We hopped back on the fast boat from Gili back to the mainland and headed to Canggu in time for New Year. We found a gorgeous villa on AirBnB which was pretty cheap, within walking distance of a bunch of great cafes and the beach, and had an amazing pool. Time flew by in Canggu; we spent about a week there, going to amazing cafes, walking and swimming the days away. On New Year's Eve, while there were many NYE parties going down at all the beach clubs, we decided a nice meal, some wine and a chill night was the go, including watching the copious amount of fireworks being set off by local kids all night.

Next up, we headed down the coast to Jimbaran, a beautiful and quiet beachside town, where we were lucky enough to stay at the amazing Karma Kandara Resort. Getting away from the hustle and bustle of the bigger towns and cities in Bali was perfection; we basically spent our time here hopping between our pool and the beach just down the road. More of this in a future blog post.

Our final stop in Bali was the amazing, isolated little cliffside village of Bingin. Bingin was a hidden gem, an unexpected slice of paradise, and exactly what I'd hoped for from Bali. We stayed at The Sun and Surf Stay, which is an adorable little B&B right on the beach at the bottom of a cliff (yep, a lot of stairs were involved) made up of converted little surf shacks. This was the ultimate chill out place; beach, sun, surf, sand, sunsets from the hammock on our balcony, and there was even a veggie/vegan restaurant no more than 10 metres away with the perfect sunset viewing balcony to perch on (Swami's Stay and Cafe, in case you're interested). Bingin is also super close to Uluwatu if you're after another surf break, or an amazing Nalu Bowl (get the Uluwatu Bowl, holy moly I dream of it).

And that's Indonesia! And our travels! But I'm already dreaming of our next adventures, so stay tuned...


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I'm sure there are a million blog posts about vegan eats in Ubud floating around the internet. You know why? Because there are about a million vegan eats in Ubud. Ripe for the pickin', spoiled for choice. But regardless, here's another guide to vegan eats in Ubud, because I love food and you love food and we all love great food, so let's just roll with it.

Kismet Restaurant and Lounge

My favourite restaurant in Ubud, easily. The serving sizes were generous, the food was fresh, and the flavours were amazing. My absolute favourite thing to get was the Dragon Bowl with tempeh skewers; red rice, greens, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, roast pumpkin, roasted mushrooms and capsicum, with a lemongrass tahini dressing. The tempeh skewers were honestly the best tempeh I've ever had, ever. We also had the Asian Bowl, which was so fresh, made up of red rice, greens, veges, avocado, nori, sesame, kim chi and other goodness, and we opted for the satay seitan skewers. The rice paper rolls were filled to the brim with marinated rice noodles, tofu and fresh veggies, and came with a delicious peanut sauce. All so good. The wait staff were attentive and warm, constantly topping up our water glasses with delicious cucumber infused water, and the general atmosphere of Kismet is relaxed and classy. We came here for my birthday/Christmas dinner as they also serve cocktails and wine, and it was such a wonderful evening. Go, go, go, get the dragon bowl with tempeh skewers, go.
The Elephant

Another favourite in Ubud, we loved the vibes here. We had a delicious lunch starting with the best rice paper rolls that we found in Ubud which were filled with rice noodles, crumbled marinated tofu and raw veggies, served with chilli sauce and peanut sauce, both delicious. I had the white tiger bowl which was a big veggie filled bowl with tempeh, roast pumpkin, greens, fresh veg, and a tahini dressing. Louis had the Japanese bowl, also veggie filled deliciousness with tofu and nori etc. We also had an iced sencha green tea (so refreshing in the Bali humidity) and an iced coffee on cashew milk; yum! We came back a couple of times, and spent a fair amount time lounging around in their egg chair, soaking up the fresh air, the good music playlist, and the beautiful green view. On other trips we also had a hibiscus iced tea which was tart and refreshing, and the tofu larb (fresh, crunchy, tofu goodness), and a good old fashioned long black coffee.
Puspa's Warung

Cheap and cheerful, this is a classic Indonesian warung with a beautiful homemade touch. Puspa is right there in the kitchen next to you whipping up your lunch, proudly offering vegan options for any menu item, serving up red rice, and only using coconut oil in her cooking. The serving sizes are quite small (for a big eater like myself), but the prices are so low that you can always go for seconds, or get a couple of extra rice on the side. We had the vegan nasi campur which came with an amazing jackfruit rendang, corn fritters, tempeh, and other delicious things, plus the vegan curry, a coconut milk based yellow curry with veggies, tofu and tempeh. We also had fresh coconuts that were larger than our head.
Seeds of Life

We went here a few times for cool drinks, to escape the humidity. The green juice was so good, slow-pressed and very healthy good for you green vibes delicious. The smoothies were cold, thick and sweet; a big tick in my book, because there is nothing worse than a warm or watery smoothie and I've come across far too many in my travels. We did decide to order a smoothie bowl one day which was exceptionally underwhelming, just a smoothie in a bowl with literally (I swear I'm not even exaggerating) a teaspoon of raw granola on top. In saying that, some of the raw wraps and bowls I saw coming out looked good.

