Bali, 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 your going to fall in love with this little island; we all do!
If you are looking for a holiday that is 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 doubt one of the best islands that you can go to for the complete, fun filled holiday experience. No other island in the world seems to have the same type of attraction and draw the huge number of tourists that Bali seems to. 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 good bye to any bad jet lag or long haul flights; Bali is within easy reach and is also extremely affordable.
Quick facts about Bali
- Most of Bali’s beaches are black volcanic sand
- Bali depends heavily on tourism. About 75% of the entire Balinese economy is based on people like you and me and the rest of the world wide 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 and sure enough you will be addressing someone.
- Hindu 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 Rupiah and is roughly 9, 500 to 1 AUD at time of writing this. To put it into context Rp 10 000 for $1 will by you a 1 litre bottle of water.
- It takes 6.5 hours to fly from Sydney or Melbourne to Denpasar and around 3 hrs from Perth
- The time zone is + 8 hrs GMT
- Population is 4 million
- Most people eat rice, veggies and local dishes that have small amounts of 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 group of traveller’s coming to Bali are from Australia
- Bali has two distinct seasons; wet ( November – March ) and dry ( April – October )
- Bali is actually 4 islands. There are also a very small cluster of 3 other islands: Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan
- Bali has two very active volcanoes: Mt. Batur (5,600 feet) located in Bangli regency together with Mt. Agung (10,000 feet) in the East
- Lastly, the worlds most expensive coffee known as Kopi Luwak comes from Bali
Bali is truly unique
Bali is like no other destination in the world. It’s 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 in history, which is the main reason people keep on coming back time and time again.
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 that you simply cannot get enough of. Most people that fall in love with Bali end up coming 2 to 3 times a year. They all have their own reasons, but the common thread is really the people; they are just 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
On Bali, you can loose yourself in the chaos of Kuta or the self indulgent pleasures of Seminyak, surf world’s best waves, visit wonderful day spas, spend days shopping or simply 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 it’s nightlife, excitement, really cool cafes, shopping as well as a wealth of day spas, gyms and yoga studios. Most people who come to Bali end up staying in a Seminyak villa as it’s got 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 your want to be entertained, experience fine dining and like the idea of sending time in some of the best day clubs in Asia.
b) Sanur: a more peaceful area of Bali on the east coast. It’s favoured mostly by Europeans that come here for the peace and tranquility and of course the shopping and the beach
c) Canggu: what started out as a surfie, back packer alternative to Seminyak has now grown into a major tourist hub. Although not quite as busy as Seminyak it still has loads of great restaurants, cafes, days spas and yoga studios. People come here to stay in a villa as there are not too many hotels in this area.
Canggu is how Seminyak was say 10 years ago. 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 found and for that reason there is a mass of restaurants, bars, shops, basically anything you can think of is found right here in Legian. It’s right next door to the popular Seminak area which means that it still 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 really only 10 minutes away from some of those legendary hot spots like Ku De Ta & Potato Head.
f) Ubud: No visit to Bali would be complete without a t least a day trip to Ubud. It’s the cultural heart of Bali and is about a 90 min drive from Sanur inland. Here you get to see local artists, jewellers, painters and of course 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 good reason; the beaches are amazing, the surf is incredible 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 or so years has seen a huge shift in this dynamic with hordes of tourists coming up to The Bukit to also holiday in this piece of paradise.
Fun things to do in Bali
This list could go on and on but to make it more straight forward we have listed some fun things to do in Bali, whether your travelling 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 it’s very best and the red raw sunset colours are going to blow your mind.
Shop for a bargain
Bali is packed with local vendors in small shops selling anything from sarongs, t-shirts, wood carvings, artwork to jewellery and paintings. It’s so much fun setting off early in the morning and go wondering 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 are 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 some local cuisine along the way.
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 and very tasty and perhaps a bit spicy Balinese dishes. Try a local Nasi Goreng or a favourite Babi Guling ( suckling pig – absolutely delicious)
Learn the language
Learn to speak a few local words such as Bagus and 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; by weeks end you’ll have mastered a few words.
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. Make sure you have an international drivers license before you get on the bike and always wear a helmut.
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 best. It’s only going to cost your $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 in relaxation have a massage in your own villa.
Have a few beers
Taste the local beer called Bintang and while your 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’s got some amazing venues on the beach where you can say your vows and follow it up with an incredible party. The experience is sensational and quite unique.
Enjoy the beach clubs especially when it’s sunset o’clock!
Check out the new Cafe Del Mar beach club at Batu Belig. Theer are also loads of other most established beach clubs like; KU DE TA, Potato Head, WooBar, Omnia, Rock Bar & Mrs Sippy. Nothing beats a hard earned holiday cocktail while enjoying the sun dipping below the horizon.
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. If you want to be completely pampered and spoiled then you’ll love having your own private in house villa butler.
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.
Spending time in Bali should be on your bucket list. It’s a MUST to 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 and I am sure your will find one that is 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.
This article was written by Steven Waldberg one of the founders of Bali Villa Escapes whose absolute passion is Bali. Although based in Sydney he spends 5-6 months of the year in Bali on the look out for what’s happening, what’s new and what’s the in thing right now so he can share this with you.