Friday, March 6, 2015

A Week in Beautiful Bali

Admiring the view of the Tegenungan waterfall in Ubud

A year after our wedding, The Husband and I finally had some time to "officially" go on our honeymoon. (I say "officially" because, really, I feel like we are always on honeymoon.) We both craved an island vacation to escape the Winter (and Chinese New Year firecrackers) in Taiwan. Sunshine, good food and lots of cocktails were on the list of prerequisites. (We don't ask for much!) Eventually, we decided on Bali, Indonesia as it's a reasonable 5-hour flight from Taiwan, and neither of us had been there.

Planning our trip to Bali was somewhat tricky. On the one hand, we wanted to do absolutely nothing (preferably with some sort of beverage with an umbrella in it permanently attached to our hands) by the beach or pool for a week, but on the other hand we also wanted to explore the island we've heard so many other wanderlusters rave about. 

In the end, we decided to do a little bit of both during our eight days in Bali. We spent three nights in Nusa Dua, which is considered to be the most relaxed and luxurious area in Bali, to just veg out (which we surely did). We then went a little north to Seminyak for three nights, to experience more of the action that goes on in Bali, and ended our trip with two nights in Ubud, "the heart of Bali".

For the first three nights, we stayed at the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa. The staff were extremely friendly (but so is everyone in Bali, really) and I loved the gorgeous and well looked after lush green gardens, the beautiful pools and the nice, clean beach. We didn't really venture far from the resort, but we did visit the Bali Collection shopping center (which honestly, was kind of a snooze) and we made a little trip to the south to an area called Uluwatu.

We spent most of our time by the beach and pool, ate a lot of good food, drank a lot of Bintang and just relaxed to the max. We also attended a traditional Legong dance show and dinner, which was so interesting and mesmerizing to watch! If you ever have a chance to see one of these shows, don't even think twice about it. 

On our day trip to Uluwatu, we visited the famous Pura Luhur, one of the many spectacular temples in Bali. This one is on the edge of the majestic cliffs of Uluwatu. We also went to check out some of the well known surf spots.

In general, we liked Nusa Dua because we craved a relaxed atmosphere and a couple of days without doing much other than drinking from coconuts and sitting with our feet in the sand. It was exactly that! I highly recommend Nusa Dua for a romantic getaway.

Beach bum on Nusa Dua beach


The beautiful gardens of the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa

Sunset in Nusa Dua

Enjoying the spa pool at the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa

Walking around the grounds of the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa

Picture perfect pool day in Nusa Dua

Nusa Dua beach before sunset

Pura Luhur Uluwatu

Majestic cliffs of Uluwatu

Blue Point Beach, Uluwatu

Surfing at Uluwatu

After three days of chillin' like villains, we were off to Seminyak. We decided to go see Pura Tanah Lot first before checking in, which was quite cool to see in real life. (You will usually see a picture of this famous temple on brochures or travel ads of Bali) There were MANY people there, even though there aren't much else to do than take a few pics of the temple. (You could also pay to view a snake in a cave there... But who does that!?!)

We were excited for Seminyak, because by that time we needed a little more excitement. We stayed at the Seminyak Beach Resort & Spa for three nights, and we were lucky enough to get upgraded to an ocean view villa. The villa was AH-FREAKIN-MAZING, and truthfully, I would have been fine just hanging out in there for the next three days. This hotel was also very nice, and the location was perfect; close enough to the action in Seminyak, but far enough away from any noise. We didn't eat at the hotel (except for the delicious breakfast buffet), as there are so many great restaurants in Seminyak.

During our time in Seminyak, we visited many popular restaurants and viewed some spectacular sunsets from the famous Ku De Ta and La Plancha Beach Bar. The rest of the time we made good use of our villa and its private pool (I know! Spoilt brats).

Pura Tanah Lot

Our ocean view villa at the Seminyak Beach Resort and Spa

Pool time at the Seminyak Beach Resort and Spa

Sunset from Seminyak Beach

Fresh fruit for breakfast

Summer pool lovin'

Sunset cocktails at La Plancha Beach Bar and Restaurant in Seminyak

Enjoying our villa's pool at the Seminyak Beach Resort and Spa

Seminyak Beach

Island style

After three wonderful days of basically eating our way through Seminyak and living the high life in our villa, it was time to venture inland to Ubud. On our way there our driver took us to Tegenungan waterfall, which was just stunning. Definitely worth a quick stop! (Beware the ten thousand million steps down a hill to get there! Just kidding... it was only one million steps.) 