Alchemy

An Ubud institution that everyone has raved about as a must-go for as long as I can remember... A little underwhelming? Maybe it was all the hype? We had some tasty smoothies (banana, spinach, pineapple) which were flavoursome, cool and refreshing, as well as a choose-your-own smoothie bowl and a salad bowl. For the smoothie bowl, we chose a papaya banana smoothie, plus the standard fruit toppings, granola (which was yum and crunchy), chia seed pudding (which was really liquidy) and coconut flakes. It was sweet, the fruit was high quality, the toppings were good (minus the chia seed pudd), but what is with warm smoothies??? Not down with it. Our salad was also yum and fresh, with greens, a raw pad thai, a raw Indonesian-inspired zoodle-y type salad, tomato, and marinated veggies. Good flavours, fresh, very healthy... I don't know you guys, am I missing something here??? Why was I so underwhelmed?
Earth Cafe

Another well-known cafe in Ubud which I'd had on my go-to list for a while, which ended up being quite expensive for what it is and a little underwhelming. The nori rolls were delicious and cured my sushi cravings, but five dollars for sushi??? The nasi goreng was nice enough but a small serving size (Louis had to buy some tofu gado gado from a little warung across the street afterwards to supplement). They do have a make-your-own salad option, where you fill out a sheet and tick all the things you want and choose your dressing which was awesome, super fresh, and definitely one of the best things about Earth Cafe. Louis ordered the acai bowl one day and it was warm and watery and flavourless, which was pretty disappointing. Earth Cafe is good if you're after a simple, relatively unassuming meal but definitely didn't live up to the hype!
So there you have it! My true and honest opinion of vegan Ubud eats. There are plenty more cafes and warungs that I wanted to try but didn't make it to; if you have anywhere that you loved in Ubud, let me know!
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We kind of spontaneously decided to go home from India via Indonesia, because why not, right? So we left India a couple of weeks earlier than our original plan and hopped on a plane over to Bali. Bali was definitely a change of pace from India, one which came as both a relief and a strange emptiness all at once. India's charismatic chaos is one that you settle into (a sink or swim kind of situation), a life of dodging traffic, turning down eager tuk tuk drivers, finding the cheapest dosas in town, and avoiding being roped into buying something from the bloke on the street's friend's brother's shop. One that I had begun to thrive in, awake and energetic. Bali slowed us right back down.

We began in Ubud, where we stayed a couple of nights in the beautiful Puri Gangga Resort (which I've written about) followed by a week in a great Air BnB called Bhuana Shanti Cottages, overlooking rice paddies and run by the loveliest of people. It was here that we celebrated Christmas and my twenty-third birthday, sharing gifts on our balcony, sipping on pitaya smoothies, day tripping to the phenomenal Tegenungan waterfall, and sipping wine and feasting on the tastiest food. The days all seemed to melt into one another in Ubud, filled with so many vegan cafes and restaurants, rice paddy trips, multiple waterfall swims, and of course the odd Balinese massage or two.

Following Ubud, we hopped on the fast boat to Gili Meno, a tiny little island close to Lombok, so small that you can walk around the circumference of the island in not much more than an hour. From one side of the island you can see across to Gili Trawangan (the bigger, busier, party island), and from the other side you can see across to Gili Air and further across to the heavenly volcanic mountains of Lombok. Of the three Gilis, Meno is the quietest and least developed, with dodgy wifi, sea water showers, traditional little bungalows, and no cars or motorbikes whatsoever. The snorkelling is amazing, a whirlwind of rainbow fish in amongst the pure blue water, vivid blue starfish, quirky coral, but the best of all is that the surrounding reefs are home to a collection of sea turtles. We only spent three nights on Gili Meno; the food was a bit stodgy there, and to be honest, a small tropical island isn't my idea of heaven (is that weird?) and I need my surroundings to be a little more wild to make my soul happy. To be continued...

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Our first two nights in Bali were spent at the beautiful, lush Puri Gangga Resort in Ubud. After a long journey from India to Indonesia which involved two flights, a seven hour wait around in Singapore airport and a grand total of 3 hours sleep, arriving to the smiling, warm staff at the resort and the most amazing, fluffy bed was everything we needed and more.

Puri Gangga is a 25-30 minute drive out of central Ubud (they provide a free shuttle back and forth a few times a day) making it incredibly peaceful, in a little world of its own. It's like a little jungle haven, surrounded by lush greens and the sound of running water, cobblestoned walkways winding their way around the resort. The highlight of the room (aside from the divinely comfortable bed) was the amazing big stone bath which we decided to have tea time in one day; a great life decision, right there. They provided breakfast every morning, which you could either choose to have in their lovely Kailasha Restaurant, or in your own room (which is what we did both mornings, because breakfast in bed needs no explanation amirite). You can choose between a great selection of set menus, but the staff were more than accommodating for me to mix and match a few of the dishes in order to make our breakfast vegan. We had fresh fruit plates, delicious green juices, green tea, burbur injin (sticky black rice porridge cooked in coconut milk) and pisang rai (a traditional boiled banana/rice flour/coconut snack).

Puri Gangga also provide a complimentary foot massage at their beautiful spa, which a divine little treat after all our travelling! Breakfast in bed, a foot massage, a swim in their infinity pool which overlooks a lush green valley, followed by our tea-and-bath time was the ultimate unwind. Here are a few piccies from our stay at Puri Gangga.


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