Tips for Travelling to Bali for First Timers
Chances are, you have seen some of the incredible images of Bali that have appeared on travel channels, blogs and just about everywhere else you decide to look up top travel destinations. There is a romanticized notion of Bali that many individuals have of the island, which is part of Indonesia. Bali is included in the best Asian beach brunch list here. You are sure to have an incredible time, but you also need to know a bit about where you are staying and what is going on in order to fully take in Bali and the area around it.
Getting to Bali
For starters, while you have seen the amazing images and video of Bali, so have millions of other individuals. It is also a small island, so while you have seen images of Bali being sparsely populated, the majority of the tourist regions are packed. There are several reasons for this. For one, the small island sees travelers come in from all over the world. The second reason is because of its close proximity to Australia. Bali is just two-hour flight or so from Darwin, Australia, so it is easy for Australians to visit Bali. Essentially, Bali is like the spring break location for Australian college students. Due to this, some areas are going to appear more like a Florida spring break party than the images you have seen. These areas are located more in the southwestern region of the island, so if you are looking for the very best areas to take in your Bali vacation, you want to head to the northern areas of the island.
Where to Go in Bali
If you have seen the Julia Roberts "Eat Pray Love" movie (or have read the book), you've probably seen the images of the rice fields and the incredible villages that overlook rain forests. These do exist, although you need to head away from the touristy traps that are common in Bali. Instead, you need to head north. The further north you go, the more of these fields you are going to find. The island itself was formed from a volcano, and while this volcano is no longer active, it has provided lush land for growing vegetation (similar to Hawaii).
Additionally, if you want the very best beaches, you want to stay north, beyond the volcano. This ridge is going to give you the very best beaches and less visitors on the beaches as well. If you follow the masses to the beaches, you are going to be incredibly disappointed, as these are full of trash. After all, it is a small island and there are hundreds of thousands of visitors coming to the island every single year.
When you leave the airport, which is located more towards the middle of the island, you want to look for a taxi driver that uses the meter. As you are fresh off of the plane, many taxi drivers are going to try to take advantage of you and quote a price. This price is going to be far more than what you would ever need to pay. While this isn't exclusive to Bali and the rest of Indonesia, it is a common practice throughout the region. Simply tell them "meter" and the taxi drivers will either say alright or no. You might have to walk out of the airport and walk to the right a bit until you come to the taxi drivers that accept the meter offer, but don't worry, it is well worth asking.
What to Buy in Bali
For boutique shoppers, Bali might be paradise. Now there are two kinds of shopping. There are the more tourist shops that are along just about every single walkway. These shops are going to sell you knock off gear, t-shirts, and wears that are not necessarily unique to Bali. However, if you stay to the more professional looking shops (and not stalls), you are going to find an incredible offering of locally made clothing and boutique shops that you are likely not going to find back home. All of this is very important to check out and you are really going to find some amazing clothing offerings that might just be perfect for your particular style.
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