My husband and I have always wanted to go to Bali before we had children. We never got the chance to honeymoon there, and so we have to bring our one-year-old toddler along with us on a family beach trip! Emma had always, and still is afraid of very loud and unfamiliar sounds. When she was 5 months old, we took her on a trip to Penang for her 1st beach holiday. She wasn’t impressed with the crashing waves and having her feet touch the sand … . Not to mention, she also fell very ill with the flu half way into the trip. This time, we were expecting it to be more fun as she can now walk and explore things on her own!
I don’t know why but deep down there is always this safety fear of travelling to Indonesia, or Thailand … or Vietnam. But, you’ll never know until you try it out, right? Of course, we would have jumped on the wagon without much second thought if we didn’t have a child. When you have a kid, especially a baby … naturally her interests come first. Parental instinct!
Most of Bali’s population adhere to Balinese Hinduism. We were delighted to see the awesome architecture of the buildings. The locals are very friendly as well. Often, we get mistaken for being Chinese tourists from China and we would get random Mandarin greetings from the locals. Since my hubby is Canadian, we just decided to tell people we are from Canada, instead of Malaysia. Saves us the hassle of explaining more!
We stayed at the lovely Melia Bali Hotel at Nusa Dua, which is a southern area of Bali. It is located about 20 km from Denpasar International Airport, Denpasar. That’s about a 20-30 minute drive, depending on the traffic. The hotel was exquisite, very traditional in its decor and architecture yet so warm and inviting. I believe Emma has grown to love the idea of staying at hotels, which is a good thing. I’m glad she doesn’t fuss about missing home and what not. What I liked about staying at this location is its safety and family-friendly facilities. It is a guarded area whereby most of the major resorts are situated along the beach. So when we took a walk by the beachfront, we could visit the other resorts as well.
We walked further away from Melia and came across Pirates Bay Bali, which is a fun treehouse-style restaurant. We climbed all the way to the top of the treehouse and had our fries and burgers for lunch. Emma was enjoying the experience since we had squirrels who kept trying to come close to our lunches! After a fulfilling meal, we hung out for a bit taking photos and sitting on the swings.
I found the beach sand to be quite rough. At first Emma didn’t like it. She wouldn’t walk on it until the second day where we took her into the water. Some parts of the beach had these black sand too, I’m not sure if they were actually broken rocks or something else. It was also very, very windy, and many people were playing kites on the beach.
Since Emma still needed her beauty naps in the room, we decided not to venture out on the full-day tours in a taxi. So we enjoyed the hotel’s pool and beach most of the time. We did take half a day to visit the Bali Safari & Marine Park, and Emma enjoyed it very much! We decided to just use the hotel’s tour services, and they helped arranged entrance tickets for us. I believe we paid about IDR 200K for each adult, and Emma got in for free of charge.The petting zoo was her favourite as she was intrigued with the guinea pigs, and loved the pony ride. I thought the petting zoo did a good job of putting up some hilarious safety signs. We didn’t finish watching the Balinese cultural show at the end of the visit as it was too lengthy, and Emma was already very tired.
Overall, it was a lovely, relaxing trip with a young child. I’m glad we all had a great time! Sometimes traveling with a baby can be quite stressful, but I’m sure we would return here for a visit again! It’s safe, clean and family-friendly. Very recommended for families!