11 Sep Travelling to Bali
“When you travel with children you are giving them something that can never be taken away…..Experience, Exposure and a Way of life!”
Pamela T Chander
Hubby and I were big travellers before having our daughter, we had travelled to all continents in this beautiful world and have many, many fond memories. When we were finally pregnant with our miracle child we vowed that we would still travel and hopefully she would share our passion for travel and adventure.
We love travelling in the Australian Winter and escaping to warmer climates, I just love the rays of sunshine dancing on my skin and feel like we are always chasing the sun.
Bali was one of the first places that we travelled to with Miss I. Having been on a meditation retreat in Bali when I was pregnant with her and felt such a sense of connection with the culture and ambience of Bali that I couldn’t wait to share with hubby who had never travelled to Bali.
In all honesty hubby was not overly happy to travel to Bali as he had some preconceived notions that he was struggling to let go of BUT…..his opinion completely changed after our first holiday to Bali. He loved it and so did little miss I, who was only just walking at the time.
We typically split our stay between Nusa Dua and the Seminyak area. Nusa Dua for the more relaxed and big resort vibe and Seminyak for the more erratic pace and copious amounts of great cafes, restaurants and beach clubs.
Some of the best accommodation we have stayed at would be:
We have stayed at both The Mulia and The Mulia Resort, there is a difference and me being one that unabashedly enjoys the finer things in life, I preferred The Mulia. It offers exclusive access to the signature pool, golf buggy rides throughout the broader resort, afternoon High tea, just that little extra on every experience – the staff are hands down some of the nicest and accommodating we found anywhere in the world. Rooms are large, bathrooms are equipped with all the best amenities etc. The food…we were extremely impressed with the food, lots of different restaurant options and cuisines, clean and very fresh. Everywhere we went they called us by our names, it is a very cute touch. Of worthy note is that staying anywhere is Nusa Dua you will get the big resort/hotel experience and not so much of the traditional Balinese experience. It depends of what you are looking for but we prefer the more western accommodation, away from mosquitos etc with quality food.
Peppers Sentosa Seminyak– In the heart of the hustle and bustle. Seminyak is busy and it can take a while to get around in Taxi’s, it’s too hot to walk too far especially with a little one in tow. Sentosa is closer to Kudeta and W hotel – we have never taken a pram to Bali. We usually just ventured out before and after nap time or she would nap while we drove to places. Also of note Balinese taxi’s do not have baby car seats so I would hold her in my arms and she would fall asleep like that. Sentosa had lovely food options and an awesome spa! Each villa has their own plunge pool and there is also a main pool with a kid end that little ones can walk around in. Miss I, had lots of fun splashing around in the knee-deep water and trying to catch the frangipani’s landing in the pool.
We hire a driver that we use on every trip, referred by the brother in law. He takes us anywhere we would like to go on the Island and waits for us while we go off exploring.
Things to do:
There is so much to do in Bali! Below is a list some of the top things we have done and the things that we enjoyed the most as a family.
The Bali Equestrian Centre– Miss I, and I are both big horse enthusiasts and the equestrian centre in Canguu is an awesome day out. Miss I, was 3 when she first visited here and we went for Easter. The facilities are fantastic, clean and horses are very well taken care of. They had an Easter egg hunt for the children and rode ponies dressed up as Easter bunnies. The Easter bunny even made an appearance riding on a horse. We all enjoyed a nice healthy lunch then went for a swim in the pool afterwards.
The staff, facilities and horses were all top notch and I would highly recommend.
Bali Safari Park– Not Bali Zoo. Firstly, we have been to both and felt that the animals at Bali Zoo were left in small enclosures and looked bored, that is all I will say. Bali Safari Park the animals roam free in quite large areas. I was not impressed with the food at either park and would suggest bringing your own food (we took bagged lunches from the hotels) We enjoyed watching the animals from the safari car which drove through the park and also the water park was nice to cool down in at the end of the day. There are lots of cool and shady areas around the park and it was nice to see some unusual animals looking well fed and happy. Miss I, enjoyed the animal show with the dancing puppy dogs.
