New Yorker vs Bali, Indonesia

by Spencer .M 7 months ago in solo travel

Not Your Ordinary Blog Post

New Yorker vs Bali, Indonesia

First stop JFK! 10,125 miles later, and I’ve landed in Bali, Indonesia. My first impression was breathingtaking. This being my first time traveling internationally, and solo. Everything almost felt surreal in a way. I couldn't stop smiling. The air was warm, and the heat of the sun was dancing on my skin.

I spent a total of four nights in Bali. My first two nights were at a beautiful villa in Ubud, and my last two nights were at an amazing hostel ”LaBoheme.”

My goal was to experience the best of both worlds, and all that Bali has to offer. I went from sightseeing in beautiful nature and relaxation, to then making my way towards the insane modern, hipster-ish, party life in Canggu.

Below I have listed seven places I checked out during my stay!

1. Monkey Forest, Ubud (Seriously! So much fun).

The Monkey forest will be listed on every “must do,” or “must see” list in Bali, but it's no joke! You seriously need to check this place out! These monkeys are the cutest, cleverest, littlest thieves ever LOL.

It's not as dangerous as one might think, just be smart with your belongings, and follow the instructions on the board before entering. You can find a worker that has food, and get a neat picture with the monkeys on you, or by your side. You could even feed them yourself, if you're a little more daring.

I had encountered a baby coming up to me due to a charm on my phone dangling... We almost had a bit of a problem because the parents were not far away *nervous laughs*. In the end the baby understood they could not have it, and everything ended pleasantly.

There's also a few temples within the forest, and a coffee shop located by the entrance/exit for a quit pick me up, or a nice refreshing smoothie.

2. Kemenuh Butterfly Park (Ubud)

Cethosia Hypsea Sitting on Orchid Plant

If you're a kid at heart like me, or just really love butterflies, I recommend checking out the Kemenuh Butterfly Park. This wasn't originally on my list, but my driver said I should give it a try after visiting the waterfall.

I personally did not like butterflies... but after experiencing this place. Everything changed. I surrendered to my fears, and before I left I had butterflies all over me !

I was running around after butterflies, asking them nicely to land, so I could snap a photo. Telling them how beautiful they are. It was a warm experience. I never imagined myself surrendering as easily as I did. Something just clicked once I walked in... Either I can be scared and miss this experience, or I can give in and experience something beautiful.

The staff upon entering is very nice and kind. You're also greeted with fresh complimentary juice. Yummy!

Me, and a Vindula Erota

I had met another solo female traveler while hanging by the water. She was super cute and friendly placing butterflies on me. I would've freaked out before, but I was enjoyably happy. She also took this picture. ^_^

I recommend the "Girls Love Travel" Facebook group for solo female travelers.

3. Arma Museum

Arma Museum Entrance

If you're interested in art, i’ll say check out the Arma Museum. Their collection ranges from traditional to interesting contemporary. Even including the classical Kamasan painting on tree bark, masterpieces by Batuan artists of the 1930s and 1940s.

During my visit they had on display, Yasumi Ishii, Antonios Kho, and other amazing artists. Here are some photos of what was on display.

4. Tegenungan Waterfall

Main Waterfall behind me.

This was my first waterfall I've seen in person of this scale ! The Tegenungan Waterfall is more South of Bali; the others being in Northern Bali. This waterfall is close by to the Monkey forest. If you're looking to do both, travel won't be too time consuming.

There's actually two waterfalls at this location. The one behind me in the photo is the larger one. The smaller one had more of a rocky waterfall atheistic. It's easier to get a good photo, and it's surrounded by a lot of greenery.

Before entering you'll see small shops selling food, drinks, clothes, accessories, etc. You're going to want some fresh coconut water after those stairs, so don't forget to bring some cash. I do warn, there are stairs that are kind of steep at points. Please make sure you have good shoes, and stay hydrated!

5. Setia Darma House of Mask and Puppets

A Royal Family

Seriously they are huge! When I walked into the first room filled with masks, I immediately felt a shift of energy. Every single mask had its own personality that you could not only see, but also feel. I then arrived to these huge puppets, and i’m not gonna lie... I was a bit freaked out. I swear I saw one of them move haha.

