Introduction on Bali

If you are looking for a totally unique experience in a vacation, then Bali has that potential. If you are looking for a place where you can go beach for a week or two, then possibly Bali would not be the place to go even though it does have a small amount of very nice beaches. Personally, I would recommend Mexico or the Caribbean, or Southern Thailand for that. What you do have in Bali is a unique blend of a culture that is community-oriented to the extent that the whole island is one big village, broken down into these small little villages. It has a unique beauty, artistic expression through its architecture and its arts and crafts, and above all, the people are a joy to be around. Bali is a very unique place in that it offers a wide diversity in range of experiences on this one small island. From Bali you can travel to other islands of Indonesia, particularly Lombok which is close to Bali and really get away from it all. Lombok has some nice beaches.

In planning your vacation to Bali, I would recommend that you put aside at least seven days, if not twelve days. In planning your vacation to Bali, I would recommend that you spend a brief amount of time in the Southern part where the beach area is, then go over to Eastern Bali for a little bit, then up towards the interior mountains for a while, then up to the Northern part of Bali. Then end your vacation back in the Southern part of Bali. By doing this, you would be able to experience the wide diversity with respect to sightseeing, natural beauty and the different areas of Bali.

One of the unique aspects of Bali is that as you drive through the island, and they do have in parts, small winding roads. Consequently the traffic is quite heavy and distances are quite long between your various points, and mostly you travel through small villages in between rural scenery. It is a unique experience to know that as you travel along a road, and you see store fronts, temples and other community meeting places, that behind those buildings are actual villages where people still live and lead a very communal life. One can stop at virtually any of these villages and walk down an alleyway and you would be walking into a community of people. The experience of knowing that one is visiting a place that is so uniquely community-oriented, is very, very different than what we experience in the Western world were we are so individually oriented. The Balinese have in there villages designated meeting places, where the community gets together to make decision, and to discuss various aspects of life, in the old tradition of people working together.

I want to focus on the traffic. At times, traffic can be quite heavy as there are a lot of motorcycles, scooters, small trucks and cars that make their way over these single lane roads. Distances are quite long. For example, if you want to travel from Sanur to Kuta, that is quite a distance to travel to get there, of at least 20 to 35 minutes one way. If you are traveling from Ubud down to Jimbaran Bay, that is at least 45 minutes to an hour, worth of traveling, depending on the traffic. So, be prepared for this experience. As you move away from the heavier, congested areas, traffic lightens up.

On of the unique aspects of shopping in Bali is that each village has a particular skill that most of the village focuses on. Therefore, if you are looking for silver, you will go to a village that specializes in silver. If you are looking for bamboo furniture or wicker furniture, you will go to that type of village. If you are looking for masks, or wood carving, you will go to that type of village. If you are looking for another type of wood carving, you will go to a village that specializes in that.

One of the unique aspects of Bali is that once you leave the Southern area where the bigger oceanside villages are, and head up into the interior, you can participate at some of the hotels in some very unique experiences such as wood carving, rice patty walking, traditional Balinese cooking, Balinese dancing, and other aspects of the Balinese lifestyle.

One of the unique features of Bali, in terms of many of the hotels, rooms, villas and bungalows I saw, is the outdoor bathroom garden feature. Many of the hotels and bungalows, utilize the private outdoors, encompassing very beautiful surroundings whereby the bathroom is in a private area, then you have a private outdoor shower enclosed within this garden area. Sometimes this can be at a higher level of service, added in with your own private plunge pool and villa. Ask for details. Great for honeymoons, etc.