Quick Guide to Bali: As Indonesian tourism prepares to resume, you will already be dreaming about white beaches, palm trees, and the quaint beach of Bali swinging by the wayside. What did you hold back then? Get ready to spoil yourself with a holiday at an unconventional Balinese resort. (Don’t forget the post-lockdown security measures though.) Below are places to visit.
A trendy surfer area, home to most of the European downshifters. Beaches, rice fields, discos, nice cafes and restaurants. The schedule here is something like this: surfing or yoga, breakfast at the Crate Café, then Finn’s Beach Club, where you can stay until sunset, and dinner at Moana, which serves fresh tuna, and then a party at the famous Deus Ex Machina or Pretty Poison skate Mecca. … From here it is close to the beach with black volcanic sand Mengening.
Another trendy area of Bali, taken over by the Australians, but more expensive. The famous beach clubs Potato Head and Ku De Ta still make good deliveries of musicians, but it’s worth going there just for their sake. The establishments themselves have lost their luster, and if you are just looking for a place with food and music to lie by the pool, then you better go to the W Hotel – a great pool with sun loungers and beach access, DJ at sunset. Best breakfasts at Sisterfields – no other establishment on the island comes close to their acai bowls. Neighboring Doors – U Look Hot in Bikini. This is the place of the same team for fancy dinners and cocktails. The coffee culture is also very developed in Bali, but it is not necessary to drink the dubious Luwak coffee on the plantations. Better go to one of the coffee shops like Revolver Espresso, where the owners also take local beans, but do not pass them through the animal’s stomach. but they do different types of roasting and, as a result, a wonderful flat white. If you decide to go to the spa, look out for Sundari (best value for money), the luxurious The Legian Bali, Alila Spa or the youthful Spring Spa.
An area unlike any other in Bali. Endless rice terraces, real jungle, boutique hotels (we recommend Stone House and Bambu Indah) and a paradise for yoga lovers. There are several main places for practicing here: The Yoga Barn (a huge center, more like Disneyland, with classes in large groups and a strong schedule), Intuitive Flow (terrace overlooking the valley, small groups) and, in our opinion, the best option is Ubud Yoga House (you practice right among the rice fields, in small groups, everything is as peaceful as possible). In Ubud, there are still traditional dance performances in temples, very beautiful and very touristy. There are also famous rice fields, which are definitely worth a visit, and Monkey Forest, which is optional. When you get hungry, go to the trendy Milk & Madu, Kafe or gastronomic Hujan Locale, Mozaic Restaurant, Kubu, Locavore. A separate experience will be a visit to Karsa Spa, which looks more like a botanical garden. Book in advance and combine with walking along the Campuhan Trail, a rare spot in Bali for long walks.
Quiet area, where families usually live in villas of five-star hotels (among them Four Season, Mövenpick Resort & Spa and Karma Jimbaran). The most important entertainment here is dinner by the sea at sunset. All restaurants are about the same and work according to the following principle: first you select fish, crabs or other crustaceans with your finger, and then the way you want all these seafood to be prepared. From the unobvious: we suggest ordering crab soup.
We can only name one reason why you might need to go to Kuta – these are surf schools. For those who are going to conquer the waves for the first time, Kuta is likely to become a must on the program. If you want to learn to surf in Russian, then go to Surf Discovery. If you are satisfied with classes in English, then you are at the Rip Curl School of Surf. From budget and at the same time quality options, there is Odyssey’s, where local teach. There is also a street food market, which can be considered a separate item on the program for getting to know the local culture. For the rest, we advise you to avoid Kuta, because the bacchanalia taking place here is more reminiscent of Anapa or Phuket.
The southern part of the island, where you can combine beach holidays, surfing and relaxation in excellent beach clubs (although many of them do not have direct access to the ocean, but are located on a cliff and offer you to swim in the pool and watch the ocean). Both beginners and advanced surfers will be able to ride on Dreamland Beach. It all depends on the waves, and local instructors will tell you about the ocean timetable. After your workout, head to the Bukit Café for a meal. There are the same avocado toasts and smoothie bowls, there is a lunch and dinner menu (be sure to try the pineapple teriyaki chicken for dinner and a matcha bowl for breakfast). The second option is Drifter. Here, the dishes are a little more complicated, the serving is more interesting, but Bukit Café still wins in taste. Of the beach clubs, you should pay attention to the modern and minimalist Ulu Cliffhouse, which opened this summer, or the more pretentious El Kabron. And, most likely, you’ve heard about Omnia yourself – a day club with powerful imports, built in the form of a cube over the ocean. If you are looking for a real beach with sand and ocean, then you are in Sundays next to Karma Beach. Beach clubs usually operate on a deposit system, in some places there is also a separate admission fee.
Not far from Uluwatu, in the east is Nusa Dua. It is a tranquil beach area where you can enjoy swimming in the ocean, which is rare in Bali. Coral reefs protect the beaches of Nusa Dua from the big waves. As with Jimbaran, the best thing to do here is to simply pick a luxury hotel and enjoy all that it has to offer. The St. Regis, Grand Hyatt, The Ritz-Carlton. In addition to the beaches, there is a nice Pacifica Museum with art from the Asia-Pacific region.
If you love diving, then you need to live in the Amed area. Between dives, you can go to see the Ujung water palace overlooking the Agung volcano. Walk around the grounds, feed the fish, rent a boat, see the palace itself – all this is not very exciting, but still pleasant. When it comes to food, there are almost no trendy gluten-free places here, mostly varungi with traditional nasi goreng (rice with chicken, vegetables and omelet).
One of the indisputable advantages of Bali in comparison with other exotic islands is a rich cultural program and all kinds of leisure activities (if at all there is a desire to do something). As a result, many options for activities turn out to be very controversial pleasure, but what is definitely worth doing is climbing the Batur volcano to meet the sunrise. There are, of course, disadvantages: you will most likely have to go far (the volcano is located in the very north of the island), the ascent begins at about 4 am and this can be done only as part of a group with a guide. And there are always very, very many such groups, so there will be moments when you will simply be a leisurely line with lanterns in your hands to go up the mountain. The ascent takes about an hour. But after you there is a moment that can be the most vivid impression of the whole trip.