Bali is an island like no other. Exotic culture, friendly people, nightlife, amazing beaches, spicy food, Instagrammable cafes, gorgeous holiday villas, the list goes on and on.
If you have never been to Bali, you’re going to fall in love with this little island paradise; we all do!
Bali is one of 17,500 islands in exotic Indonesia. It is the country’s most popular tourist destination, and it is a gorgeous and diverse island you can’t help but fall in love with. Bali is a Hindu island with a unique culture and traditions. There are thousands of Hindu temples to be admired on the island, and there are majestic and sacred volcanoes with impressive crater lakes and hot springs, but that is not all. It’s the island of endless rice terraces and stunning white and black sand beaches perfect for surfing, diving and snorkelling. There are trendy tourist towns where you will love to shop, dine and lounge at epic clubs with spectacular views. Bali is greatest for families, romantic couples, yogis, digital nomads, party-goers and surfers – Bali is a magical, beautiful island with something for everyone.
If you are looking for a holiday jam-packed with adventure, sport, culture, tasty food, nightlife, romance, friendly people, culture, excitement and luxury, then the island of Bali in Indonesia should be your next holiday destination. It is, without a doubt, one of the best islands that you can go to for a complete, fun-filled holiday experience. No other island in the world seems to have the same type of attraction and draw a huge number of tourists that Bali seems to attract. It is a tourist magnet, and it keeps on getting more popular.
The great news is that for many Australians, it’s only a short-haul plane light away – say goodbye to any bad jet lag or long-haul flights; Bali is within easy reach and extremely affordable.
Quick facts about Bali
- Most of Bali’s beaches are black volcanic sand.
- Bali depends heavily on tourism. About 75% of the Balinese economy is based on people like you and me and the rest of worldwide travellers coming over and spending an average of 6 days here.
- Wayan, Made, Nyoman, Ketut – these are the main names of any Balinese. All you need to do is say any of these names; sure enough, you will address someone.
- Hinduism is the main religion in Bali. You see it everywhere, from the small offerings on the ground to the multitude of daily ceremonies being carried out. The whole island is awash with Hindu life, culture and people. It’s such a colourful and delightful mix, which is part of the attraction of the island and a reason why so many people love coming here.
- The currency is the Rupiah, roughly 9,500 to 1 AUD, when writing this (23 March 2023). To put it into context, Rp 10,000 for $1 will buy you a 1-litre bottle of water.
- It takes 6.5 hours to fly from Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne to Denpasar and around 3 hours from Perth.
- The time zone is + 8 hrs GMT
- The population is 4 million
- Most people eat rice, veggies and local dishes with small chicken or fish.
- The main tourist areas are Seminyak, Legian, Ubud, Uluwatu and Sanur, with other areas like Canggu, Berawa, Batu Belig, Keramas and Umalas becoming more and more popular.
- Most travellers that come to Bali prefer to stay in either a hotel or a villa, with villa accommodation becoming increasingly more common.
- Bali is now popular as a wedding destination
- The island completely closes down one day per year, called Nyepi.
- According to WA Today, the biggest travellers coming to Bali are from Australia.
- Bali has two distinct seasons: wet ( November – March ) and dry ( April – October )
- Bali is actually 4 islands. There is also a small cluster of 3 other islands: Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan.
- Bali has two active volcanoes: Mt. Batur (5,600 feet), located in Bangli Regency, and Mt. Agung (10,000 feet) in the East.
- Bali is now fully open post-COVID-19 travel ban. Read this article for more information: https://thebalisun.com/bali-airport-receives-significant-amount-of-australian-tourists/
- Lastly, the world’s most expensive coffee, Kopi Luwak, comes from Bali.
Bali is truly unique.
Bali is like no other destination in the world. Its fabulously rich culture plays out at all levels of life, from the exquisite flower-petal offerings placed everywhere to the magical processions of happy garbed locals walking down the main busy roads as they go from one temple to another. There is always something colourful to see and some enchanting ceremony to watch. It is so full of culture and rich history, so people keep returning repeatedly.
