The New Bali
Written Mia Saffer @miajade
I wonder why this article interested you. Maybe you’ve been to Bali once before, on a girls’ trip, or perhaps a boys’ trip. Maybe with the family when you were younger. Or maybe you haven’t been at all. Rest assured, if you haven’t been in a while, it’s not even close to the Bali you may remember.
To preface this article, can we acknowledge for a second that we all know to stay well and truly as far away from Kuta as logistically as possible (whilst still technically being on the island). Or at least could we pinky promise we’ll never add it to the agenda? If you’re curious, let this be your hot tip, abort at all costs.
Great. Let’s get started then.
Bali is everything you would want in a holiday in your mid-twenties. Sun, sand, boutique shopping and piña coladas on tap. It’s uber cheap and well, now it’s uber cool.
The hospitality industry in Bali is the most noticeable change. Every space is like an art student, an influencer and a yogi threw up on it, and in the best way possible.
You cruise through each venue, order a fresh juice and take Insta-worthy snaps, right before you’re off on a cheap day trip; all with a private driver. Feeling like a Kardashian.
For me, the food, drinks and spacious venues were the biggest highlight, so I’m here to share with you my top five snap worthy restaurants:
TWO FINGERS | Canggu
Two Fingers is located in Canggu but makes it very hard to believe you’re not just in the middle of Melbourne’s CBD. Equipped with neon signs, dark moody interiors and a cocktail list for days, this venue is not only cheap but delicious too. I’m talking Mexican with a twist, and by twist, I mean fried chicken waffle tacos. Yep, you best believe.
ROCK BAR | Jimbaran
Where is every cocktail best enjoyed? Off the edge of a cliff of course. This is one of my favourite day trips to do. You book a private van for the day (for a group of 4 it’s about $15 AUD each) and off you go.
I like to head to Tanah Lot first, the only temple completely surrounded by water. It’s definitely worth a visit, but always stinking hot. En route to Tanah Lot I can guarantee your driver will stop by a local coffee plantation because I assure you, one of his friends owns it, but go with the flow it’s insightful and the caffeine is well-received with a long day ahead.
After your first two stops, make your way to Ayana Resort. You think you live like a king in Bali but let me tell you there is a whole other kind of living and this is where it’s at. For reference, they filmed a season of America’s Next Top Model here. Once arrived you can head to the cliff edge and take an outdoor lift down to Rock Bar and enjoy the view, it’s incredible.
Finally, head to Jimbaran Bay for a dinner to finish the day. You’ll enter from behind the bay and it doesn’t look like much, but once you walk through any restaurant, you’re fronted with the ocean and all restaurant seating facing. Watch the sunset and enjoy the freshest seafood on offer. Bellissimo.
CASA LUNA | Ubud
The best iced coffee you’ll ever have. Nuff’ said.
LING LING’S | Seminyak
This restaurant reminds me of what a crazy go-go Japanese venue would be like. I don’t even know what that means but it sounded exactly right.
As you walk in to Ling Ling’s you’re greeted with a giant (legit huge) robot standing metres high at the door. You’re next met with cute waitresses dressed in Japanese school uniforms placing a bowl of popcorn on your table. By this point I’m already completely satisfied and can shut shop right here.
Alas, the food is delicious, specials even better, and cocktails a treat. A quirky night out for a bargain of a price.
KYND COMMUNITY | Canggu
Okay here it is. The café that was born from every influencer’s dreams. Think pink décor, inspirational quotes on the wall, flowers at every turn, a swing, and yes… custom words made out of mango spelt out in your açai bowl. Whilst this place takes a beautiful photo, let me tell you, it was more delicious than it looked.
There you have it – my top five.
On that note, don’t let this list fool you, there are literally hundreds more venues, just as cool and delicious as the next. It was hard to keep up with all the amazing places on offer, and that was just the food and drinks. This definitely warrants another trip in the near future, and a hard slog at the gym to work it all off in between.