If you’ve kept an eye on my instagram account, then you will be keenly aware of the fact that I recently returned home from Bali. The trip was a massive surprise for my 30th birthday from my super-awesome-amazing husband, and two beyond fantastic friends. Mauritz and I went to Bali for our honeymoon (we called it our Balimoon) three years ago. I literally set our wedding date so that we could have a two week honeymoon and be back home for Mauritz to celebrate his 30th birthday with friends and family. When he booked our honeymoon he decided that he would rather spend his birthday in Bali, so we did.
Somewhere during our honeymoon he promised to bring me back to magical Bali for my 30th. After buying a house a year ago I assumed it was off the cards. With careful planning, starting almost a year in advance, Maurtiz pulled it off and surprised me two days before our trip to “Cape Town”.
To kick off our Bali series I put together a list of reasons to visit Bali. Just in case you are thinking about your next travel destination.
Bali is Beautiful
There is beauty everywhere in Bali. The oceans, the landscapes, the coral, the architecture, the people. Almost every corner is instagram worthy. Even when you’re walking through some back ally. Frangipani trees flourish there, so you are guaranteed to find a flower to put in your hair on your walk. The people of Bali cultivate plants actively, so there is greenery all around. Add to this, that stone and wood carving are professions handed down in family trees. This means that even the chairs on every patio are pretty. And did I mention the landscapes. Oceans, beaches, mountains forests. Take your pic. And then post it.
Getting there is expensive, because it is far. Yes. But once you are actually there, the cost of living is relatively low. Of course if you only dine at your hotel, and sip cocktails from the super-touristy spots it’s going to be expensive. However, if you are willing to explore a little, you can find good food at a relatively cheap price. When it comes to hotels, you can get a great hotel with breakfast included for two people at a cost of about R500 a night. Or you can go budget with small room, a pool and breakfast for R280. Even at that price, you can still be in the hub of things.
The sin tax in Indonesia also appears to be quite low. That means that you can get local beers and cigarettes at good prices. Entry fees for temples and monuments range between 15 000 Rupiah, and 50 000 Rupiah. That translates to between 12 and 45 Rand. Most attractions usually fall on the lower end of the scale which means that actually getting in to see temples, and monkeys, is affordable.
Getting about is easy
Bali isn’t really that big, and often the things you want to see are walking distance away. Getting around can be cheap too. We used Grab which is an app based taxi service like Uber. Grab is cheaper than Uber in Bali, and you have the option of getting a lift on a scooter. Or you can hire a scooter for the day. Or even just an hour if you want to drive around a little. It costs about 60 000 Rupiah (about R55) a day. So getting to where you want to be is cheap too!
The island is a mix of cultural and sporty experiences
You can spend a day hanging on the beach, hire a surfboard or go jet skiing and tomorrow you can go to an art museum or visit a temple. The following day you can head right back to the ocean to see amazing coral reefs or climb up the active volcano Mount Batur. Mount Agung can not be climbed at the moment, due to a recent erruption.
It’s a coffee lover’s paradise
The most expensive coffee in the whole world is made in Bali. It’s called Kopi Luwak. Kopi is the Balinese word for coffee and a Luwak is the animal involved in processing the coffee. In South Africa you can easily pay over R100 per cup. But as it is made in Bali you can get a whole bag of coffee powder for the same amount. I’ll cover all the ins and outs of Kopi Luwak in another post. If you aren’t brave enough for Kopi Luwak, the island has a strong coffee culture with strong coffee served often.
If coffee isn’t your thing you can take your pick of tees. From familiars like ginger and ginseng, to something more exotic like mangosteen tea. Mangosteen is one of my favourites, I think mostly because it is pink.
You don’t need a visa!
If you are going to Bali for less than 30 days you can do it visa free! If you are staying longer, you can get a Visa on arrival. Boom.
Bali is an adventure
I may be a little biased here due to the emotional link I have with Bali, but going there is an adventure. From having monkeys jump on me, to navigating on my phone will sitting on the back of scooter through the streets of Ubud, to catching a boat out to snorkel the amazing coral reefs. We’ve had midnight swims, and beer runs. Late night shopping and gelato stops. Seen fish, temples and breathtaking views. It’s a fun place to go. As many people in Bali survive off tourism they are geared for you to have an amazing time while you are there!
If you are planning your next adventure CLICK HERE to check out our post on thing to consider before going to America, or CLICK HERE to see my thoughts on a trip to Paris.