Bali also has magnificent beaches, great surfing ( names like Uluwatu, Padang, Medewi, Canggu and Kuta will bring tears of joy to any surfer), trekking, mountain bike riding, yoga studios, incredible diving and fantastic Villa accommodation, but it’s really the essence of Bali that should capture your imagination and keep you coming back year after year.
It becomes an addiction, a place you cannot get enough of. Most people that fall in love with Bali end upcoming 2 to 3 times a year. They all have their reasons, but the common thread is the people; they are so down-to-earth and welcoming. It’s their smile that really sets them apart from any other nationality in the world. The Balinese are warm, generous, giving and extremely friendly.
Also Read: 5 Reasons Why I Love Bali
In Bali, you can lose yourself in the chaos of Kuta or the self-indulgent pleasures of Seminyak, surf the world’s best waves, visit wonderful day spas, spend days shopping or hang by the pool and do absolutely nothing. This is what Bali is all about.
Areas of Bali that might interest you
a) Seminyak: Known for its nightlife, excitement, really cool cafes, and shopping, as well as a wealth of day spas, gyms and yoga studios. Most people who come to Bali stay in a Seminyak villa as it has everything for the modern-day traveller. It’s so convenient as a location, and being right on the beach makes it the perfect family destination. Seminyak is the place to be if you want to be entertained, experience fine dining and like the idea of spending time at some of the best day clubs in Asia.
b) Sanur: A more peaceful area of Bali on the east coast. It’s a charming little beachside village with beautiful sunrises and a long, shady beach with family-friendly beach clubs. It’s favoured mostly by European families and elderly that come here for the peace and tranquillity and, of course, the shopping and the beach
c) Canggu: What started as a surfie, backpacker alternative to Seminyak has now grown into a major tourist hub packed with surfers, hipsters, nomads, expats – you name it. It’s the hottest tourist destination on the island, with amazing beach clubs, coffee hubs, yoga studios, private villas, spas, markets and more. People come here to stay in a villa as there are not many hotels in this area. Berawa and Batu Bolong are the most busy and popular areas to stay, and if you’re looking for something a little quieter, go for Pererenan or Seseh. Canggu is how Seminyak was 10 years ago. You better see it now before it changes. There is rapid tourism happening here, which some might say is unfortunate. But this is Bali, and things change and evolve very quickly here.
d) Legian: This is one of the first areas of Bali that tourists find, and for that reason, there is a mass of restaurants, bars, shops, and basically anything you can think of is found right here in Legian. It’s next door to the popular Seminyak area, which shares the same buzz and activity. The beach here at Legian, especially around the Double Six area, is extremely popular for watching the famous Balinese sunsets at the many beach bars.
e) Umalas: This area is just outside Seminyak and has recently become extremely popular because of the fact that there are still rice fields around. Most of the villas and the hotels are in the rice fields with gorgeous views, hence the attraction. It’s such a good spot because it’s so chilled out and tranquil, yet you would hardly know that you are only 10 minutes away from legendary hot spots like Ku De Ta & Potato Head Beach Clubs.
f) Ubud: No visit to Bali would be complete without at least a day trip to Ubud. It’s the cultural heart of Bali and is about a 90-minute drive from Sanur inland. Here you get to see local artists, jewellers, painters and sensational rice field views in the Tegallalang area. It’s the spiritual heartland of Bali, and people come here to find themselves, learn to cook Balinese food or better their yoga practice. Ubud is about loads of downtime, eating at vegan cafes, checking out the cheeky monkeys at the Monkey Forest Temple and shopping for the ultimate painting, souvenir or sarong.
g) Uluwatu: For most people, the whole of the Bukit area on the southern tip of Bali is known as Uluwatu. This is the most well-known area, and for a good reason; the beaches, the surf, and the clifftop views are dramatic. Uluwatu, until recently, has been somewhat ignored by tourists and has been more frequented by surfers looking to escape the crowds. The last 5 years have seen a huge shift in this dynamic, with hordes of tourists coming to The Bukit to also holiday in this paradise.
