Bali is known for its beautiful landscapes, boho aesthetics, but most of all its sacred spiritual energy, well for me anyway. I love everything about Bali, from the welcoming people, the good food, and the spiritual values it holds. I have visited Bali twice, the first time I was solo and it was completely safe although I did meet friends out there, I did do some excursions on my own, and at no point did I ever feel unsafe. The second time I got to show my husband what I loved about Bali and he fell in love with every aspect of it too.
OK! So I have only been twice but I do feel like I have some great tips I am able to share that made me really enjoy the Balinese experience.
1. Rent a scooter or book a driver
The traffic in Bali is crazy, although it didn't ruin my experience but instead added to it, that's just the way it is in Bali and in a lot of Asian countries, you learn to cope with it and begin to appreciate it because it adds to the atmosphere. There are options for everyone if you prefer not to waste any time sitting in traffic or waking up at the crack of dawn so you can get to your destination at a decent hour then I would suggest renting a scooter, it is super cheap for something ridiculous like £15 for the week, and I forgot to mention it is quite fun, if your not a skilled driver I wouldn't recommend this option hence why I always hop on the back and please always be responsible and wear a helmet. For longer journey's I booked a tour guide, she was incredible, her name was Ai and she came with me all around Ubud, this was a super cheap option I think around £20, this is great if you want a more relaxed journey with air-con and if you prefer being guided around.
2. Always have cash
I'd recommend always having cash on you especially if you are heading to the markets, but also for some of the attractions and if you want to give a tip, tipping is not mandatory in Bali but I always like to give a little extra as everything is always so inexpensive. I also loved photographing the Balinese people and offered them cash to take a photo as a thank you. I know when abroad you don't always want to use the atm's or use your card, I've used my card many times and have never had an issue but it is so convenient having cash and especially if you're sticking to a budget, being able to physically see the cash is handy. If using an ATM it's best to use BMC bank, Central Kuta Money Exchange, or PT Dirgahayu Valuta Prima branch.
3. Explore outside of Seminyak and Canguu
There is so much more to Bali than the Instagram famous places, don't get me wrong Seminyak and Canguu are amazing but personally, Ubud is a firm favorite with Uluwatu following close behind, you just can not beat the spiritual atmosphere these places hold, for me, this is where the true culture of Bali lies. Ubud holds a very special place in my heart, I found part of myself in Ubud but that needs a post all of its own.
4. Bring a wrap
To visit the temples in Bali it is mandatory that you wear a temple scarf, also known as Selendang (see in the photo below) that wraps around your waist or a sarong, also known as Kain Kamben that covers your knees, to be honest, all of the temples I went to do provide them and most are included in your ticket price but I bought a gorgeous one from one of the markets that I could take back home and keep as a memoir. These items hold so much value and wisdom within Bali. I am a person who gets stuck into other cultures and I love traditions so I loved having to wear this.
5.Try the traditional Balinese food
There are so many smaller family-owned restaurants within Bali and they are usually dirt cheap! with incredible cuisine, you can get a good meal for £5 or even less sometimes. There are also some more bouji spots, we went to the equivalent of Nobu and had a three-course luxury meal for £50 and that's with alcohol, I know!! You can certainly eat like a king during your stay.
6. Have a Balinese massage
Best massages I have ever had periodt! and it cost me a whopping £10 for 60 minutes lol. Trust me when I say they truly put their back into the massages, no muscle is left untouched. I have also gone for a luxury experience when I and Chris went, it included massage, chocolate body mask, a bath full of beautiful petals, tea, and full use of the facility, you even got to choose your own scent for the body oils I believe this was £100 for both of us. You can find more info here.
7. Don't go expensive on accommodation
You can do Bali on a budget or you can go full-on luxury the choice is yours of course but personally, I don't think there is any reason to spend unnecessary money. There are villas you can find for reasonable prices that honestly look and feel so luxurious plus if like me you are really wanting to dive deep into the culture you can find some super affordable places, I love the boho vibe so this suits me pretty well. There is accommodation to fit all budgets.
8.Book an excursion
There is so much to do in Bali, even just going to enjoy the food and soak up the sun and the good energy is enough, but if you have some free time I would book a day trip to Nusa Penida or an excursion within the area, we did quad biking around the villages and it was bloody epic, I would highly recommend if you can find a good company to go through, it was a little more pricey than I had hoped but it was a great experience and included lunch so money well spent.
9.Don't be shy
A lot of people travel Bali solo, don't be afraid to speak to people, make friends, make connections. The energy of love runs so deep in Bali, everyone is usually friendly and inviting.
10. Embrace wet season perks
They say don't travel to Bali during the rainy season which is usually October to April, but I went in March and it was perfect, I think I had rain once that didn't last very long at all. I embrace tropical rain I think it's so beautiful. Flights during this time are usually a lot cheaper to meaning you can save some coin. Places are usually a lot less busy during these times too.
Have you been to Bali, if so what did you enjoy most about it?