The 5 Best Things About Bali
I've been traveling in Bali for almost two weeks now. I still have another five days left, but in the short time I've been here I have come up with five of my favourite things about this place that really put it apart from others I have visited.
The people here are absolutely amazing. I've never experienced kinder, more friendly people. Everywhere we walk the locals go out of their way to say hi, good morning, or to just wave and ask you how you are doing. They are all very playful, always giving us nicknames like "spaghetti hair", for my blonde friend who's hair was wet and resembled spaghetti. Or "pineapple head", to my other friend who had her hair in a bun and I guess reminded them of a pineapple. When the locals say things like this it's meant to be friendly and to start conversation. In most places we've been I've found that the locals love to converse with the tourists and show us games and riddles. They also are great at remembering names. Ive met some locals once or twice who remembered my name the next time I saw them. This happens everywhere which I think is so precious. I personally had an experience where I got lost one night alone and an elderly man on a scooter drove right up next to me. At first I was scared because I was a female walking alone at night, with no idea where I was going, in a foreign country. But this man helped me figure out where my hotel was, took me home and then when I offered to pay him he refused to take money from me. From talking to other people I've found that this is actually normal here and people just help other people. That's how they are which is something I've never quite experienced before.
The food here is absolutely "amassinggg", as our guide petty would say. There really is something for everyone. The most common food is fried noodles and fried rice, those you can pretty much find anywhere and they are always really good. What has surprised me has been the amount of Western food. Every restaurant we've been to has had some type of pasta dish. Usually spaghetti carbonara or Bolognese. We've also come across a ton of pizza, burgers, some Mexican food, Asian food, italian and a ton of others. There has been something for everyone, even the pickiest of eaters. On top of this, the food is dirt cheap. My lunch the other day consisted of spring rolls and a plate of pasta. The cost was only $7 USD, and that included a bottle of water. The variety of food as well as the taste accompanied with the price is something you can't beat.
The beaches here are phenomenal and I'm from Southern California where we have some of the best beaches on the planet so that is definitely saying something. The water is crystal clear, and the sand is white and soft. There is no shortage of fun beach activities. So far we've done things like surf, paddle board, scuba dive, snorkel, booze cruise, and just simply laid out on the sand for a nice tan. There are beaches with waves for surfing, and then there are beaches off the island of gili air with small waves for perfect snorkeling and diving. Bali really is the perfect vacation spot when it comes to fabulous beaches.
The culture here is like nothing I have ever seen. The country of Indonesia is predominantly a Muslim country but most practice hinduism. The way you drive around America and every block there is a Mcdonalds or a Starbucks is the way it is here but with temples. They are literally everywhere. There are large scale temples to small little personal ones just used to pray in during the day. And the people here are so proud of their culture and their religions. It's all about peace and karma and they love to share their beliefs and ideas with travelers. It hasn't once been shoved down our throats in any way it's been purely educational and amazing to hear the locals speak about the religion they practice and the ideas they believe in. One of the excursions we did was to a temple in Ubud called Tirta Tempul where we took part in a purification ritual. We wore sarongs and got to go in a bath full of sacred holy water. Each fountain represented a different idea and we had to go through to each one and do a ritual with the holy water. To experience it has been so neat and really eye opening. The culture here really goes off the idea of peace and love which is a reason I think the culture is one of the best things about Bali.
I know I wrote about all the different water activities we have done. On top of those we have done even more land activities. There is genuinely something for everyone. If you like to go out and party, the nightlife is unreal. Two places that I think are worth a mention are sky garden in Kuta (literally had the funniest night of my life there) and pretty poison in Canggu, which was basically a skate park with a bar. It was super sick and a really local place which I loved. If you don't love the nightlife as much that's totally fine because the amount of things there are to do is actually exhausting and often times you're too tired to go out after such a long day of fun activities. Along with all the beach activities I listed above we've visited many temples, waterfalls, rice terraces, white water rafting, hiking up a volcano at 1am, gone to a few local markets, visited a monkey forest, cycled around a few different towns and hungout by multiple different pools. There's been no shortage of things to do. You really will never be bored here in Bali.