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Also, check out some of my favourite spots to eat in Bali here!
Beware of the Bali Belly…
A common, and relatively cheap holiday destination for New Zealanders, this wee island of Indonesia is extremely diverse and fun. You can beach and you can hike, you can stay in backpackers or one of the gazillion resorts which are present on the island. There are also smaller islands nearby which are very accessible from Bali.
- Capital: Denpensar
- Population: 5 million
- Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (Rp)
- Language: Indonesian, Balinese, English
- Ubud: Culture capital of Bali. There is an absolute abundance of temples to explore in the area, as well as rice paddies and of course, the infamous monkey forest. It is one of the few Balinese tourist spots that is inland (and has slightly cooler temperatures). Popular with yogis and foodies alike, it is an absolute must visit.
- Gili Islands: Beach, sleep, party, repeat – that is the mantra of these islands. Gili Trawangan is the most popular island with tourists and has earned itself a solid reputation as a party island. If you want to escape the drunks, Gili Air is famed for its beautiful beaches (and is quite a bit more isolated) and Gili Meno has a turtle sanctuary on it.
- Canggu: surfies and foodies rejoice, this is where those two realms meet. Predominantly Australian owned and occupied, you can always count on a good brunch followed by some serious waves. For non-surfers the beach is slightly less enticing, so I probably wouldn’t spend too long here.
- Nusa Penida: a relatively primitive island that is terrific for exploring by scooter. Some fantastic ‘undiscovered’ beaches, waterfalls, and hikes – the island is seriously beautiful, albeit isolated.
- Nusa Dua: resort central. This is where most families tend to base themselves – it is quite central to the rest of Bali and has nice beaches.
- Uluwatu: great surf, famous temple, larger area that is ideal for beach-hopping by scooters. The whole area is pretty spread out, but probably has the most mellow vibe of anywhere we visited in Bali.
- Did you know?
- Bali is not actually a country – it is a part of Indonesia.
- The Balinese are not very original when it comes to names… everyone shares one of the four same names: Wayan, Made, Nyoman or Ketut – regardless of whether they are female or male.
- Bali babies are not allowed to touch the ground until they are three months old.
- Useful tips:
- Carry small change. As soon as possible (usually at restaurants or accommodations) break those big notes and get some smaller dosh on the go.
- Check if the water is drinkable before you consume. To be safe, presume that you cannot drink it – but sometimes accommodation or restaurants will have filtered water. Otherwise prepare yourself for Bali-belly.
- Dress accordingly. At temples it is a requirement that knees and shoulders are covered.
- Be careful of spirits – drink spiking is a common issue in Bali.
- Avoid Kuta… seedy, tasteless, full of drunk Australians… just don’t do it.