I'll tell you the truth, when I planned that 4 month trip to Asia, I had low expectations going into the Bali leg of the trip. It's the kind of place that looks beautiful in the photos but as a haven for foreign tourists, you wonder if it's also lost it's charm being over developed and overrun. That was what was going on the back of my mind but after having spent quite some time there, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised and my fears never came to fruition.
I realized that even though it's such a popular destination, it's still easy to get away from the crowds if you want to and there's way more diversity here in things to see, do and eat here that you could stay in Bali for weeks on end. So with that, here are my top 5 reasons you too will love Bali, Indonesia. It's far from being a tourist trap.
Table of Contents
Here's what we're covering:
1. Photographs itself
The island practically shoots itself. Whether it was the rice paddies, Barong dances, crazy monkeys, the beach or temples like the one above, to say the landscape is stunning would be an understatement.
Just get out of the main drag and you'll be introduced to lush green forests where many temples make their home, and layers of fields line the hillside.
2. So much culture to see
I thought Bali was all beach, surfing and partying but to my surprise, once I were whisked outside the city I were greeted with just a brilliant diversity of culture. Ubud was where a lot of that richness was concentrated but what I loved the most was that our private driver was able to give us a glimpse of authentic local life in Bali.
Sure the Barong dance, walking the local arts market, seeing crafts shops, and contemplating the grandeur of the temples was nice and all but to go to a real cock fight and see the locals all hyped up or saying hello to the two ladies harvesting rice or joining a local temple celebration where there was no other foreigner in sight made Bali that much more memorable and immersive.
We only saw the Barong dance but there many more types Balinese dances to see while in Bali that are sure not to miss.
3. Relaxation and luxury
Going into Bali, I knew they had this one down pat. The island is known for it's zen, laid back vibe and of course lots of resorts. For me, the Conrad Bali in those sweet huts and getting really cheap massages at Cozy were great on days I wanted to do a whole lot of nothing.
4. Delicious food for cheap
Ever since going to Bali, I've been craving Indonesia food. Just thinking about the nasi goreng, curries, satay, and gudeg has me salivating. You might not know what you're ordering but trust me, if you're a meat lover, you're going to love all the different dishes Bali has to offer.
The best part about Indonesian cuisine is that it's not expensive at all. You have to get out of the resort of course but once you do, the prices become much more affordable and incredibly authentic. For example, we literally walked out of our resort and walked 10 minutes north of Conrad Bali to get to Bumbi Bali which was so delicious.
5. Amazing properties to suit all budgets
Like relaxation and luxury, I knew there were some good properties in Bali. The Conrad Bali met and exceeded our expectations.
You're probably thinking “Duh of course, it's a Conrad!” and yes you're right. What a lot of people don't realize though is that the whole island is dotted with a variety of hotels that are also affordable for the budget conscious.
If you want a bungalow in the jungle, Bali has it. If you want a super modern and chic hotel, Bali has it. If you want a private villa, yep you guessed it Bali has it as well. You can easily stay in Bali for under $100 without breaking a sweat.
So what about you? I know everyone has different opinions about Bali so I'd love to hear it! Comment below :)