This time last years, I was preparing one of the biggest trips of my life, to this day. A month later, I was going to discover the unknown, I had absolutely no idea of what to expect out of this little island at the end of the world. I was going to discover Indonesia, more precisely; Bali. 30h and 2 layovers later… Here we are half a world away.
We spent 2 months in Bali, discovering the culture, the landscape and exploring our surroundings. Here are 11 things I discovered while visiting Bali.
I was amazed by the Balinese people. They do, love life. You can always find them giggling while walking down the streets. They are always filled with joy and how so welcoming!
Balinese food is usually made of three components; rice, noodle and vegetable. Their typical meal called mie goreng or nasi goreng is a mix of all these components and usually top with a fried egg. It’s very yummy, although I feel like I could easily get bored of eating that dish after a couple months. Happily, you can find any kind of food on the island. From burgers to beef tataki, the food is very delicious, made with fresh ingredients and usually offered at a very low cost. I ate so well during those two months that my taste buds are still grateful for that trip. I really fell in love with their green juices. Unfortunately, I find them very hard to reproduce at home… so sad!
A TRUE ARTIST!
Wherever you look is beautiful, like everywhere. Art is a part of their culture, from wall decor to streets ornaments all the way to your plate. They really have good taste.
LOTS OF CULTURE
The ceremonies are very important for them. The streets are filled with offering all year long which makes it almost impossible not to attend one of their ceremonies, even if you’re only there for a week. Those celebrations are filled with color and so beautiful to experience. Bali is one of the only islands in Indonesia to be Hindu. Therefore, the streets are filled with temples and statues of their gods. I was personally amazed while watching their traditional dance, where even their outfits are a show in them self.
SNAKES… SO MANY SNAKES!
Here is a personal anecdote. The bathrooms in Bali are usually located outside of the house. I know what you are all thinking; “How romantic would that be to shower under the stars? Right!”. Let say before I went to Bali I was dreaming of doing so #Lolz. One night, I had to go. While peeing doing my thing, I ended face to face with… A SNAKE. When you’re least expecting it, it surprises you! Let me tell you that I went back inside, very very quickly. Obviously, a couple minutes later I was on the internet (yeah! Why??) trying to find out if there were any bad snakes in the area. Well, seems like 1 snake out of 8 is venomous and can kill you. So, next time you need to go at night, mind your back!
In Bali, you can easily find a great place to stay with Airbnb. While planning our trip, it was very important for us to know where we would be staying. At first, because a lot of our friends were coming to visit us, but also because it was making me feel safer. Although, once over there, I realized it was very easy to find a place to stay last minute. It’s exactly what we did on our next trip to Bali, a couple months later.
It’s very cheap to stay in Bali. Which makes it perfect for a longer trip. During the first 2 weeks of the trip, my boyfriend and I lived in an apartment with a pool in Canggu for 45$ a night. Then we went to a 6-person’s villa. This villa had 2 bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, 3 bathrooms as well as an in-ground pool for only 80$ a night. After all, it was less than 14$ per person per day, when we were at max capacity. Plus, the place was well located, right in the heart of the popular Seminyak neighborhood and barely 2 minutes’ walk from the beach. Allowing a budget of less than 25$ a day per person is more than doable.
SCOOTER AND TRAFFIC EVERYWHERE
For a long time, I drove from Montreal’s south shore all the way to downtown Montréal. I really thought I knew what traffic was. But NO. In Bali, it’s like a free for all, there is traffic everywhere. Which explains why the most efficient mode of transportation is the scooter. I really enjoyed going from place to place on a scooter, mostly through the magnificent rice fields.
When leaving for Bali I thought I was going to be totally culturally disoriented, I had no clue what to expect. It was culturally disorienting me, but never as much I thought. Some cities are very touristy mostly Kuta, Seminyak and Ubud.
Bali is filled with wonderful beaches. The Seminyak beach, Double six beach and Echo beach are one of the most popular beaches. Early in the morning, the beaches are filled with Australian surfers. There are also a couple of other beaches that are worth a tour. I highly recommend the beaches in the south of the island such as Pandawa (Secret beach), Padang Padang, Dreamland beach, Jimbaran beach and Geger beach. These are one of the most beautiful beaches, the water is crystal clear. I also had a crush on the black sanded beach in the east of the island. A must see once in a lifetime!
In Bali, the most consumed Indonesian beer is the Bintang. You can purchase the Bintang at the grocery store, the convenience store as well as the restaurant/ bar for a low cost of 2 to 3$. Although, the wine is a little bit less affordable. You can pay up to 30$ for a very low-quality bottle of wine from Australia. I thought it was important to mention #WineLover .
TRAVEL WITH FRIENDS OR AS A COUPLE
We traveled Bali both ways. It can be good to visit Bali between friends as well as with your lover. It’s very easy to party with a group of people as well as enjoying a calm moment at the many restaurants, on the beaches or even at the spas ( 7$ massage available almost everywhere).
After all, even though I am still not a mom, I would like to take the time to tell you to stay safe while traveling with your little family. There is a lot of misdeed in Bali. During our trip, my boyfriend’s phone got stolen. Also, drugs are everywhere.
At last, the best advice I can give you when planning a trip is not to plan too much. I believe, just like me, you will make beautiful discoveries, which will be worth enjoying longer. After all, isn’t it the whole point of traveling?