Updated: Feb 26, 2020

Planning a trip can be stressful for most people, but fun for me on the other hand. I am very organized and I do not like to fly to a foreign country without any knowledge of what to do and where to stay and go. I actually plan and organize all of my trips on an Excel spreadsheet in Google Drive to share the document with everyone who is traveling with me. The Google Drive is absolutely amazing for planning with your friends and family. Everyone can contribute and view live changes made to the document. It is also great to keep track of all costs involved. If you would like a tutorial on how to plan and organize on an Excel spreadsheet in Google Drive, let me know :)

Before you depart for your journey, here is what you'll need:

  1. Change currency at your local bank or airport. Cash is mostly recommended when dining and shopping in local markets. Credit cards are accepted at most shopping boutiques, hotels and restaurants.

  2. Download the Grab app onto your phone. This app will save you time & money from calling a taxi.

  3. Unlock your phone. This will allow you to use any SIM card while you're traveling. For me, I always need a SIM everywhere and any country I travel to. Data is life! It will save you so much time to navigate around foreign areas (GPS is major!), research, stay connected with other people traveling with you (in case you decide to part ways to do your own thing), and update your socials (LOL, living that influencer life y'know)!

  4. Pack comfortable, lightweight clothing. It is very, very hot and humid. So don't forget to bring sunscreen with UVA & UVB protection. I use Vichy Sport, it is water resistant and can be applied on wet skin too! P.S. also pack two handkerchiefs. (I will tell you why later!)

  5. Make sure your passport is up to date and proper Visa is there if you need one. I am Canadian so no visa is required for a stay of up to 30 days. You must hold a passport valid for at least six months with at least one blank visa page. You must also hold proof of onward and return flights.

  6. Print out a copy of your itinerary. You will need to present this when you check-in to your flights.

My 7-Day Itinerary:

Day 1: Settling in! Pick up SIM Card, check into Airbnb or hotel, rent a bike, & grab a bite. Wherever you're flying in from, I am sure you've had a long and rough flight like I did from Toronto. My flight was 25 hours long with a layover in Taipei.

Day 2: Explore the town of Ubud via motorbike, visit the Saraswati Temple, stroll through the Monkey Forest, walk through the bustling shopping market, and uncover a magical sunset in a hidden rice paddy field.

sunset at rice field in Ubud, Bali
Beautiful sunset in the hidden rice field in Ubud

Day 3: Instagram Tour - The tour guide will pick you up at 5am to begin the tour. First stop is the Lempuyang Temple, it is 2-3 hours away so you need to head out there ASAP! The queue for a chance to get your photo op with the famous Gates of Heaven will range from 3-4 hours. The attraction gained a ton of attention thanks to Instagram. Second stop, is Tirta Gangga water palace. It's a beautiful green and blue sanctury. Again, it is a very popular so it will be difficult to get a photo without people in the view unless you come here first. After 6 hours, you'll be very hungry for lunch at Lereng Agung. Feast yourself with an all-you-can-eat lunch with the most beautiful tropical greenery. There were no vegan food out so the restaurant was very kind to make me separate vegan dishes. When you're all finished, hop on the jungle swing and take in the stunning views, but don't forget to breathe. Next stop, you will trek the beautiful forest of Tukad Cepung to end up at a stunning tall waterfall so feel free to take a swim and get dirty, Finally, the tour will end in Kumulilir for larger than life jungle swing adventure. There will be plenty of photo ops in Kumulilir - from the jungle swing to the bird's nest and the stunning views while indulging ten different flavours of coffee, including the luwak kopi (luwak's poop). I did not dare try the luwak kopi. The idea of an animal's feces did not appeal to me as much as they try to convince me of all the great benefits of gulping poop. Sorry, just not in this lifetime. End the evening off with a foot massage because your legs and feet will thank you for it.

Day 4: Check-out of Ubud and check-in to Canggu. Hire a new motorbike and explore the town. The motorbike is the best choice for navigating through the town. If you are not frightened of riding one, take a taxi or Grab. There are plenty of niche shops, restaurants and bars.

End the day at Canggu's beachfront Finns VIP Beach Club with an out of this world view of the sunset or check out the Omnia Dayclub - it's a swanky, open-air concept restaurant, which turns into a club by evening. You'll find the infamous cubic structure on many Instagram posts.

Day 5: Take the day to explore Seminyak. The distance from Canggu to Seminyak is about a short 25 minute ride. Go for a morning swim in the beach, some parts are forbidden depending on the wind pressure and unbeatable waves, so be careful. The town is a beach resort area with many luxury hotels, high end shopping and plentiful of restaurants. There is no lack of sleek bars and clubs, like the Potato Head & Ku De Ta.

Day 6: Take the fast boat to Nusa Penida Island for the day. Hire a tour guide to guide you around the island or wander the island without one. I always find that you could learn a lot, including uncovering the hidden gems from a local Balinese person when you're with the right one to show you around. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to climb a lot of stairs and rocky slopes.