h) Amed: Amed is a sleepy village in East Bali captured in between the almighty Mount Agun and the Indian Ocean. The natural scenery is absolutely breathtaking, and it is wonderfully quiet if you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle in the South for a little while. Amed is great if you want to go snorkelling, diving or climb Mount Agung. You can also take the boat to the Gili Islands from here, should that be on your list of go-to places (it should!).
i) Nusa Lembongan: Nusa Lembongan is a small island located just a short boat ride away from Sanur. The island has beautiful beaches and viewpoints. It has amazing surfing spots, and it’s also a great place to go diving.
Fun things to do in Bali
This list could go on and on, but to make it more straightforward, we have listed some fun things to do in Bali, whether you travel with kids or not.
Sunset at the beach
Make sure you go to the beach at sunset for the most incredible spectacle of your life. This is nature at its very best, and the sunset colours are going to blow your mind. The best beaches for sunset are Echo Beach in Canggu, Double Six Beach in Seminyak, Batu Belig Beach, Legian Beach and Kuta Beach.
Shop for a bargain.
Bali is packed with local vendors in small shops selling anything from sarongs, t-shirts, wood carvings, and artwork to jewellery and paintings. It’s so much fun setting off early in the morning and wandering the local markets and shops looking for a bargain or souvenir. The locals are super friendly and always happy to engage with you, even if you don’t buy anything. The biggest concentration of shops is to be found in the Kuta, Legian and Ubud areas. So put on your good walking shoes and be prepared for a fun day out shopping, chatting and eating local cuisine.
Rent a surfboard
Rent a surfboard and get in the water. Temperatures in the water are tropical warm, so there’s no excuse to get wet and learn a new sport. You can hire a surfboard at most beaches as well as a surf instructor – see the video below about surfing for beginners in Canggu.
Enjoy the local cuisine.
Learn to sample some new tasty and perhaps a bit spicy Balinese dishes. Try a local Nasi Goreng or a favourite Babi Guling ( suckling pig – absolutely delicious). You might also like to try local cuisine at the famous MakBeng Warung (Warung is a restaurant ) in Sanur. This super popular place is packed year-round with people trying their one dish: fish soup. From the video below, you can see how popular it is.
Hang out at some amazing cafes.
Bali, especially areas like Seminyak, Canggu, Berawa and Uluwatu, has a strong cafe culture where you can sample some of the best Western-style dishes on the island. There are cafes to satisfy most tastes, and all have menus for the kids. There are even large shopping complexes that have lots of cafes to take the whole family or sit and spend the day on the computer, as so many digital nomads do.
Take a cooking class.
Bali has amazing cuisine; the food can be spicy, hot, and tasty. Why not learn to cook some dishes like Babi Guling, Nasi Goreng and even Sate? There are many cooking schools in Bali; some of the best are in Ubud. See what Trip Advisor says about the best cooking classes in Ubud.
Learn the language
Learn to speak a few local words, such as Bagus, Tidak or Terih Makasih. Chat with the locals; you will find that they are ultra-friendly and really willing to engage with foreigners. Plus, the language is not so hard; you’ll have mastered a few words by the week’s end.
Rent a scooter
Rent a scooter and see other parts of the island – this is probably the easiest way to get around because of the traffic, especially around Seminyak, Petitenget & Oberoi. Ensure you have an international driver’s license before you get on the bike, and always wear a helmet.
See the rice fields in Ubud.
Go to the Tegallalang rice fields for that perfect Instagram shot in Ubud, followed by a trek at the Campuhan Ridge Walk.
Enjoy a Balinese massage.
Grab a cheap massage and have the best experience of your life – or near the best. It’s only going to cost you $10 for the hour, but it will leave you feeling completely refreshed, and you’ll find those knots in your back gone. For the ultimate relaxation, have a massage in your villa. There are also many upmarket day spas where you can get a massage and a lot of body pampering.
Have a few beers.
