I visited 5 countries over 10 weeks in Asia and by far my favourite stop; Bali, Indonesia. Bali really gets a bad rep, I’ve read ‘overrated’ ‘is it really worth visiting?’ ‘way too touristy.’ Well, I’m here to tell you, I bloody loved Bali. I’m not really the type of person who will spend ludicrous amounts of money to ensure I have an experience entirely different to any other tourist. In fact, I find the term ‘off the beaten track’ quite cringe worthy. Don’t get me wrong, a new little find whether it be a coffee shop, hotel, or natural spring, never comes as an unpleasant experience, but realistically there’s a reason thousands of tourists go to the same place, maybe because, it’s good value for money or maybe because its aesthetically pleasing. Bali has so so so much to offer and I wouldn’t advise anyone to avoid it. In addition to that, I had absolutely no problem with overcrowding and tourists. The Bali I saw was nothing like what I have read about on other travel blogs, I think this is down to a number of factors.
First off, I didn’t go to the tourist hotspots, I didn’t even consider a trip to Kuta due to the short amount of time I had to explore this amazing place, I spent the majority of my time in Ubud, central Bali. I mean, I wasn’t gonna skip monkey forrest, but it’s easy to steer clear of the holiday go-ers. Eat like a local, food is such a huge part of travelling and if you start searching the island for a McDonalds or another form of western style fast food you are bound to run into a lot of tourists. Okay, now a questionable one, I visited Bali in February, meaning; rainy season. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m from England, I know how unappealing rain can seem. However, I do not regret my timing at all, Bali rain isn’t like England rain. We would get maybe an hour of intense storm a day, sometimes more, sometimes none at all. It never stopped us doing anything we wanted is the main point I want to get across. So, for my friend Shannyn’s 25th birthday we booked a night in Padang Bai, a nice hotel on the coast with a swim up bar, perfect. And what could make that even more perfect? We were the only bloody people there, we had this whole place to ourselves, it was so so awesome. So as a result of the occasional shower we ended up having the best time possible.
So, now I’ve defended this beautiful pacific island, it’s time to sing its praises;
First of all, Bali is incredibly beautiful, there is such a variety of landscapes there, from rice paddies, white sand beaches, palm trees. Your camera will never be away, every corner you turn you feel overwhelmed by sheer beauty. This place is bursting with culture, there are hundreds of religious holidays, festivals and traditions. You can explore temples, try a Balinese dish or watch a traditional Balinese performance. Bali is cheap, there is no other way to put it, and not in a tacky way, you could stay in a hotel for pennies. Without accommodation I spent approximately £50 a week, but if you want luxury it is right there. This place is as pricey as you want it to be. One thing I loved about Bali was that you had very easy access to surrounding islands such as Gilli or Nusa Penida. Places you may not want to stay for too long but are worth making the weekend visit. Bali was absolutely everything I wanted it to be, I wish I had stayed for much much longer, months in fact. This is where i made the closest friends and the happiest memories, rainy season or not. I can guarantee my return in the not so distant future.