Sundays Beach Club– We love the atmosphere here. The view from the top of the cliff is stunning! Taking the travelator down the cliff just adds to the experience. Down at the beach they have lots of beach toys for the little ones to play with and a great café with a large selection of food. The beach is nice, clean and with white sand as opposed to the grey sand beaches that you find in the Kuta/Seminyak area..
Tegallalang Rice Fields– These rice fields in Ubud are really beautiful to walk around. This is something quite unique to do in Bali and we had fun walking around the rice fields, climbing up the stairs and crossing the makeshift bridges. There are local people to speak with along the way and lots of opportunities to take some beautiful photos. Miss I, was 4 at the time of travelling here and she enjoyed walking along by herself, she actually was in the lead most of the way.
Swimming with Dolphins– This I have mixed feeling about and here is why. Miss I, is obsessed with Dolphins and Mermaids at age 4 and she couldn’t wait to swim with Dolphins in Bali. We went to swim with the Dolphins that are located a short boat ride from Sanur in a pontoon in the ocean. The dolphins looked happy and in good health and Miss I, absolutely loved cuddling them and asking them to do tricks (they are just like puppy dogs). My issue is that the swimming enclosures are not very big and the water is dirty surrounding the pontoon – in the boat we passed a lot of debris and plastic in the water. Bali in general is quite dirty but you don’t notice it in the resorts. The amount of rubbish we saw in the water was alarming so that left me feeling a bit guilty about spending money on this experience. Miss I, did comment about the rubbish in the water not being good for the animals also.
Mrs Sippy – this place has such a fun atmosphere. We booked a cabana and went early to avoid the crowds, great music, good food and cocktails. They have a large array of inflatables for the pool and a diving platform. Lots of food options and a shallow area for the littlies. Oh, and the swing on the edge of the diving pool. We loved the swim so much that we bought one home to swing near our pool.
Where to eat
We have so many favourite places to eat in Bali. I know a lot of people are conscious of the infamous “bali belly”. I have personally been to Bali 10 times and only been sick once and that was 15 years ago. The first-time hubby went to Bali he got sick but that certainly didn’t deter him. I think if you are conscious of not drinking tap water and eat at fairly reputable places you will be fine.
Some of the best places I’ve eaten in the world are in Bali, here are our top. All restaurants provided colouring books and crayons too!
TIP– make a reservation via their websites before you arrive in Bali. Most of the very popular restaurants you will need to make a reservation in advance to avoid disappointment. I always book a few options so we do not miss out.
Barbacoa: Great selections for kids menu, the ambience is fantastic situated overlooking a rice field. Staff friendly and Miss I especially loved the liquid Nitrogen ice cream. The cocktails are the best!
Sardine: How would you like to be surrounded by giant sunflowers while eating a delicious lunch or dinner? Sardine has it all, fish for the kids to feed, chickens and ducks to look at and a giant sunflower garden to roam around. The food is fresh (picked from their onsite garden) and amenities clean
La Laguna: Gypsy themed restaurant and very picturesque. Great for casual eats and a very chilled vibe. Lots of areas to explore and for the kids to run around.
Sundara: Situated in Jimbaran, with an infinity pool overlooking to ocean. We have eaten here many times in the cabanas right near the pool. Cocktails are fab! The food is phenomenal – we tried to order something different each time and nothing disappointed.
Kisik Bar and Grill, Ayana – part of the Ayana Resort. This is a very busy resort and the views are pretty magical. Home to the famous “rock bar” we prefer the Kisik Bar and Grill which is located right next to Rock bar and more child friendly. Miss I had her self proclaimed “best fish ever” here and hubby and I shared a seafood basket. It was pretty expensive for Bali but worth it for the location and fresh seafood.
Mulia Soleli – We love staying at this resort and the food is impeccable. They cater well for children and have the best margarita pizza that we have ever eaten.
Strawberry Fields – awesome juice and smoothie options. Great for casual eats
There is so much more to do, see, experience in Bali and to put it all in one blog post would not do Bali justice. So, what you have read is our opinion only. I hope you love Bali as much as we do.