Bali was by far my favorite place that I have traveled to. I loved the people, the waves, the food, and the weather.
Here are a few tips that I would give if you’re traveling there:
1. Put it at the top of your travel list. It is only getting more and more crowded and built up. You should go sooner rather than later.
2. Stay somewhere that isn’t Kuta. I can’t speak on the whole city, but after spending a day there I was so glad that we didn’t decide to stay there. We stayed in Canggu (on the Western coast) at a ridiculous place that was still cheap, especially after splitting it with another couple. I think we payed about 50$ a night for the two of us. I couldn’t find it for rent anymore, but there are still so many places to choose from that are similar. Canggu has a lot of places to eat right at the beach, and an awesome longboard and shortboard wave right out front. It’s also where Deus is located, which isn’t the most authentic Balinese experience, but still cool to check out. I think they give free tattoos on Tuesday nights.
We also stayed further north in Balian Beach which was even more quiet and secluded. There weren’t as many places to eat, and you had to travel a bit to get to anything to do besides surf, but I also highly recommend staying here.
3. Rent a motorbike, not a car. You will stick out like a sore thumb if you rent a car. If you aren’t comfortable with a motorbike then pay a driver when you need to go somewhere. It will still be cheaper than renting a car. Get a car hire from the airport however, so you’re not jetlagged and trying to figure out the rules of the road.
4. Don’t cook for yourself. Eat out every meal. It is cheap and delicious (like 2$ a meal). Drink Bintang with lunch and dinner, and maybe even breakfast. Order a whole duck dinner for you and someone else if you can find it. Try mangosteins. Get your coffee unsweetened, and bring your own way to make it if you don’t like grounds in it.
5. Explore the northern and central part of the island, on a motorbike if you can.
6. Read up on Bali before you go. There will be a lot of culture that you will miss out on if you don’t know what it is. Like the little banana leaf boxes filled with flowers and crackers that you will see everywhere. Know what those are. Know why there are temples everywhere you look. Bring a long sleeved shirt if you plan on going to a temple (they’ll probably give you a sarong to wear son you don’t need pants).
7. Surf your brains out.