In this nostalgic trip back to last summer, when my husband and I got married, I’m taking you along on our vegan honeymoon to Bali and Taipei!
I know, it’s unfair to post this now, while we’re all stuck at home, but going on imaginary trips has actually helped me deal with my wanderlust these days. Maybe it can be a travel substitute for you as well!
For me, being able to eat great food I wouldn’t be able to get at home is an incredibly important part when traveling, so checking into a Hotel that offers vegan options makes things a lot easier.
Not having to worry about food and vegan options during traveling and being able to enjoy local dishes really is a luxury.
While making your own food, bringing snacks, and having a picnic here or there can also be fun during holidays, for our honeymoon, we knew we wanted to just relax and sit back after the stress of planning two weddings.
So, after some browsing, we decided to spend our vegan honeymoon in Bali.
We found Shunyata Villas Bali while browsing for vegan-friendly honeymoon resorts.
It is located on the east coast of Bali, far off the tourist-trodden paths.
We really liked the idea of having our own private villa including a pool just for us.
We booked our honeymoon pretty early on in our wedding planning process (about 9 months ahead), so we were able to get a small early booking discount.
Shunyata Villas Bali has a ready-made honeymoon package including many extras such as massages, yoga, and day trips with a personal chauffeur.
While we spent most of our days just relaxing at the pool, getting a massage, or doing some yoga, we obviously wanted to see some of the island.
Both my husband and I aren’t really the “sit back and relax” kind of tourists. Me especially. I need culture and visual stimulation all day. Maybe I’ll grab a book and spend half a day at the beach, but only if there’s some kind of program in the evening to balance it out!
You could say I’m a little restless. Still, we decided that after spending the past year almost planning two weddings, sewing my own wedding dress and all the stress that came with it, we would have to force ourselves to actually relax for at least one week.
Still, we made a few full and half day trips to see (and eat!) more of Bali.
We visited two water palaces: Tirta Gangga in Amlapura and Ujung. To be quite honest, I cannot entirely separate which photos were taken at which palace one year after the trip. So I put them all in one gallery, deal with it. 😄
Most pictures however wer taken at Ujung water palace, because it was practically empty. It’s much less known but at least just as beautiful as Tirta Gangga.
Tirta Gangga was incredibly crowded by the time we got there. So if you want to visit, go early!
We found out about the water palaces thanks to this trusty book, I always consult when planning a trip!
Virgin Beach in Karangasem is a beautiful white sand beach that was located close to our resort. While it was undoubtedly gorgeous, I will never forget all the trash and plastic everywhere. It was heartbreaking.
We did pick some of it up, but it was just overwhelming because there are no trash cans anywhere to be found. There simply isn’t anywhere to put your trash!
Fortunately, there are also lots of Zero Waste stores and initiatives in bigger cities to combat the problem.
Ubud is definitely an amazing place to spend a day as a vegan. There are overwhelmingly many options for plant-based food and snacks all throughout the city.
However, for me, one day in Ubud was definitely enough. Being used to European cities, where the historic city center is almost always a pedestrian zone, Ubud seemed incredibly hectic to me.
There just wasn’t a way to just stroll and window shop. Too many people, WAY too many cars, crazy traffic, narrow streets… It might sound dramatic, but you really have to think twice if you want to cross the road and risk it all to get to the cute boutique on the other side. 😅
It is still a beautiful city, I especially loved the temples and the art market. Just a huge contrast to the peaceful resort we spent most of our honeymoon.
Amed is a small coastal town with a beautiful beach and some cute little restaurants and bars.
If you like diving and snorkeling, this place is for you!
We only spent a few hours here. Had some lunch at and then relaxed at the beach a bit and then got a Thai massage at Swasty Dewi Spa.
Pura Luhur Lempuyang Temple
Pura Lempuyang Luhur is one of the oldest and the most revered temples in Bali.
I am sure you’ve seen photos of the world famous split gate on Instagram or Pinterest. Fun fact, there was actually a Disneyland-style meandering line you had to wait in, to get your picture in the gate. The wait was between one and two hours!
