Hands down, my favorite beach in Bali. Thomas Beach is private, quiet and beautiful with lengthy white sands and crystal clear turquoise water. Every one of the surrounding area’s beaches (Uluwatu, Padang Padang, Bingin) are filled with hoards of tourists and even more locals (trying to sell sarongs!) resulting in a less than peaceful beach experience… speakers no doubt blasting Bob Marley, an excess of Bintangs and no elbow room. Thomas Beach feels worlds away; we were among five other tourists on a beach half a mile long. The only beach vendor was selling ice cold coconuts – exactly the one thing I would actually like to purchase at the beach.
If you know me, you know I’m a planner. I plan ahead, I organize, I schedule. I have flights and hotels booked (at least) several weeks, hopefully months ahead of time. I spend hours researching routes and airlines and prices to the point of Shaun exclaiming to just book one already! That being said, the last 48 hours have been a whirlwind. Our itinerary has shifted from flying home to California in a week, to instead flying to Tokyo in 3 days.
Denpasar, the capital and largest city of Bali, is a primary hub for authentic Balinese market shopping. It’s hectic, intense, chaotic but also lively, fascinating and full of color. We both found unique, handmade souvenirs for $5 – $10 and had such a fun experience that we’re considering going back for more. The toughest part was getting there with a two-hour round trip riding tandem on a motorbike.
Pura Luhur Uluwatu: an 11th century Balinese sea temple built atop stunning 230 feet sheer cliffs over the Indian Ocean, on the southernmost edge of the Bukit peninsula. Beyond it’s incredible architecture, the Uluwatu Temple has also gained popularity with tourists because it’s occupied with an amazing amounts of grey monkeys- super, super cute but with a naughty side!
We decided to treat ourselves to a resort lifestyle in Bali after living in a camper van for a month in NZ. We spent one week at the Komune Resort and Beach Club, which boasts two pools, two restaurants, full bar, spa, hair and nail salon, air-con gym and yoga classes. Everything you can dream of for a week of luxury. Also, Komune hosted the surf contest at Keramas that Shaun competed it, so it was super comfortable and convenient to stay on-site for early morning heats.