Bali Travel Guide

I?m an expert when it comes to Bali; you can literally ask me anything about Bali. And love Bali dearly. Here are some of the questions I regularly answer to readers from around the world and so this is my start at making an ultimate Bali travel guide. Before you read on I must say that Bali isn?t for everyone. However, I really think that?s because there?s so many myths and misconceptions about what Bali actually is and isn?t. A tropical island it may be, but a tiny paradise island with only quiet beaches it is not. Anyway, here goes.

Where is Bali?

Bali is one of the many islands (over 18,000 islands!) of Indonesia, set in-between the islands of Java and Lombok. It?s a 3 hour flight from the closest Australian airport, and 3 hours from Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) which is a popular route for tourists flying from the West.

Why is Bali so popular?

With over 18,000 islands in Indonesia, Bali is a popular holiday destination because its culture is different from the rest of the country. Indonesia has the biggest Muslim population on the planet yet Bali is of a Hindu culture. Also known as the Island of Gods, the local Balinese people follow their own version of Hinduism. Beautiful temples, small and large, are scattered across the island and the locals perform ceremonies on a regular basis.

The island first became popular with surfers back in the 1970s who fell in love with the world class waves, and has been the number one holiday destination for Australian?s ever since. With friendly locals, a laidback environment, and a coastline of sandy beaches, Bali has fast become accustomed to welcoming all types of traveler; from backpackers and those on a budget, to high-end luxury travelers that enjoy the finer things in life.

In Bali there is something for all types of visitor. It must be remembered that Indonesia is a third-world country and, although you can spend big in fancy establishments if you want to, you can always walk across the street to a local eatery or shop and pay local prices. Imagine walking out of the incredible Potato Head Beach Club where it?s GBP6 for a drink, to a local restaurant (called a warung) where you can pay just GBP1 for your lunch. That?s one of the beauties of Bali; the low-end and high-end (and middle-end and every type of end) is all very much combined together.

How big is Bali?

It?s a bit of a myth that Bali is a small tropical island as, in fact, it?s a huge island of 2,200 square miles and the home of almost 4.5 million people. It has many villages, some of which have grown in stature to become mini towns. The main tourist areas stretch 10-15 kilometres from the airport along the coastline. However, there are also many other villages in Bali that are also popular and worth visiting. A drive from the South to the North takes around 3 hours. And Bali also has a few smaller islands off the main Bali Island that can be reached by a short boat ride ? check out Nusa Lembongan.

Map of Bali

As you can see, there are many areas in Bali and they all have something different to offer. However, it?s more or less possible to explore the island no matter where you?re based.

Map of Bali for tourists

What is the weather like in Bali?

There are two weather seasons in Bali: dry and wet. Dry season normally ranges from March until October. Wet season ranges from November to February. However, Bali is hot all year round, with temperatures quite steady in the mid-30s (Celsius). The rainy season is not always constant and everyone can be happy if the rain pours down for an hour to cool everything down. In the dry season the Bali climate is also very humid making it feel hotter than it actually is. It?s worth noting that although there could be a few clouds in the sky and a cool breeze at the beach, Bali is situated very close to the equator ? far nearer than anywhere in Europe ? and therefore the sun is far stronger so don?t be fooled, always wear sunscreen to be safe.

What to do in Bali?

There?s no short answer to that question. There?s also no long answer as it has so much to offer and you can do almost anything in Bali. Bali is host to surfing world championships so it?s always popular with surfers from around the glove. Bali has long sandy beaches, some with beach bars and packed with tourists, and some more secluded with idyllic views, clear waters. Bali has shops, loads of shops! It has great big malls with all the biggest brand stores and it has thousands of boutique shops owned by locals or foreign fashion designers. It has restaurants, local restaurants, mid-range restaurants, high-end restaurants with world famous chefs, restaurants on the beaches, and restaurants on rooftops. It has bars and clubs where you can drink the local beers on the cheap or dress up for a more classy night out. It has water parks and theme parks perfect for family holidays. I wouldn?t wish to guess how many spas it has as there?s one every 50 metres. It has many diving centres and schools and beautiful coral reefs in certain parts. It has quiet fishing villages. It has world class golf courses. It has volcanoes and mountains that can be trekked. It has waterfalls. It has a zoo. And it has a lot more.

