During the Chinese New Year holiday, I was backpacking in South East Asia and, despite not planning to go there originally, I ended up in Bali! Bali is one of the most frequently visited places in Indonesia and, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful holiday destinations. Here are the practical tips that you may find useful before going to Bali.
1. Choose the right season
The best time to go is between April and September, however, this is also the time when tickets are quite expensive and the island is packed with tourists. The rainy season is observed from October until March. But the good thing is that tickets at that time of year tend to be really cheap and the island is more peaceful and not overcrowded. I went to Bali in January since I was not too keen on lying on the beach and sunbathing. Instead, I wanted to do some sightseeing around the island and rainy season is absolutely fine for that. I did not have a chance to spend a lot of time on golden, palm-fringed beaches as most of them were simply under water during that time. However, there were a couple that were not flooded so it was still possible to get a tan and lie on a fine sandy beach!
2. And location
After landing in Denpasar, I headed to Canggu, where I stayed during the first part of my visit. Canggu is a relatively small village in the south of Bali that is not popular with keen holidaymakers since its beaches are covered with grey and black sand as well as shingles. However, it is a great place to surf so it’s worth giving it a go once you’re there! After a few days, I moved to Kuta, a much more popular place, where it’s well-nigh impossible to find a peaceful, tourist-free spot. I also visited Ubud, which is perfect for enjoying the cultural side of Bali – all the temples and lush rice terraces are located there. If you fancy restaurants, shopping, art galleries and posh nightclubs, go to Seminyak. Bali is huge so make sure you research before going and think about all the things you would like to do, then choose a location accordingly.
3. Think about potential expenses
Bali is a good choice if you are travelling on a budget. I’d recommend finding an Airbnb or a hostel instead of a hotel. Unless you do surfing, water sports or go to Western restaurants, you will not have any significant expenses. When it comes to dining, Indonesian food is absolutely delicious and you definitely need to try the local cuisine. Local food is very cheap – street food will usually 10,000 IDR (less than £1) and a fancier dinner will cost you around 15,000 IDR-40,000 IDR (£1-2.50).
4. And transportation!
Bali is a big island and there is virtually no public transport, which makes travelling around quite difficult. A lot of people hire a scooter, which is fairly convenient and cheap – approximately 30,000-50,000 IDR (£2-3) per day. It is also popular to hire a private driver for a day or two, which is not expensive if you are travelling with friends and split the cost. Taxis are also common.