"Bali is a living postcard, an Indonesian paradise that feels like a fantasy." That is according to the travel platform TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Awards of 2020.
Before starting this article on this enchanted place, we would like to focus on the sad period of the pandemic... Closed since April 2020 to foreigners, the island of Bali has reopened its airport under certain conditions and requirements for foreign visitors. So, if you are thinking of travelling there, remember to check out the current status when you plan your trip.
How did Bali become one of the most popular destinations in the world?
The best known of the 17,560 islands of the Indonesian archipelago undoubtedly remains the island of Bali. It was discovered by Nehru, in 1957, a Dutch traveler who had baptized it "the morning of the world".
Since then, Bali has never ceased to fascinate the West, with its astonishingly beautiful landscapes, its welcoming and smiling population, and its miraculously preserved traditions. With all the delights of a rediscovered paradise, even in the 21st century, Bali remains a land chosen by the gods.
On your travels, you will discover a universe where daily life holds many surprises, which makes it a magical island. In the shadow of volcanoes where deities are enthroned, it is not uncommon to attend processions with dances and cremations, in an atmosphere of perpetual celebration, not to mention being spiritual too.
Thanks to its traditions, Bali has been able to preserve its original culture for centuries, despite mass tourism. Among other things, the island has suffered greatly from its reputation, since the democratization of air transport, which has allowed tens of thousands of vacationers, if not millions, to invade this paradise each year. A large supermarket of exoticism for travel agencies, Bali is making the headlines for tour operators.
Bali is nicknamed "The Island of the Gods" for its great beauty and generous nature, but above all, know that Balinese Hindus belong to several gods and to the spirits of the ancestors. According to Balinese beliefs, the land was lent to them, but in exchange, they rely on humans to maintain the balance. The gods are numerous on the island, there are plenty of opportunities to celebrate them. You will see vehicles on the roads which are all decorated with pretty offerings. It is also not uncommon to come across processions of women in a long line, carrying pyramid-shaped offerings on their heads.
Don't be surprised to find little baskets on the ground, in which sticks of incense are burning. You will find them at the entrance of a store, on the beach... And if you step on them by mistake, don't worry, it's not a tragedy, nor a sign of bad omen.
As is the case for many of us, there are a lot of dogs in Bali. Most families have them, but very often they are left to themselves at night, and it is not uncommon for them to call out to each other in packs. Don't be surprised to hear barking in some neighborhoods.
Keep your eyes peeled, and you will surely come across motorized toy vendors, candy floss sellers, traveling mini bric-a-brac vans on the road... all sorts of very colorful goods. On the beach or on the streets, restaurant wagons honk their horns, announcing their passage, inviting you to go and taste the famous Indonesian “Backso" soup. Let’s not forget the ice cream vendor either, whether on a bike or on foot, you will quickly recognize the vendor’s song… Tululu, tululu.
The imprint of religion and spirituality is omnipresent in Bali, of course, there is Bali "by day" and Bali "by night". If, however, you are looking for a destination to party all night then this may not be the destination for you, even if one does not prevent the other, you will quickly understand in the outskirts of certain cities, including Ubud, that Bali is not necessarily a paradise for surfers and partygoers.
As it has already been said, the Balinese are very welcoming and they will be very happy to receive you on this enchanted island, also very happy to share their culture and their traditions with you. The Balinese love children so don't be surprised if people talk to you on the street.
No, they are not curious! Very friendly, it is not uncommon for them to ask you "Dari Mana," meaning where you come from, or simply say hello to you "Selamat paggy"... And no, it's not always to sell you something.
Keep an open mind, the Balinese have a very different dimension from our own, a much deeper detachment.
If reason and desire transport you to Bali, far beyond its beautiful beaches and rice terraces, it is a whole world of beliefs, colors and benefits that will make it an extraordinary trip.
And do not forget, Bali is also the paradise of well-being, so Bali is synonymous with "massage", impossible to miss this ancestral knowledge, whose main virtues are the relaxation of the body and the mind.
The tropical climate
Located a few degrees south of the equator, Bali enjoys a tropical and warm climate ... all year round! There is a dry season from April to October and a rainy season from November to March. However, don't be surprised if you get a few drops of rain during the summer and not a single one during the low season.
Bathing at the beaches of Amed and Lovina
Located in the east of Bali, Amed is a small, well-protected town, bordered by fishing villages and volcanic beaches with black sand and transparent waters sheltered from tourist development. In Lovina, a small seaside region in the north of Bali, meet dolphins who dance and jump in the waves in the light of day.
Climb up a volcano
If you are a daredevil and thrill-seeking type, in addition to the seaside activity there are volcanoes like Mount Agung, the island's highest point, ideal for taking beautiful photos of the island and its surroundings and the sunset. Or the village of Kintamani, which is located to the west of the Mount Batur volcano and to which it is possible to climb to have an exceptional panoramic view. At the foot of the crater, there is a lake of crystallized water facing onto coffee plantations, that of Luwak. This specialty of the island of Bali is one of the most expensive varieties of coffee, which is well worth trying.
Dive into the waters of Candidasa
These beaches are cult places on the island of Bali but are also the main cultural attractions. If you dive underwater, you can see the ancient ruins of Bali as well as the statutes of its ancient kings.
A little eco-friendly stopover in Mengwi
In the Mengwi region, there are small resorts that offer relaxation in nature by isolating yourself in the mountains in ecological bungalows, with a whole program of detox treatments that include meditation and yoga sessions, nature walks and meals made from 100% organic products.
Go in search of the culinary flavors of the island
Local and organic cuisine is very present on the archipelago, particularly dishes based on rice and local spices. You will be seduced by the unmissable Bali Urab, a tasty dish made with beans, coconut and finely chopped vegetables and flavored with local spices, and the traditional Nasi Goreng "fried rice," which is a must on your trip to Bali.
Prices that defy all competition
Between accommodation, restaurants and daily expenses, Bali seems to be one of the cheapest destinations. You can enjoy a delicious and typical dish of the region without having to take a taxi, or if you have to take one, you will be surprised by the prices… and where you are at in Bali.
You will have understood by now that there is something for all tastes and all desires. For more information on your trip: we invite you to read the news from Bali