What is Bali ?
Bali is an island in Indonesia with a shape of chicken (yes I said chicken, there’s even an egg behind). It’s one of the most popular destination in South East Asia, and for good reasons because the island is packed of things do see and do: nice beaches, volcanoes, temples, rice terraces, the food is good, there’s some great diving spots and there is even elephants.
So it’s no surprise that Bali is the main touristic attraction of indonesia. It’s also the only place in this country which is at majority hindu.
How to get to Bali ?
By plane: most travelers arrive by plane at Ngurah Rai International Airport, also known as Denpasar International Airport via Hong Kong, Singapore or Bangkok. In fact the airport is located at 30 minutes by car from Denpasar.
Visa: if you haven’t applied for a visa in an indonesian ambassy before you leave, it’s possible to obtain a visa when you arrive at the airport. It will cost you 25 US$ for 30 days. Just make sure you have the exact amount in american dollars.
Be careful, at the immigration there is some guys dressed like ‘official guys’ (with a badge) who will want to carry your bag and then will want to get money from you. So don’t let them touch your belongings !
That’s not the only scam in this airport, they might also ask for money if you want to bring back some souvenirs…
Then from the airport you can catch a taxi to Kuta or elsewhere (the cheapest taxi are the Bluebird Taxi).
Where to sleep and eat in Bali ?
There’s a lot of option if you are looking for a place to sleep, from basic dorm or single room with a mosquito net to a nice 4 stars hotel with a swimming pool. If you are travelling with some friends or your girlfriend/boyfriend then you can split up the price and have acces to better places.
Price: between 10 to 25 US$ for a private room.
For eating it won’t be difficult to find a place to have lunch or dinner in Bali. There’s even a MacDo, KFC and Starbucks in Kuta. What you must try is Nasi Goleng, Mie Goleng and nasi Campur. That’s also the cheapest food you can get at street stalls.
Overall the food is great in Bali.
When to go to Bali ?
The best time to visit Bali is between april and october, during the dry season. There’s only two seasons in Bali: the monsoon and the dry season. July and august are the most touristic months, and the prices are way higher. Between november and march it’s raining often , and even if the prices are low the bad weather can spoil your trip.
10 things you must absolutely see and do in Bali:
Here are the good things to see and do during a trip to Bali:
1 – Do scuba diving
Scuba diving is one of the main reason to go to Bali, because there’s some amazing diving spot: the USAT Liberty Wreck in Tulamben, the Gili Island, the Menjangan island east of Bali, Nusa Penida in the south… if you are lucky you might see a sunfish or manta rays. Even just by doing snorkelling you can see some amazing coral a colored fishes.
2 – Temples
The seven main temples you must see in Bali are Pura Besakih, Tanah Lot, Pura Luhur located near the sea, Pura Tirta Empul, Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, the Goa Lawah and the Taman Ayun. Just remember to cover your legs with a traditional clothe before entering a temple.
3 – Watch the sunset at Kuta beach
I don’t like much Kuta but I have to say that the sunset in Kuta Beach is splendid, and it’s a free thing to do in Bali. The only problem is that you will be hundred or maybe thousands at the same time, trying to catch the perfect picture. If you want to see the sunset from a different spot go to Amed, Jimbaran Bay or Semyniak Beach.
4 – Ubud
Ubud is the artistic heart of Bali, and you will find many art shop there. It’s way more relax than Kuta. You can also visit the monkey forest but be careful not to get bitten or stolen by the monkeys !
5 – The rice terraces
You should head for the one in Jatiluwih. The others rice terraces worth seeing are located in Karangasem near Tirta Ganga, Tegalalang near d’Ubud, and the one near Pupuan.
6 – Learn to surf
Bali has some of the best surfing spot in the world, and you can feel the ‘surfing vibe’ when you arrive in Kuta. For beginners you can learn surfing in Kuta beach. For advanced surfers you should go to Uluwatu and Padang.
7 – Climb volcanoes
Don’ miss the Mount Batur, near Kintamani. Remember to put your alarm to watch the sunrise, which is amazing. You can also watch the sun rise from the top of the Mount Agung, the highest peak on the island (3142 m.).
8 – Do rafting
To do rafting you should head for Ubud, where you can go on the Telagawajah river and the Ayung river through the tropical forest and scenery of rice terraces.
9 – Watch the dolphins in Lovina
Located at 3 hours by car from Kuta, Lovina is well known for being a spot where you can see the doplhins swim. You go to see them by boat early in the morning. If you are severals it’s worth booking your own boat.
The food is great and cheap in Bali. You won’t have to go to fancy restaurant to enjoy a good meal, even the street stalls offer nice food.
I like in Bali:
- Beautiful sceneries
- Very green
- The hinduist culture: the temples, the offerings, the statues…
- The food
- The diving spots
I don’t like in Bali:
- Kuta, too turistic
- Lot of scams
- Denpasar airport
- Monkeys (they are vicious !)
Don’t waste your time in Kuta. The island of Bali is small but there’s a lot to see and do. If you like diving then you will have an awesome time there.