Bali was never on the top of my must see countries as it seemed like one of the most touristy islands on earth and I guess there were other places I wanted to go to ahead of it. I don’t necessarily like crowds and I love to travel off the beaten track. I like to generally steer clear of primary tourist centers and find the beauty in the quiet parts of places I go. I would much rather go to the mountains, countryside or somewhere secluded than dive into the throngs of busy cities. That said, I do love a city adventure and I absolutely loved Bali. I spread my time between the quiet and the hustle; and I was so surprised by what it had to offer.

I went over with 9 friends for my friend Harri’s birthday – my first big trip with my friends! I have actually never been on a trip with her before! Today’s blog post is a little “How to do Bali with friends” and a little “What to do in Ubud”. In a way, I can’t really call this article a guide as I only spent a week in Bali, and I left a lot of stones unturned. I spread my time between Ubud, Seminyak, Canggu and Uluwatu, but I would love to explore some of the other beautiful areas I didn’t get a chance to get to at another time.



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The rainy season lasts from October until March – but we didn’t have much trouble with rain when we were there. The best time though is in dry season, April through October. However, I would definitely not rule out going this time of year, because like anywhere tropical, it generally rains for a little part of the day and then clears.


  1. Taxi’s are generally okay – make sure you get them to run the metre though!
  2. You can also pay a driver for the day, which is always a good way to do things, because then you pay a set price and you don’t have to worry about how you’ll get back to your accommodation.
  3. Scooters are also an option, but, if you haven’t grown up riding motorbikes or scooters I wouldn’t suggestion hiring one. The traffic in Bali is chaos.


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Seminyak has a huge number of choices available when it comes to food,  which means that you will never go hungry or thirsty here.

A couple of places we ate at were:

  • Shelter: Recommend the acai bowl and pancakes
  • Sisterfields: Recommend the smashed avocado and toastie
  • Ku De Ta: We went there for afternoon drinks and a bite to eat. We sat on day beds and looked over the panoramic views across the Indian Ocean.
  • Mrs Sippy’s: Perfect for a large group to sip cocktails by the pool

Seminyak is also known for its shopping with some of the biggest names in Bali choosing to open up shop here.

  • There are so many Australian labels in Seminyak as well as tailors and Balinese style shops. So, if you’re wanting to shop while here, head to the main shopping arteries and you’ll be in heaven.

I didn’t get a chance to, but there were a few amazing yoga studios my friends went to.

  • Samadi Yoga
  • Olop Iyengar Yoga Studio

Massages, Massages and more massages

  • We got a few in villas massages as they are so cheap!
  • A place called Chill is absolutely incredible. Book in ahead of time and get the reflexology massage. You won’t regret it. They tend to your pressure points and it is an amazing experience. You get a little ipod, iced tea and you will leave feeling like you are the most relaxed person in Bali.


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We flew into Bali and hopped straight in a car and drove an hour to Ubud. I wanted to begin the adventure with a little R&R and be in the mountains.

Here’s a few things we did in the short space of time we had – make sure you go as early as possible to these places to beat the tourists:

  • Tegalalang Rice Terrace: Absolutely beautiful in real life!
  • Tegenungan waterfall: wet season means a very turbulent waterfall – it wasn’t safe to swim that day, but I am unsure if you’d want to in wet season, as it’s quite brown and not so inviting.
  • Monkey Forest: I’m glad I went just so I could experience it, but I wouldn’t go rushing back.
  • We wandered around the streets and I took some photos, which I always love doing in new countries
  • We chose a little authentic Balinese place for lunch, which I forget the name of, but it was right next door to a place called Lotus in Ubud. It was REALLY good!
  • We ate at a place called Kupu Kupu Barong for dinner – up in the mountains! Delicious!





  • Canggu: We went to The Lawn for Harri’s birthday and saw an amazing sunset. Would love to explore this area some more. I wanted to go to The Slow and a few other places, but sadly we ran out of time this trip!
  • Uluwatu: We went to Omnia, Finns and Sundays – we only had one day here, so didn’t do much exploring of this area, but again, would love to go back! Sunday’s is set on the most picturesque beach and Omnia is a new day club / resort that has just opened. Both definitely worth the visit!

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We stayed at a new Scandinavian with an Indonesian fusion, inspired hotel called Origin and we booked via The Luxe Nomad. It was a really cool concept. I felt like I was the only guest there. It was private and I loved the minimalist design; polished concrete, light coloured wood and open plan living. We had our own little lap pool and the staff would bring us little treats like gelato or tea throughout the day. I loved that it was simplistic and homely. It didn’t have a typical hotel feel about it, which I loved.


There are so many villas available in Seminyak – Harri booked a great Airbnb for the 9 of us (the photos on the site don’t do it justice!) It was incredible. Almost like a little mini-mansion. It was roughly $3,000 split between the 9 of us and the value for money was amazing. It was in a really convenient location for us and I would definitely stay there again.

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Author: Ally Hayward

Hi, I am Ally, a writer and creative at Substance. I have worked in the fashion industry for 6+ years as a model and now on Substance. Substance is a lifestyle blog about fashion, beauty, health and self-improvement; hoping to inspire you to live a life filled with Substance. For more: @AllyMayHayward

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