The Many Sides of Bali…In Photos

I can’t say that Bali is my favorite destination in the world, but it’s slowly growing on me.  I’ve been lucky enough to visit the island five times over the past 18 months and during each trip I have managed to find a new facet of Bali that makes me love this little tropical island more and more.

During previous visits I spent the majority of my time in crazy Kuta Beach and peace-loving Ubud, but this time around I was able to see a new side of Bali.  Aaron and I were thrilled to have one of our nearest and dearest friends, Élan and her friend Eric visit Bali this past weekend.  And although they were there to shoot a wedding, we were all able to spend an action-packed two days traipsing around the island together.

We were based in the tranquil resort area of Nusa Dua, which I’d honestly never heard of before this trip.  With its turquoise beaches and swanky hotels it was a completely different side of Bali than I’d ever seen.

Given that Aaron and I were with two people who had never been to Indonesia before (or even Southeast Asia!) we tagged along as they took in as much of Bali as they possibly could.  From Ubud’s rice terraces to Nusa Dua’s surf spots to one of Bali’s ritziest hotels, I feel like we saw it all…or as much as anyone can in 48 hours.  We did really well, if I do say so.

It was a blast having the chance to see Bali through the eyes of Southeast Asia virgins.  But what was probably more fun for me was traveling with two professional photographers.  It’s not often that I get to travel with people who don’t get annoyed when I whip out my camera every two seconds.  And it was seriously inspiring to watch them work and see their creative wheels constantly turning.  It made me realize just how much I’d like to up my photography game and inspired me make it a priority.

While this trip was short and sweet, it allowed me to see a new side to the endlessly fascinating island, through a completely different lens.  I thought I’d seen it all, but yet again I was confronted with the reality that there is just so much left to see in Bali.

Now that my time in Indonesia is coming to an end (only five weeks left!), I’m starting to realize that I won’t have the luxury to just jet off to Bali for impromptu trips anymore – something I have done many a time this past year.  Bali has become my home away from home…away from home, so bidding it farewell made me a little nostalgic.  But being able to jet around the island with three awesome people was the perfect way to say goodbye.

Photo courtesy of Eric Kelley Photography

I’ll have more Bali posts coming up in the next couple weeks, but for now here’s a sneak peek of what I got up to last weekend.

Nusa Dua

Suluban Beach, Nusa Dua
Suluban Beach is a popular surf spot on Nusa Dua.
Amanusa Hotel - Nusa Dua, Bali
I had the chance to spend an afternoon poolside at the Amanusa Hotel, one of Bali’s premier resorts.

Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu (1 of 1)

The Uluwatu area is teaming with mischievous monkeys.

Tegalalang Rice Terraces

rice terraces (1 of 1)

elan at terraces (1 of 1)

Local market near Ubud

fish market (1 of 1)

bananas market (1 of 1)

Have you ever visited a place that manages to surprise you again and again?

About Justine

Justine Lopez is a California native who always seems to take the unconventional route in life. She also suffers from a serious case of wanderlust. In 2013, she set out on a yearlong round-the-world journey and never looked back. Since then she's lived the expat life in both Jakarta and Phnom Penh. She's now living and working as a freelance writer in Beijing. As she meanders her way through Asia she's always seeking out great vegetarian food, budget travel deals and amazing new travel destinations.

18 thoughts on “The Many Sides of Bali…In Photos

  1. Beautiful photos! I think anywhere in Bali is just gorgeous to look at but those are some prime spots that you managed to be at…I would so love to be poolside at those premier hotels too! Haha…and I finally saw the reveal! Congrats on moving there, I’ve never been there so will look forward to reading more about it from you…:)
    Sha recently posted…Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Rockingham (Australia)

    1. Thanks Sha! I had never seen turquoise beaches in Bali before so when I came across that little cove I was stunned. So beautiful! Oh my gosh, being able to hang out at that hotel was ridiculous. I think it costs $1,200 a night! Ah, the perks of being friends with international photographers 😉 Yay, I’m really excited about my move and to get to know Cambodia better. And obviously I’m really excited to write all about it. I can’t wait!!

    1. I’m not the biggest fan of the city of Ubud, but there is no denying that the countryside is beautiful. There are so many hidden gems all around Ubud. I had such a great time frolicking around those rice terraces :)

    1. Oh, I really want to go to Amed! I’ve heard wonderful things. The Balinese people really are friendly and welcoming. I’ve had such good experiences :)

    1. Thanks Chanel! Those fish were just begging to be photographed. The woman selling them thought I was insane for taking so many photos. But I just thought they were so cool looking. I hope you make it to Bali soon :)

    1. I’m so excited for you Maddy! You’re going to love it. If you like beaches, snorkeling and diving definitely look into going to the surrounding islands. The Gilis, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida are all amazing and really easy to get to from Bali. I’ve written posts about all of these if you want to do a search to find out more. Other than that the mainland has so much to offer. I only wish I’d been able to explore more. Haha, monkeys are amazing to see in the wild but they always freak me out. That monkey on the right literally tried to jump on my head the second after I took that photo!

    1. Somehow I just keep going back to Bali and I’m learning to love it more and more. I was blown away by some of the beaches on Nusa Dua and the rice terraces around Ubud are amazing. The coastline around Uluwatu was mind blowing too :) I have a feeling I’ll be back soon too. I just can’t seem to stay away!

  2. Next year I will be spending 4 weeks in Bali and can’t wait to take in all of the different scenes. One of the things I’m looking forwards to seeing the most in Bali are all the rice terraces, and your pictures of the Tegalalang Rice Terraces have totally reinforced my want to see them!
    LeeAnne Georgia recently posted…Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

    1. Bali has tons of rice terraces. I’ve only seen a few but I do highly recommend Tegalalang. If you can, go really early to be the heat and the crowds. It was definitely worth waking up super early to have them (almost) all to myself :) I hope you have a wonderful time! Also, check out Suluban Beach…so beautiful!

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