If you don’t have much time to do your researches, and if you want to know right now which parts of Bali are for you, this post is for you mate !
Bali is a very touristic island of Indonesia. I spent one and a half month there. Of course all this advices are coming from my opinions, made according to my taste. Maybe you’ll not feel the same way about those parts of the island. And also I didn’t visit all of it, because I really enjoy and spent time in each places… hope to complete this lil guide in the next few years 😉
Ceremony day, Candidasa
First thing first, parts to avoid : Kuta, Seminyak, Legian. Cities full of tourists here just to party and have the best tan. So crowded. So noisy. So dirty. Of course, well provided with restaurants, bars and shops. but frankly : no point.
Uluwatu and Jimbaran. Very nice spots to surf, a lot of green roads and cliffs, afordable guesthouses with crazy views… but also some temples. Stayed few days in Jimbaran, I loved it. Picture below.
East cost :
Sanur : Not bad, but the contrast luxury hotesl/local people is hard to look at… not much to do there beside enjoy the sun. That said, nice spot to learn how to kite surf. And there’s a very cool yoga school, “Power of Now“.
Amed : Little crush for this town, which is one of the starting points toward to Gili islands. Not very known, Amed is quiet with a very chill rasta vibe. Few accommodations, and very nice restaurants on the beach. Good to start scuba diving.
Ubud. Very nice city, full of delicious warung (typical indonesian restaurants) and cool shops. Atmosphere is enjoyable, and there are a lot of paradisiac guesthouses on air bnb, housed in temples. Go check the Raka House, it’s the best 😉 Ubud is kind of the yoga capital; you can find so many schools and specialized shops there.
To do near Ubud :
- The Monkey Forest, in the center of the town. With my friend Alex, we chose to run away from the crowd and to do the Sangeh Monkey Forest instead. A lil bit farer, smaller but so calm and quiet; trees were amazing, I was crazy ! ♥
- Many Ricefields Terraces are known around Ubud, but they’re so crowded. My advice is to ask locals and go to a free one with a cab. Will so much better !
- Also a lot of temples to see around. The Pura Tirta Empul was one of my best experience ! Balinese people are going there to bath under purificatory fountains. Not only it’s nice to visit, but to do the same as them, and immerse in water, surrounded by incenses and offerings… is really a mystical experience.
Sangeh Monkey Forest
My big Balinese crush : Canggu
Canggu is a town on Bali’s west coast. I spent more than half of my time there; I’ll write a post with my . tips soon 😉
Canggu is a great spot for all-level surfers, yogis, and those who want to have fun and meet others, while living with balinese people and immerging in the huge culture Bali has to offer. There is always something going on ! From calligraphy workshop to meditation gathering, it’s impossible to be bored over there ! I met great people in Canggu, I will never forget.
You can check Tanah Lot temple there. It’s beautiful but crowded. If you go a lil bit higher by taking the streets, you can enjoy a wonderful sunset from the terraces.
Islands around Bali
Gili : there are a lot of Gili’s islands, but the best-known are the 3 following.
Gili Trawangan : don’t go there. Except if you want to party. It’s dirty, polluted, full of “spring breakers” and animal abuse all the way, with hundreds of carriages drawn by exhausted disguised poor horses. It’s kind of the Kuta/Seminyak of Gili !
Gili Air : a little heaven, paradise landscapes. Still few horses unfortunately but way less than on Gili T. Perfect to scuba diving or snorkeling. Not a lot to do there, but for a weekend it’s perfect.
Gili Meno : the less touristic of the three. Great quiet place to snorkel with manta rays without disturbing them apparently.
WARNING to go and come back from the Gili’s : fast boats are so damn dangerous. And always 2-3 hours late for coming back. There are some accidents sometimes, so I completely advice you to take the slow ferries; except if you live for strong sensations. It would be way longer but safer and cheaper.
Lombok : perfect for trekking (and you have some good-level paths), and wild nature. Maybe try to stay there a little while, to really enjoy it.
Nusa Penida : my big regret. That was I wanted to do the most here, but the transport and accommodation can be expensive for someone alone, ’cause it’s not that touristic yet. You have to visit it, with its rocks, cliffs, amazing landscapes… Seems more interesting than Nusa Lembongan. There are also great spots of swimming with turtles and rays.
So, when are you coming to Bali ? ♥