I’ll be honest, a holiday in Bali, Indonesia was not on my bucket list.
The first time I went, Small Person was seven months old. Enough said, really. I was so sleep deprived I could’ve been on Mars.
Since then, living in Asia, we’ve ventured to places like Thailand and Malaysia, whenever we were lucky enough to escape on a resort holiday.
Down Under though, Bali is the place to go for many an Aussie. Around a six hour flight from the East Coast, it’s not super close, but close enough.
Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of sad and distressing stories out of this tropical paradise, from the Schapelle Corby Saga to the Bali Bombings, eery earthquakes and lately the threat of the island’s volcano erupting — so perhaps subconsciously, I was steering clear of this particular holiday hot spot.
However, since we’ve been away, it’s become my family’s destination of choice for a quick pick me up holiday. So, with that in mind, living back in Australia, I was determined to get on board and see what all the fuss was about.
Truth be told, I didn’t have high expectations. I’d pictured a place bustling with every Aussie and his Bintang spilling out of bars onto the pavements in search of a cheap sarong. (And yes, there are places like that in Bali, hello Kuta! But it’s definitely not the status quo!)
We stayed at Legian Beach just north of the nightlife capital at The Stone’s Hotel… (one of the Hotelier’s of course). We were conveniently just a stone’s throw from the family at Legian Beach Resort.
(Mind you the first day, when my sister told me to cross over to the beach and walk along until I spotted the red umbrellas, I took her literally and we walked for kilometres along the scorching hot sand in blazing heat searching for the right red umbrellas. So many?)
But once I found my bearings, I had the time of my life. What’s not to love about shopping and pedicures on the beach!
Not unlike Phuket in Thailand, it’s got everything you could need on a holiday. In fact I would go so far as to say it has something for everyone.
It’s a big call, I know. But with it’s beautiful beaches, accomodation to suit everyone’s budget (just quietly I’ve got my eye on a villa for next time!), markets – loads of markets in fact (with things you actually want to buy ladies, and won’t regret when you get back to normality), lots of culture and a gazillion restaurants and bars with great food — Bali is pumping with possibilities! Oh and let’s not forget the friendly locals.
I was well and truly into the swing of things, I even got my hair braided. *Face palm*
And do you want to know the best bit? Unlike a lot of island holiday spots, it’s cheap as chips!
From Nusa Dusa in the South, where five star resorts reign supreme in a picturesque setting, to Kuta and Legian — Seminyak in the north with it’s villas for the whole family – a place filled with upmarket boutiques and delicious day spas — inland to Ubud with its quaint villages and inspiring galleries to Jimbaran Bay, the place they call the Beverley Hills of Bali and idyllic Lombok in the East — you can’t go wrong.
While I just had a snapshot of what Bali had to offer, would I go back again?
You betcha! (Just between you and me, I was hoping the island’s active volcano might erupt!)
And I didn’t even get a hint of Bali Belly! (Word of advice, choose wisely.)
There’s a reason Bali was voted as the world’s favourite destination for the first time ever in the TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Awards 2017.
Bali, this time, you had me at hello.