Obviously Bali is probably one of the most visited places in the world . When people were still using “Ludwig” as a main filter for their photos and when Instagram really just was a new app that people haven’t really gotten the hang of, Bali was that place where Julia Roberts found her spiritual self in the movie Eat Pray Love. Now that Instagram has become a way of life (literally), you probably see at least ten stunning pictures on an average scroll-through . Every little crevice has been visited , photographed and it most likely has become one of the most photographed islands in the world .
This is all very helpful , sure . But while saving inspiration is great , it renders completely useless if you don’t know the background story behind the image you’re seeing . People need to know what lies behind these images. You most likely want to visit this stunning waterfall some of the most talented influencers have visited but may not be as turned on to the idea if you found out it takes you 19 hours, a hike, a boat , a mountain climb and 550 mosquito bites to reach . This is a blog post I’m dedicating to someone who is seeking advice from a reliable source and not just a set of beautiful images. I have lived in Bali for 3 months last year, and out of those three months I spent 2 in a car , or scooter or ferry trying to reach every Instagrammable location I could possibly reach .
Here’s what I learned is a good “briefing” about Bali if you’ve never been before :
Denpasar : The airport is located here , it isn’t a place you want to stay at or stay by . This area is the common area of Bali. This is where you will find furniture stores, massive corporate marketplaces , a Mcdonalds , some local clubs , skate parks and all in all an industrial zone . Getting to anywhere from here will take a little over an hour if not longer .
Canggu : This is west of Denpasar and one of the most popular areas in Bali . This is where everyone migrates to as soon as they get to Bali. It has most of the shopping, some amazing modern restaurants lead by some reputable chefs and incredible cuisines , amazing surf spots that neighbour lounges and buzzing bars. With beaches like Old Mans and La Brissa, Canggu is home to a diverse cocktail of people from all over the world. This is where the socialites and surfer folks thrive. This is the life of the party . If you like the buzz and you love meeting people , Canggu deserves your time .
Kuta : This area is not my favourite but may be your kind of thing if you wanted an utterly unbelievably low prices airbnb near the city centre and some local dive bars. Its really up to you . You can find some tiny streets here with bars that sell beers for as little as 50 cents. “Touristy” would be the best way to describe this area.
Ubud : My absolute favourite. Nestled in the jungle (literally) , Ubud is astounding. Its like someone built a really cool city in the forest . The hotels here are also very cheap and have a slightly different vibe than Canggu . I’d say this is more for the meditative souls, the earthy , gypsies at heart with nothing but deep love for being grounded and closest to the greenery as possible. Ubud is far inland, so about 1 hour to 1 and half from Canggu. I always recommend doing a beauty area and then going to Ubud to get the jungle vibes or vice versa because there is no beach close. This past trip we stay din Canggu for 5 days and then made our way to Ubud for another 5 days.
Uluwatu: I love Uluwatu . This is where I would tell you to go to if you were an absolute beach lover at heart , loved to surf and liked to be a little far away from the hustle and bustle of popular areas. The water is clearer than Canggu and the hikes by the beach here are gorgeous . There are also some amazing Airbnb’s and hotels that hang on cliffs overlooking some of the most insane views on the island.
Seminyak : Seminyak is the “cutest and most appealing” little spot for people who find value in incredible shopping. There actually is a Mall here! But the mall isn’t what’s enticing , the little tiny shops on the small streets are to die for . Its like the best little boutiques come together on a gorgeous street . The hotels here are very expensive because its a slightly upscale touristy spot. Buzzing at night with bars with live music and shops that are open late, if you want some serious shopping and delicious drinks , come here for a couple days .
This is a brief little piece meant for you to read if you wanted quick answers to your questions. I hope it helps but keep in mind this : Bali is HUGE . An Australian shop owner once told me “I’ve been living here for 6 years and I feel like I’m still discovering Bali ” He’s right , that’s why I mentioned these few places, because if it is your first time , you should start with the best areas that you KNOW will guarantee you the best experience as a first timer and then you can start to come back to experience other sides of the island .
Please comment and ask me any questions! See below one of the most incredible hotels I stayed in in Ubud called Bisma Eight. I highly recommend this hotel, there’s a scooter rental right 9outside of it which makes it a perfect place to stay AND secure transport. Its on a stretch of street that is decked with bars and restaurants . Basically if you didn’t stray far from the hotel you would still have the best time of your life!
Big Thanks to Bisma Eight for the lovely stay they gave us !