People I talk to who visited Bali either agree that they loved it, or I have this conversation with them:
“I hated Bali, it was horrible.”
“Where did you stay?”
I feel weirdly defensive of this tiny island. It gets a bad rep sometimes, but that’s usually because many parts of it are filled with nothing but tacky bars and drunk Australians.
But that’s not Bali’s fault! Don’t write off the island as nothing more than a party destination that frequently jails Aussies for illegal drug related activities. From the moment I landed in Denpasar airport I had a serious location crush, and with every day I spent there my feelings only got deeper. By the time it came for me to leave I was absolutely fucking heartbroken, and a week hasn’t passed since that I haven’t looked up flights and cooked up ideas to go back.
Clearly, I have teenage level love for this tiny but amazing place. And it’s not often I feel this way about somewhere without spending an extended amount of time there.
So why did I fall so hard and so fast for Bali? Well…
1. The People are ridiculously lovely
From the people who ran the various types of accommodation we stayed in, to the men who worked on our ferry to the Gilis we experienced nothing but smiles and kindness from the locals.
2. The food is good, so good
3. There is an amazing local culture
Bali is very much unlike the rest of Indonesia and is a fascinating place to learn about. Every day I delved a little deeper (although I of course only scratched the surface) and I can’t wait to learn more when I return.
4. It’s very cheap
It’s not ‘the rest of SE Asia cheap’ but you can get a bloody nice hotel for not too much, and there are cheap massages galore.
5. I was blown away by the diving
The visibility was amazing, the coral pristine. It was so much better than I expected it to be and my day diving there convinced me this was the place for my dive master course!
6. The scenery is beyond description
There are huge beaches, towering volcanoes and endless green rice fields. Every journey I took was a joy as I stared from the window open mouthed.
7. The variety of things on offer is staggering
Diving, yoga, hiking, cookery classes, the monkey forest, dance shows, shopping, beach time, white water rafting, snorkelling, fishing… You could live here for years and not come close to finishing your to-do list!
8. The islands are as idyllic as they come
Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and the three Gili’s are everything you want from a tropical paradise and then some.
9. The sunsets are the best in the world
The picture says it all.
Have you ever visited Bali? Do you agree or disagree with me?