The quickest way to reach Bali from Toronto, once you’ve beat traffic to the airport and cleared security, is to fly directly to Seoul (14 hours), and from there, to Denpasar (seven hours), site of the Indonesian island’s only international airport. Still, this paradisiacal Indonesian island, which is roughly halfway between Vietnam and northwest Australia, is well worth the journey—provided you stay for a couple weeks. Here, DailyXY’s ultimate, three-stop Bali itinerary.
Soon after landing, you’ll want to escape hot, crowded Denpasar. Head directly to Semara Uluwatu, a singular luxury property perched over the Indian Ocean. Here, impeccably manicured gardens and kitted-out villas—featuring 42-inch LCD TVs, air conditioning, marble bathrooms, rain showers and semi-private infinity pools—compliment the rugged beauty of the white limestone cliffs that line the coast. A short funicular ride away is Finn’s Beach Club, where 180 metres of private beach—plus bracing Balinese cocktails and ocean-fresh seafood—await.
Unplug: Gili Trawangan
For a more rustic form of relaxation, grab a high-speed ferry to Gili Trawangan, a tiny, sandy island, which is technically not part of Bali. Here, there are no motorized vehicles—only bicycles, plus bright blue skies and pristine, coral beaches. Shack up at the welcoming, laid-back Gili Eco Villas, and following this formula: Read a book in a hammock. Ride a horse-drawn carriage. Watch the sunset with a cocktail in hand. Repeat.
Don’t fear the tourists who descend on Seminyak: This buzzy beach town is overrun not by tour bus-riding fanny packers but well-travelled jet-setters. After checking in at one of many stellar hotels (from the legendary Legian to Semara’s sister establishment, go for tacos at the straight-of-L.A. taqueria, Motel Mexicola. Then, head over to the legendary beachfront bar, Ku De Ta, where you can watch surfers, courageous and dumb, battle the beach’s famous waves.
Ben Leszcz is a former editor of DailyXY. He spends his time galavanting around the world, hitting places like Belgrade, the Alps, and Paris. Check out his website here.
Photo courtesy of Jesse Wagstaff.