Taste the local beer called Bintang, and while you’re doing that, perhaps try some Padang food called Masakan Padang. You can buy beers anywhere, including convenience stores like Circle K & Indomaret.
Bali is the perfect place to tie the knot. It has some amazing beach venues where you can say your vows and follow it up with an incredible party. The experience is sensational and unique.
Enjoy the beach clubs, especially when it’s sunset o’clock!
Check out the new Atlas Beach Fest beach club at Berawa. There are also many other established beach clubs like KU DE TA, Potato Head, WooBar, Savaya, Rock Bar & Cafe Del Mar. Nothing beats a hard-earned holiday cocktail while enjoying the sun dipping below the horizon.
Seminyak and Canggu are the beach club hubs of Bali with names like KU DE TA, Finns, Atlas Beach Fest, Mari Beach House and Potato Head all within a couple of km’s of each other. If you’re coming to Bali on a holiday make sure you visit a couple of beach clubs for sunset drinks, great food good vibes, chilled music, people watching and of course the sensational beach views. 🌱🎉 #balivilla #balivillaescapes #seminyakbali #seminyak #beachclub #beachclubbali
Enjoy villa living
Stay in a holiday villa for a truly unique experience. Ditch the old ways of staying in a hotel and holiday in what can only be described as bliss. You’ll love having your private in-house villa butler if you want to be completely pampered and spoiled.
White water rafting down the Ayung River
Book a white water rafting tour in Ubud. There are heaps of other things to do in Ubud, but this is probably the most adrenaline-packed.
Bali for families
Bali is a family paradise! The island is tropical, exotic, mystical, safe, and full of fun things to do to entertain the entire family. From south to north, east to west, there are tranquil little coastal villages as well as buzzing beach towns where you can shop, dine and hang out at famous family-friendly clubs and visit family spas (think mom & me spa packages). In Bali, you can visit temples, volcanoes and ancient heritage sites. You can go snorkelling, diving and surfing and take the kids to safari parks, zoos and waterparks. You can spot dolphins, encounter elephants, and take selfies with monkeys sitting on your shoulders. There are fabulous family cafes with playgrounds and activities in Canggu, Seminyak and Sanur. There are beautiful family villas with toys, bunk beds and in some cases even playgrounds and TV rooms – it’s wonderful! You can explore Bali with a private car and driver; it doesn’t have to break the bank. It’s a very comfortable and safe way of seeing the island. There are Western supermarkets, pharmacies and hospitals on the island, and everything can be arranged to make your family stay safe and comfortable (think pool fence, baby car seat, high chair, baby bed, etc.).
Also read: Family Friendly Villas Seminyak Bali.
Things to do with kids
- Waterbom Bali Kuta
- Finn’s Recreation Club Canggu
- Bali Safari & Marine Park Ketewel
- Dolphin Watching Tour Lovina
- Devdan Show Nusa Dua
- Kecak Dance Uluwatu
- Dream Museum Zone Seminyak
- Bali Zoo Gianyar
- Pod Origin Chocolate Farm & Factory Ubud
- Bali Bird Park Ubud
- Sacred Monkey Forest Ubud
- Rafting Ubud
- Sea Walker Nusa Dua
- Bali Treetop Adventure Park Bedugul
- The Pirates Bay Nusa Dua
- Park Life Canggu
Bali for couples
Bali is definitely a top choice for romantic couples and honeymooners. Many couples choose to have their wedding here in Bali or fly over for an unforgettable honeymoon, floating away in a bubble of love. Bali is a small island but incredibly diverse, with gorgeous white and black sand beaches, dramatic clifftops, holy volcanoes, breathtaking rice field sceneries and thousands of temples. Deep river valleys with hidden waterfalls, peaking volcanoes and buzzing tourist towns with fantastic beach clubs and restaurants. No matter where you are from, you will love to rent a Bali villa with your lover and explore the island on a motorbike or with a personal chauffeur. The island exudes mysticism and romance. Could those Hindu Gods have something to do with it?
