There’s a song that I grew up with in Australia called ‘I’ve been to Bali too’. The lyrics, some that I remember to this day courtesy of over-play by my Dad, include: “And you can’t impress me, ’cause I’ve been to Bali too”, which I’ve always understood to mean that Bali holidays were still beautiful even though they’re popular.
I’ve been on holidays in Indonesia several times. But I haven’t been on a Bali holiday. But a lot of people have a lot of nice things to say about it on World Reviewer, where expert Bonnie Pelnar proclaims it: magical, saying “Words and pictures alone can’t describe this beautiful little island in the middle of Indonesia.”.
So this is the trip I would now take if I was planning a week long Bali holiday.
There are plenty of options when it comes to how much you’ll need to pay for accommodation on your Bali holiday, from backpacker hostels to luxury resorts, but the first places to stay seem to be Legian or Seminyak, which is also where all the good shopping is, and the Jimbaran Bay restaurant, which is one of the best on the island.
Go out in Kuta. Go surfing off Keramas Beach. Go shopping at Denpasar’s Markets and get it all out of your system. Then head into the interior to see a more spiritual side of the island.
The Uluwatu Temple is one of the places I’d include in a Bali holiday itinerary, it sounds fantastic, perched on a 250 foot cliff overlooking the ocean, and part colonised by a bunch of spirited monkeys. The Temple of Pura Besakih is Bali’s most famous temple, it has an ancient and impressive pagoda structure, and the Ulun Danu Temple on a tiny island in Lake Bratan below Mount Beretan also sounds interesting and beautiful — so I’d include them on a Bali holiday itinerary also.
If you want to break up your Bali holiday you might also want to consider staying in Ubud, which is set up as a cultural centre and is a good place to see some traditional Balinese dancing, batik printing and other traditional arts. Ubud is also a good place in your Bali holiday to try out a Balinese spa, and to wander the rice terraces, visiting ancient sanctuaries like Yeh Pulu
Diving, Snorkelling and a tropical island break to finish off you Bali holiday
Pemuteran, Nusa Lembongan and the Gili Islands — Gili Trawangan being the most popular — are great for divers and snorkellers, so most Bali holiday itineraries include a few nights at one, or several of these spots.
Bali has more than one beach option. Top of the list are Pemuteran, which offers divers easy access to the marine life living on Napoleon reef; Nusa Lembongan, with snorkeller’s dream, glassy watered Crystal Bay and one of Bali’s nicest beaches, or the car-free, turtle friendly, small hut resort dotted Gili Islands — Gili Trawangan being the most popular. All of these options offer soft coral sand beaches, clear water and a tropical island lifestyle.