Australian photographer and editor Cynthia Sciberras, who escapes to Bali often to find solitude, inspiration, good food and yoga, shares her insider tips to some special places within the Bali hot spots of Canggu, Ubud and Semiyak.
Where did you find the best coffee?
Believe it or not, you can now find great coffee on this tropical island. A galore of coffee houses have popped up, such as Seniman on Jalan Sriwedari in Ubud, they have the best coffee going on in town. Tucked away down a quiet street, their roaster is directly opposite, so you can buy their coffee beans direct. Another is Betelnut Café in Canggu on Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong, which not only has great coffee but also fabulous breakfasts. And a little taste of home, Souq Café is serving up Toby’s Estate Coffee at Jl. Basangkasa in Seminyak.
Where did you have the best cocktail?
Lacalita does fabulous modern Mexican food and just as importantly they make the best fresh hand crafted cocktails. Their Bloody Mary’s went down a treat! Canggu on Jl Raya Batu Bolong.
Where did you enjoy yoga and a little pampering?
There is much going on in the way of yoga in Bali, drawing fabulous yoga teachers to Bali for some time. So you are spoilt of choice. Desa Seni Village Resort has a daily yoga timetable for different levels, including beginners. As does Samadi Bali, which also has a fabulous organic café, and yoga and wellness centre. Both are in Canggu.
Ubud is the mecca for anyone wanting to do a yoga retreat. Radiantly Alive Yoga and the Yoga Barn are popular. Worth checking out. Dragonfly Village holds different retreats with different teachers and they are right in the rice fields.
For a little treat to me toes and feet, I head to Goldust Beauty Lounge in Canggu. It’s a modest, professional and friendly salon. They do great full body massages and they are well known for their 24-carat Goldust facial treatments. Although, sadly, I’ve yet to experience one.
Where did you enjoy the best breakfast?
In Ubud, head to Indus or The Kafe for great food and coffee. Canggu has some great places for breakfast but if you’re after wholesome food head to the Sunday organic market in Canggu, which has an organic café – its menu is different, with a little Indian twist.
Where was the best local view?
When in Ubud, it’s the rain forest and rice fields that are most exciting. For an easy walk and good spot to take landscape photos, head to Ibah Resort and there will be two paths: hang to the left and follow the path. Walk far enough and you’ll find a restaurant with a splendid view. I love this spot and it’s free! Take your camera and water.
What is one thing you can do for free?
Tanah Lot Temple is one of Bali’s most popular places. Not far from Canguu and Kuta, this Balinese Hindu Temple is adrift on the ocean and has the most magnificent view at sunset. There are several points to see this temple in all its glory.
What was your favourite thing to do?
I love to get on my scooter and discover new places and visit small remote villages, where tourists don’t go and development is yet to happen.
Oh and I love some pampering by staying at Ibah Resort in Ubud, one of my favorite pools and resorts to escape to.
Where did you most like staying?
I love staying at Wanderlust Villa. It’s a newly renovated villa and a little oasis of tranquility in the heart of Canggu, two minutes from the beach. Found it on Airbnb.
Why do you love Bali?
I love the locals and how the Balinese dedicate a portion of their day to ritual of offerings and prayer. Basically, it’s a ritual of giving back what has been given by the Gods, a sharing based on gratitude for the richness of life. This alone makes it one special place on earth for me.
Cynthia Sciberras believes that when you come from an authentic place of love and creativity, all is possible. When not consumed as the Editor in Chief for YOKE magazine, she can be found with her camera shooting humans of many different ages and angles, hanging out with her two beloved rescue cats and partner, and practicing her yoga in sunny Sydney.