“…the middle of nowhere is always beautiful, especially in Bali”
Step away from the crowded beach in Kuta, put down that Bintang, give up your driver and air conditioned car, say goodbye to the monkeys in Ubud, forget about the organised tours and get off the beaten path in Bali.
Get away from the crowded beaches
The crowded beaches in the south of Bali smell like an ad for suntan lotion. It’s busy, slightly ovrrated aned some people are completely appalled after a visit. The best and most beautiful beaches in Bali are kept a secret, ask around and you might find a hidden white or black volcanic sand gem with only a few people.
Goodbye car, hello bicycle
Are you tired of sitting in a car and taking photos through the window because you can’t ask the driver to stop every 10 minutes? Get on a bicycle and explore the island in a different, exciting and adventurous way. You don’t have to purchase a fancy expensive bicycle or even buy panniers. Hire a bicycle for a few days, put your bag in the basket or strap it with bungee cord to the back. If you don’t want to do long distances you can easily have a short adventure between places like Ubud, Sanur, Jimbaran, Kuta, Seminyak and Legian.
You’re on vacation, take the slow boat
The Fast Boats to the Gili Islands are very popular among tourists, but here are a few reasons to take the Ferry instead:
- It is 10 times cheaper
- It’s less crowded
- It’s safer
- It takes 3-5 hours (Time to catch up on that book you’ve been dying to read)
You’ll stop in Lembar, Lombok, and have the chance to explore places like Mataram and Sengigi before you make your way up to the Gilis.
There is one way to make your visit to Bali perfect: make at least one local friend. It’s amazing to see and experience Bali through their eyes. Immerse in the culture, take a dip in the traditions and wrap their warmth and hospitality around your shoulders. Just be aware of the notorious cowboys and don’t get sucked into the human-ATM-trap.
Eat in the street
Why would you fork out $5 (and more) for a meal in a fancy restaurant when you can spend $1 for a much more delicious (almost home-cooked) meal from a street vendor? Support the mothers and fathers of Bali, eat with your hands, indulge in Bakso, Mie Goreng, Satay Kambing and Martabak, chat with the policeman stopping for a quick lunch and experience the local cuisine in an authentic way.
It’s 10am: Coffee trumps Bintang
I get it. You’re on vacation; it’s hot and humid, it’s noon somewhere and the beer is cold and cheap. The beer will still be readily available later in the day. Visit one of the coffee places in the mountains where the temperature is a lot cooler, try the famous Kopi Luwak and order a side of Pisang Goreng (fried banana).
A different island
The Gilis are beautiful and peaceful. There are no cars and you feel secluded from the outside world. The only downside to the Gilis are all the tourists. Head over to Nusa Penida instead for some real peace and quiet. Nusa where you ask? Nusa Penida is southeast of Bali and has one magnificent untouched coastline. It’s the perfect opportunity to get lost and to get disconnected from the outside world.
It’s easy to get off the beaten path in Bali – even in places like Ubud and Sanur. The key to finding that special something in Bali; that special something that fills your heart with gratitude, is to look beyond the popular tourist attractions,to get a little bit lost somewhere, to share a meal with someone, to explore on your own and end up in the middle of nowhere…because the middle of nowhere is always beautiful, especially in Bali.