Indonesia - Bali
Bali is special. So special that it seems to be at the very top of far too many bucket lists, and this fact has not done Bali any favors. We aren't going to tell you not to go to Bali because we are here to tell you it is one of our favorite places on the planet and everyone should have the experience that only Bali can offer. Having been to here several times, we can assure you that it is not a great place to be when it is overrun with tourists, and it is the very best place to be when you are there at the right time. We urge you to consider your tolerance for crowded places and traffic jams if you plan on going in high season. We also think that the usual places people want to go are the ones you may want to avoid. If you have been to Bali, you already know that this is a place you can't stay away from. It is, for so many, our happy place. You should go because it is simply good for your soul.
At the right time, Bali is everything you could want and more. Lush, beautiful, tropical, serene, intriguing, cultural, full of lovely people, and that is just the beginning of this island's ambiance and allure. People flock to Bali for many reasons. Of course, the beaches are amazing and the mountains are too. There are beautiful lakes, hidden waterfalls, peaceful temples, and so many wonderful accommodations for every sort of budget it boggles the mind trying to choose. With the hospitality in Bali probably being among the best we have experienced anywhere in our own travels, we know that you will find it to be the same. Bali is the perfect place for going somewhere alone and it is also the perfect place for romance. Whether you are seeking adventure or lazy days, you will not be let down. If wellness is on your agenda, Bali is extremely equipped to meet your needs. Groups of friends and families will find Bali to be an ideal place to spend quality time together. No matter your purpose, here is a place that you can decompress and enjoy the peaceful nature of this wonderfully sublime island.
Bali is a treasure trove for travelers. For us, the highlight of Bali is its wonderfully unique culture and friendly people. No matter where you are, you will notice the politeness of the people. Expressing anger is a taboo in Indonesia and for those who openly express anger, all respect will be lost. Disagreements and dissatisfaction are expressed in an amicable way and this refreshing way of life makes the entire country seem quite peaceful. Bali is distinct from the other islands in Indonesia. While there are other religions practiced here, the predominant one is Balinese Hinduism or Agama Hindu Dharma. This is a distinct form of Hinduism that incorporates local animism, ancestor worship, and a reverence for Bodhisattva or Buddhist saints. All throughout Bali, you can visually see the deep-rooted connection that the Balinese have to their religion in the architecture, the dress, and the décor, inside and out. You will feel the spirituality this truly magical island exudes, no matter your own beliefs.
Getting off the beaten path as much as often as you can will pay off in spades. Once you are outside of the more congested areas and in the rural countryside, you can experience Bali as it should be experienced. One of our favorite places to stay is Sideman in the Karangasem Regency. Surrounded by beautiful and actual working rice terraces, this laid-back village is a great place to base for a few days. Ride bicycles around the village, and wander amongst the rice terraces, experiencing that serendipity that Bali is so famous for. It is also more convenient for visiting some of Bali's more popular sites like the Besakih Temple and Mt. Agung. The popular resort areas like Nusa Dua, Jimbaran, and Kuta are much further away. The Mahagiri rice terraces are also not too far away from Sideman and this is one of Bali's most picturesque.
On the Prapat Agung Peninsula is the West Bali National Park. This amazing park is often overlooked because it is about as far as you can get from the busy hub on the other side of the island. Here you will find a diverse scenery with lush green forests, a strikingly beautiful mountain range, a dry savanna, and thick mangroves, all wrapped up in amazing stretches of beach with incredible azure waters. There are over 160 species of birds here including the exquisite and critically endangered Bali Starling (Bali Myna) that this park was partly created to conserve. Just off the coast is Menjangan Island, which is an excellent diving location and is part of the marine reserve here. The beaches are stunning and there is a beautiful little temple here.
There are so many more Bali Highlights that we could devote an entire website to it, if we had that kind of time. We are passionate about Bali as well as the rest of Indonesia and would love to assist with the trip of your dreams to this incredible island country.
Bali's numerous holidays and festivals combined with the countless temple celebrations at one of their over 4500, makes it easy to experience the Balinese culture and it would be a highlight for any visit here. Knowing the when, where and why to go is an important consideration for your travels. Twice a year using the 210-day Balinese calendar, Galungan is an island wide feast that takes place over several days. This holiday honors the creator of the universe and celebrates the victory of good (Dharma) over evil (Adharma) and is one of the most incredible to witness. If you have the rare opportunity to be around when a Ngaben is occuring, prepare to be awe-struck by this important cremation ritual. Far too in-depth to review here, learning more about the Balinese culture and religion can only enhance your visit and will help you to understand this unique corner of the world.
Bali's natural environments are plentiful and stunning, despite where you are. One of our favorites is Munduk. High in the mountains and another perfect place to experience the real Bali, we cannot recommend it enough. There are many great places to take leisurely strolls with amazing views all the way to the coast and at sunset, are even more spectacular. You can hike to waterfalls, bicycle the mostly un-trafficked roads and witness the traditional methods used by the Balinese in agriculture. There are rice terraces, fields of flowers and coffee plantations that add to the idyllic rural vibe here. Part of the village runs along the edge of Tamblingan Lake and we never tired of having our unbelievably delicious Balinese breakfast while enjoying the sunrises here. Munduk is also a great base for seeing the famous Ulun Danu Beratan Temple which opens at 7am making it possible to beat the hordes of tour busses delivering far too many tourists going for the obligatory Instagram photos in the area. The gate of the Handara golf course must be one of the most ridiculous reasons some people are specifically going to Bali for. Yet, it is beautiful and if you are there early, you might get your shot without having to stand in line.
We would be remiss to not mention Ubud as this is mecca for many people coming to Bali. Blessed to have first been here before the building boom, it is always a little sad when coming back here because it has changed so much. The good news is that it is still possible to love Ubud and we do. Talking a walk along the Campuhan Ridge is the best way to escape the insane traffic in Ubud. Not far, from are Pura Gunung Kawi, and the Tirta Empul Water Temple. Both are worth visiting and we suggest going early in the morning to avoid crowds. One of the best things about Ubud is the amazing food. Some of the best restaurants on the planet are here and also some of the best local food on the island. Bali is truly is one of the places you must go to at least once in your lifetime, and we hope that you discover your Bali.
When To Go
Bali is a place that has reasonably good weather throughout the year and even in the rainy season, it is completely tolerable, in our opinion. So, the "when to go" question is an interesting one as there are a couple of strange things happening in the trends. We made a visual on this and you can find that in the image gallery further down this page. While the numbers are going up every year, the numbers are shifting in some months. July, August, and September are definitely the busiest times of the year and we would avoid these months completely. Other busy times are Christmas, New Years, and the Easter holidays. So if you plan outside of the holidays you should be okay there. November seems to be the ideal month to be in Bali. The average rainfall isn't as much as January and February and the temperatures are the same as any other time.
If you are planning on visiting Bali for cultural experiences, the good news is that there is always something going on here. You will typically find a multitude of options and narrowing down what to do will be tough. For divers, April and October are great months to go outside of the busy season and this is still a good time to see the famous Mola Mola, which is a vulnerable species. For surfers, the off-season also has great surfing on the east side of the island and it is also less touristy and more suitable for experienced surfers.
Average climate in
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> Click on the first image in the gallery for more destination information.
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