Over the coming months I?ll expand on all of the above in new separate articles. Hope you enjoy it.

Tags: Bali, Travel Guide

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#FootballMumoftheYear: Tell us your ?football mum? experience!

Could you or someone you know be McDonald?s Football Mum of the Year 2017? 

For kids, football is about tearing around the pitch, the thrill of goals and great last-minute saves. For parents, it?s often about ferrying to matches, rummaging for the football kit, fundraising and coaching the team. These football mums help make it all happen for their football-loving kids!

At our #FootballMumoftheYear Twitter Party, we want to hear about your ?football mum? experiences ? especially those mums who lead by example: qualifying as coaches, managing the club?s finances, or even helping set up a local club. Give us your thoughts on how football mums can ratchet their involvement up a notch. And we want you to nominate yourself or other mums for Football Mum of the Year. 

Sponsored by McDonald?s UK, this party celebrates the Football Mum of the Year Award and encourages people to nominate a deserving ?football mum? ? those who dedicate countless hours of their time ? often while juggling work and childcare ? so their kids can enjoy playing football.

Come and join the chat and tweet us on Wednesday 29 March from 13:00 ? 14:00  and you could win 1 of 10 £25 shopping vouchers just for taking part!

To nominate your #FootballMumoftheYear, visit http://bit.ly/1JNkJzm and give them the recognition they truly deserve. Nominations end on the 30th of April 2017!

HOW TO TAKE PART AND JOIN THE FUN

Tweet on 29 March between 13:00 ? 14:00 about your ?football mum? experience, using the hashtag #FootballMumoftheYear.  10 lucky winners, chosen at random, will win a £25 shopping voucher.

  • #FootballMumoftheYear
  • Weds 29 March 2017 13:00 ? 14:00 GMT
  • Prize: 1 of 10 £25 shopping vouchers
  • Follow @BritMums and @BetterPlayUK
  • Tweet your ?football mum? experience
  • Don?t forget to visit http://bit.ly/1JNkJzm to nominate an amazing football mum you know!

Tweet now to enter!

Our co-hosts

Also tweeting are our co-hosts, who make the discussion that much better and are compensated for their involvement. Make sure you follow them too! 

Please read the Terms & Conditions.

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BritMums is the UK’s largest parent blogger collective. We offer bloggers the latest support, advice and how-tos as well as feature great content on food, travel, relationships, health, charities, crafting and much more. Our social network is free to join and helps bloggers connect with others; our BritMums Pro programme connects bloggers with brands on our high-quality projects and our annual conference, BritMums Live, is the blogging event of the year.

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Hasegawa admits ?worries? over vibrations | F1 Fanatic Round-up

In the round-up: Honda motorsport head Yusuke Hasegawa says the engine supplier are concerned about a potential weakness to vibration in their power unit.

F1 Fanatic Predictions Championship 2017

Win this genuine, race-used F1 rear wing endplateWin this genuine, race-used F1 rear wing endplateThe 2017 F1 Fanatic Predictions Championship has been launched and we have a new selection of prizes to be won for whoever can make the best predictions over the coming year.

This weekend we?ve got 13 prizes up for grabs. At the end of the year the top players will win genuine raced-used F1 car parts, top-of-the-range motor sport gaming gear and unique F1 artwork.

As always the F1 Fanatic Predictions Championship is free to enter and the prizes are available to players anywhere in the world. You?ve got until the scheduled start time of qualifying to make your first prediction, so enter here now:

From the forum

On this day in F1

Lewis Hamilton put his McLaren on pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix five years ago today.

For more information , click here . > See directly

Give a meal to the hungry today with a simple Instagram photo

Give a meal to the hungry today with a simple black and white Instagram shot of your plate. Helen Neale who writes the Kiddycharts website shares information on the amazing work by The Trussell Trust and how you can help. Over to Helen?

Sometimes you watch something that really changes your life.