Lempuyang Temple
Lempuyang Temple
the steps up to the Lempuyang Temple
Other side of the Lempuyang Temple

Day 7: Before you head out, I like to spend the last day to pick up any souvenirs for my loved ones back home or cool things that I could add to my house decor. Now that you've learned how much the items are when you visited the market on Day 2, 4 & 5. Revisit some of your favourite markets or shops and remember to negotiate at the shopping markets.

I personally always start at the very lowest price to see how they play the negotiation. If they say 250,000 IDR, I say 50,000 IDR. I know it's savage, but it works. Heck, I saved up for this trip so why can't I haggle. There is a thing in Asia when it comes to buying and selling; sellers will sell at whatever reasonable cost to the first buyer to bring blessing to their shop. The blessing is much needed for a great day for the business. For instance, I bought a pair of 18CT gold earrings in Siem Reap gold market in Cambodia for $3 USD after a silly bargain from $50 USD, which I did not intend to purchase but she begged me to return and so I did. This purchase was at their opening hours at the gold market too. So keep in mind of when the markets open as well.

Where to Stay:

I recommend staying in Airbnb villas as they are absolutely safe, clean and very courteous. They are less expensive than hotels, very spacious and very comfortable to live in, especially when you're traveling with a large group. The villas are extremely beautiful like the pictures out of the Vogue Condé Nast Traveller magazine. I stayed in two separate Airbnb villas, one in Ubud and the other in Canggu. Both Airbnbs provided complimentary daily housekeeping and motorbike rentals at a small fee. The Airbnb in Ubud served daily breakfast and it worth every bite!

Here was my Airbnb villa in Ubud, hosted by Gusti and his wonderful family. He picked us up from the airport to his villa (350,000 IDR for the pick-up). He named the villa after his son Rumah Agung, which I thought was nice to name their second property after their son. The family lived a couple of blocks away; so if you needed anything, they were just within reach.

The property is brand new, extremely well kept and way beyond our expectations. The villa was more stunning than the photos and there is a large, clean private pool. Breakfast was provided everyday by his lovely wife. She was a wonderful cook and had two tasty vegan breakfast options for me. She also does the housekeeping for this property everyday. Gusti provided a motorbike rental instantly at our arrival and we took it out for a spin around the block that evening we checked in. The scooter rental was 60,000 IDR/day. There were multiple restaurants nearby and Gusti suggested a couple of amazing vegan spots I enjoyed very much, like Moksa. It was a 20 minute walk from the villa, but it may be safer to reach there by scooter or Grab.

As for my Airbnb villa in Canggu, it was exactly as described on the listing. The dreamy villa was 150 meters from the famous Echo beach and nearby many restaurants.

The villa is 'private room booking', which means you will be sharing the villa with others. There are four unique rooms with an outdoor bathtub and shower. The property had a massive pool, a fully-equipped Moroccan sunken kitchen and dining area shared with other guests.

Scooters and pick up can be arranged prior to arrival as well. Scooter rentals were 60,000 IDR/day. We had a personal driver arranged with Wayan to escort us to the airport on the last day for 350,000 IDR.

Where to eat in Ubud:

All of my recommendations will be plant-based, because I am vegan and Bali is extremely vegan-friendly. Here are a few of my favourite spots:

  • Moksa - Opens daily 10-9pm; it's a nice walk into the local area. The restaurant is hugged by large beautiful garden so look for a large wooden Moksa sign in case you missed it. My first meal in Bali was the Jerky Mignon and a ginger shot. It was very light and just the right about of food for the late evening to recover from the long plane ride on the first day.

  • The Seeds of Life - Unwind for a midday break at this cute little cafe. Seat yourself upstairs in the quiet zone to go over some of the spots you want to discover and indulge in some of the cafe's cold smoothie bowls to refresh from the overwhelming humidity you thought you were ready for.

  • Lereng Agung - The restaurant with the jungle swing. What's better than getting fed and hopping on the swing to possibly regurgitate all that goodness you just had? LOLs If you have a weak stomach or heart... then you may not want to do the swing after your meal. Consider doing this first before eating. I thought I could handle it. I went on after my meal and almost died in the air. I never thought I'd let out a scream that loud in my life. That was uber embarrassing but I don't regret it because entertaining the rest of the restaurant made me happy. It takes a lot to embarass me, so this isn't it.

  • Kumulilir Cafe - My favourite cafe in the whole, wide world! It has the most amazing views and ten flavoured coffees to taste: lemon grass, ginger, mangosteen, tumeric, coconut, pure cocoa, vanilla, ginseng, kopi luwak & Bali coffee. We went home with a pack of vanilla, which was one of our favourites. Also, the cafe is open to various photo ops like the jungle swing, nest and the cafe itself with the stunning views.

  • Kafe - Another vegan spot I enjoyed very much and convinced that I belong in Bali. There are endless options of vegan food here in Bali. It is so plant-based friendly and I have not come across a bad tasting restaurant yet. It makes it so hard to not love this island. I had Purple Chia Smoothie and Vietnamese Rolls to start and the Vegan Burger as my main while my friend had the Dry Curry Noodles and the Golden Glow cold pressed juice he couldn't finish as it was his first cold-pressed so that was a hard pick.

