Located in the Indian Ocean, the tropical island of Bali holds its place as one of the most popular holiday destinations in the World. A diverse combination of volcanic mountains, rice paddies, coral reefs and sandy beaches provide a rich natural backdrop to an array of ancient temples, palatial sanctuaries and spa retreats that are ready and waiting to be explored. In short, Bali has jewels to tempt every type of traveller to its shores. In this piece, The Faraway Bug speaks to Percy to find out what makes the Island of the Gods so memorable…
What took you to Bali?
It was a spur of the moment holiday booked on New years day. We were looking for Cuba and found Bali instead, we didn’t know much about it so we decided to go.
What was life like there?
It was really busy in the cities there with mopeds, people and animals. In Denpasar, there are big warehouse nightclubs and shops. There are over a million mopeds in Denpasar alone and they are everywhere.
What was your most memorable experience?
It was the Balinese new year while we were there, which includes a day of silence. Everything shuts for the day. There is no cooking or work including at the airport and hospitals. The night before there are big parades with monsters and figures carried by teams of men. They take them through the streets to chase the demons away and then burn them. It is one big street party with the day of silence starting at midnight. The military patrol to make sure everyone goes home, the lights go out and the hotels are cordoned off so that no-one goes out. Lucky for us the hotel spa was open with breakfast and lunch provided.
Was there anything that made your trip more difficult?
We missed our connecting flight from Singapore on the way out due to a change in times from bad weather. Singapore Airlines were amazing, we were really well looked after for the 17 hours between flights.
Describe Bali in 3 words….
Friendly, hot & fascinating.
Favourite local food/drink?
Nasi-goreng was really good in Bali, it is a regional rice dish. The satay is nice too and there are loads of different variations of it there.
We did two tours during our stay, one of which was 13 hours long. It took us of the north of the island, where there there is a big lake with amazing temples around it. There is a lot to see in Bali, there’s the volcano, a monkey sanctuary and the beaches are lovely.
Describe your perfect day in Bali…
It would be going out on a boat to one of the neighbouring islands with an amazing Indonesian lunch and an afternoon by the pool.
Did anything surprise you about Bali?
How built up it was. Even though Bali is seen as a tourist destination, it is surprising how developed it is. Parts are so busy.
If you had one tip for readers visiting Bali, what would it be?
Be prepared to haggle, don’t ever pay the marked price for souvenirs. Can I say one more? Don’t prepay for meals before you go. Food is much cheaper when you get there.
Would you go back?
Yes definitely. I’d love to go back and explore the bits we didn’t get to see the first time round.
All photographs are the property of LFord