The stark reality of this short film is shocking. A food parcel really can change a family?s life. It was this video that made me want to help The Trussell Trust raise more money for their UK food banks. Thanks to their partnership with Knorr on their Flavour For All food aid project, you can help too.

It is as simple as snapping a black & white picture on Instagram of your food, following @KnorrUK and using the #FlavourForAll hashtag.

Everytime you do this, Knorr will donate the value of a meal to The Trussell Trust and its foodbank scheme, so that this kind of thing happens less. It won?t stop completely, but we can make a difference. So please, do it now; it will take just five minutes to feed someone who needs it.

Donate Your Plate today.

It is all too easy to take what we have for granted; from the high heeled shoes we wear to work, to the packed lunches we give our kids for school, and the cereal we shouted at them to finish quickly before we tore out the door to get to the playground in time.

Clothes. Food. Shelter.

These are all basic needs, that your child must have to survive, but unbelievably are not always available to everyone, even in this country.

You would be surprised to learn that there are very possibly kids in your child?s school that have experienced food insecurity.

Until I started volunteering with The Trussell Trust, I didn?t even know what that meant. Experiencing food insecurity is how they describe those that cannot regularly eat a meal, or afford to put food on the table every day.

Imagine the fear of not being able to feed your children properly.

Go on. Just for a moment.

It was the realisation that there are 3 million people here in the UK that are malnourished inspired me to help The Trussell Trust with the Knorr UK #FlavourForAll campaign. Knorr are acutely aware of how flavour can have a wonderfully positive effect on health. There are, in fact, many studies showing a proven link between a lack of flavour in diet negatively affecting both energy levels and mental positivity.

The innovative Donate Your Plate social media campaign brings the flavour back into people?s lives; with Knorr injecting flavour, by adding colour, into your black and white Instagram pictures symbolising the impact that flavour has on your food.

The more black and white pictures shared, means more flavour in people?s lives, through the meal donations.

So don?t be part of the one third of millennials that don?t think that food poverty is an issue, or someone that just goes on with their life, oblivious to the fact that the child that sits next to theirs in class could be hungry.

Hunger doesn?t just happen elsewhere. It is happening here; now. I took the decision to help The Trussell Trust promote this campaign, as well as advise on it for free, so they could help feed more people at their food banks.

Why don?t you help too?

To Donate YOUR Plate:
Take a picture of your meal on your plate on Instagram,
Apply a black and white filter,
Follow @KnorrUK,
Add the #FlavourForAll hashtag,
Post your photo to your Instagram feed, and
Your work is done! You have now triggered a donation from Knorr to The Trussell Trust

Please spread the word on social media to your friends as well! Every photograph makes a difference.

More information on the campaign is available on the Knorr Flavour For All website (including full terms and conditions), and Instagram submissions will be accepted until 27th March. The Trussell Trust are aiming to reach over £15,000 in donations from this campaign, so come on ? lets show them the power of the parenting blog community and donate as many meals as we can.

1 photo= the value of 1 meal donated to The Trussell Trust, ends 27.03.17. For full terms and conditions please visit: https://www.knorr.com/uk/Flavourforall/Donateyourplate/termsandconditions.html

Helen Neale edits and writes the KiddyCharts parenting site; which offers photo personalised charts for the kids, as well as loads of other free printable resources; from potty training, to colouring and even a worry tree ? she has you covered! She is helping Trussell Trust with this particular social campaign, as part of a wider effort to do more for community and charity with the social skills she has learnt over the last 5 years. She has two kids, and KiddyCharts and her social media consultancy career have helped her to stay at home and be there for them more than she could when she was a business analyst. She can regularly be found hanging out on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, while desperately trying to avoid the Lego her kids have strewn all over the floor.

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BritMums is the UK’s largest parent blogger collective. We offer bloggers the latest support, advice and how-tos as well as feature great content on food, travel, relationships, health, charities, crafting and much more. Our social network is free to join and helps bloggers connect with others; our BritMums Pro programme connects bloggers with brands on our high-quality projects and our annual conference, BritMums Live, is the blogging event of the year.