Things to do for couples
- Enjoying each other’s exclusive company at your private pool villa(!!!)
- Silver Jewellery – doing a workshop
- Sunset drinks on the beach
- Romantic dinner in Seminyak & Canggu
- Catamaran cruise to Nusa Lembongan
- Scooter trip to Uluwatu
- Visiting Tanah Lot, Pura Ulun Danu Beratan & Uluwatu temple
- Partying in Canggu, Uluwatu and Seminyak
- Watching a cultural dance in Ubud
- Shopping in Seminyak or Canggu
- Dinner at Jimbaran Bay (delicious food)
- Cafe hopping at Jalan Batu Bolong or Jalan Pantai Berawa
- Learn to surf at Old Man’s Beach
- Go to the new Atlas Beach Fest Club
- Go to the spa and get pampered. (There are heavenly spa packages for couples and honeymooners)
Also Read: Seminyak for Couples
Bali for groups of friends
If you are looking for a holiday destination where you can enjoy the tranquil island life, go partying, surf and dine at chic trending restaurants. Come to Bali! A great place for a girl’s trip or a holiday with your mates. Swimming, sports, shopping, sunset drinks, nightlife, you can combine it all in one holiday.
Things to do
- Surfing with friends
- Shopping with the girls
- High tea in Seminyak – some of the best restaurants are Kim Soo, Biku, W Retreat, Metis & Housewives on Fire
- Spa treatments – make sure you go to Rob Peetoom & Sundari Day Spa in Petitenget, The Shampoo Lounge at the top of Eat Street Seminyak, Spring Day Spa in Canggu, The Blow Bar in Seminyak and Think Pink Nails in Batu Belig.
- Canyoning and rafting
- Hiking to the top of Mount Batur
- Beach clubbing
- Snorkelling in Amed, Menjangan Island and Nusa Lembongan
- Diving in Amed, Menjangan Island and Nusa Lembongan
- Catamaran cruise to Nusa Lembongan
- Yoga in Canggu and Ubud
- Motorbike trips to Uluwatu, Kintamani or anywhere
- Partying in Canggu & Seminyak (see the video below to get an idea of some of the best beach clubs in Canggu)
Bali for beautiful weddings
Bali has many amazing beachfront and clifftop villas. Places where dream weddings happen! Beach weddings, jungle weddings, luxury villa weddings, and clifftop weddings, it’s all possible in Bali. Uluwatu is the best for clifftop weddings, and there are villas there that will blow your mind! Ubud is the place to be for jungle and waterfall weddings, and for a hidden beach wedding, we recommend the east or west coast of Bali.
Also read Wedding Villas in Bali you will Love
Bali for yoga retreats
Bali is all about healing, rejuvenating and finding yourself for some people. Ubud and Canggu are great places for yogis and yoginis on a journey to self-healing and rejuvenation of the body, mind and soul. There are some magnificent yoga villas. Yes, gorgeous villas with private yoga pavilions and all the equipment are ideal for all kinds of yoga and wellness retreats. Have you heard about the annual Bali Spirit Festival? It usually takes place somewhere in or around Ubud, and it is a great spiritual event combining yoga, healing workshops, music and dance.
Where to stay in Bali?
Bali is a relatively small island. You could book a villa in your favourite town, such as Seminyak or Canggu and go on day trips from there to see the island’s most magnificent places. Hiring a private driver is not expensive at all when compared to prices in the West, and it’s a very comfortable way of travelling around and seeing the island. You can also opt to stay at different villas across the island. You could spend a week exploring the busy south and then experience the tranquillity of East Bali or West Bali. You can go surfing and clubbing in the East, sniff up some culture in and around Ubud and then go diving and snorkelling in East or West Bali. We also highly recommend seeing Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida.
Spending time in Bali should be on your bucket list. It’s a MUST-do experience, and here at Bali Villa Escapes, we are here to help you turn your holiday into a reality.
Browse our range of Villas; I am sure you will find one to your taste and budget. With over 925 to choose from, we definitely have the right villa at the right price for your next Bali holiday.