Conformation: Island, it is part of the Small Island Sunda archipelago.
Language: Indonesian, Balinese, English
Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
Calling Code: +62
Time zone: UTC + 8
Airports: Denpasar Airport (DPS)
Are you looking for a new trip? Have you always been interested in East Asian culture, but you never got to see it? Now you are finally ready. No more mere pictures of beautiful beaches, hearing of Eastern spirituality, now the time has arrived to touch first-hand this reality.
That’s why Bali.
Indonesia in general, and Bali in particular, are common bucket list destinations for for everyone who loves Southeast Asia. Visiting Bali is one of the easiest and most fascinating ways to begin discovery of the wonderful Asian world.
What to consider first about Bali?
First of all, consider the season and weather.
If we want to avoid umbrellas and rain coats, deciding the right season for our visit is FUNDAMENTAL!
Best months to visit Bali
Bali has a tropical climate. The island is located just below the equator which means the seasons there are reversed when compared with Europe and the USA. The best time to visit the island is from May until October. In this period we find a tropical climate, hot and humid and with few refreshing showers, typical of tropical countries.
Great, we chose the best period for our trip. Now we can search for where to go once we arrive in Bali – the places not to be missed, the “non-touristy” places, the “every day” Bali’s places, the culture, the Balinese style of life, examples of the typical food. All these elements help us to feel like as we’re already there. We’re ready for our Indonesian experience.
Preparing your travel to Bali
It must be said that Bali is different from the rest of Indonesia. One difference is its religion. Bali is the only island in Indonesia with a prevalence of Hindu practitioners (most of Indonesia’s population follows Islam).
It is very interesting hearing directly from Balinese people what their habits are and how they live day-to-day in Bali.
Its culture is precisely what makes Bali magical, so we try to become informed as much as possible in order to avoid being the type of tourist who takes pictures without understanding what we are seeing. The Balinese are very kind people, so with a bit of curiosity in our eyes, we can simply ask them for more information and they will be happy to tell us their stories.
Getting around in Bali
To get around the island, there are basically two options.
- Rent a scooter and “fight” the traffic in the crowded island streets.
- Hire a driver. There are several companies that organize custom tours.
We tried both options. Unless you are a very skilled scooter driver, I strongly recommend you take the second option. This enables you to have customized tours. These tour prices are very cheap, you’ll get to see a lot more things, and you’ll learn more about Bali directly from your personal driver.
I used the BaliGoldenTour company, they have proven to be very helpful, friendly, cheap and, above all, professional.
What to see in Bali?
The list of wonders both natural and cultural present on this island is really long.
For convenience we divide Bali in two parts: the south part and the north part. The south side is the more “touristy” part, with breathtaking beaches, shopping malls, airport, surf schools and restaurants of all kinds.
The north side is more the “wild” part of the island, the famous rice terraces, forests full of monkeys, and temples, and you can enjoy a more authentic Balinese life.
As I said before, there are so many things to see on this island, I try to name few of the most important ones, and in my opinion, those not to be missed.
Bali means temples and spirituality.
Ulun Danu Beratan
This Temple is located next to the Beratan lake. It is one of the most famous temples here, not to be missed.
Pura Luhur Uluwatu
This temple is overlooking the sea. You must visit it at sunset in order to admire the ocean as the sun goes down. At sunset you can also enjoy the traditional Kecak dance where choral singing creates typical music while the dancers tell the story of Ramayana. Be sure to buy a ticket!
This temple is located on the rock in the middle of the sea. It is wonderful. It is even possible to visit the traditional market, next to the temple.
Banjar Hot spring water
This is a spring of thermal water where the waters flow from an animal mouth stone. You can also swim and relax here.
Git Git Waterfall
This is a waterfall in the middle of the forest. It is one of the most famous of all places in the Island. If you want to, you can even swim in it.
Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
These are surely the most beautiful of all rice terraces in Bali, in my opinion. Huge and beautiful, they are part of the World Heritage Sites. Definitely not to be missed.
Monkey Forest e Ubud
Its name says it all. A really nice and well maintained forest with lots of monkeys (Balinese macaques) sometimes mischievous but worth the visit!
It is located close to Ubud’s heart, a city considered to be the cultural center of the island. It is one of the must-see destinations. Here you can admire the paintings made with the Batik technique, wood sculptures, or traditional stone. Here we are totally immersed in the Balinese culture.
A very interesting tour, tells you all about the different types of coffee, the different types of plants, and a tasting of brewed coffee is included, one of them is the famous Luwak coffee.
Tegallalang Rice Terraces
The Tegallalang rice terraces are located near Ubud, and are among the most famous ones. In my opinion they’re not as beautiful as the Jatiluwih ones but they’re still very characteristic. In addition there are several restaurants right across from the terraces. Lunch with this kind of view is highly recommended.
This is a very small island in front of Sanur harbor. Soon we will dedicate a new article about it and post it online!
Did you know?
Due to its large amount of temples, Bali is also known as “the island of the gods.” The island’s national sport (besides motorcycling and football) is cockfighting.
Nature: lovely beaches and forests, and
beautiful rice terraces.
Population: very warm, always smiling
and willing to help you and to chat.
Traffic: too crowded in the area of Denpasar and Kuta.
Language: not everyone speaks English, but with a bit of imagination you can communicate with everybody.
The local Balinese cuisine is very tasty. The dish that I liked the most is their traditional one: Nasi Goreng. You can find it everywhere and of all types. It is a spicy fried rice with an egg above. (See the picture below).
Also very delicious is the fruit you can find here. Fruit shops are very different from those in Europe and the USA.
Now you’re ready! You just need to book your flight!!
Have a great journey!! 😉