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HOME & AWAY – LOS ANGELES

WORDS & IMAGES BY OMOLARA OBANISHOLA

California and Los Angeles in particular don?t quite win the accolade of once in a lifetime trip but Los Angeles should be on everyone?s must visit list. With increasingly frequent flights and direct trips costing as little as £500 I crossed LA off my must visit list with a stay in trendy Silverlake.

Located a stone?s throw from Sunset Boulevard and touted as the sunshine states Shoreditch it?s fair to see why people make those parallels, however in many ways Silverlake is more comparable to Berlin.  One of the most notable differences is definitely the pace.

What makes Silver Lake earn its stripes as one of the coolest places in LA to visit is that the area feels energetic; full of creatives, independent shops, restaurants, bars and things to do.

Yet Silverlake is eerily peaceful and actually quiet compared to other creative neighborhoods which have become victims of their own success, add to this a sub-tropical climate and ironically as the locals say? ?It?s chill?.

So what to do in Silverlake and the surrounding area?

Things to do:

5) Griffith Observatory

www.griffithobservatory.org

Visit the observatory for amazing views of LA and contemplate whether a return ticket was the right choice to make.

4) The Museum of Broken Relationships

https://brokenships.com

6751 Hollywood blvd, Los Angeles, CA

Maybe not everyone?s cup of tea but with work donated to the museum anonymously from people all over the world who have suffered break ups and lost loves, The Museum of Broken Relationships offers something refreshingly different in the middle of Hollywood. The second museum has opened in Zagreb, Croatia, with 8000 visitors in just four days.

3) Vintage clothing and record shops around Silverlake and Los Feliz

www.squaresvillevintage.com

1800 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA

Take advantage of the this being one of the most walkable neighborhoods to explore street art, coffee shops, vintage clothing and record shops.

2) Clifton?s Cafeteria

www.cliftonsla.com

648 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA

A fully restored 1950?s cafeteria in downtown LA with a steep history and comfort food galore. Upstairs contains a large bar complete with forest mural?s and life sized stuffed animals. Must see.

1) The Magic Castle 

www.magiccastlehotel.com

70001 Franklin Ave, Hollywood 90028

It seems slightly unfair to include this one as it is near impossible to get in and they strictly prohibit the use of phones, photos and videos. To experience the magic in action at the Academy of Magical Arts private members club, your options are; become a high roller in the entertainment industry and sign up for membership. As half of Los Angelinos are ?actors? you should be thinking Grammy, Oscar level status. Be an actual world class magician or like me have a friend who is training to be one.

What to eat: This deserves two.

Start your day right at LOCAL 

www.localsilverlake.com/

2943 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026, USA

Locally sourced and organic, naturally.  Choose the eggs served however you like, with salad, toast and home fries (diced potatoes with onion) finish with a bottomless coffee (which is the best morning motivation ever, strong as hell) and eye up the person next to you eating the french toast. Local serves breakfast and lunch with all food locally sourced, organic and reasonable enough to eat here every day. Beware though the staff are so nice you?ll likely end up tipping as much as the cost of your breakfast.

End your day at Diablo..

http://www.diablotacos.com/

3129 W. Sunset BLVD

Oh my taco! If there is one thing that pop ups as a must eat whilst in LA other than Kale it?s Tacos. How a piece of toasted Tortilla with salad, salsa and a choice of meats can taste that good is beyond me but they will become part of your staple diet whilst here. I tried the buttermilk chicken and rockfish taco at Diablo. Located at Diablo is closely compared to a sports bar you can watch all the major games whilst washing your tacos down with

If you?re lucky enough to have never tried a taco before they?ll give you a free T-shirt too.

What to drink:

Michelado: A Mexican drink made with beer, lime juice, sauces and spices. Try a diablo michelada which comes with an ice lolly dropped into the beer mug.  When in Silverlake?

Sleep:

http://www.madonnainn.com

The Madonna inn

100 Madonna Rd, San Louis Obispo, CA

Over a hundred kitsch themed and kitted out guest rooms with names such as Swiss chalet, jungle rock and Harvard sq. If you make it out of your room, indulge in the spa, horse riding or the onsite shopping.

