Rice fields in Bali

Here Are Our Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Make Bali Your Next Holiday Destination!

Why go to Bali? This is a question I found myself asking my partner when she suggested we go to Bali. Surely there was somewhere closer we could to!

Well, after a convincing (i.e. telling) me that we should go, I can honestly say it was a great suggestion and was the best holiday I have ever experienced. From the blissful beaches and stunning temples, to the culinary scene, there are so many reasons to go and so much to do once you're there. 

  • The locals: The Balinese are super friendly and welcoming, always happy to spark a conversation, and love to teach you as much about their island and traditions as possible.
    Kelingking Beach in Nusa Penida
  • Beaches: You will see some of the most breath-taking beaches in Bali. The white sand and the warm, crystal clear water is something to behold – Especially Diamond Beach on the island Nusa Penida, which leads me on to my next point; Broken Beach in Nusa Penida
  • The many nearby islands: There are over 17,000 islands surrounding the mainland, most of which you can visit, all with their own charm and character. The main hotspots on everyone’s list “for the ‘gram” are Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembonga, and Nusa Ceningan, however there are many other islands that are just as beautiful and are less crowded.Tegenungan Waterfall Near Ubud
  • The waterfalls: Get away from the coastlines and venture a bit further inland and you will be welcomed by a world of awe-inspiring waterfalls. There are so many that Sharne and I only managed to scratch the surface during our time there. This included the popular GitGit that is north of the island and Tegenungan waterfall near Ubud! Barong Dance in Bali
  • Culture and Customs: The culture alone is one of the top reasons to go to Bali. The dances, shadow plays, and arts really allow you to appreciate this beautiful island. One of the first things we did when we got to Bali was watch the Barong Dance which is focused on the ongoing battle between good and evil. Ulun Danu Beratan Temple
  • Temples: Bali is a very religious island and there are many Temples, all with their own aesthetic. I was particularly fond of the beautiful gardens of the Ulun Danu Beratan Temple in the mountains that overlooks Lake Bratan – see above picture.
  • Cuisine: Bali has a unique culinary scene and due to the surrounding mountains fertilising and creating a rich soil to grow crops in, the food is truly something not to be missed. Rice, Noodles, and Satay are the staple meals for Balinese locals. Twin Lakes in Bali
  • Spectacular views: The beaches, islands, waterfalls, temples, rice fields and lakes are a sight to behold. Check out our Bali picture gallery and our Youtube channel with a couple of videos to see what I am talking about
  • The weather: I feel that this goes without saying, but the weather is amazing, given you don’t go during rainy season. Relaxing in the woods or on the beach with a Bintang and soaking up the rays is blissful. Don’t like snow? It never snows in Bali according to a local resident we met.Tegalalang Rice Terrace
  • Bragging rights: Everyone I know that has been to Bali will tell everyone that will listen that they have been to Bali. If you go, you can counteract these comments with a “Me, too” and steal their thunder a little.

Is it expensive to visit Bali?

Out of all the islands in Indonesia, Bali is the most expensive destination, driven by the large increase in tourism over the years. However, it is still comparatively cheap to many other holiday destinations around the world.

In our experience, we found the most expensive part when visiting Bali was the flights, however you can get cheaper flights if you don’t mind having a stopover in another country for a day or two (stopping over in Thailand is a good call).  Also, if you don’t mind staying in basic accommodation and leaving the hotel to find local food markets, your stay can be extremely cheap.

Bartering is part of the Balinese culture, so never go for the first price given at market stalls and negotiate appropriately and fairly to bring the price down. This was something we learned the hard way after paying the first price given for some trinkets and being told we could have gotten them at a quarter of the price by a local.

And if you are really on a budget, it is much cheaper to visit Bali in the rainy season which starts around the end of October to April.

Top 5 cities to visit

After travelling all over the island, these are the top cities that we recommend checking out if you ever decide to go:

  • Ubud: If you are to visit Bali, Ubud is a must. Taking in the landscapes, nearby waterfalls, white water rafting, and the Monkey Sanctuary are just a few things to enjoy here.
  • Munduk: Located in the mountains, Munduk is home to the Ulun Danu temple, hot springs, and is perfect for those seeking peace and quiet amongst nature.
  • Seminyak: Home to the Double 6 beach which is perfect for those new to surfing due to the easy waves and plethora of surf instructors.
  • Nusa Penida: One of the most Instagrammable destinations in the world, and I can see why. Crystal clear water and white sandy beaches, you can’t visit Bali without visiting Nusa Penida.
  • Sanur: This was where we spent our final days in Bali and I am glad we did. The locals here are so cheerful and the vibes in the local bars and restaurants had us coming back every day. You should also check out the cycling tours around the city!

