15 reasons to travel to Bali
Bali is a destination where it’s possible to enjoy a lot of activities and experiences, an island with perfect climate and wonderful people. There are thousands of reasons to travel to Bali, but here we have chosen 15 of the most important ones.
In the summer of 2018 we visited Bali, an island that immediately conquered us with everything it has to offer. Bali is the best known island in Indonesia and a very popular destination these days, which many people choose because of its great cultural richness, its incredible landscapes and climate. The island has an area of 5,636 km2 and has 3.5 million inhabitants. The most populated city is its capital, Denpasar and the busiest points of this paradise are Ubud, which is full of art and culture, Kuta and its magnificent beach, the new Nusa Dua, Jimbaran (very close to the Ngurah Rai airport) and Sanur.
We want to share with you the things we liked the most about this island in order to give you an idea for a possible destination or if you had already thought about traveling to Bali, to finally convince you that this is a must-see island:
1. The weather
Given its location close to the Equator, Bali has a tropical monsoon climate and it’s divided into two seasons: the rainy season or Monsoon (November to April) and the dry season (May to October). We travelled to Bali in June and it was a total success. We came from the suffocating heat in Singapore and the climate in Bali seemed like a fresh breath of air. During the day the temperature is about 30 degrees celsius and in the dry season the humidity levels are low, which make this a pleasant climate. At night, temperatures drop to 22-25 degrees and it’s delightful to go for a walk at night (and also to sleep :D).
2. Balinese people
Balinese people are charming, very simple and kind. They are always smiling, helpful, willing to start a conversation with anyone and ready to help you with anything, they are the proof that life without stress does really exist.
3. The culture
In spite of the huge number of tourists that this island receives every year, Balinese people have managed to preserve their culture, traditions and habits. Unlike the rest of Indonesia, where there is a Muslim majority, in Bali the predominant religion is Hindu. We loved seeing the daily rites of offering to the gods. Every morning, women make palm leaves baskets, fill them with flowers, cookies and candies and place them inside the temples, shops, on the doorways and also in the streets. They also light incense sticks and the streets (especially in Ubud) have that characteristic smell that reminds us of our journey in Bali.
4. The temples
There are more than 10,000 temples in Bali, each one more beautiful than the previous. Temples have been the most impressive thing for us. As it was our first contact with this culture, we were surprised by the beauty of the temples and the fact that they are everywhere. Wherever you go you will always find at least one temple along the way. There are some temples that are very famous and therefore they’re always crowded, but there are others less popular, but no less beautiful, where you may have the luck to find yourself alone and enjoy the authentic architecture of Bali.
5. The beaches
Bali is not just jungle and temples. It’s surrounded by incredible beaches. If you are a beach lover, here you can relax on one (or several) of the wonderful beaches that Bali has. We couldn’t see all the beaches we wanted to, because of the limited time. But we totally loved the ones that we saw. The beaches we liked the most are Sanur, Legian, Padang Bai and also the ones in Nusa Penida (this also counts as Bali, for being in the same province).
6. The rice fields
Rice is the main ingredient of balinese food and also one of the main tourist attractions thanks to the beauty of the rice fields and terraces.
There are rice paddies all over the island, but the more well-known are the stepped rice terraces of Tegallalang and Jatiluwih, which are beautiful postcards and also very famous on Instagram. The Jatiluwih rice terraces have been declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
7. The elephants
Oh, the elephants. We were so excited to meet them up close. In the heart of Bali there is an elephant park called Mason Elephant Park & Lodge. This park offers you the opportunity to shower the elephants, feed them and even bathe with them in a small pond. This was one of the best experiences we had in Bali and we would come back again a thousand times. Inside the park there is also a hotel (pretty cool from what we have seen), in case you want to enjoy the elephants more than one day.
