By Kerry Guttenberg
So, you’ve decided to get away for a much-deserved break but you really can’t decide where you want to go. Well, if you’re yearning for a holiday that is truly a feast for the mind, body and spirit, look no further than the Indonesian island of Bali!
Think stunning landscapes, lush rice terraces with small pathways to wander, stunning beaches with bars that spread out over the sand and offer picturesque views of the ocean. You will see serene temples that have stood the test of time, the cutest monkeys (but hold on to your wallet!), scenic waterfalls that you can swim right up to, wild nights filled with dancing and don’t forget golden hour when the sunsets are the best.
It’s no wonder Bali has become one of the world’s most visited and popular vacation hotspots! The island really does have a little something for everybody and we guarantee that if you follow one of our travel itineraries, you will be able to experience everything the Land of Gods has to offer.
First and foremost, let’s be frank about Bali accommodation. Each hotel, villa and guest house varies, with a wide selection on offer to cater to the most modest of budgets all the way to those willing to splash some cash. Most will include a pool, Wi-Fi, laundry services and even air con for those of us who need a break from the Bali heat. A good place to start when booking your Bali accommodation is to decide how much you want to spend per night or for the duration of your trip. This will help narrow down the search options and give you a better idea of the style of accommodation you can afford.
Bali is an island where it is easy to get caught up in the culture while visiting ancient temples (make sure you hit these during sunset or sunrise), where you can learn the native Indo language, making it easier to order your food or a round for the crew. After your second day in this tropical paradise you will begin to feel like a local as you soak up the stunning sunset during golden hour on the beach, sipping your favourite cocktail.
As the moon hits high in the Bali sky, so does the Bali nightlife - an intoxicating mix of pubs, clubs and beach bars. With the latest hot spots becoming crowded and constantly changing, speak to your hotel to stay up to date with the top destinations.
After an intense night of hitting the dancefloor or sipping cocktails on the beach, you’ll be needing a good feed before you hit the surf or the local shopping spots. Bali offers delicious and affordable breakfast, lunch and dinner options to keep you in a perfect food coma during your entire stay. This includes some of the most Instagrammable restaurants with beautiful smoothie bowls, pancakes and eggs any way you like it with some of the best coffee served - usually from Aussie expats who have brought Bali’s coffee industry to coffee snob Australian standards.
Heading away from the busy areas of Seminyak and Kuta you can venture through to some of Bali’s most iconic temples such as the dramatic Tanah Lot, a Hindu temple that sits offshore, creating the perfect backdrop for sunset viewing. If chasing waterfalls is something on your list then you can’t go past Tegenungan Waterfall, a stunning setting that is only 30 minutes from the zen of Ubud. Tegenungan Waterfall can be reached by climbing down around 100 steps, so ensure you are fit and ready for this. Swimming here is possible and experiencing the impressive force of nature right in front of you will be one of the most memorable moments of your entire trip.
Another iconic scene is Bali’s beautiful rice paddies, acres of terraced rice fields carved by hand, with the help of some simple tools which have been maintained by generations. It seems odd if you have never experienced it but when you do, you will know how relaxing it is to sit outside of your accommodation set high in the mountains, surrounded by rice paddies.
Spotting sea life in Bali is another amazing activity which, as an added bonus, can be easily organised. After your mouth-watering breakfast, head to a traditional Balinese outrigger boat and cruise the beautiful coastline spotting wild dolphins. If you are lucky enough, your next destination will be a vision of island paradise, the Gili Islands. Each island is a haven of white sandy beaches and coconut palms framed by turquoise ocean. Inland, there is a completely different vibe. Gili Trawangan is a happening location, with a booming party scene and plenty of lush dining and accommodation. Gili Air similarly has an appealing mix of buzzing atmosphere and zen, whilst little Gili Meno has the strongest local sense of style and culture.
As ‘Gili T’ has no motorised bikes or cars (they are heavily into eco-friendly options) the best way to explore this island is by bicycle. As you make your way around exploring, make sure you end up by the iconic sunset Gili Trawangan Swings! Floating above clear ocean waters watching the sunset turn the sky orange and red is a great way to end a day. No adventure around the Gili Islands is complete without a boat cruise and a snorkelling session. Here the clear blue waters will provide you with access to a host of sea life, including swimming with the local turtles.
With all the amazing offerings that Bali comes up with, you’ll understand why Indonesia is a paradise and one of the trendiest vacation destinations! With so many things to do, creating the perfect Bali holiday itinerary can be difficult. Don’t worry though! Student Uni Travel can provide you with a specially designed trip that gives you the complete Bali experience on a student budget.