BALI is certainly feeling the effects of the Mount Agung eruption in more than just darkened skies and trickling lava. The paradise island is also seeing a decline in Christmas tourism, with only 25 percent of rooms being filled up compared to an average of 80 percent this same period last year.
Responding to the dismal dip in arrivals, island officials and governor Made Mangku Pastika are insisting the destination remains safe to travelers, with only an 8km-radius around the volcano remaining closed as the new year approaches.
This leaves at least 5,772 square kilometers of unaffected space, and more than enough room for visitors to have plenty of festive fun as they bid goodbye to 2017.
Bali is party central and a popular tourist pick for New Year celebrations; it’s an island of culture, incredible sunset locations, gorgeous villas for the both the budget and luxe traveler and golden sands just begging to be danced on until sunrise.
So if you’ve decided to buck the trend and head over for New Year’s, usher in 2018 from one of these few party spots:
Puputan Badung Square in Denpasar
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in Balinese culture, this is probably the best place to celebrate the New Year.
Located near Bali’s biggest market, Pasar Badung, in the heart of Denpasar city, here you’ll get to join the locals for their customary New Year countdown, which will culminate in a dazzling display of fireworks, and plenty of singing and dancing.
This spot can get crowded though, so we suggest you head down early to catch the colorful parade of local religious leaders and school children.
Parties, parties, parties
Bali has some very talented musicians coming ashore this festive season to usher in the New Year with the funkiest beats and special guest treats.
Mulia Beach Resort will be welcoming British pop princess, Charli XCX, to give a special performance on New Year’s eve in the resort’s grand ballroom as the clock ticks down.
The resort in Nusa Dua, a popular enclave of high-end hotels and eateries, is also offering New Year’s accommodation packages, which include breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner for two.
If you’re looking to party into the early hours of the morning safe in the knowledge that every DJ on the line-up is as legendary as the last, then head to Finns Beach Club in Canggu where you can boogie to the jazziest sounds from Australian duo, Flight Facilities, German award-winning Dj Claptone and Ozzy singer, Hayden James.
Perfect for couples and families
For those looking for a quieter New Year’s with close friends and family, Bali has the perfect place for you to sit back, relax and count down to 2018 as calmly as you wish your year ahead to be.
Away from the oftentimes chaotic and messy gatherings in Kuta and Denpasar, Jimbaran Beach is a wonderful spot for couples looking to enjoy a delightful dinner and share a kiss as fireworks light the sky for the new year.
Another beach certain to make your Balinese New Year’s Eve a night to remember is the Canggu Echo Beach on the Western coast.
Known for its idyllic surf conditions in the day and stunning 180-degree sunset-scapes in the evening, here you and your family can enjoy the freshest seafood and admire the pyrotechnic displays happening across the island.
So where will you welcome 2018?