Much like Singapore, Bali is a many-layered island of cultures and traditions. From the best surfs to rice paddies, this Indonesian island with Hinduism as its main religion has a diverse menu to offer; it all depends on what the traveller is looking for.
South Bali is the most visited region in Bali. Tourists typically flock to Kuta, Legian and Seminyak for its beaches, shops and cafes. Kuta is renowned as the place for surfers, but there are also comments that the beach is dirty and polluted.
Ubud is distinctly different. Touted as the cultural heart of Bali, it is the center of art production, where there are art museums, art bookshops and an annual Ubud Writers’ Festival. All these, amidst beautiful natural views of rice terraces, lush greenery and the slow village life that Kuta is missing.
Also noteworthy is Gugung Agung or Mount Agung, Bali’s tallest mountain which is steeped with religious beliefs as being a sacred mountain for gods. It is advised not to trek the mountain without a guide as it could be dangerous. Also, trekking is not allowed during religious occasions.
Balinese are known to be friendly, though there had been accounts that you might encounter pushy touts, especially in the Kuta area. Do note that Balinese is a language different from the official language of Indonesia – Bahasa Indonesia.
Balinese accommodation can range from humble 1-star basic hotels to beautifully landscaped villas with private pools and pretty gardens. Villas are a popular option among families or those who are willing to splurge at least US$200 per night.
The low-end hotels cost US$60++ and above, and are really basic in appearance, with a simple bed and hardly any furnishings. If you are on a budget, you may wish to consider staying at a guest house, which is a good way of interacting with the locals. Prices can start from US$10 per night. Take note that in Bali, you literally pay for what you get.
Despite its shattered image as a tranquil island blown to pieces by terrorists, declining number of visitors have started to rise again. Mostly, visitors arrive at the Ngurah Rai International Airport or Denpasar International Airport. It is located about 30 mins away from Denpasar in which there are not much tourist attractions.
International airlines serving this airport include AirAsia, Cathay Pacific, Jetstar, KLM and Qantas Airlines.
Are you visiting Bali, or do you have a postcard of Bali on hand? Share it with me so that we can keep the postcard tradition going!
Photo Credits: Shazana Anuar