3 Beachless Days in Bali (Indonesia)

Amandari 11-min

When I told people I would be going to Bali, almost everybody assumed we were going to the beach. But in fact, the reason we booked a trip to Bali was not for its beaches but for its beautiful rice paddies.

3 Days Bali Rice Terrace

Our three days in Bali included a lot of elephants, rice fields and gorgeous villas. Here’s a rundown of what we did and the places we visited. I’m definitely coming back again next time to do more exploring because we hardly left our resorts on this trip! Oops. (But you’ll understand why when you see the photos…)

Note: This post is a summary of our Bali trip. For all the places mentioned, I will be writing separate articles on each of them, so keep an eye out for that!

Day 1, AM: Elephant Safari Park & Lodge

Elephant Safari Park Lodge Bali 6-min

The Elephant Safari Park Lodge is Bali’s only dedicated Elephant Rescue Park. The park is home to 27 Sumatran elephants who were rescued from their destroyed homes. Here, the elephants are fed well, provided spaces to swim and roam around and all of them are bathed daily.

Elephant Safari Park Lodge Bali 2-min

The park offers guests a lot of opportunities to interact with the elephants. You can feed them, play with them, go on a ride around the jungle and watch them perform on their very own talent show! But my absolute favorite was giving the elephants a nice bath and then swimming with them afterwards!

Elephant Safari Park Lodge Bali 4-min

The Elephant Safari Park Lodge is also one of the few establishments in the world that do not use brutal methods but instead use a “reward and repetition” method to train the elephants. I can’t wait to share with you guys more about this place in detail!


Day 1, Lunch: Rice Terrace Cafe

Rice Terrace Cafe 3-min

After an elephantastic morning (sorry, I might use this lame pun a lot… haha!) we checked out of the resort and had lunch at The Rice Terrace Cafe which had an amazing view of the famous Tegallalang Rice Terrace.

Rice Terrace Cafe 1-min

Enjoying my juice at our own private bale overlooking the rice terrace.

We meant to drop by the Tegallalang Rice Terrace itself but was pressed for time as we were checking in our next resort already at 2pm. Also, we were lugging around a big suitcase so it was impossible climb down the rice terrace with it (my dum-dum moment; I forgot about that when I was planning our itinerary!) So we just stayed at the Rice Terrace Cafe as we waited for the driver from Amandari to pick us up.

Day 1, PM: Amandari

Amandari 6-min

We checked in at our second resort (we went resort hopping for this trip!), Amandari, at around 2pm. It’s my first time at an Aman resort and I definitely came with high expectations. In other words, I was so excited.

Amandari 5-min

We were taken on a quick tour around the beautiful property. As expected, everything was picture perfect but nothing could have prepared me for what came next. As the staff opened the doors to our villa, our jaws dropped.

OH. MY. We have this all to ourselves?! Seriously?!

Amandari 1-min

Showing you guys just a teaser photo because I want to get you guys excited for my Amandari review. Haha! (UPDATE: Link to the full Amandari review here)

This is the sliding door from our villa on the way out to our private pool. This was probably the most beautiful and photogenic villa I’ve ever stayed in in my entire life.

Amandari 10-min

Later in the afternoon, we had afternoon tea by the poolside and enjoyed local sweets brought to Amandari by local women from the village. After that, we spent some time just lying down on the grass and enjoyed a peaceful afternoon.

Amandari 7-min

What sets Amandari apart from other resorts I’ve stayed in is how quiet, peaceful and private the whole experience was. It always felt as though we were the only ones there (plus just one or two other couples) and it was amazing.

Day 2, AM: Enjoying Amandari

Amandari 8-min

Woke up to the faint sound of crowing roosters and ordered in-room dining for breakfast. It’s not everyday you have a private bale right inside your villa, after all, so we took advantage.

Amandari 4-min

Spent the morning enjoying a luxurious outdoor bubble bath as Mor relaxed at the spa. Then I took a dip inside our private pool and as though that wasn’t enough, I also swam at Amandari’s gorgeous infinity pool before lunch time.


Day 2, PM: Four Seasons Resort at Sayan

Four Seasons Sayan 8-min

After checking out of Amandari, we were brought to our next resort which is at The Four Seasons Resorts Bali at Sayan.

Four Seasons Sayan 2-min

I was still in the middle of gawking at our crazy bathroom (We had a tub with a jungle view! What?!) and I didn’t want to leave just yet but we were called up and invited to go on a resort tour. I couldn’t say no to that! Yes, please! I want to see everything!

Four Seasons Sayan 4-min

The Four Seasons Resort at Sayan property was huge. There are just so many activities to do at the resort, that’s why I say it’s perfect for families traveling together. There’s a kids club, a spa, a beautifully designed Yoga bale, gardens and the list goes on. Something for everyone!

Four Seasons Sayan 5-min

One of the things I really loved about the resort though was that they had a beautiful view of the Ayung River. You can enjoy it if you go river rafting, book a riverfront villa or even just go lounging by the poolside (Yup, you can see the river raging just by hanging out at the pool!)

Four Seasons Sayan 3-min

Another way to enjoy the river was to dine at the Riverside Cafe. That’s what we did for dinner that night. After our delicious meal, we asked to be transferred to the outdoor area for dessert so we can enjoy looking up at the stars! We sure felt like honeymooners! Heehee.

