A few weeks before my friend and I booked our trip to Bali, I was really experiencing the winter blues… Everything looked and felt dull, and my head was spinning from everything that was on my plate. I had to escape the daily routine and leave behind everything in hopes that I’d come back feeling refreshed and alive again. So I chose Bali: my gateway to South East Asia and its colourful way of life!
What Makes Bali Special?
1. The Jungle Life!
In Bali, you can be waking up with the Jungle as your backyard every morning! If you’re staying in one of the incredible villas in Ubud (Northern Bali), you’re most likely staying in the jungle and listening to the sound of birds and flowing water.
2. So Lush and So Green!
Bali is magical, especially during the rainy season in February when everything smells and looks lush. It rains a bit during this time but it’s on and off throughout the day or at just at night. The rain didn’t ruin our trip, in fact it made it more affordable and refreshing. You can find some great deals on a Bali vacation in February. It’s not as busy with tourism so you’ll be able to get around the island a lot faster.
3. Rice Everywhere!
One of my favourite things in Bali were the rice fields. The rice paddies are especially beautiful when it rains. They are flooded parcels of land used for growing white and brown rice. One of the major attractions in Bali is the walk-able Tellegalang Rice Fields near Ubud. The scenic views are perfect for snapping some amazing photos. There are several restaurants situated across from the fields, but unfortunately are expensive tourist traps, so I would avoid eating there. Instead, have a drink to cool down and experience the beauty across from you.
I love chasing waterfalls and there’s nothing better than finding a beautiful one and taking a plunge for a refreshing swim.
We visited one of the most accessible waterfalls in Bali called the Tegenungan Falls. There is a parking lot near the falls and your driver can wait for you there while you spend an hour or two exploring. It’s a short walk down to the falls, and when you get there you can climb up to the top and heighten your experience!
5. The Ring of Fire!
Fun fact: Bali is part of the ring of fire, an area made up of 75% of the world’s volcanoes.
There are 4 main volcanoes on the island. Starting with the highest: Mount Agung, Mount Bratan, Mount Batur and Mount Merbuk. The best part is that you can plan to hike up one of these mountains to really get an appreciation for Bali’s beauty. We climbed Mount Batur and had breakfast on the active volcano by cooking on the volcanic rock using its steam.
6. All the Hidden Beaches and Canyons!
The Island is surrounded by secret beaches, beach caves, canyons and rocky shores. Some are so hidden that even the locals don’t know where they are. Finding some of these is so well worth it if you’re looking for some adventure and astonishing views. For those who like to surf, Bali is a surfer’s paradise!
7. Colourful Culture, Religion and Traditions!
Bali’s natural beauty stuck with me in so many ways, but it also has a fascinating array of colourful traditions and religious rituals. There is so much to experience on the busy streets of Bali. You’ll find it all… from busy markets, bargaining with shop owners, temples, religious ceremonies, daily offerings lying around everywhere (Canang sari) and entire families riding on a single scooter transporting large items (true story). It’s amazing!
8. But First, Coffee!
Bali is a major producer of Copi Luwak or civet coffee. Asian palm civets eat coffee cherries and then part-digest and defecate them after 24 hours. The coffee farmers will collect the feces of the civets and begin the cleaning and selection process of the coffee beans. For adventurous coffee lovers, this is definitely something to try in Bali. According to some research, Copi Luwak is good for health reasons such as preventing breast cancer, diabetes, neurological diseases and gallstone disease. It’s more expensive to order and buy in bulk than the other coffee types, but it’s delicious.
Is Bali Safe?
Before I left, I had read many blogs and notices on government websites to educate myself on the safety of Bali. I got a lot of mixed information, leaving me a little unsure of what I was getting myself into. However, my experience on our trip showed me that in contrast to what many people think, Bali is a safe place! The Balinese people are very friendly and are willing to help out if you’re lost or have questions. Other than some of the locals who tried to rip us off and jacked up prices for their services (beware of this), we didn’t have any issues.
In high trafficked tourist areas it’s always easier to have something stolen from you, but this applies to anywhere you travel to. A friend of mine traveled to Bali around the same time I did and told me that she had her purse stolen by a guy on a scooter in Kuta. Luckily she didn’t have anything important in her purse. My suggestion is to always show extra care when you’re carrying anything on you. Make sure that you aren’t putting yourself in any vulnerable situations and stay aware of your surroundings.
What I found most interesting about Bali is that there is a part of it that feels very comfortable. Almost everyone speaks English, there’s wi-fi on every corner, the shopping is universal and I met many North American and Australian natives surfing and living the dream in Bali. It’s a popular thing to go there for a couple of months or even move altogether, especially if you’re into surfing.
My trip to Bali took 27 hours of travel by air and I stayed there for 8 days. I made sure to experience as much as I could in the short period, but there is still so much left see and I definitely plan on going back soon. I will be posting more on Bali with tips on getting around the island, sample itineraries, and much more to make your trip as safe and amazing as possible!
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