As I venture into the wedding planning for our wedding along with being in the industry for 12 years now, I know the importance of reducing wedding stress. So here I am creating content to try to help you through this process, even if we aren't a great fit for eachother I'm happy for you and excited to help in any way I can.
Every spring we plan a scuba diving trip that is kid free. After our honeymoon in Boracay, Philippines we just knew we wanted to venture back across the Pacific Ocean again one day soon! Bali has long been on our list to venture through the Gili Islands and dive so when I found us cheap flights and wonderful hotel accommodation we literally jumped on it booked it without blinking an eye. Next was the long drawn 7 month wait to board that plane. If you are a travel geek like me you totally get me on this: checking out the plane size and constantly looking at your seat assignment location ha!
Our flight to leave to Bali was delayed by 2 hours out of Vancouver which meant before we got on the plane we knew there was a HUGE chance of missing our connecting flight in Seoul. I just decided to let fate decide what would happen… after all an additional passport stamp on the itinerary isn’t the worst thing in the world. Well when we landed in Seoul we were met just after we got off the plane by an Air Canada agent who called us over and let us know what we already assumed… we missed our flight and it was hurricane force winds so we would be staying the night in Korea! We heard so many people stressing out and I looked over at Garry and we both said “Awesome now we get to try out the beer here and see what this place is like!”. Air Canada had our travel, accommodation, meals and our next day flight already taken care of by the time we even arrived so we just had to maneuver our way through Korean customs and enjoy the ride.
The hotel was incredible! I’m talking heated toilet seats fancy! It was dark and crazy stormy night so we just sat in the large glass window restaurant enjoying our Korean beer watching the storm, thankful that we weren’t in the air at this point. Our next day was an early 3am start to get to the airport to board a plane on an airline I had never heard of and again we were so pleased with our experience. We flew Garuda Airlines and the service was so incredible, not sure if it was because the plane was less than half full or not but either way they were incredible.
A early afternoon arrival into Denpasar and a quick taxi to our first hotel which was only for 1 night to make our early morning ferry ride over to Gili Air Island. For Garry this was a major shock seeing all the scooters in traffic weaving in and out so quick but for me it brought back memories to my time in Taiwan.
The ferry/speed boat over to Gili Air was not entirely what we anticipated, it was an enclosed ferry that you sit in! For lots it didn’t bother them but for claustrophobic me it was a little nerve wrecking despite the fact that it was windows all around lol. The ride was smooth and took about 90 minutes. The moment we arrived onto Gili Air we fell in love. There were no cars only bicycle or horse led carts! You don’t realize how small of an island this is until you take a quick ride (5 minutes) across the island to your hotel.
We stayed at the Grand Sunset Resort and felt right at home, especially because it is owned by Canadians! As soon as we spent a few days there we knew we would be extending our stay on Gili Air. We ended up staying there for 10 nights and still didn’t want to leave. The resort staff were so friendly, the views gorgeous, the food amazing and the weather just perfect… nothing else to ask for! We rented bicycles and toured the island everyday. The Coffee & Thyme Café was located on the opposite end so every morning I would hop on my bicycle and make the 5 minute ride to enjoy the best espresso, pack my basket with breakfast goodies and head back over to the hotel. There were a couple mornings we got up to ride our bikes to the other side to watch the sunrise then head out for breakfast. The sunsets on our side were just incredible and every evening the water would just go still, it was the craziest thing I have ever seen! It was things like this that made me wish we brought the kids because they would have just loved it! As luck would have it the dive shop was right at our hotel so that made it so convenient to just get up and go! We brought our own gear and were able to store it there when we weren’t diving. The dive staff were amazing and the dive sites were some of the best we have seen! There wasn’t a single dive that we felt like we just saw this same stuff.
After Gili Air we took the ferry over to Nusa Lembongan to enjoy a few days there. We spent 5 nights there which we found to be plenty as we much enjoyed the slow quiet pace of Gili Air and the scuba diving. We rented scooters and toured the island, tossing the map away and just taking any side of the forks in the road to see what adventure we came across. We mostly came here to go scuba dive with the giant mantas but sadly we missed them by a few days so we opted to just tour, be foodies, find good coffee.
Our last couple nights we stayed in Denpasar just to readjust to inside washrooms, long showers, and swim up bars. We stayed at the Ramada and it was so amazing! We didn’t have a meal plan but you can buy them. We decided to venture out of the resort for our meals and get our last fill of Bali while we could.
All in all it was one of our favorite solo trips to date and we will definitely be returning to bring the kids next time around! A mixture of images from my mark iii and go pro cameras… I didn’t take nearly enough photos so a redo is a must now!