The day after their sophisticated Southern destination wedding in South Carolina, Sarah (née Wade) and Andrew Baehr traveled to Indonesia and Hong Kong for a three-week-long trip of a lifetime to start their new marriage together.
Photo courtesy of Viceroy Bali
Desiring a blend of tranquility and adventure for their honeymoon, the couple chose to visit not one, but two areas of Bali. The first destination was Ubud, where they stayed for six nights at Viceroy Bali. “It was unbelievable!” affirms Sarah of the family-owned, five-star property. “The setting is amazing – right on this jungle ravine and far enough from the city center so you can relax, but close enough that it’s easy to spend the day in town.” With their own private pool and outdoor area, the pair spent a lot of time taking in the accommodations and dining on property; however, they also took excursions booked through their travel agent to the Lempuyang Temple, Mount Batur volcano, and the Tegallalang Rice Terraces. “Ubud was our favorite place of the entire trip,” exclaims Sarah. “We wanted to go somewhere neither of us had been that was different than what we had both experienced, and it definitely was!” Happily surprised by how delicious the food was, the newlyweds also recommend ordering babi guling, Bali’s classic pork entrée, as well as mie goreng, an Indonesian noodle dish.
Photo courtesy of Sarah & Andrew Baehr
Hoping to also get acquainted with a different side of Bali during their travels, the couple visited Canggu, spending five nights at Hotel Tugu Bali. “It was a very nice hotel that had a really cool rooftop restaurant with awesome views,” recommends Sarah, who also notes the great location. Although Canggu was their least-preferred part of the island due to the resort village seeming more heavily influenced by non-Indonesian cultures, Sarah and Andrew still immensely enjoyed the coastal surf town. “We did a food tour [through Bali Food Safari] which was so much fun!” she remembers, sharing their favored stops were Ji Restaurant Bali – which is housed in a reconstructed centuries-old temple – and Da Romeo Restaurant for fresh Italian fare. “We also took a cooking class [at The Santai] to learn how to make authentic Balinese cuisine, which I highly recommend.” On their way out of town, they visited the Uluwatu Temple, “which was awesome,” confirms Sarah of the colossal over-water cliffs crawling with monkeys.
Watching the sunrise. “We were jet-lagged so we woke up early to watch the sunrise over the ravine in Ubud from our patio the first morning. It was such a great start to an amazing trip!”
Hiking Pura Lempuyang. “This is a really cool hike where you get to see lots of different temples, monkeys, and that iconic ‘gateway’ picture with a view of the Agung volcano.”
Trekking the volcano. “We did a sunrise hike [through Bali Group Trekking Tour] on the Mount Batur volcano, which was a must and pretty thrilling.”
Photo courtesy of Ministry of Tourism, Republic of Indonesia
In addition to Bali, Sarah and Andrew wanted to see Indonesia’s Gili Islands. With three isles to choose from – Gili Trawangan, known for luxurious accommodations, Gili Meno, a remote, romantic location, and Gili Air, which falls somewhere in between – the pair decided upon the latter. “We chose Gili Air as we wanted the secluded feel but also some activity as we get bored just sitting on the beach for too long,” says Sarah. While they spent the majority of their time relaxing at the pool and on the sand, they also loved observing the natural setting. The island has no cars, just horse-drawn carts, and no police, just a village leader – though they both confirm they felt extremely safe. “The Gili Islands are more rustic than the other places we went, but it’s such a unique experience and was one of our favorites,” she smiles.
Photo courtesy of Sarah & Andrew Baehr
They called Atoll Haven in Gili Air home for four nights on this leg of their journey. “Atoll Haven was awesome! The property manager goes out of his way to help you schedule experiences and gives you a hand-drawn map of all the cool spots on the island,” notes Sarah. Accommodations feature your own pool and a private breakfast every morning. Days were spent lounging on the expansive beaches, at the pool, and snorkeling in the ocean, while evenings were filled with gazing at the sunset, savoring fresh seafood caught earlier in the day and grilled by the sea, and watching fire dancers at beach parties. Other cherished Gili Air activities included dining at Warung Sunny for Indonesian fare and viewing the sunset from Mowie’s Bar, an oceanfront eatery that offers a laid-back ambience complete with lounge chairs right on the sand. “It was probably our most relaxing part of the trip,” declares Sarah of the island destination.
Watching the sunset. “One of our favorite things to do in Gili was to set up at a restaurant or bar and watch the sunsets. They are unreal.”
Snorkeling. “It was awesome! We saw turtles and also some statues below that you can explore off of Gili Meno.”
Lounging on the beach. “There are swings in the middle of the ocean that are pretty picturesque.”
Photo courtesy of The Peninsula Hong Kong
Instead of flying straight home to New York from Indonesia, Sarah and Andrew made the most of their layover in Hong Kong by spending five nights at The Peninsula Hong Kong. “It was such a cool and different location compared to the others we saw,” she explains. “I highly recommend taking a few days here if you can!” The luxurious property provided the perfect end to their trip with gorgeous accommodations, beautiful views, and a city experience they loved. The hotel is located in the Tsim Sha Tsui area, which is known for shopping and nightlife; however, the newlyweds spent a lot of time on Hong Kong Island. “The hotel is right by the ferry, which is a must-ride,” Sarah urges. “You get an awesome view of the city, and it’s open-air and really fun.” They also enjoyed high tea at Clipper Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, took in stunning views at Victoria Peak, went to the race track, and tasted the fine fare the area has to offer – including seafood and dim sum at the Four Seasons Hong Kong’s Lung King Heen, the world's first Chinese restaurant to be awarded three Michelin stars.
Photo courtesy of Sarah & Andrew Baehr
After an unforgettable wedding weekend with their loved ones, Sarah and Andrew were thrilled to continue the joyous celebration with the honeymoon of their dreams. More than anything, the couple loved being able to visit multiple locations. “Going to four completely different places made our honeymoon pretty exciting,” muses Sarah. “Ubud was romantic and relaxing; Gili was rustic and more of a beach-party scene; Canggu was all about great food and shopping; and Hong Kong was luxurious.” Though they loved each of the destinations, they both agree they’d go back to Ubud to unwind; however, the locales in summation made their honeymoon unforgettable. “We wouldn’t do one a single thing differently,” she smiles. “It was perfect.”
Dining at Lung King Heen. “We had the best meal of the trip there. It’s pricey but so worth it.”
Watching horse racing. “We went to the Happy Valley Racecourse, which was a blast! They have cheap beer, and it’s just a super-fun experience.”
Exploring Victoria Peak. “You can hike to it or take a tram up, and it offers a beautiful view of the city.”
“If you have a long flight, break up the travel if you can and make it part of an extended trip!”
“Hire a travel agent. We recommend Maureen ‘Mo’ Smith at Travel Experts. She was the best!”
“Build in some days with nothing planned so you can explore or add on, as you’ll see and hear about additional things you’ll want to experience once you get there.”
“Talk to the locals if you can! We got most of our food recommendations from friendly strangers.”
“Schedule early-morning activities in the beginning of your trip as you will most likely be pretty jet-lagged.”
For more travel and honeymoon advice, take a look at this real couple's month-long honeymoon to Japan, Bali, Singapore, the Maldives, and the United Arab Emirates, see the romantic honeymoon of Zena Foster and R&B Singer Durrell "Tank" Babbs, and get honeymoon advice if you're traveling to Mozambique or South Africa!