Bali is Indonesia’s best known island and has been attracting visitors from around the world for many years. A visit to this island is like living a dream; the warm, azure-blue waters, the fresh, lush greenery and incredible sights and experiences are enough to have you wanting to go back for more. This volcanic island is about as close to Paradise as you can get on this Earth and it attracts surfers, explorers, sunbathers, swimmers and more every year.
Beaches and Islands in Bali
Visitors to Bali tend to all have at least one thing in common: they want to experience the tropical waters and sandy beaches of the island. A visit to the coastline will have you soaking up the sun, practicing surfing and spotting the creatures that live in this crystal clear waters. There are a number of popular beaches and islands in Bali that we recommend visiting and we have listed them below.
Kuta Beach is one of the most well-known beaches in Bali, most probably because the waters provide the perfect conditions for surfing. The waves are high and currents are strong, so if you’re not the most confident of swimmers, take caution. The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down in Kuta, as there are a large number of bars and restaurants where you can spend your evenings.
Sanur Beach is several miles of blue lined white sandy shore, speckled with small coral. This beach is in the south of the island and the waters are a lot tamer than other areas so if you want to go for a swim, this is the ideal spot.
Balagan Beach is not ideal for swimming, owing to its strong current, but it is perfect for a quieter, low-key experience. It is nearby to Uluwatu and your journey there will have you travelling through traditional Balinese villages, so you will be able to catch a glimpse of local life.
“Bali, the island of gods is not just about picking up the Chang Beer singlet at Kuta Poppes Street. Skip that busy winding souvenirs lane and head to the beach to snorkel or scuba dive (even if you don’t know how, there’s always beginners’ course that takes you only 1 full day) and sip the tropical cocktail to indulge and absorb a true vacation.”
By Sy Yuan, Sylistic
Image Source: Mohammad Raihan Mazumder
The Gili Islands are just off the coast of Bali and each of the three islands offers a unique experience to those visiting. The islands are called: Gili T, Gili Air and Gili Meno. All motorised transport is banned on the islands, so the only way to get around is by foot, bicycle or hitching a ride in one of the pony-carts (their version of a taxi!). All of the islands are accessible by boat and there are plenty of operators on the mainland (mainly leaving from Pandang Bai) and between the islands.
This is the largest of the Gili Islands and known as the place to go for a party. However, it is still a beautiful location for those looking to relax and do some snorkelling or scuba diving. Other activities to be done on the island include horse riding, general exploration and enjoying games and BBQs on the beach.
As its name would suggest, this island is far more relaxing and serene than Gili T. Take a moment to truly indulge your inner self by lying down and basking in your surroundings. Gili Air is very small and we recommend taking a trek around the whole island. This off-the beaten path trek takes approximately 2.5 hours, so make sure you take enough supplies, especially water. As with the others islands, snorkelling and scuba diving opportunities on Gili Air are in abundance; you may even spot the sea turtles that live around this island.
Another much smaller island, Gili Meno, Air, is very small and known as escape for those wanting to retreat from the stresses of everyday life. Additionally, this island is a popular destination for honeymooners owing to its secluded surroundings.
“Bali is everything for everyone. Romantic escapes for loved up couples, family breaks full of safe excursions, or a wild weekend for the backpackers en route from Thailand, to Australia. Bali really is something special. The party crowd tend to head to Kuta, and more frequently out to Seminyak, so if you’re thinking of hitting some crazy nightlife, that’s your spot.”
By Johnny Ward, One Step 4ward
La Favela (Jalan Kayu Aya No.177X, Kabupaten Badung, Bali, Indonesia) – this bar is a lovely place to have drinks with your friends and family; the bar has a calm atmosphere and you can spend the evening talking under the twinkling fairy lights. It is open from 11.00 to 22.00 daily.
Unique Rooftop Bar at Rimba Jimbaran Bali (Rimba Resort, Jimbaran, Indonesia) – this bard is set atop the Rimba Resort, a five star hotel providing a classy, sophisticated evening experience. When you’re spending your evening at this bar you will be able to look out over beautiful views of the Uluwatu Hills. The bar is open from 11.00-01.00 daily.
Mirror Nightclub (Jl. Petitenget no. 106 | Seminyak, Kerobokan, Denpasar 80361, Indonesia) – this club offers a somewhat strange, but intriguing experience; the club is lined with mirrors that make up part of the laser light show to accompany your clubbing experience. The club is open Wednesday to Saturday from 23.00 to 05.00.
The Balinese calendar actually only has 210 days, which means you could find yourself celebrating New Year when you least expect it.
There are two volcanoes in Bali, Mount Batur and Mount Agung, both of which are still active. They are also the reason for some of the most incredible black sand beaches in Bali.
There are five different varieties of dolphins in Bali, which can be found in the warm waters North of the island.
Remember to check the dress codes for each of the destinations you are visiting, not just temples, but restaurants and bars too. For the temples, pack a sarong that covers your legs below your knees (men and women) otherwise you will have to pay for one and they can be fairly expensive.
Be careful of the stray and wild animals in Bali. While monkeys may look cute, they can be quite vicious and steal your belongings. Also, there are lots of stray dogs in Bali, be aware these animals are likely to carry various diseases you won’t want to catch.
Be mindful of the power of the ocean; the waters are very alluring but remember the currents can be strong and the areas are quite rocky.
Getting Around Bali
Image Source: Richard Friedericks
Taxis are the most useful and reliable method of transport in Bali. Bluebird Taxi Group is known to be a trustworthy, metered taxi service; these taxis are bright blue and can be hailed down in the streets or ordered (+62 (0) 361 701 111). Be wary of imposter taxis, as copy cats have taken to painting their taxis blue to scam tourists. Also, keep an eye out with our taxis as they may “forget” to switch on the meter or offer to show you around the island at a “low price”; clearly agree your fare before you get in and start your journey.
We do recommend using taxis as opposed to other methods of transport as they are usually the best option (besides walking). Or if you’re a bit more daring and want to try something new, hop on an Ojek (a motorbike); try to avoid the busy towns when riding these and stick to the countryside.
Flights to Bali
Image Source: Matt_Weibo
If you’re looking for flights to Bali, then explore the Expedia Singapore website for more prices and times for your trip to Bali. There are a number of airlines that fly to Denpasar Airport in Bali, including Air Asia, SilkAir and Jetstar. The average flight time from Singapore is 3 hours, making it the perfect getaway just a few hours away.
The best way to get from the airport to your destination is by taxi; you can find the taxi stand immediately outside of the airport. Prices will vary depending on your destination and your time of arrival, but the price is fixed and you will pay at the airport before you begin your journey.