We spoke to Shih Fen (@shihfengavala) about living in Bali and got her tops tips for travelling to this beautiful tropical destination.

Tell us a little about yourself.

Hey I’m Shih Fen ( She-fun ) I am New Zealand Singaporean. I'm married to the most amazing guy and you've probably seen my two girls (Ilona and Mei Lan aka Mei Mei ) floating around with the cutest smiles on my Instagram. We live in New Zealand; it's such a beautiful country. I'm totally obsessing over Ete Swimwear’s new collection and my headtie label GAVALA and all the gorgeous babes who have been wearing them!

What drew you to live in Bali for part of the year?  

Before coming back to Bali this trip around, we lived in Bali for 3 years first moving there in 2013. Packing up everything and taking the girls with us.

Having a husband that loves to surf in his down time, moving to Bali was his idea. So of course we followed him there. I am so glad we did! It was suppose to only be a short trip, but we just fell in love with it.

I've heard so many stories like ours when people travel there for vacation but find it too hard to leave so they just end up living there. Bali is like a magnet. We love the warmth, tropical islands, the lifestyle, the friendships we made and the culture, and the experience we were able to give to our girls was soooo cool. We love not only Bali but other parts of Indonesia as well. So it’s always a place we Love to go back to.

Shih Fen gavala ete swimwear

Bali has so many different areas. What are your top 3 and why?

I love escaping to Nusa Lembongan, the island is quiet and has so many beautiful beaches to explore. I also love Amed, it’s quite a long drive up there but it is so peaceful and the views are just stunning. There's hardly any tourists and the snorkeling isn’t too bad there either.

But most of all we love the village we stay in which is in Badung. We have become friends with so many people here, it feels like home.

I believe The best thing to do is rent a bike and just drive around and explore, you’ll be amazed at the places you end up.

Where can we find the best views?

Oh wow, there are so many. Down in the Bukit there are many places with nice views. And you can get some pretty nice sunset views there too; it’s very picturesque with the golden beaches and blue water!

When is the best time to travel to Bali?

Me personally – I love travelling there around the end of the year, it’s off peak season, but it does get pretty wet. If you don't mind travelling in peak season, I think the best travel period is around middle of the year.

Do you have a favourite beach?

Yes I do and it’s a secret!

Whats your favourite activities to do on the island?

I love to just drive around on a scooter and try out different places to eat, relaxing at the Villa, and taking the girls down to the beach to watch the surf or have a play date. I just love to relax and do things day by day. 

Bali Villa

Wheres the best place to grab a bite to eat?  

We usually eat Nasi Campur which is local Indonesian food. Nasi Campur is a serving of rice and a mix of different dishes on one plate. Yum!

Watercress is where Jhan and I go for our lunch dates – their menu is incredible. I would love to try Green House Bali, apparently they have delicious vegan meals.

There are so many nice cafes and restaurants that serve light healthy meals. I am always amazed at how many cafes/restaurants/bars that constantly pop up out of nowhere. I can’t keep up!

Where can we find some great retail therapy?

I have so many favorite boutiques on the island. Petitinget and Seminyak have plenty of shops. You'll have to pop into Beachgold Bali they have beautiful resort wear and have just released their first resort line for kids! Uma and Leopold have the most detailed hand beaded and lace garments that are to die for. I am totally in love with Kevala homeware pottery, if you’re searching for something to take back for the kitchen you must visit their store!

What are your must have beach day accessories?

I love my Bali Body tanning oil, sunscreen, Ete Swimwear bikini and of course Gavala headties!

Shih fen gavala Ete swimwear

Finally, what are your top 5 tips for traveling to Bali? 

  1. Carry a big bottle of water around with you
  2. Pack plenty of bikinis
  3. Don’t forget your Bali Body
  4. Enjoy the banana pancakes ;)
  5. Rent a scooter and don’t forget to wear a helmet!

Check out @shihfengavala on Instagram for more Bali inspo!

Shop Shih Fen's look here: Talia Bralette bikini top & Ariel bottoms

For more travel guides read our Greek Island guide by @Matildadjerf or our Hawaii Guide by @miss.lendel!

November 27, 2016 — Jessica Williamson