Bali was always on my mind. I used to see tons of images, read lots of stuff and used to go on a virtual tour via dreams. So, gathered some useful information before making-up my mind to where to stay in Bali. But before that, tell me which kind of travellers you are? Everyone has their own way of going on a vacation. Some are 'Tick-Tick' tourists and others are 'Easy going' tourists. I named them 'Tick-Tick' because the only task they do on holidays are to cover all the touristy spots, click photos and quickly move to another destination. They go to 20 places in 3 days without gaining the essence of the place. They take the vacations as an agenda to squeeze up all the attractions in a handful of days. They are ones, who go place, take selfies and sit in the car. Well, that's surely not us.
We are the 'Easy going tourists', why? Because first thing you need to keep in mind is quality over quantity. No matter how many places you go, end of the day, memories, lessons, visual treats are the things you carry in your heart which will stay forever. Absorb the nature, culture, local values to uplift your travel experience. And every country has the regions of your choice and Bali is no exception.
So, when I first started planning about Bali, I was confused about where to stay, what to eat as Bali has interesting and diverse places to choose from. I will be sharing my thoughts for you to decide easily. Those who are visiting Bali for the first time, this is for you.
Bali is divided into...
North Bali is not that popular. The regions are Lovina and Singaraja where black sand beaches can be explored. But still travellers like us like to go roads less travelled. It might seems to be secluded but have plethora of things to do like Dolphin watching, Hot springs, unexplored waterfalls.
South Bali is the most happening part of the island which includes Kuta, Seminayak, Uluwatu, Nusa Dua, Tanah Lot, Canggu beach to name a few. Mainly airport is in this area. These areas are flooded with tourists and loads of activities happens in this region. Everything from fancy galleries, stalls selling cheap souvenirs, surfing, temples, candle light dinner on the beach, water-activities, boozy dives in the fanciest club is in South Bali. It is also known for the nightlife. There are luxurious hotels with great offers for honeymooners. Private villas, spa, pools are included therein.
While East Bali holds laid back villages and volcano. Some of the areas under it are Kintamni, Klungkung, Mt.Agung, Tirtha Gangga. Some serene beaches, and volcano can be seen this side. The East Bali is a good escape from the crowded places. Wandering on the roads, biking, hiking on this side are the most pleasurable.
If you wish to visit East Java or Bali National Park, you need to go to the West Bali. Gilimanuk, Medewi Beach and Pemuteran are some of the beautiful unexplored locations. It is least populated and mostly under protected areas. A large chunk is the West Bali National Park still pristine beaches, surfing and culture can be seen.
And now comes the my favourite location in Bali — The Central. Also known as the cultural hub, Ubud, Gianyar, Bedugul and Tabanan cover this area. I preferred to stay in Ubud because of the rich heritage, culture, lushgreen landscapes and waterfalls. Ubud is also known as the heart of the main island of Bali. Mystical lakes, archaeological sites, lush plantation, rice terraces, local dances are popular in this area.
Located on the South Eastern part of the Bali are the three quiet, offshore islands – Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida. They are quite popular for the diving activities. Will share about the islands in my another write-up.
You can choose the region as per your interest and plan accordingly. So, after the location is decided we need to plan where to stay. Us being the 'relaxed travellers' decided to stay all 3-weeks of our vacation (apart from 4 days in Nusa Islands) in Ubud only. We wanted to stay closer to the culture, waterfalls, beautiful panoramas, rice terraces hence Ubud.
One can find a lot of accommodation options ranging from private villas to luxurious hotels to economic home-stays with swimming pools and kitchen on Air BnB. Our personal preference was to book a property for the longer stay with attached kitchenette. It is easier and affordable to bring some healthy nibbles or tropical cut fruits from the supermarket and store them in the refrigerator. Sometimes when you are not in a mood to go out for a meal, you can cook ready meals or instant noodles. This way it is not only cheaper but saves your time as well.
In my next post, I will be sharing the details of things you need to keep in mind while booking a trip to Bali like currency, packing, flights and all.