Lifestyle, What's On Our Mind

Monty’s guide to doing Bali right

Monty by Monty
May 21st, 2014

Bali is the chosen holiday destination for many an Aussie and why wouldn’t it be? So close to our shores, beautiful weather, gorgeous people, INSANELY delicious food, great shopping and massages on tap. It’s pure bliss.

It’s fair to say that a large part of Bali has been over run by boganic Neanderthals, but if you can over look the braided hair and Bintang singlets, there is no better place to holiday in my mind.

Because it’s cold at home and loads of us are swarming for a tropical getaway to thaw out our toes, I thought I would give you my ‘ultimate’ Bali tips.


There is only one place to stay in my eyes and that is the Bali Niksoma. For the past 10 years my bo and I have visited yearly. On a few trips we have attempted other hotels, but on more than one occasion have cancelled our booking after one night, requested our coins back and headed to our Bali home, the Niksoma.

The Niksoma is the perfect size, not too big or small. It’s a small cab ride to all the yummy restaurants in Seminyak and has had the same staff since we first started coming here. We are now on kiss hello basis with many of the staff and there is something really beautiful about that.

Bali Niksoma

Bali Niksoma

Our daily ritual when we stay at the Niksoma is to get up early and buzz one of the bungalows that over look the ocean, have a big buffet brekkie and read the whole day long like fat little pigs.

We ship our tot off to our heavenly nanny that we use every year, so we know he is safe and having a ball which gives us the freedom to sit on our derrières, eat club sandwiches and dip in the pool.


Sardine: This place blew my socks off. It’s set amongst a quiet rice field in the middle of all hustle and bustle in Kerobokan. The gourmet food was seriously second to none. I loved every second of our feast and although it’s not ‘cheap’ according to Bali standards it’s worth the extra cash. It’s an experience for your eyes and taste buds. Soft Shell crab for entrée is a MUST!

Sarong: Holy heaven of delicious yumness. This restaurant is BE.UTE. Food and cocktails to die for and in a gorgeous lush green setting. Again it’s pricey but worth it. A lot of the great Bali restaurants are now more expensive than what you typically think a Bail meal would cost. I personally think that Bali is now home to some of the worlds best eating so paying a little more (still a lot less than home) is well worth it. It would be criminal not to try the deserts here. Heaven in every mouthful.

Note: You need to book in advance for Sardine and Sarong, they get booked out pretty far in advance, so get reception to make the booking for you when you arrive or to be safe do it before you leave home. You don’t want to miss out. Especially if you have more than two people eating.

Sea Circus: This is a super chilled out casual little restaurant/café. Really fresh yummy food with lots of healthy options. We usually opt for Sea Circus for lunch. The juices are super yum and it is nice quick service and really reasonably priced.

The Earth Café: If you are a health nut then this place will be your hang out. It is all vego with loads of raw options, green juices and young whole coconuts to gulp from. The perfect place for some lunch. The Dragon bowls are my fave. Big bowls of mixed crispy salad with soba noodles. So. Good.


Mister Zimi

Mister Zimi

Mister Zimi- No brainer. Young Melbourne couple with excellent style, great dresses, jackets and shoes.

Zuitton – Great for guys, my baby daddy stocks up on shorts and shirts here every year. An Australian designer with a great eye for cool causal man gear. The mini versions for little boys is too bloody cute too.

The Library- Stocks Zuitton and pretty women’s clothes too. We always go to this shop and both find things we love.

Bali Do’s and Don’ts

Bali is still a third world country and the locals work super hard for measly money so always tip.

If you are staying in the built up areas like Legian or Seminyak (I’d avoid Kuta like the plague) take  a day trip to quieter parts of the island, like Ulluwatu, Ubud and Candidasa. So much of this paradise is still pretty untouched. It’s great to see how the locals live. There is no beach in Ubud but super stunning country side, beautiful temples and it is so lush and green. Ulluwatu and Candidasa have great surf if you are a salt cat and crystal clear STUNNING beaches.

If you want to get shoes and jackets made, and there are loads of great places to do this, try and have an actual physical example of what you want copied. Bring the jacket you want made instead of a pic. You will often end up disappointed if not.

Do not eat the ice unless you know it is made from bottled water. No one likes a holiday on the loo. And use bottle water to brush your chompers.

Resist the hair braiding, no one needs to see that. It’s debatable if it is even cute on four year olds, so 40 years old must steer clear.

Hands off the Bintang tee’s. Your burnt nose will scream border line bogan without throwing on a brew branded top.

Only jump in actual taxi’s that are marked ‘taxi’ and ask them to pop the metre on otherwise you will end up paying a lot more than needed.

I feel EXTREMELY safe in Bali and feel instantly relaxed the moment my plane lands. It is a very special place to suit every type of holidayer. Now if you would excuse me,  it’s extremely hard to type and get a hand massage at the same time.

What is your best Bali tip?

*Thank you to Bali Niksoma for spoiling us rotten.