The Setia Darma House Of Mask and Puppets has five houses filled with beautiful hand crafted masks and puppets from different regions in Indonesia, but also including works from Africa, Japan, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Cambodia! The collection consists of approximately 7,000 hand crafted items, wow! If your into masks and puppets, this is definitely worth checking out.

Did you know Obama visited Bali? If you check out the House of Mask and puppets. You'll be able to witness the puppets of Obama with the owner Mr. Hadi Sunyoto.

6. La Barisa

Welcome to Canggu!

La Barisa is the perfect place to go to relax, watch people surf some waves, even catch a beautiful sunset with a cocktail and yummy food! Honestly, words cannot explain how stunning La Barisa is. It is family friendly, a few kids were around, and it did not bother me, nor anyone else.

La Barisa is a beach bar/restaurant with about four levels starting at the beach floor making its way up. There's two pools you can dip into, or you can just lounge on the bean bag chairs, and wait for the sunset. La Barisa provides a Boho/earthy/rustic/sea life/chill vibe. Like I said words really can't explain, you just have to check it out yourself!

I will say, make sure it's not a cloudy day, and you might have to find parking outside. Other than that i’d pick La Barisa over Fins any day.

7. Fins Beach Bar

This was actually my first stop when arriving in Canggu. It was only a few feet from my hostel, so I figured why not. For sure you'll find Finns beach club on almost every vlogger's do to list. It’s also a digital nomad hot spot!

If you're into the high end beach vibe, then this is your go to... I didn't do much exploring of the grounds. But, I do know with a membership you have access to many things like the kids play area, spa, bouncy house, gym, and much more!

Off my first impression, it’s cute and chique with good music. A lot of staff were on the floor, which was nice. Overall, if your into the chill high-end kinda vibe, this is definitely a good spot to check out.

8. Pretty Poison

Huge Pool

If you're into the Skate scene, and looking for a place to hang out, Pretty Poison is the place to be ! You have an amazing full bar next to an awesome dance floor with a DJ. Then let's not forget–they have a whole pool/bowl in the back!

Everyone's welcome to give it a go, so don't be shy. You can find a lot of locals shredding the bowl. Leaving everyone in Ooous and Aahhs.

I was there whenever someone messed up on their trick. They would be thrown a towel, and had to wipe the puddle up from the earlier rainfall. Haha. It's a very chill fun vibe. Everyone was really nice. Easy to talk to, and just overall it was a great experience.


I fell in love with their cocktail called "Burnside." Super cold and refreshing!

9. Sandbar

Sandbar... I think LOL.

So after Pretty Poison, we all said let's go to sandbar… there was at least eight of us, so we all split up on bikes. I ended up riding with two locals we met earlier, and headed to an ATM first. Long story short, I lost my crew LOL, and wasn't sure which bar exactly was sandbar haha. But i'm pretty sure this photo is of Sandbar with the bar being upstairs from the beach. They do have two smaller bars on the beach with beer and basic mixed drinks.

The music was pumping, the vibes were super fun. If you like electronic music or techno you'll love it even more. I will warn you, your feet will be very sandy ! *side note* I ended up finding the crew :)

10. Vault

This club has two rooms and three bars. The main room play mostly techo/electric music, and the second room has a slightly more chill vibe, where you can sit down and enjoy a cocktail. I really appreciated having these two options. When I got bored of one I had the other room to explore. It's a really big indoor space, fog, and light works with projected images above the DJ.

For the most part everyone is having fun, lost in their own trance enjoying the music. There didn't seem to be a dress code or anything. My friend had on sweat shorts with a tank top, and it was okay. Do make sure to check out their page beforehand to see who's spinning that night, and if there's an entry fee.

I'll Definitely Be Returning!

There's many things to do in Bali, depending on what you’re looking for . These are just some of the places that left me with the best memories i'll never forget.

I hope this was enjoyable, and helpful. I wish you many blessings, and happy moments during your stay in Bali.

solo travel
Spencer .M
Spencer .M
Read next: Camping > Hotels
Spencer .M

Mother.Artist.Healer.Explorer.Radical.Love Wins 

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