Bali is a tiny island but there is plenty to do - holidays to Bali don’t have to just be sea and sand unless you want them to be. In fact you don’t need to go anywhere near the beach if sunbathing is not your idea of fun. We have rice fields! Volcanoes! Elephant parks! Yoga retreats! If you’re visiting Bali for the first time, here is my list of must-see destinations.
There’s still a lot I haven’t seen of the island and hopefully I can add to this list soon as I explore further I really want to explore more – I’ve never been to the west or the north of the island (well no further west than Amed anyway) and I’m hoping to persuade Made to take a couple of trips this year now that the kids are getting better at travelling in the car.
Bali doesn’t seem to be on the main backpacker circuit but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to travel here cheaply. Yes, there are plenty of luxury villas and 5-star hotels if you have a few thousand dollars you want to blow through in a few days but it’s also possible to live and travel in a simpler (maybe nicer?) way. After all you can stay in a posh hotel anywhere in the world, but there is only one Bali…
Budget accommodation in Bali = homestays. This sounds more exotic than it actually is – you’re not plonked in a room in a family home like you’re on exchange (although if you are interested in Balinese customs and culture and are friendly, you’ll certainly be invited to temporarily be part of the family) Balinese houses consist of several bungalows in a walled compound. As it’s normal for extended family to live together (sons never leave, wives join their sons family), normally each of these bungalows would be used for a different family. However in tourist areas they build a few extra bungalows for guests.