Where to eat in Canggu:

  • The Shady Shack - Quaint and flavourful are two words I'd use to describe this place. The rice cake dish I order was full in flavours of sour and savoury and the fresh roll vermicelli appetizer was my favourite dish. It was Vietnamese-inspired and very savoury. First taste in Canggu did not disappoint at all and would definitely return to try other options on the menu.

  • Bali Bowls - I came here strictly for more smoothie bowls. It's just so refreshing at any time of day and a super healthy choice than ice cream or any other cold sugary goodies. The avocado toast and lattes are also a great pick-me-up snack.

  • Cafe Organic Garden Gangstas - Love the name already. Located on the busiest street of Canggu. I had the Falafel Pocket while my friend had the Beet the Bean Burger with charcoal buns, hence the unappealing black bun in the photo. My friend found it a little dry and did not have the whole bun with the entire burger.

  • Cafe Organic Garden Gangstas - Love the name already. Located on the busiest street of Canggu. I had the Falafel Pocket while my friend had the Beet the Bean Burger with charcoal buns, hence the unappealing black bun in the photo. My friend found it a little dry and did not have the whole bun with the entire burger.

  • Lifescrate - This place gets super busy. I am not kidding so give yourself more time to get there so you don't leave your house hangry. I got super lucky with a seat by the sideline for the rice field views. Food and drinks were great. The only downfall about the place was the smoke-free environment. Everyone was a smoker around me. I think I've had my good share of secondhand smoke for the year sitting there. There were no available seats and I did not want to give up my amazing seat with the views. Anyways, I had a very large breakfast so I was not shy to order the Stoner Burger that was bigger than my face and Green juice, which you had to drink right away or it would get too warm from the Bali heat.

  • Luigi's Hot Pizza - This was one of my local friend's suggestion. Apparently, it is their go-to spot for the best pizza in town. Reviews are great online so I wish I could have tried it out. It is vegetarian-friendly and I am sure they could make it vegan-friendly by making a few adjustments.

  • Finn's VIP Beach Club - Looking for the best place to unwind with a stunning sunset, a stunning beachfront location and a cocktail to cool off from the long day of playing tourist? This is the spot. It's got the best reviews online for the right reasons. Service is like none other. Treat yourself!

Where to pick up a SIM card:

If you want to avoid the hassle, you could pick up a SIM card at the airport once you exit the baggage area. You will find a couple of cell phone provider companies that will assist you with switching out your SIM card with a phone plan that works best for you. I do not remember how much the plans were at the airport, but I shopped around the city on my way to my Airbnb Villa and found one that was much more inexpensive than the first shop. Their offer was 220,000 IDR for 6GB, which I thought was too much so I went to another shop and found one for 75,000 IDR for 8GB and it worked very well. Luckily I went with my gut and continued shopping around for a better rate.

How to rent a motorbike:

There are plenty of motorbike rental booths around the city. However, most Airbnb owners and hotels could help arrange one for you upon arrival or anytime you need one. The rental costs 60,000 IDR per day.

They will provide you a helmet for passenger. It is required by the law in Bali to wear a helmet. Please do it for your own safety.

Where to get tatted:

Before arriving to Bali, I had planned to get a mandala tattoo done on the center of my boobs. I knew I wanted to get tatted in Bali because they have many talented artists from other parts of the world who opened up a shop in the city. I ended up doing it at Exclusive Ink Bali Australia as the other two studios, Babayaga Tattoo Studio and Koloni Tattoo Canggu were fully booked up for the next 4 days I had left in Bali.

Babayaga Tattoo Studio quoted a minimum spend of 2,600,000 IDR ($250 CAD), which I thought was a lot! That is the same cost if I were to get another one in Toronto. Luckily, they didn't have an open spot for me so I had my mandala tatted at Exclusive Ink Bali Australia for 350,000 IDR ($33 CAD). I am in love with the results and do not regret my decision at all!

How much money should you have with you for 7 days in Bali?

From my experience of having visited the island twice, you don't need much money if you're traveling on a budget. You could comfortably enjoy living Bali at any budget - high or low. Frankly, on a low budget, you will only need money for your daily meals that shouldn't exceed $30 CAD or even lower than that depending on where you dine. If you plan to have a couple of drinks (alcoholic), then add a few more dollars. You decide on how much fun you want to have haha!

Accommodations is very inexpensive via Airbnb and there is a price for every budget. Hotels and resorts are pricey depending on location. Also consider transportation, tours and excursions like the popular Instagram Tour.

Here is a breakdown in CAD $ from my previous trip:

Motorbike rental: $5.70 x 7 days = $39.90

Instagram Tour: $99.52 /per person

Food: $30 x 7 days = $210

Airport transfers: $34 x 2 trips = $68

Shopping: $200

Tattoo: $33

Total: $650.42

Hopefully all of this information will give you a better picture of planning your next trip to Bali. If you do find this post helpful or not helpful in any way, please let me know what your thoughts are below in the comments section. If you've ever been to Bali, please also share your experience with me and tell me some of your favourite places you've been to that I haven't shared on this post. I am excited to return to Bali in the future and I am always up for an adventure to discover new and wonderful gems of the planet.

Thank you for reading and good luck on your spiritual journey!


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