First of all, let me just clarify that as someone who went to UCLA and LOVES California, I approve of the title of this post :)
Now onto more fun things! My friends and I spent a week in Bali this August and it was so unexpectedly amazing. We were all a bit iffy about this trip because of the many earthquakes that have hit Lombok the past month. In fact, we were supposed to spend three days on Gili T but seeing as they'd evacuated the island of all tourists due to the quakes, that got cut off our list. Instead we decided to spend those couple days in Ubud, a part of Bali we were all new to. Let's jump in!
We took a late morning flight to Bali and got in around noon and headed straight for our hotel : Kubu Petitenget. This place was pretty nice. There were 5 of us girls, we got 2 bedrooms and slept very comfortably. It's also super close to the happening parts aka Mexicola and La Favela. So the first thing we did was to get food at Sisterfields. It is all the rave online and so worth it. I had an amazing beef burger (yeah, I've started eating meat again) and delicious cocktails. We then went to a beach bar called La Plancha. This place is really chill, we got some comfy chairs right by the edge of the ocean on the beach and got some good shisha, watched the sunset, listened to a really good live band and just relaxed. Only downside to this was seeing a bunch of lanterns being released into the night sky. I mean, yes guys, they're ridiculously pretty and we all want to feel like we're in Tangled but if you didn't know, those lanterns are super bad for the environment. In fact, right in front of us the winds drowned most lanterns in the ocean. And we all know they're going to end up choking innocent marine life :(
We then got dinner at a place called Warung Mina - very average food but had good conversation and many games of 'would you rather' with the girls :)
Day 2: Ubud
We got up and headed to breakfast at a nearby vegan restaurant called Cafe Organic and I've got to tell you, vegan food has never tasted this goddamn amazing. They also had these 'health shots' so obviously I got the turmeric one and felt immediately cleansed. We'd hired a car to take us from Seminyak to Ubud, so after breakfast we made our way over to Ubud. We were at this villa behind the Royal Pita Maha. As with most villas in Bali, we had a duplex with our own private pool for the 6 of us - it was heaven! They even came in to make us breakfast every morning.
Soon after we checked in a couple of us went rafting and this is a must-do if you're in Ubud! We had a raft all to ourselves, with a very friendly guide, and nothing but surreal nature surrounding us on all sides. The hills were lush green and the waters were cold and inviting. It was an experience to remember. Obviously, you get to stop in the middle for some beer (bintang all the way!). After we got back to the villa we showered, made ourselves some dranks and headed over to a bar called No Mas where some of our friends were already partying. No Mas played good music, had a small dance floor, and good enough drinks to tide us over. When No Mas closed we walked down the road to CP Lounge - but by this time we'd about had enough and only stayed at CP for a couple of songs.
We visited the Monkey Forest Ubud, and it's all in the name. It's just a giant walkabout with hundreds and hundreds of monkeys roaming free and wild all around you. It's quite a thrilling experience - but you've got to remember that they are wild monkeys, so keep your distance! We then stopped at a river-side hotel for lunch and the views of the river made me long to be on that raft once more! We then went to a coffee tasting - yes, all the regular stuff but also something called catpoocino. And yes, it is actually made from cat poo! The poo of the Luwak to be specific. We were taught the entire process and while it does disgust you in the beginning to think of drinking something that's come from the behind of an animal, you can't give it a miss! The coffee tasted pretty average to me, tbh. But what do I know? I still think my grandma's filter coffee is the best. We then had another great night at the villa - chilling in the pool and drinking by the poolside, playing picolo, and just you know, being friendsss.
We started our day with brunch at a place called Milk and Madu, where of course I had another turmeric ginger drink to cleanse my soul, before driving back to Seminyak. We then caught the sunset at Woobar - and I am in LOVE with this place. It is gorgeous, the music is good, and it's a perfect place to catch the sunset. And then began our night of debauchery, starting at Mexicola and ending at La Favela.
We ate brunch at Revolver cafe - this place was recommended for it's coffee and it does not disappoint! The food was pretty good too, with large portions. It's a pretty hipster place, the exact kind you'd want to eat at when in Bali! We ate dinner at Saigon street (and how fate would have it, we were all literally in Saigon just 2 months after this!) and then had drinks and shisha at the bar right across called Red Ruby. Red Ruby ended up being a total surprise - it was a place we hadn't planned to visit but it was one where we had a blast. We got drunk on good alcohol, good shisha, amazing conversations and of course, our newest favourite drinking game. It's called Celebrity and this is how you play - one person starts by taking a famous person's name (non-fictitious & majority must agree on this person's celebrity status), the game goes clockwise and the next person to play has to say another celebrity's name beginning with the first letter of the previous celebrity's last name. Until this player can say a name he/she must keep sipping on their drink. If a player says a celebrity who's first and last names both start with the same alphabet, the order of the game is reversed and we now go counter-clockwise. For eg. someone starts with Tom Cruise -> Christian Bale-> Brad Pitt -> Pratibha Patil (REVERSE!).
Anywho, post this we were ready for some La Favela but since we'd already been there the night before decided only to stay an hour before heading to Sky Garden. Sky Garden had multiple levels playing different kinds of music so you really just got to find your jam and dance the night away. I had most fun on the rooftop dancing atop the main table! There was a burger place across from Sky Garden which is where we ended our night with delicious burgers.
Our day began with brunch at Kynd Community (another vegan place). They had good food, plus crayons and paper for you to let your artistic side out (which is non-existent in me, but I appreciated the effort nonetheless). We moved on to Shisha cafe where we spent a couple of hours winding down, feeling the sun set, watching the gorgeous lanterns, before finally heading off to the airport.
This was only my second time to Bali, and I can't wait to go back again. There are endless cafes for one to try, and honestly, that 'Bali vibe' just never gets old.