What to do?

If I was to write all the things you can do in Bali, the list would be endless! We booked several day tours with Buffalo Tours and would suggest using them!

Here are the main things we would recommend doing or checking out:

  • White water rafting
  • Hike Mt Batur
  • Cycle around the city of Sanur
  • Monkey Sanctuary
  • Lovina Beach
  • Daily excursion to Nusa Penida
  • Go through any of the many markets and experience bartering!
  • Twin Lakes
  • Any of the magnificent waterfalls
  • Permandian Air Panas holy hot springs
  • Ulun Danu Beratan Temple alongside Lake Bratan
  • Tegalalang Rice Terrace
  • And so much more…

What is the food like?

The staple food of the locals is mostly rice and vegetables, however they offer many other meat and fish choices due to the growth in tourism where a lot of places offer all you can eat buffets. The Balinese are also quite fond of Satay, so you’ll see that in most places.

These meals we would recommend trying are:

  • Gado Gado – Plain rice, steamed vegetables, peanut sauce, and starch crackers
  • Nasi Goreng – Fried rice with crackers, often served and omelette or fried egg
  • Nasi Campur – Fried rice and vegetables mixed with tofu, meat, or fish (whatever is available or leftover)
  • Mie Goreng – Spicy fried noodles with beansprouts and spring onions
  • You should also try one of the many fresh exotic fruit juices – so refreshing in the hot Balinese climate.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the flight to Bali?

Not including the time you'll spend waiting for connecting flights, it will take between 15 to 18 hours, dependent on where you stop over. We stopped over at Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia on the way to Bali and the total time was just over 17 hours, plus 2 hours for the stopover.
The stopover time can start to increase the cheaper the flights get. We did this on the way back and had to wait 6hrs for the connecting flight back to London as we took a late/ super early flight at 0100am as the cost of the ticket was extremely cheap.

Do you need a Visa to visit Bali?

If you hold a UK citizen passport, you do not require a Visa to visit Bali on visits up to 30 days long. If you are planning on staying any longer you will require a Visa. If you are a citizen of another country, I would suggest checking out your governmental website, however over 160 countries do not need a one – see link here.

What is the currency?

The currency for Bali is the Indonesian Rupia. There are many places you can exchange your money, but you should be sure to keep receipts as most will not allow you to convert any left-over money back to Pounds without it. Also, most will not convert back any coins or notes less than 50,000 IDR.

What injections do I need for Bali?

There are two main injections that you need before you travel to Bali and these are Hepatitis A and Combined Diptheria, Tetanus & Polio Vaccination. Both of which should be taken at least two weeks prior to travelling.
If you have existing medical conditions or a weak immune system, you may require more. See a full list here

Is Bali safe?

Yes. It is very safe in Bali. Although, several locals we met suggested avoiding Kuta, especially during the evening. Kuta is to Australia like Ibiza is to the UK, it can get hairy at times and fights have been known to often break out amongst tourists.

What language is spoken?

Balinese and Indonesian are the top two languages, however there are hundreds of dialects spoken throughout the islands. If you want to learn a language before going, I suggest Indonesian. It also helps to know some common Balinese phrases as the locals will appreciate your efforts.
A great app to use if you are planning several months ahead is Duolingo. This is what we used to learn many Indonesian phrases.

What should you pack?

What you pack for Bali is dependent on the season that you travel. During the dry season, I would suggest light clothes, sunscreen, a sarong for visiting temples, decent footwear if you plan on on exploring the island, and bug sprays. If you travel during the rainy season, you should still pack relatively light as it is still extremely humid - A decent poncho and waterproof footwear wouldn’t go amiss.
It doesn’t snow in Bali so you needn’t worry about packing gloves or a woolly hat!

Should you tip in Bali?

Tipping is more of a western custom, but it is slowly being adopted throughout. If you do decide to tip, rounding up to the nearest whole note amount is a good bet as most places don’t carry loose coins.
It is not taken personally if you do not decide to tip!

How much is the alcohol?

Alcohol is not expensive if you purchase the local beer, Bintang, or their locally made Liquor Arak. If you buy any other spirits, then prices are similar to England due to the import costs.
A 350ml bottle of Bintang is approximately 16,000 IDR which converts to about £1 and a 30ml shot of Arak is around 11,000 IDR which is about 0.70p!

 

Look out for more articles on what to do in each of the above cities!

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