Bali is the world’s most perfect place. There, I’ve said it and can’t take it back…and why would I want to? Bali is an amazing place, and what makes it so special isn’t just that it’s beautiful, or has amazing resorts, food, culture, wildlife, art, nightlife and, beaches. It’s that Bali has something for everyone at any budget, and interest. Bali is, in one word, phenomenal.
I have been to Bali several times, and each time I have seemingly done it at a different budget level. As I’ve grown up, so has my budget and taste.
When I first went to Bali, I stayed in the beautiful and raucous beachfront area of Kuta. Kuta is not only known for surfing and the beach, but also for its legendary nightlife and budget accommodation. At that time in my life it was perfect. Kuta is also a great place to base yourself to take excursions in and around Bali; remember Bali is a pretty big island.
As Bali has started developing, so have the areas of Seminyak and Jimbaron. These are the two best areas for luxury hotels, resorts and also higher-class restaurants and nightlife. Jimbaron boasts that it has some of the nicest resorts in the world, literally. Seminyak is a fun place to hop around, check out different hotels, and have great cocktails in cool settings. My favorite place for a cocktails is at the Ayana Resort on the cliffs overlooking the water at Rock Bar. It is a truly amazing spot for a sunset drink.
As I said, Bali is pretty big and there are a lot of cool excursions on the island. Ubud is a great place to go to get some real Balinese culture, and see some really cool monkeys as well. They are quite friendly and the accompanying temple complex gives it a really cool feel as well.
Bali is littered with temples and shrines, so it’s hard to make sense of what’s what, or which to take the time to see. If you only have a day or so, I would suggest that you make sure you get up to Ubud, and stop to see some of the typical rice terraces that adorn the hills of Bali. Then stop along a road at a temple that looks good to you. Many look alike and you will get the feel and sense from most of them. Traffic can be an issue in Bali, so I wouldn’t want you driving halfway across the island to see a temple that isn’t much different than one right near you.
Don’t forget to shop in Kuta and Seminyak for those Balinese souvenirs, art and clothes, and for goodness sake, do not forget the sunset cocktail! That is Bali at its finest!