Culture and Tropical Paradise (on a dime) in Bali

January 17, 2013 Reeta Laaksonen

Bali Inspires

Last week I posted about our stay in Bali at the Westin Nusa Dua Resort with the children, today I will share more reasons why to travel to Bali.

So what is there to do in this paradise island? Everything is my answer.

First, of course comes the beach – silky sand and clear, warm water, snorkeling and kids favorite – beach combing for seashells. So many little pretty seashells they found!

Tropical Paradise on a dime

Unlike Hawaii and many other popular destinations Bali is still cheap, meaning that a family of five can take a private glass-bottom boat-trip to the turtle sanctuary and snorkel for a total of 3-4hours, and all for less than $50. The added bonus is that you can negotiate (and you should always haggle) right on your beach and the boat comes to pick you up from your beach. The turtle sanctuary is a bit commercial, but we all still loved holding and feeding turtles of all sizes, so this a definitely recommended.

Any trip of course includes some shopping too. The beach has licensed sales people offering their goods and they are not pestering much, which is what happens in other parts of the island a lot. They have some cute saris, dresses, and jewelry at bargain prices: except to get a cute bracelet for well under a dollar and a dress for under $5 USD. And talk about friendly and trusting people – you are always greeted with smile and kind words. When we had no money with us on the beach, we were told just to pay tomorrow; so unusual in today’s society!

For more serious shopping head into the city of Ubud, where you have hundreds of stores lined up with all sorts of lovely local things. For garden and other furniture you also have a lot of choice and they’ll do international shipping. Oh those treasures!

Stunning Culture in Bali

If you love culture Bali is great for that too – there is a mix of cultures and religions around you, although island is mostly Hindu and you can literally see temples almost in every house for there are over 200 000 temples on the island. They are just breathtakingly beautiful is all I can say. The local bus system is not that great, so the best and easiest way to explore is to hire a car for the day: for a mere $50 USD you get a driver for 10 hours and he’ll also act as a guide for you.

Depending on how long you stay at the island I’d recommend a walk through the rice paddies, a hike up the Kintamani volcano, a visit to the monkey temple and the oldest temple called Besakih, the Mother temple – and seeing Balinese Kecak Dance at sunset in Uluwatu temple (but go early as tickets sell fast and it’s a bit crowded).

In general, whenever you see something nice just ask your driver to stop for a moment. Do remember though that this is a tropical region and that it rains often and a lot; but normally not for long periods. When we trekked the Besakih temple it was raining cats and dogs, but the water was warm and kids just loved waddling in ankle-deep water. Just think of it as another adventure!

Get ready for your adventure with this great Bali sightseeing guide and fall in love with Bali!

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Reeta Laaksonen

Reeta Laaksonen and her family are always on the move. For her, home is where her family is - which is currently near London, UK. Reeta has lived in five different countries and by the age three her twins had lived on three continents already. When this family is not planning their next move, you will probably find them hiking, visiting temples, old castles or relaxing on some secluded beach. She thinks that every day is special, with the next adventures waiting right behind the corner. Reeta loves gardening and decorating, and has a passion for good wines. Besides writing she also pours her energy on learning Mandarin Chinese and baking with her children. For more stories about travel, décor, inspiration and global family lifestyle visit Reeta’s blog House of Anaïs and connect with Reeta on Twitter @houseofanais. Check out also House of Anaïs on Pinterest.

Comments (3)

  1. I love this post! I was just chatting with a friend about how Bali is my favourite place to travel to! I went back in 2000. Thanks for reminding me of all the reasons we love Bali! Stunning photos!

    • Reeta

      Christine, I am sure a lot has changed since 2000, but hopefully for the better in terms of roads and such. But I think that the essence of the island is still there – it feels mysterious, exotic and authentic, yet clean and safe. And those beaches are so gorgeous, and definitely not crowded. Hope you make it back there one day!

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