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There are SO many things that I love about Bali (including coconuts) but for want of holding your attention I’ve narrowed it down to just a few favourites from this trip.

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EAT

Betelnut – close to where I’m staying, plenty of healthy and vegan options, great drinks at great prices. I’m currently sipping on a whole coconut, post wheatgrass shot, pre long black – all for under $5. I love the vegetable curry here, the salads and the sayur bowl special was great too. Today I’m trying the vegetable stack on gluten free bread with salad and basil pesto – happy days…

Biku – I still love this treasure of a tea house in seminyak, it nicely blends a traditional feel with modern offerings. Try the jamu temaluwak for a local health tonic and then a pot of tea served properly from their extensive menu. Food wise I like the brown rice, rocket, pumpkin and long bean salad. They do a high tea here too with eastern or western options. Nice place to pick up a gift or two as well.

Earth Cafe & Zula – These two seminyak hot health spots are an easy pick, the menu is so extensive and varied it will easily please almost anyone, health nut or not. The Dragon Bowl (soba noodles, grated raw veg, Tempe, nori, pomelo, a light soy dressing) is my personal pick. The Bali boost smoothie is a creamy superfood treat. Also plenty of take home goodies here.

Watercress – a popular spot amongst expats and western visitors, probably for the coffee supplied by local fav Revolver, it’s got a good buzz here in peak periods and great service. A little pricier than others I’ve mentioned but still very reasonable by Sydney standards. I was bursting with excitement when my choice of 5 salads from the display counter arrived in front of me.

If you’re Ubud bound you have a plethora of options in my field of healthy, vegan, organic & at least some raw; Clear, Kafe, Alchemy, Soma, & Sari Organik are my top 5 in the region.

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(A local delicacy – Tempe manis atop a bed of greens from the Desa Seni gardens)

LIVE

Yoga at Desa Seni, even if you’re not a yogi (try a Hatha 101 class with a sexy Spanish accent courtesy of the beautiful Angela) this place is bliss. Make a day or half day of it, stay for a swim in the saltwater pool, a meal from the organic gardens that surround you, a treatment at the spa. If you’re lucky you’ll be there for one of their community events, the full moon gong bath was a highlight for me.

Dance at Yoga Barn! Again you don’t have to be a yogi just a free spirit, choose from the more intense Friday night rave or the chilled Sunday morning dance. Seriously so fun to just move your body in a very instinctual way to the colourful sounds of the resident DJ (no talking allowed). You could leave your inhibitions at the door if there was one.
Yoga Barn also hosts an enormous number of classes, workshops and trainings so check out their site for happenings.

If you want to dance outside a yoga Shala (or get a night cap) I had a lot of fun at La Favela, Mantra, Old Man’s and Mamasan on this trip. All venues are fairly vibe dependant on times, DJ’s, events so check out their happenings online or just ask around when you’re here.

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(Yogi play with Angela, a dear friend and one of the beautiful Desa Seni teachers)

ROAM

Get away from Kuta and even Seminyak (I know, I know, what a crazy thing to suggest!). While Seminyak is home to some stunning beach clubs, restaurants and shops, (there’s really nothing appealing about Kuta), Bali has so much more to offer. In every direction. The beaches of the bukit (South of the island) are incredible. This trip I had 3 delightful days of pristine peace at Bingin beach. Heading north to Ubud or surrounding region the landscape is just flush with greenery, seek out a viewing point or two of Mt Agung. Feeling a bit more adventurous? Check out one or two of Indonesia’s other 17,000 Islands.

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(Bingin)

CONNECT

The most magical part of Bali is the space it clears in your head and heart, find a place to sit and embrace this feeling of creativity, openness, love, possibility. The way of life is simple and makes most of our usual ‘busyness’ seem ridiculous. I find that Bali allows me to strip away the non essential and just retain the good stuff.

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(The temple lodge, Bingin)

If you want more ideas, including bars and shops, read this post I did a year ago.