It’s no secret on this blog how much I love Bali. I feel just as at home walking the Legian streets as I do in Vancouver or Townsville. I’ve written posts on my favourite places to eat and drink, my sponsorship experience, and the epic sunsets. But what else keeps me going back to Bali again and again? Here are my 20 favourite photos of my favourite things in Bali.
THE BEST OF BALI
BALI BEACH BARS
There is seriously nothing better than sitting at the beach, with your feet buried in the sand, and an icy cold beer in your hand. I love the beach bars in Bali, and in particular Jerry’s Beach Bar outside Jayakarta Resort on Legian Beach. Jerry is a really friendly guy, and I love to support him whenever I visit.
To be honest, I rarely drink beer and much prefer cider. But during my birthday trip I discovered the excellent drink that is the Bintang Radler. It’s a lemon-flavoured beer and the alcohol content is probably very minimal. But it’s the most refreshing drink to sip after a day in the Balinese heat. I could go for one right now actually…
We all know how much I love watching the sunset over the water, which is why I am all about the West Coast. Watching the sunset from Kuta or Legian Beach is a must when visiting Bali. They are usually quite spectacular and colourful — my favourite kind. There are also many great bars perfect for sunset watching too, which you can check out here.
Can we please take a moment to appreciate this amazing street art? My mum and I stumbled upon it while taking the Legian/Kuta back streets one day (Jl. Lebak Bene). The detail and the colour is what impressed me the most. There were quite a few pieces in this area, and I have heard Canggu has quite a good selection too.
MY SPONSOR CHILDREN
This kid melts me every time I look at this photo. Just look at those cheeks! I’ve written about the sponsorship program I am a part of through an Australian Rotary Club, but for such a small amount of money I am able to make a big difference to this little boy’s life. The fact I got to see him, hug him and give him a Lego present on my birthday this year was unbeatable. He was stoked with the Lego as well — who knew it had such a worldwide reach?
I basically grew up in the swimming pool, so being able to spend my Bali days in and beside the pool (in the shade) is definitely one of my favourite things. For my birthday trip, Mum and I stayed at the Swiss-Belinn, and it was fantastic. There were beach views from the rooftop pool, and I loved looking out at the terracotta roofs, which are quintessentially Balinese.
THE BALINESE CULTURE
The Balinese people are some of the nicest you will ever have the pleasure in meeting. They are extremely trusting, thoughtful and appreciative. Dancing is a way the Balinese have told stories for generations, and these children performed for us at the village school where we met our sponsor children. I also always admire the offerings the Balinese place outside for their Gods.
As if I could do any kind of favourite post without mentioning food! But seriously, I could live on Nasi and Mi Gorengs easily. Throw in a Nasi Campur too every now and again for variety, and I am a happy girl. Bonus points for when the Nasi is accompanied by fried chicken, satays or prawn crackers.
Because I haven’t mentioned the beach enough already. But it is the best place to be for sunset, and it is just so photogenic. I recommend walking along the beach in the morning, as you are less likely to find the beach sellers out early in the day. Although the beach isn’t the prettiest, it is still lovely to start your day with a beach walk towards Kuta, Seminyak or Legian, depending on where you begin. My mum and I walked and exited at a different spot each morning.
I love this photo and I love shopping in Bali. However, I don’t like to barter. It is part of the culture, but I pretty much suck. So I go to fixed price shops and buy dresses for $6 and singlets for $3. Type into Google “Ketut’s in Garlic Lane” for my favourite shop.
Legian Street is great for buying Balinese accessories, such as bags, shoes and homewares. I also love to visit Silverberry. I have an extensive collection of good quality silver jewellery from there, including one ring that cost me $12 and I’ve been wearing it for five years now. If you’re in Sanur, check out Hardy’s too.
If cocktails were cheaper in the Western world, I would drink them all the time. So you bet I make the most of $5 cocktails in Bali and order all different kinds of delicious vodka concoctions.
This is totally not the most flattering photo, but it is the happiest. These ladies on Legian Beach have basically seen me grow up in my 20s and move around the world. I don’t know how they always remember us, but they do. In the past, I have been able to help them by bringing over clothes I no longer wear. They like to wear long-sleeve tops, jumpers and jeans to protect their skin. Our friends will always be one of my favourite things.
I love the intricate design of the Balinese buildings and temples. Even today, they don’t have a lot of the same technologies construction workers in Australia use. This photo is a beach entryway, complete with Hindu statues. It is definitely not something you will see in many places.
WANDERING THE STREETS
One of my favourite things to do in Bali is just to wander the streets, and dodge the scooters. No matter where you are, there are always so many shops, spas and restaurants to discover. Even if you visit Kuta regularly, you can always see something new.
SO MANY PLACES TO EXPLORE
Although I have spent most of my time in Bali in Legian, there are so many other regions to explore. Amed, Lovina, the Gili Islands and Canggu are just some of the places I can’t wait to explore. There is so much endless beauty on this island, which is just another reason it is a favourite destination.
How many times can you use the world cheap in one blog post? A LOT. But seriously, the budget aspect of Bali is definitely one of its highlights. It is such an affordable destination and so close to Australia, why wouldn’t you visit? In this photo, I am drinking a cheap beer on the beach and I’m buying (too many) cheap bracelets. That is the Balinese life.
THERE’S NOWHERE QUITE LIKE BALI
There are so many things to love about Bali, and this post just covers a few of my favourite things. I hope you get to visit the beautiful Indonesian island for yourself.
Please let me know if you have any Bali-related questions in the comments below.