Posts in Islands

The Instagrammable Places to Visit in Bali

Hun, I’m back in the Mother City after a full day of travel and I must say that the long flight from Cape Town to Hong Kong was not a selling point for me.

I had an economy ticket, as I usually do, and I don’t know about you, but I’ve always felt strange about having to pay more for seating that would kill me first if the plane crashed. A crazy rational to be budget-savvy, I know, but the only thing that I would really have loved about travelling in business class is the chance to stretch my legs – wow. I’ll never underestimate the luxury of being able to lie flat again.

Although, because I was travelling on my own and managed to hop onto flights that were completely full, I was lucky to have empty seats next to me, which allowed me to raise the armrests and lie down – as if I was in business class. I was well-rested when the plane landed.

Also, since I’m vegan, I’d requested that all my flight meals be adapted to my diet and Cathay Pacific did not disappoint. I had fresh fruit and hot meals that had a balance of protein and carbs. The snacks were roasted peanuts and they also had non-dairy milk and butter but I was too sceptical of the milk and butter to try it. I find myself nauseated when I drink anything other than water on a flight (black tea being the worst) so I stuck to bottles of water throughout all flights and drank more water than usual so that I was fully hydrated during the flights. According to a physiotherapist featured in Marie Claire, you can lose around 2 litres of water on a flight due to the change in temperatures and I wasn’t about to take that risk I ensured that the flight attends kept the bottled water coming.

Dehydration can cause skin irritations, sunken eyes, dizziness and other not-so-cool symptoms that should never have to experience, much less while on holiday.

Enough about the flight and more about what I got up to in Bali.

Watch this video of my tour to some of Bali’s most Instagrammable locations:

All my experiences were booked via Airbnb and I was really impressed with how professional and insightful the hosts were.

Here are the Instagrammable places mentioned in the video:

1.Tukad Cepung Waterfall

This was by far my favourite place to visit. It’s a bit of a hike to the waterfall so wear comfy shoes and a change of clothing if you plan to take photos near the waterfall. This activity was free and if you’re living in Ubud, it should be quite easy to get to.

Instead of hiring a car from your hotel, download the Grab app, which is like Uber in Indonesia. The rates are more affordable and if you’re up to riding a scooter as I did, you will save even more Rupiah and have a scenic experience, riding through the city.

2. Coffee Plantation

Another free activity here. You don’t even pay to taste the teas and coffees. They only ask that you buy something from their store and of course, you aren’t obligated to but I loved the teas so much that I bought a few, which were each R100 per 100g pack. If you decide to buy tea or coffee, remember that that the product will be ground into a powder, which is easy to consume anyway.

3. Tirta Empul Temple/ holy spring water

When visiting any of the temples, go early because these are the most popular tourist attractions in Bali. I had actually intended to visit the Gate of Heaven but by the time I returned from the coffee plantation, my tour guide said that we would have to queue for hours to get the building and I didn’t want to do that.

4. Tegalalang Rice Terrace (Jungle Swing)

A Jungle swing is a must-do activity when you’re in Bali. There are lots of swings throughout the island but the Rice Terrace Swing is the most scenic. You will have to pay 200K IDR for to use the swing and if you want to wear a flowy dress for an IG worthy photo, it’s 200K IDR extra.

Do you have any questions about these locations or my time in Bali? Drop me a comment in the section below and I’d be happy to continue the conversation over there 🙂

Why travelling to Mauritius should be on your bucket list

“It’s the epitome of a tropical island paradise.”

Dubbed heaven on earth by famed author and traveller, Ernest Hemingway, Mauritius offers every traveller a haven for peace and relaxation.

With a few effortless answers covering her latest girls’ getaway, Staci Jacobs validates why Mauritius should be the destination for your next holiday.

From left, Staci Jacobs, Yusrah Ehrenreich and Isabella Kentridge. Photo/ Staci Jacobs
From left, Staci Jacobs, Yusrah Ehrenreich and Isabella Kentridge in Mauritius. Photo/ Staci Jacobs

Vibrant, tropical and utopian are the words that first came to mind when asking how she would describe the island. “The white sand, palm trees and the warm Indian Ocean make it the perfect beach destination. There are museums, waterfalls, botanical gardens, and a number of shopping markets further inland. It’s the epitome of a tropical island paradise.”

She recalls that the highlight of her trip was swimming with dolphins. “The tour guides took us into the ocean on a speed boat to look for wild dolphins. As we drew close enough to the dolphins, we were able to jump into the ocean and swim among them. We were close enough to touch them but none of us were brave enough to do so. The ocean was very deep but spectacularly clear. Closer to the coast, as we snorkelled, we encountered plenty of other beautiful sea creatures.”

Photo/ Staci Jacobs
A typical day in Mauritius. Photo/ Staci Jacobs

Explaining that the Island is richly diverse, she recalls how the food on the island resembled much of what we eat in South Africa, with the exception that venison is  quite popular due to a density of deer on the island and no real predators.

Top tips before arriving in Mauritius
  • Learn basic French phrases as French is widely spoken among the locals, even though English is also spoken.
  • Pack lots of sunblock as the Mauritian sun can be very unforgiving.
  • Try to book an all-inclusive package (including flights, accommodation, activities and all meals and drinks) as the cost of living is very high in Mauritius.
Frequently asked questions:
  1. When’s the best time to visit Mauritius: All year round! The climate varies from approximately 20 degrees in winter, to around 35 degrees in summer.
  2. Do I need a visa? Not if you’re South African. Hallelujah!
  3. Do you require any vaccinations? Only if you’re travelling from a country where yellow fever cases have been reported. (Not applicable to South Africa, hoorah!)
  4. What’s the time in Mauritius? GMT+4 – two hours ahead of South African time
  5. What’s the currency in Mauritius? The Mauritian Rupee (1 ZAR = 0,44 MUR – 14/03/2016)

Must-see attractions: The Grand Bassin  and the Pamplemousses Botanical Garden.

A casual cruise under the Mauritian sun. Photo: Instagram/ @stacikim14

To view more photos of Staci’s trip to Mauritius, Follow her on Instagram.