Thursday, February 10, 2011

Little hip Bali from the eyes of a very hip monkey...

Bali sunset -


That old Aussie favourite destination.

Its creeping back up and up again and is securing itself once more as a true blue Aussie favourite. So many people I know seem to have headed her way of late. Brilliant, considering she's had such a dramatic few years.

We at The Little Hip Traveller are so happy to support a place where until fairly recently visitor numbers were dwindling. And of course, it is such a fabulous destination to visit with the little 'hips'. They are made to feel so special by the locals, and wow, there are so many fabulous places that are oh, so child friendly. Love it...

Simone, the clever and uber busy owner of not just one, but two businesses, (Monkey Caboose, and Outer Edge Business Coaching) took a well earned break at the end of 2010 with her little family, and she was rather happy to share her experiences with us all.

So, over to Simone...

"We travelled to Bali with Virgin Pacific in October 2010. Absolutely no complaints with the airline - they were great.

We stayed at in a 1 bedroom villa at the Vila Bali AsriSari Dewi in Seminyak, which is 5 minutes walk to the beach and 5 minutes drive to Laksmana. Each villa has their own wonderful swimming pool, and indoor / outdoor living. All the villas are fully decked out with cooking facilities which is perfect for travelling with children, however breakfast is provided each morning. The villas were fabulous. We also had a great babysitter, so its worth asking about that service and they only charge around 5AUD an hour.

Vila Bali Asri

We also stayed in Villa Sarna just outside Ubud for several nights which was magical as its set in the forest, surrounded by rice paddy fields. The scenery, service and food were fantastic! Ubud itself has a great range of shops with locally made products. There are 4 different cafes that sit on the edge of the rice shelves so you can enjoy the amazing view whilst eating lunch. My husband also participated in a cooking school at Bumi Bali which was great.

Bali rice shelves

Eating out;
Watching the sunset whilst having a couple of cocktails at Ku De Ta is a must - dinner was lovely too (but rather expensive). There are lots of great little cafes and restaurants on Laksmana Road, Seminyak, such as Chandi - high end, air con, non smoking - and also Cafe Bali which is great for little kids as they have lots of toys and an uncomplicated menu. A great place for a romantic dinner (this is when you need the babysitter) is Sardine in Kerobakan. Beautifully set amongst the rice fields.

One thing to remember when travelling with kids, is that people can still smoke in restaurants and cafe's so for those who are now used to a smoke free environment, its a bit of an adjustment.

Eating in;
There is a gourmet supermarket in Seminyak square that has freshly sliced meat, fruit and veg, and even some very overpriced Rafferty's Garden baby food. There is also the Bintang supermarket, where you can buy very cheap nappies, and a good range of milk, fruit, veg, chocolate etc.

Mummy time;
Opposite Bintang supermarket is a place called Bali Spa that does superbly cheap manicures and pedicures. You just sit back and pop a pair of earphones on, listening to music. Perfect mummy time!

Getting out and about;
We took a Deuter II backpack with us for our son and he loved it. It was easy to get around on the uneven sidewalks of Bali, and even though it did get a bit hot at times, it was so easy to jump in a taxi with him. It has a space for a water bladder and tube, so he sucked on that most of the time therefore we were confident he was well hydrated.

Overall, Bali is a fabulous place for a family holiday. Eating and drinking is very cheap and there are a lot of things to do and places to see. Our son was only 14 months at the time, so he was a bit little to do much more than walk and swim in the pool or ocean, however for older kids, there is the zoo, guided bike rides, volcano walks and much more. The accommodation is spectacular and highly affordable. We shall be back - I highly recommend it."

Wow, Simone, thanks so much for those brilliant travel makes me want to go now! One thing I highly recommend you all do is head over to Monkey Caboose right now for a wee bit of shopping. There are some very hip bits and bobs, and also some very cool products for heading out and about too.

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