Highly recommend Female Bali Driver
Her name is Laksmi she’s on social media
Delightful woman, speaks English and does airport transfers and guided tours, she will pretty much take you anywhere you like.
Very comfortable van, good driver and she’s fun!
I might be a little biased as I met my now husband there. Our favourite locations were Ubud and Canggu, but there are so many amazing spots around the island.
We also loved our scooters, the scenery and the Balinese are just so lovely.
There are lots of volunteer programs and we spent some time helping children in a local village collect plastic. This was set up by a Balinese man who wanted to educate and help the plastic problem on the island. We found out about this via FB pages and the restaurants in Ubud have flyers and information on the walls.
We also stayed in a communal villa in Ubud (with your own room and bathroom) which was really cool as we cooked together and learnt from each other as some travellers had been there months and some only a few days. Plus they had cool cats that sometimes snuck into your room for a cuddle.
Sadly I got ‘Bali belly’ and my body did not like the food. I wanted to eat at the local warungs, but stuck to more of the Australian restaurants for smoothies and buddha bowls or cooked at the villa. I also got quite a serious infection from swimming in the rivers - many others including my husband also did and were fine, I was just unlucky, but make sure you have good travel insurance.
@Carla_C, what’s the story of how you met your husband in Bali? Everyone loves a good love story.
Maybe there’s a place in Bali where one is destined to meet their true love? It reminds me of a story in a manga: If two people were holding hands when the festival’s first firework was launched, they’d be together forever.
Just to clarify, I’m totally not superstitious about stuff like that.
@geoff.hom I will share a little as not really sure it’s as exciting as it sounds. I went to Bali as my heart dog Fudge had recently passed away from cancer. I booked a yoga and wellness retreat and wanted some quality me time.
I arrive very jetlagged (actually I did not know that you could feel that jetlagged!)
I slept the whole first 24 hours and woke up with a vision of self-discovery, independence and being on my own. I walked down the stairs of the villa in my PJs and there was Chris in the kitchen feeding the villa cats…
A four-month friendship, I extended my visa twice and then we became a couple. We flew back to the UK in early 2020 and nothing like a global pandemic to make you stay together 24/7 to see if it works
@Amparo me for many years - a very worthy true love
I’ve only been to Bali once – about 20 years ago – and on the whole it was a great experience. One thinks of beautiful tropical beaches – but note in Carla’s photos that her students were gathering plastic trash. Plastic bags are ubiquitous and the first time I went to the beach it was covered in plastic bags that the wind had carried ashore. I hope things have changed since I went, but the locals back then threw their plastic bags into nearby streams and that’s how they get in the ocean. Another thing to beware of – the monkeys who “entertain” tourists at temples and other popular tourist spots: these quick thieves will try to take anything they can grab – your sunglasses, phone, pocketbook. Then locals fetch it back for you and expect a tip – so hold tight to anything the monkeys can grab. Do try to see a colorful temple procession, visit local craft shops – their ikat weavings are great – and attend a gamelan concert. Have a great time!
@Paljimmy My hubby & I were in Bali in January this year, and also annually for several years before Covid hit. Sadly the plastic rubbish situation is worse than ever. And the traffic pollution (& congestion) is truly horrendous. 20 years ago - when you were there- it was a dream in comparison to now. Bali is over for me- I will never return.
So sorry to be the bearer of disappointing news, @sreago1, but sadly, I can only second @Lokstar’s account as my experience was exactly the same. I’ve been to Bali three times, the last time only a few months ago. Never again. Rubbish and filth are everywhere. The beaches are disgusting and not walkable invaded by dog walkers walking a herd of off-leash dogs every evening. The food is terrible. As if that wasn’t enough, there is also plenty of construction going on right now.
Just an update for you on this topic. We have friends that are ex-pats in Bali and there are some new local changes from the Governor:
I find it so sad in any country where visitors do not respect the country’s traditions etc ( see the article).
There is so much that people can do to help when visiting Bali - I agree the plastic issue is massive and not nice at all, it does look like it is getting worse! Lots of plastic comes directly from tourists, so one thing that helps is taking the plastic bottles you carry into the country in your luggage home with you rather than leaving them there as the country just does not have the infrastructure to remove them.
Hi, we sit all around south east Asia - honestly there really are not too many sits in Bali unfortunately. Many people have local helpers already so there’s not a big incentive to pay subscription to THS.
Bali itself is ok but the more you go the more you see the problems there as others have mentioned.
There are other Islands in Indonesia that I would recommend more such as Sulawesi, Sumatra, Lombok, Flores.
Thank you for this valuable share.
As travelers (and tourists) we do have to remember the greater scope of the world and be cognizant of the impact of our actions.
Everywhere we go does not have the commodities found in other places.
If we would only remember that each place is someone’s home and treat it just as we would our own.
How long will you be there? Where do you want to base yourself? Bali has changed a lot post Covid- we were there in January. (and many times before Covid) It is not famous for its beaches, unless you are a surfer? Its a yoga paradise though- which is more my interest. What are your main interests? Or goals for your trip? We even did a housesit there once- in Canggu!
The yoga mecca of Bali is Ubud - The Yoga Barn is one of my favourites.
Another nice one is at Sanur beach is Power of Now Oasis
Serenity yoga in Seminyak is another favourite.
Bali is not really good for beaches unless you surf. Water & beaches are dirty these days.
You can check Youtube videos to have a look at the beaches.
Nusa Dua is where the rich go!