8. The markets
In Bali there are many street markets, especially in the Ubud area. They sell traditional products and handmade souvenirs. The most famous is the Traditional Ubud Market. In this market you can find all kinds of handmade wooden mementos , paintings, souvenirs, clothes with very nice prints and the round Bali bag which is so trendy these days. One of the souvenirs we bought in a little market in the Goa Gajah temple, is a wooden figure of the goddess Ganesha, the goddess of the good fortune. Balinese people say that she provides prosperity and success and is also considered to be the goddess of new beginnings. We found this to be a very beautiful figure and a unique souvenir.
9. The balinese food
Balinese food is very diverse. The gastronomy in Bali has influences from all over the world, but especially from Malaysia, China, India and Europe. The main ingredients of traditional dishes are rice, vegetables, meat and spices. Due to mass tourism, there are also many restaurants that serve European food and dishes from other countries. But you should try traditional dishes because they are very tasty and have incredibly low prices.
We had a crush on Nasi Goreng, which is a dish of rice, vegetables and chicken served with a fried egg on top. Very tasty and very healthy! The curious thing about Nasi Goreng is that the Balinese eat it at any hour, even for breakfast, and they have no problem repeating the same dish up to three times in a day if necessary. We think it’s a matter of habit, because as tasty as the rice may be, it gets very boring. After three days eating Nasi Goreng, we began to search for restaurants which served pizzas and salads.
10. The desserts
Desserts are delicious in Bali. Most of them (if not all) are homemade, natural and freshly made. We became fans of the banana pancakes (we don’t know for what reason are they green) or pineapple and of the Pisang Goreng, which is fried banana served with grated cheese and chocolate. This combination may seem a little weird at fist, but it’s the most delicious thing. We can also include here the fresh juices we drank non-stop. They are served in every bar or restaurant, are very tasty and available in many varieties: pineapple, watermelon, mango, dragon fruit, etc.
11. The coffee
Kopi Luwak is the most expensive coffee in the world. This is because the production of this coffee has a slow and unusual process. The luwak (this cute little animal) eats the coffee fruit, its body only processes the pulp of the coffee and the bean remains untouched after the digestion. You can imagine the rest… We didn’t want to leave Bali without trying this coffee and we can say that it doesn’t taste anything like… you know haha. It’s a very strong coffee with a quite intense flavour. The coffee is served without sugar or milk and it costs around 3 euros. We know we’ve said that it’s the most expensive coffee in the world, but there the price isn’t so high. However there are countries that import it and sell it at very high prices.
Compared to the European prices for accommodation, Bali was very cheap. There is accommodation of all kinds, from hostels and bungalows to luxury hotels and private villas. All over Bali and its surrounding islands, you can find clean and nice accommodations with incredible views and delicious breakfasts for a little amount of money.
13. The proximity to other beautiful islands
From the harbours of Sanur and Padagbai you can reach by boat several islands near Bali. We visited Nusa Penida (there are two other Nusas – Lebongan and Ceningan) and Gili Trawangan (there are also two other Gili – Meno and Air), which are little paradises. If you have more time to spend in Bali we recommend you to visit this islands, because they have incredible landscapes.
14. The swings
How many times have you seen pictures of girls swinging in places with breathtaking heights and views of the river or rice terraces? Well, swings are very famous in Bali (we believe this is probably because of Instagram) and balinese people took advantage of it and made a business out of this. There are a lot of swings, especially in the north of the island and the prices prices differ considerably. The most expensive is the Bali Swing, near the rice terraces of Tegallalang. We went to Wanagiri Hidden Hill, near the northern lakes. There are several swings and nests where you can take pictures and the price is more than decent. Of course, it depends on your budget, but we recommend Wanagiri.
For sea life lovers and for those who enjoy a good dip “with views”, this is paradise. There are many snorkelling spots, both in Bali and the nearby islands. We went to Amed beach in Bali, in the east of the island and we also took a snorkelling tour around the three Gili islands. Snorkeling in Bali is an experience that no one should miss.
These 15 reasons to encourage you to travel to Bali are experiences that we had during our 10 day trip and recommend you to try because we enjoyed them a lot. Aside from these activities, there is a great variety of other things that can be done in Bali: surfing, diving, canoeing, trekking, etc. This island has everything for such a small price! Would you like to travel to Bali?
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