Guide to Indonesia: Bali
Bali is a wonderful island holiday destination that is known all over the world for its beaches and nightlife. There are many diverse areas of the island and it has a lot of incredible areas to explore.
How to get there
You can fly to Bali International Airport from any major city in Australia and Asia. From the airport, you can take a taxi to the part of the island you are staying in. However, the taxi drivers at the airport will hound you and try and rip you off, so stay strong and barter down the price. You can avoid this by arranging a transfer from your accommodation which will always be cheaper . This is usually available if you email them beforehand and ask.
Where to stay
Bali’s accommodation can be great value for money depending on which area you stay in. Avoid staying in Kuta as it is the busiest, most commercial part of Bali full of hassling street vendors and drunk tourists. Seminyak is the most upmarket and expensive beach area on the island and here you can rent entire villas with private pools.
Legian is the beach area next door to Seminyak which is cheaper. I stayed at Kuta Legian Resort and Pool Villas for $AUD80 a night with a friend ($AUD40 each). I would strongly recommend this place as the staff were lovely and you step from your balcony into the beautiful long pool and can swim over to the bar!
If you want a change from the beach, stay in Ubud, inland Bali. Here there are rice fields, markets, great food and yoga. I would highly recommend to stay at Joglo Abandon hotel. For $AUD53 a night you can get a huge 50sqm private bungalow. There is also a great pool and buffet breakfast each morning. Otherwise, I would recommend Puji Bungalow for $AUD45 a night. There is a great pool and they bring breakfast to your terrace each morning!
What to do
Ubud monkey forest
A visit to the monkey forest is an entertaining afternoon as you watch hundreds of monkeys jump at the treetops and play around you. You can feed them bananas and they are very comfortable around people, so don’t be too afraid. Just be prepared for them to try and explore your bag if you have food in it!
Explore the rice fields of Ubud
Just 15-20mins from Ubud, you can visit the super green and aesthetically pleasing rice fields of Tegalalang. If you’re comfortable with riding a scooter, rent one for the day to visit the fields as you really don’t need a tour. You can walk all around them and see locals working.
Afterwards, you can enjoy some nice food in one of the cafes above the fields. This is a great place to cool down after walking in the sun and has some great photo opportunities.
Take a yoga class
Bali is home to some of the best yoga studios and teachers, and most of them are based in Ubud. They are usually $10-$15 a session and some have beautiful forest views. But be warned, the humidity makes regular yoga turn into 35 degree bikram yoga! If you’re a real yoga buff, check out some of the many retreats they have on the island.
Watch the sunset on Legian beach
Legian beach is just beautiful at sunset. There are sun beds and little cafes along the stretch of beach where you can order a drink to watch the sunset. If you’re lucky one of the waiters will whip out a guitar and serenade you!
Relax on Blue Point beach
Down in the south of Bali in Uluwatu, Blue Point is one of the most beautiful beaches in the island. There are huge golden cliffs with beach bars perched on top such as the Single Fin bar. This beach is super popular for surfing.
Hike Mount Batur volcano at sunrise
This is one of the best things to do in Bali if you like hiking and are prepared for an early morning. You can book this through any of the tour offices in the street. You start at about 2am and hike up to the top in time for sunrise. Bring some warm clothes because as soon as you’re stationary the wind and elevation gets to you!
Go diving or snorkelling
Whether you’re a certified diver or more into snorkelling, you can’t take a trip to Indonesia without exploring the underwater world! You can arrange day trips from tour shops on the street easily. However, the best diving is definitely in the Gili islands so I would highly recommend staying on Gili T or Gili Air for part of your time in Indonesia.
Kuta is crawling with nightclubs and bars which often have great international DJs. Seminyak has quite a few upmarket nightclubs, however they are just as expensive as going out in Australia.
How long to stay
You could spend weeks in Bali and I would recommend spending time in several different areas such as Uluwatu, Legian and Ubud. However if you are short on time and are only staying in one area, up to a week is enough time.