In Ubud, we stayed at The White Villas. Situated a mere 10-minutes' walk from Ubud center, it was the perfect location from where we could explore Ubud. I HIGHLY recommend The White Villas if you ever go to Ubud! They only have three villas on the property (which is absolutely gorgeous with lush green plants and trees, colorful flowers and a beautiful infinity pool). It was close to the town center, but far enough to be quiet. (Really, the only sound we could hear were roosters crowing.) Our villa was like being in a dream that you didn't want to wake up from.

We had two busy days in Ubud, as there was plenty to do and see. We had the best local food there, loved the laid back atmosphere and enjoyed walking around the little village. There are shops galore, and affordable spas every few meters. We visited the Sacred Monkey Forest, which was pretty interesting, and the monkeys were beyond adorable.

While in Ubud, we also visited Goa Gajah temple and went to see the rock carvings and rice paddies at Gunung Kawi. Also, what would a visit to Bali be without seeing the world famous rice terrace of Tegalalang. It really was breathtaking, and we enjoyed walking along the little paths in the rice fields.

Ubud was my favorite part of Bali, and if I were ever to return to the island, I'd like to stay there again. I loved exploring the village, getting lost in picturesque alleys and seeing all the temples. We also really enjoyed the food at the local warungs (the small local restaurants).

Exploring the grounds of Goa Gajah in Ubud

Goa Gajah "elephant cave" in Ubud

Rice paddies at Gunung Kawi in Ubud

Gunung Kawi rock carvings

Temple details at Pura Taman Saraswati in Ubud

Monkey business at the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud

Lookout point of the Tegalalang rice terrace in Ubud

Tegalalang rice terrace in Ubud

Statues around Ubud village

Our view from bed at The White Villas in Ubud

Thirsty, anyone?

Picturesque alleys in Ubud village

I'm so thankful that we got to visit Bali, and it really was the perfect place to enjoy our honeymoon. Next time (yep, already thinking about "next time"), I'd also like to visit Sanur, Jimbaran and the northern part of the island. I would also love to hop over to the Gili Islands!

I highly recommend visiting beautiful Bali! If you have any questions about our trip, please ask away. You can also email me at liesl@pretty-random-things.com

Happy Weekend, friends!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Long hair... I do care!

Hi all! What if you could get your dream hair texture, style and color in just a few seconds? I know you're thinking, "you must be joking!" or "yeah, right!", but I am very serious. In fact, I know that it’s most girls' dream to have long, stylish, gorgeous hair with beautiful styling and brilliant texture.



If you often dye and curl your hair, it will eventually be dry and damaged. Don't fear, I found a shop online that offers human hair extensions and human hair weaves. The hair extensions and weave looks like your own hair. They are actually made of 100% real human hair, so no one will even notice you’re wearing hair extensions.




CC HAIR EXTENSIONS is an online human hair extensions shop. They sell a variety of best human hair extensions, with high quality, but at a low price across the world. All hair extensions are made of 100% human hair without synthetics. I like that CC HAIR EXTENSIONS has a wide range of clip in hair extensions and clip in human hair extensions in different colors that will suit my needs. I browsed their website and found ones that match my current hair color, and they are very affordable too and fit my budget.


They offer a good return and exchange shipping policy, so you don’t have to worry about your money and your hair. If you have any questions,you can check their website and ask their customer service for help.

Monday, January 12, 2015

7 Years Ago...


Fresh out of university and antsy to start a new chapter in my life, I was very excited (and a teeny tiny bit petrified) when I boarded that plane in Cape Town back in 2008; that plane would take me from my beloved country to the other side of the world to the unknown. (Really, I knew zero about Taiwan. Only that it was a small island in Asia, and that I would teach English for a year and try to travel a bit while I was there.) Bye bye Table Mountain, family and friends and hello chopsticks, funny characters I can't read and lots and lots of scooters. Well, all these things happened, and then some...

Today is my 7-years-in-Taiwan anniversary. Yep, SEVEN! How did that happen!? Actually, the answer is quite simple; Life in Taiwan is great and this country has been good to me. I met the love of my life here, I've made friends from all over the world, I have a job that I'm passionate about (and they treat me well), I can travel easily from here, Taiwan is one of the safest countries in the world, the cost of living is affordable, Taipei is a super convenient city to live in and the list goes on and on... I guess the real question should be, "How could it not have happened!?"

Sometimes I think about what my life would have been like if I didn't make the choice to come to Taiwan. Where in the world would I be now? What would be different? I can't even imagine it. Let's just say I'm thankful that I made that decision to move to "the unknown", because it worked out pretty freakin' well for me and I wouldn't want it any other way. Thanks for seven thrilling, adventurous, crazy, exciting and happy years, Taiwan!

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