A Night In… Bali, Indonesia
I HAVE Just Arrived In…
Pop culture often refers to Bali as a destination for beaches, spas and nightlife. As invigorating as the above activities may be, they have simply masked the true essence of the city that extends to culture, sightseeing and adventure.
A favourite with honeymoon couples, Bali is a fun place for travellers of all age groups with varied interests. The religious can head to the serene temples, the adventurous and scenic beauty enthusiasts can check out the hot springs, high waterfalls, coffee plantations and rice fields. The audacious and daring must not miss out the Bali jungles infested with fun and frolic of mischievous monkeys.
Best Way To Get Around:
For the active, walking is the best way around. The villages and regions are compact and as a result you can get a little exercise as well as truly experience the sights while commuting on foot. In spite of that you are likely to hear the chant bemos bemos from time to time. This may come in handy when travelling to places beyond the vicinity. Bemos is the generic term for public transport in Bali. It includes buses and taxis. The buses are rustic and crowded. It’s a great way to meet people unless you are not cut out for it, in which case it is easy to rent a minivan or car. Taxis are available too, but make sure to hone your haggling skills or ensure to get into a cab with a fixed rate or a working meter.
Where To Stay?
If you are travelling with family or a large group of friends, it is highly recommended that you rent a villa—the signature style of staying in Bali during a holiday. It is cheaper than booking separate hotel rooms and also has the warmth, comfort and spaciousness of a home or rather your dream house if you are booking a luxury villa. Many villas come with swimming pools, maid, chef and hospitality services as well. Check out http://www.baliluxuryprivatevillas.com for a guide to Bali villas according to your needs, location and prices.
If you are travelling alone or perhaps just don’t like the villa ambiance because it is too homely for a vacation, there are other hotel options as well. For instance, Champlung Sari Hotel Bali that starts at $125 USD or J Boutique Hotel Kuta that starts at $119 USD. There is plenty of activity within walking distance from the hotel. However, if you are into a high-end deal, go ahead with Uma Ubud Hotel starting at $386 USD or the Intercontinental Bali Resort starting at $291 USD. These hotels are comfortable, luxurious and resort-style adhering to the authentic and ethnic décor.
Budget travellers must keep in mind that the concept of dorm rooms is not very prevalent in Bali. Generally they offer individual rooms at very low prices. Check out Sayang Maha Mertha Hotel starting from $8 USD located in the Kuta region. Matsapa Garden Hotel in Kuta $18 USD may also be a reasonable and comfortable option.
What’s For Dinner?
Similar to most places with a beach culture, the charm of dining in Bali is at its beachfront restaurants. All the beaches are studded with a plethora of dining options with grass roofs, cane furniture and blasting music. The Lotus Seaview Restaurant on Kuta Beach is particularly well known. They boast of Asian and international cuisines with live seafood being cooked in front of you in their see-through kitchen.
For five-star dining head to Sailfin on Kuta beach. It is also a beachfront location with provisions for romantic outdoor dining whilst gazing at the sunset.
However, one of the most interesting experiences of food in Bali is gorging on the cuisines offered by the local carts. They are generally snacky items and the mobile carts are called kaki lima. For many locals it is a delicacy they are addicted to.
I Need A Drink…
Bali buzzes with bars, nightlife and party culture. The most hip region for a little oomph is Kuta. It has become popular for its clubs and bars. Just strolling around the area at night, you are likely to witness a lot of enthusiasm. For instance, Casablanca is an open-aired pub. On the other hand, Peanuts Discotheque is an air-conditioned club packed with partygoers. Ku De Ta is famous for being a hip and happening venue located right on the beach near the Oberai. It is famous for the spectacular sunset views.
As mentioned above, Bali is well known for relaxing and unwinding, which is a perfectly blissful thing to do if that’s the purpose of your holiday. For those looking to venture out and explore the culture, there are plenty of other options as well.
You could check out the mountain ranges, temples, lakes, hot springs and the coffee and rice plantations. However, my recommended picks are:
1) Travel to the mountain range of Bedugul, viewing the stunning scenery along the way. At Bedugul spend time admiring the Lake Bratan & Ulun Danu Temple. Located high up in the central mountains of Bali, the temple is located by the lake. Not only is it a breathtaking view, it is also a place for tranquility and spirituality.
2) For a wild adventure head out to Puncak for a Taman Safari. It is a trip for nature and animal lovers. Agrizoophobic are suggested to stick to the beach and sightseeing as the animals roam around freely. It is a set of villages along the steep mountain road, with dense jungles clinging to the hillside. Spot animals on the way to the Taman Safari and once you are there you can enthral in the beauty of these creatures freely roaming around. The sight of Asian lions, tree leopards, bears and orang-utans will hopefully run a thrilling shiver down your spine.
Shop Til’ You Drop
Shopping in Bali is a temptation that finds a way to cleverly seep into your plans. There are a bunch of malls for designer brands such as Prada, Nine-West, Guess etc. Bali Galeria, Kartika Discover Mall, Kuta Square and Carrefour are amongst the popular ones. The latter features a huge hypermarket of a French retailer. The top floor has a supply of food, baked goods, prepared food, wine, dairy products and electrical goods. Lower floors have a variety of shops selling everything that you can imagine
Bali is famous for fine art and handicrafts including antique, semi-antique and modern furniture; gold and silver jewellery; paintings; woven and dyed fabrics; as well as clothing; wood and stone carvings; masks; and more.
There is a lot of charm in buying local and authentic Bali products. The Kuta Art Market is good for local-crafted souvenirs and goods. Sukawati Art Market is the biggest market in Bali to find handicrafts and traditional handmade products. Souvenirs, handicrafts and art crafts made by locals from the neighboring village are also found at Candidasa along the main street.
While buying local products, remember there is no price tag and you must master the skill of politely haggling.
Anything I Should Take With Me?
Take your bathing suit, slippers, sarongs and other beachwear. Make sure to have sunglasses and sun block to avoid the scorching sun. Also a camera is a must to capture the wonderful sights you come across touring in Bali.
Anything I Should Avoid?
DRUGS! In fact that is an understatement, you should absolutely refrain from drugs. We all know about the 14-year-old Australian boy and his troubled months because of purchasing a little marijuana. Don’t carry any narcotics or drugs and don’t entertain anyone trying to sell you any. Drugs may give you a high, but if you are caught, the ensuing trial is not worth the blissful moments of oblivion.