Bali is an island east of Java, in Indonesia. The island is barely 150km/93mi across which means you have a very good chance to see the entire island if you plan your trip well. It is recommended to hire a personal driver/guide who knows the roads. You could be lucky and see one of the island’s active volcanos and even climb up for a spectacular view (morning time is recommended, to catch the sunrise). It is highly likely to run into Australians since Australia is close by, many of which visit Bali often.
A long flight from Europe or USA and Canada, Bali is a sun destination that might be worth the trip.
The people are friendly, warmhearted, and very laidback. Haggling shouldn’t be too hard if you find that certain souvenirs are overpriced. Almost anything in Bali is negotiable and all it takes is to ask! Even though Indonesia is an Islamic country, Bali is predominantly Hindu. Therefore there is an abundance of absolutely beautiful Balinese Hindu temples, and quite a few are must-see. Pick up some of the flyers at the airport upon arrival to find information about available tours and guides/drivers. Many of them use WhatsApp for contact information. Some things to do: visit popular temples, go get Balinese massage, local Balinese food, snorkeling, hiking, watch performances celebrating Balinese culture.
OVERRATED (Be warned!): -Scooter rentals can get you into trouble with the local police if you are stopped and don’t have adequate documents (e.g. international driving license). The rental place might convince you that a helmet is not mandatory, while the police will issue you a ticket. -Traffic can get heavy at peak hours, especially in well known touristic areas. It is not uncommon to see bike and scooter riders mount the sidewalks when faced with congested roads. Safety doesn’t seem to be a major concern there. -The waters at Blue Lagoon can be highly polluted, so expect to see many plastic bags and wrappers floating around along with the island’s beautiful and unique fish. A bit of a shame, but you might be lucky if Bali decided to clean it up.
UNDERRATED (Cool unknown facts): -Taxis are cheap and quick, but consider walking to take in the local cultural beauty and avoid heavy traffic. -Private villas are totally worth it! See if you can book one instead of a conventional hotel. -Local outdoor markets and small food venders are a must for foodies who don’t mind trying new things. See what you think about their fruit called Salak (“Snake Fruit”). -Believe it or not, there are some phenomenal Italian restaurants – try “Pizza Pasta Bali” or “La Baracca” which are owned by Italians who moved to Bali and opened these fine establishments.
Ever been to Bali? What did you find overrated/underrated? Leave a comment below with your opinion!