Richard Harbourne 04 January 2017
Bali is a beautiful Indonesian island known for its fantastic hotels, beaches, beautiful sunsets, great restaurants and lovely people. The Balinese are extremely friendly, gentle and courteous, with a warm smile. The interior of this tropical island is a rainforest and also features a volcano, and a combination of temples carved into the cliff faces along with paddy fields. This diversity is in stark contrast to the many towns located along the stretches of sandy beaches. Seminyak, Sanur and Nusa Dua are popular resort towns, along with the lively city of Kuta.

Bali offers great value for money and hotel standards range from luxury 5* opulence to very good value 3* hotel options. Bali attracts a wide diversity of visitors including honeymooners, families, backpackers, and surfers from nearby Australia. It can be considered a year-round destination, with the same summer season as Ireland. We visited during off-peak season in November and had fantastic temperatures in the late 20s and not a drop of rain.

We split our time in Bali between two contrasting resorts of Sanur and Kuta. Sanur is a quiet town; ideal for a relaxed atmosphere but with plenty of hotels and dining options to choose from. The beach side city of Kuta, in contrast, houses big nightclubs, a great stretch of beach that is very busy and is a major party capital of Bali, with lots of options for nightlife. We also visited the more upmarket and chic resort of Seminyak, some 20 minutes by taxi from Kuta. (Talking of taxis, the traffic conditions in Bali are hectic to say the least. Roads are virtually a free-for-all, with motorbikes and scooters coming at you from all angles. Rapid development and an ageing infrastructure mean that some roads struggle to cope. In major tourist areas the traffic is chaotic and there are daily traffic jams.)

Bali is packed full of things to do, including many water-based activities such as scuba diving, surfing, fishing, and more. It is also a paradise for spa-lovers and all sorts of treatments are widely available. A famous Balinese massage is usually done with oil and involves long, Swedish-style strokes. In stark contrast to some exorbitant Western prices for a massage, a Balinese massage is incredible value, and visitors should definitely avail themselves of this luxury (on a daily basis I say!). In local salons, a one-hour full body massage will cost as little as £4 (approx. €5). The cost of living is much lower in Indonesia, and dining and drinks are extremely reasonable.

There are also great options for you to include another city stopover on the way to or from Bali. Singapore, Bangkok, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong all offer great flight connections. Alternatively, you can explore the island next door, Lombok, which is very relaxing and chilled out. Or, you could use Bali as a stopover with Australasia.

Bali is a beautiful island with super friendly people and great dining options along with a great choice of hotels to suit all budgets. It really is worth putting in that extra few hours’ flying as the affordability on the ground will more than cover the cost. If you are interested in Bali or combining Bali with another destination send me an email or call me.