Recommendations from my first trip to Bali - by Brian
This year our annual surf trip was a flight around the world from L.A. to Denpasar, Bali. 13 nights, non-stop surfing, and a blank slate of where to eat, sleep, and discover. I couldn't have been more excited.
Day 1: Denpasar
Luckily my buddy had been through Bali before and had already connected to a local driver — I was excited to find out we'd be exploring this new country the old fashioned way. Enter Gede.
Look at that shirt. We’re in good hands. Denpasar to Uluwatu is a 1.5 hour taxi through two lane roads riddled with scooters. Gede was just what we needed. Quick with the accelerator and a piece of advice on where to go, where to avoid, and what to look for in a local SIM card.
Beautiful. Uluwatu is many things, from world renowned surf spot to budding yoga community. But first and foremost, beautiful.
Only one thing missing, a local connection. Uluwatu is not exactly off the map. There’s tourist traps everywhere. With bad deals on scooter rentals, homestays, and over-priced western-style food there’s plenty to avoid.
Enter Chook — Aussie for “Chicken.” Chook is what you call a super-Loke. He’s got Uluwatu dialed in. A friend of a friend introduction and next thing you know we’ve taken our < $4/day scooters to the best warung (family run cafe) in town.
Fueled up, time to surf, and even the crowded staircase down through the cave at Uluwatu…
…produced moments of solitary bliss.
Once we surfed our brains out at crowded Uluwatu — we followed Chook’s lead and set out to scope a more secluded spot with some amazing views.
Half-way around the world, in a popular tourist destination, and we were sharing one of the best sunsets on the planet with nobody but a paraglider and his passenger. Win.
It was two weeks of nothing but these unique experiences, over and over. Want a thrill more sketchy than surfing at low tide? Try the Uluwatu Temple first thing in the morning(before the monkeys get chased into the trees) for equal parts zoo and battle royale. If they offer you a stick, take it. You’ll need the extra security. Win x2.
Thanks to the local tips, we kept scoring. A warm welcome at the Uluwatu Surf Villas with hands down the best hotel grounds on the planet. Win x3.
After almost two weeks of non-stop, amazing days and nights, Chook capped it all off a direct connection to Rodrigo — the go-to connection for getting to the world of surf lore that is g-land . FTW.
Before I knew it I was sitting on the tarmac in Denpasar with both the trip and my dreams of using Lokely behind me. Me, the failed entrepreneur who accidentally proved out his concept anyway: people > search engines when it comes to their home turf.