The large temple complex is situated on a mountain and you can spend all day wandering around, so wear comfortable shoes!
It’s an absolutely gorgeous place to visit and the view is magnificent!
Keep in mind that you’re visiting a place of worship, so be respectful while visiting!
Knees and shoulders must be covered while inside the temple and you’ll have to wear a sarong and temple scarf. You can, however, borrow one for free at the entrance.
Here’s a guide on how to visit a temple in Bali.
We visited Canggu on our last day on the way to the airport. We only made a quick stop for some shopping and have lunch.
It’s a vibrant city full of surfer bars and cute little boutiques. I would have loved to spend an evening here!
The vegan selection is also quite impressive, but not surprising, given the high content of Australian hipsters in Canggu. 😅
Vegan Food in Bali
Our resort offered a full board along with their honeymoon package.
We could choose our breakfast the night before by checking off a list of options.
Some of the options were:
- Vegan Omelet
- Grilled Tomato
- Banana Pancakes
- Fruit Platter
- Nasi Goreng
- Black rice
- Ayurvedic Soup
- Homemade Granola
- Smoothie Bowl
For lunch, we would usually get soup, a salad, and a small dessert.
Dinner included a 3-course meal and we could choose from two main dishes.
We could also choose to either have our meals at the hotel restaurant or on our own terrace.
It was so easy to find vegan food on our day trips to Ubud, Canggu, and Amed.
So easy, in fact, that it was really hard to choose which restaurants we wanted to visit!
Again, we researched Happy Cow in advance and actually only looked at all-vegan places, so we wouldn’t be overwhelmed with all the options.
Almost all the places we went by had a sign saying “vegan and vegetarian food” hanging outside!
Vegan Must-Eats in Bali
While this fermented soy dish is fairly pricey here in Austria, it’s a staple food in Indonesia and therefore incredibly cheap and omnipresent. Tempeh is easier digested than tofu and has a pleasant, nutty taste.
I mean, this is a no-brainer, right? My personal favorites were snake fruit and jackfruit. So delicious!
You can get Gado Gado at most restaurants and even beach huts. It’s a selection of raw and steamed veggies, tofu, and tempeh with a peanut dip. Sometimes they add a hard-boiled egg, but you can ask them to omit the egg.
What I bought in Bali
I didn’t do a whole lot of shopping. If you’ve read my post on How to Shop More Sustainably, you know that I try not to make impulse buys anymore.
While I’m not as strict on holidays, since I might see something I love and not have the chance to go back and buy it, I still try and stick to my personal wishlist.
For Bali the only thing on my wishlist was handbags.
I bought one small, round wicker bag (as seen above), one large, round paper straw bag, and a bamboo clutch.
I got all of them at art markets in either Ubud or Canggu and I love all three of them! They’re such classic summer staples and I wear them all the time.
Oh and I actually smuggled a Balinese woodworm to Austria in the bamboo bag!
A few weeks after the Honeymoon, I noticed that the box I stored the bag in was full of sawdust and there were tiny holes in one of the bamboo staves. I just left the bag on my balcony for a while and the colder climate in Austria seemed to have done the trick.
Apart from that, we only bought some edible souvenirs for our family in the form of artisanal vegan chocolate (we visited the manufacture ourselves!).
Would we go back?
Bali was an amazing experience and we are glad to have had the privilege to see this gorgeous island with its rich culture and meet their incredibly friendly people.
However, we decided we would not be going back anytime soon because, to us, it’s not worth the impact an 18+ hour flight has on the planet.
If we were surfers, divers, or hardcore yogis we might think differently, but for what we currently expect from our vacations, the Mediterranean sea is more than good enough and even accessible by train.
Furthermore, mass tourism clearly weighs heavy on Bali. While we tried our best to support local businesses and spend our money in such a way, that locals people would benefit from tourism rather than be exploited by it, many restaurants and hotels are visibly owned by white westerners. (Our hotel included! Even if they pay their employees above-average wages plus benefits.)
I hope you enjoyed this little throwback! You can find more travel content here.
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