Ask a local: Krystle Tabujara  

?Visit Mashti Malone?s ice cream parlour, it?s over twenty-five years old and has the most awesome flavours like rosewater, cucumber and saffron?.

Corn Cakes with ?Egg-shaped Pockets?

This is a typical dish from the Caribbean region of Colombia where they are sold on street stalls with a cup of coffee for an afternoon snack.

Egg-Stuffed Corn Cakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white corn flour
  • 2 1/2 cups warm water
  • kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs olive oil, plus more for frying
  • 8 eggs
  • Hot sauce, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Mix corn flour and salt in a bowl.
  2. Stir in 2 1/2 cups warm water and one tablespoon olive oil until dough forms; knead until smooth, 2?3 minutes.
  3. Divide dough into eight 4-oz. balls.
  4. Heat oil in a saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reads 325°.
  5. Flatten balls into round disks. Working in batches, fry, flipping once, until puffed, 3?4 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
  6. Increase oil to 375°.
  7. Slice incision horizontally without cutting all the way through to make a pocket. Crack 1 egg into pocket; fry until egg is set, 2?3 minutes.
  8. Drain on paper towels; serve with hot sauce (optional).

http://agirlcalledjack.com/corn-cakes-with-egg-shaped-pockets/

Tags: Corn

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Mediterranean Spaghetti with Garlic and Peppers Sauce

Mediterranean Spaghetti with Garlic and Peppers Sauce

Mediterranean Spaghetti with Garlic and Peppers Sauce

Ingredients

  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 8.5 oz whole grain pasta
  • 6 oz red peppers
  • 4 dried tomatoes
  • 1 ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 2.5 oz feta cheese
  • 4 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • Oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. 1. In a non-stick frying skillet heat the oil. Add chopped garlic and cook about thirty seconds.
  2. 2. This is just enough time to allow the flavor to mellow into the dish, and let the aroma to hit its peak.
  3. 3. Then, add the peppers and dried tomatoes; stir. When done, add the tomato sauce and oregano. Season salt and pepper to taste.
  4. 4. We recommend you to leave it over heat for at least 5 minutes in order to absorb the taste of vegetables. Mix the sauce and set aside.
  5. 5. Cook the spaghetti in water with salt. When cooked al dente (for authentic „al dente“ pasta, boil uncovered, stirring occasionally for 4 minutes), drain it.
  6. 6. Add the spaghetti sauce, grate cheese on top, add more oregano and serve.

http://agirlcalledjack.com/mediterranean-spaghetti-with-garlic-and-peppers-sauce/

This spaghetti with red pepper and garlic sauce is very simple to make and great for getting you out of a jam when you need a quick and easy recipe.

Tags: Feta cheese, Pasta

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Rustic Cheese Croquettes

Do not hesitate to try this easy-to-follow recipe for cheese croquettes. It is simply irres

Rustic Cheese Croquettes

Rustic Cheese Croquettes

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup skim milk
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 cup white cheese
  • Egg and breadcrumbs to coat
  • ½ cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and nutmeg to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the milk in a saucepan or in the microwave. Set aside. (This step is not necessary, so you can use cold or room temperature milk.)
  2. Chop the onion very thin and put in an already heated pan with butter and one tablespoon of oil. Sauté over low until translucent, about two minutes.
  3. Turn heat up to and add the flour, stir and leave for a couple of minutes to brown.
  4. Add the milk gradually while constantly stirring with a whisk or a wooden spoon to avoid lumps.
  5. Add the eggs and chopped cheese, and add salt and nutmeg to taste, add.
  6. Put it in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let cool.
  7. When cooled, spoon the dough and make croquette forms with your hands.
  8. Roll each croquette in the flour, egg and breadcrumbs.
  9. In a skillet with enough hot oil or in a fryer, fry the croquettes until brown on both sides.Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and serve.

http://agirlcalledjack.com/rustic-cheese-croquettes/

istible!

Tags: Cheese, Croquettes

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