bird Driver from Kuta to Seminyak – 30-50,000. Ensure when entering the taxi the meter is switched on.

Blue bird driver to the airport (from Kuta area) 75,000… this is the minimum fare requirement.

All prices are listed in Indonesiaian Rupiah, and at the time of posting the exchange rate was £1 = 17,ooo IR and $1 Usd = 13,000 IR