Day 3, AM: A Day in the Life of a Balinese Farmer

Four Seasons Sayan Balinese Farmer 18-min

Woke up early the next morning to start a new adventure! The Four Seasons Resort at Sayan prepared an activity for us called “A Day in the Life of a Balinese Farmer” Here, we got to trek, visit local village houses and learn about rice planting.

Four Seasons Sayan Balinese Farmer 24-min

It’s not as easy as you’d think! Haha. The entire excursion took us half a day and it was so much fun! We had breakfast by the river and ended with a spa session. We were spoiled farmers! Haha. Read more about our experience here.

Day 3, PM: Late Checkout at Four Seasons

Four Seasons 1-min

Had an extremely late lunch after our Balinese Farmer experience. We asked for our lunch to be sent to our room because I just realized that we didn’t get to enjoy our private pool yet (too busy exploring the resort!) So here we are hitting two birds with one stone.

Four Seasons Sayan 6-min

Our flight was not until midnight and thankfully, The Four Seasons at Sayan offered us a late check-out and we got to stay until 8pm! Super thoughtful, right? So we had a lot of time to enjoy the resort’s other facilities.

We were supposed to go cycling that afternoon but it started raining so we decided to skip that. When the skies cleared a little, we went to take a quick dip at the infinity pool. (See how it has two levels? Pretty neat!)

Four Seasons Sayan 7-min

At around 6:30pm, there were traditional Balinese performers playing at the Jati Bar. We stayed for a while before going back to our room to pack our things. It was a great ending to a great stay.

Our Three Days in Bali

Bali Skies-min

In the end, our three days in Bali proved to be too short; we didn’t even have enough time to explore central Ubud. We also weren’t able to explore other areas in Bali such as in Nusa Dua, Seminyak and Kuta. But such is life as parents. Haha. We already count it as such a huge blessing just to be able to take 3 days off together, at the same time! (Related post: Traveling WITHOUT Your Baby)

We’ll be back, Bali. And we’ll probably bring Luke with us next time so that we don’t have to rush!

Read more about our Bali Trip here!

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  • Reply
    Benita James
    May 1, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    You really are having a wonderful time in Bali. Nice pictures.

    Bernie, xx
    The Style Fanatic

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      May 1, 2017 at 7:28 pm

      It was beautiful! Thanks Bernie!

  • Reply
    Angelica Jugueta
    May 2, 2017 at 11:05 am

    Most of the people I knew who went to Bali featured a lot of awesome beaches. But this one is a different view of Bali and it gave me more reasons to go visit the place. Thanks for sharing this Sheena! Will go find a cheap plane ticket now haha.

    Angelica|The PolyHobbyist

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      May 2, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      Hi Angelica! Wait for the seat sales haha! :) Visit Ubud if you want a different vibe from all the beaches!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    The resorts look amazing! I’m especially awed by your private villa in Amandari. I cannot wait to read your review of the resorts as well as your detailed blog post about your activities! 😀

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      May 2, 2017 at 12:54 pm

      Thanks Pia! Yes it was so beautiful!!

  • Reply
    May 3, 2017 at 7:23 am

    Hi Sheena is the Rice Terrace Cafe in the Elephant Lodge too? Or just a separate establishment? Thanks for blogging about Bali – we are going this Sept and it made me more excited! We were supposed to just stay in Seminyak but you convinced me to stay in Ubud too! Haha

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      May 3, 2017 at 7:57 am

      Hi Jam, so happy to hear! You definitely should go to Ubud. If I ever go back to Bali, I want to spend a few more days back in Ubud again. Elephant Safari Park Lodge is not in Ubud, fyi, it’s in Taro. Rice Terrace Cafe is a separate place altogether! :)

  • Reply
    Monique Galang
    May 3, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    what a very nice experience sheena! I’d love most is the interacting with elephants, hope i could experience it too.

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      May 3, 2017 at 6:34 pm

      It was wonderful Monique! Hoping you can also do that soon! <3

  • Reply
    May 6, 2017 at 1:11 am

    Three days in Bali seem way too short, but you certainly filled up your time with amazing experiences! I love that you visited to see the rice paddies instead! When I visited Costa Rica, everyone assumed we’d be relaxing at the beach all day, but we ended up doing a lot more exploring, road tripping and seeing wildlife and animals, which I’d much prefer than the beach! Those elephants look so fun to play with! <3

    Kim | Simply Lovebirds

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      May 6, 2017 at 8:17 am

      That sounds so much fun! I’m sure that’s exactly what I’ll be doing too if we visit Costa Rica!!

  • Reply
    Richel V.
    May 7, 2017 at 7:01 am

    The title grabbed at me since I only know Bali because of its beaches. But your adventures for three days seems so amazing! I’m bookmarking this for future reference

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      May 8, 2017 at 8:51 am

      Hi Richel! Yes it was fun!! Glad you liked it!

  • Reply
    May 8, 2017 at 11:12 am

    This looks like an absolute dream! I’ve seen and read how beautiful Bali is but these photos prove that the place is beyond beautiful. Ahh! If only teleporting was possible, I’d be in Bali by now haha

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      May 8, 2017 at 3:39 pm

      I would like to go back too!! You should definitely go next time! <3

  • Reply
    Agness of Fit Travelling
    September 1, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    Bali is a truly picturesque destination, Sheena! These beaches seem so awe-inspiring!

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      September 2, 2017 at 1:38 pm

      Hi Agness, we’ll visit the beaches next time. 😉

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