I recently took a trip to Bali – stayed in Ubud and had a driver take us everywhere! Speaking of the driver, I think it was the best way of getting around Bali – their infrastructure is not well developed so it’s safer for the locals and for you to just hire one. I only paid $50 a day and my driver was super knowledgeable of all the touristy and non touristy spots, and he was flexible with driving me anywhere I wanted. Anyways, I chose Bali because I heard it’s beautiful, people are nice, and it’s just a very relaxing place. Everything people said about it is true. There’s a lot of natural beauty and just being there makes you forget about all the crappy things happening in this world. I think a lot of it had to do with the amazing, care-free culture and the nice, super courteous people. I never really worried about my bag being snatched, I felt really safe, and I felt really free. It’s one of those countries where the outside world has yet to leave its mark, so things still operate in a very communal, traditional, and trusting way. And because of that, it really reflects in their day to day lifestyle – simple, laid back.
Besides hitting the beach (Angel Beach, Virgin Beach, and a few others), I also water rafted, explored the Monkey Forest (the only place where I was afraid of having my belongings robbed – the monkeys are cute but really mischievous, so I recommend leaving your things in the car), visited several temples (they eventually all look pretty similar), and so much more! The activities and adventures were a blast, but the food was also quite good. I ate A LOT – I made sure I had my breakfast, lunch, and dinner with 3-4 sides of dessert! Their food portions are smaller than American portions, so you walk away feeling content and not in pain. Bali doesn’t have many options, but rather variations of the few dishes they have. Also, if you are located in touristy areas, the food tends to be more westernized. I prefer authentic food since I travel to experience different culture, so I always made sure to find a place that’s away from the tourist center – it’s also a great way to pay a lot less for what you’re buying and this goes with souvenirs too! But wherever you are, make sure to negotiate.
Bali was truly lovely but I have to be honest – it was really humid some days and certain places were really dirty. And I come from the city, so I see and am comfortable with the idea of dirty to an extent; beautiful places in Bali were littered with trash. I was surprised the country hasn’t invested in better ways to address this problem considering they make part of their money from tourism. Either way, I would go back to Bali in a heartbeat. I did a lot in Bali so this blog post probably didn’t do much justice. So feel free to ask me any questions you might have.
And the pictures…