[TRAVEL]: Bali Island Hopper Contiki Tour – Part 2
It’s time for Part 2 of my Bali Island Hopper Contiki Tour (if you missed Part 1 – click here) where I’ll chat about more about the second half of my trip that consisted of Sengiggi and Ubud plus one last night back in Semniyak.
The second part of this trip started with a 10 minute boat ride from Gili T to Senggigi on the Lombok island. Senggigi is the main tourist area of the island and as soon as we arrived I could immediately tell why. I instantly loved Senggigi with it’s beautiful coastline filled with palm trees. Plus it looked a lot cleaner than Gili T so that already was a big win in my books.
An air-conditioned van ride to our hotel and I straight away wished that we had more time in Senggigi. We stayed at hands-down, one of the most beautiful hotels ever! I was in absolute awe! I loved the design of the hotel; the lush gardens and the fact that it felt like the grounds would go on forever. The hotel is called the Kila Senggigi Beach Hotel and it even has another side just for the private villas (I only know this because we stumbled upon the most beautiful pool but sadly found out it was only for the Villa residents). I’ve tried to link to the hotel’s website but I keep getting an error but hopefully if you’re keen to stay there you can just google search it.
While the rooms weren’t as nice as the room at the Aston Sunset Beach hotel in Gili T (there’s more info on my Part 1 post here) they were still beautiful but I did prefer the spacious and detail orientated rooms in Gili T. The hotel boasts a stunning albeit pricey restaurant that’s right on the beach so it was lovely having lunch and dinner right on the beach.
On one of the days we had in Senggigi, there was a Me Time Option which was to go for a hike to go see a beautiful waterfall. Now knowing that we had limited time in Bali, and that I had a bucket list that I was determined to tick off, Irina and I decided to give the hike a skip. Our group leader, Jess, was such a superstar and organised us a trip to go see the pink sand beach and a snorkeling tour *bliss*.
It was such a beautiful day, I felt so at peace relaxing along the slightly pink tinted sand, swimming with the beautiful fishes and just utterly relaxing. It worked out to the same amount of dollars as the waterfall hike but I’m honestly so grateful we got to experience another part of Lombok. Our boat drivers even spoiled us with a seafood lunch on the beach!
After our amazing day trip out, the whole group headed to a little restaurant called The Banana Leaf which is owned by a chef named Rocky. Rocky has traveled all over the world; worked in some of the best hotels in the world and is a highly recognised chef. Rocky’s main aim in life is to give back to the community and this is done through helping thoughs who need a meal; uplifting the fishing community and supporting small vendors. We were treated to such a lovely Indonesian meal that was made with so much love! It was incredible to see his passion for helping others.
After our amazing stay in Lombok, we took a ferry (2 hours of very rough water, a majority of people got sea sick but it was unusually rough according to Jess) back to the mainland and then a bus ride to Semniyak. We stayed at the Harris Hotel again (chatted about this in Part 1) for the our last night.
Since it was our last night as a group, we all went for dinner at Sea Circus which is quirky Mexican resturant and then we made our way to Motel Mexicola which was honestly one of the coolest clubs I’ve ever been to! As soon as walked through the door with the vibrant decor covering every inch of the establishment, everyone was dancing on tables and having an amazing time! It’s really pricey, but you are dancing and having so much fun that you don’t even want to miss a single second of the fun times waiting at the bar. I honestly loved this place so much!
I unfortunately lost my photos and videos from that night as after we went to Mexicola, we headed to La Favela which was another really cool place but my phone was stolen 🙁
Now onto the last part of our trip and one of the places I was so excited to see as it was everything I had pictured Bali to be (apart from the beautiful beaches). Ubud is the center for traditional arts and crafts in Bali and is surrounded by beautiful Hindu temples and shrines. It’s green, so green, I was in my element!
The awesome thing about this day trip was that it’s part of your Contiki Tour so everything is arranged for you.
Our first stop was Goa Gajah which is also known as the Elephant Caves. Not to be confused with seeing actual elephants. This beautiful site backs to the 11th century as a spiritual place for meditation.
After the beautiful Elephant Caves, we headed to the where Bali’s most famous coffee is made. Plus it’s the world’s most expensive coffee – and it’s literally made from poop! Yep, that’s right – the kopi luwak coffee is made by the adorable luwak also know as the Palm Civet. We got to taste all different flavoured coffees and teas as well as the sort after Cat Poo coffee – to me it tasted like a strong cup of filter coffee?
Next we went to one of Bali’s most recogniable places – the Tegallalang Rice Terraces in Ubud. I mean if you’ve ever stalked pictures of Bali on Pinterest and Instagram – this beautiful place will show up. We didn’t get to spend too much time there but I’m so happy I got to see these majestic rice terraces.
Next on our list of adventues for Ubud was a lovely lunch at Laka Leke Resturant – the food was so deliocus and it had such a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. I could’ve spent the whole day there. There were even small fish ponds in the bathrooms and each single space was decorated with stunning flowers, and you know how I feel about flowers! So if you’re in Ubud, I highly recommend you go and visit Laka Leke!
A quick stroll from the resturant and we were at the Monkey Forest which had absolutely beautiful scenery but too be honest I wasn’t the biggest fan of the monkeys – I guess it’s because I’m South African so we usually find a lot of them by the coast and popular holiday destinations. So no, I didn’t get one of those “monkey on my shoulder” photos.
After that, we headed back to the hotel, freshened up and headed to the airport after sad goodbyes to our amazing group!
I would without a doubt recommend this trip to anyone who is thinking of going to Bali. The whole experience of being on a Contiki group was something I’ll always treasure, especially the amazing friendships I made. Jess, our group leader was absolutely fantastic with organising everything as well as such a cool person to hang out with. The modes of transport; the accommodation; the activities were all highly rated in my books! If you want to travel this year – go to Bali!