Backpacking Bali - 3 Places You Must Visit
By Gap 360
Last updated: 15th April 2016
We catch up with the lovely Hannah, from the travel blog Travellerdays. Having checked out one of our Bali trips we thought we'd let Hannah give you the gossip on backpacking the beaut that is Bali...
When I booked a trip to South East Asia, I jumped at the chance to add Bali to my itinerary – and who wouldn’t?! Known as the Island of the Gods, Bali is nestled in the middle of Indonesia and is a haven of golden beaches and lush landscapes. Not only is it an Instagram dream, but it’s also a place filled with a rich and diverse history and colourful culture. Festivals, art and ceremonies are an integral part of Balinese life and set it apart from anywhere else.
For me, it was important to see all of Bali and capture what’s so unique about the island. I wanted to strike the balance between the holiday hotspot and crazy parties of Kuta, the tranquillity of Ubud and beach vibes on the Gili Islands – this was my chance.
I was suprised upon arrival in Kuta, the floods of mopeds/taxis/buses on the roads, school children staring and waving at us as if we were famous, and the human-sized potholes didn’t quite fit with the idyllic picture of Bali that I had in my head. But it didn’t take long to adjust, and soon I couldn't imagine being (or even wanting to be) anywhere else.
Kuta is known for its crazy parties, super cheap shopping, as well as its chilled out surfer vibes – so it’s no wonder so many people visit each year. My first few days were spent bargaining with locals at the markets, relaxing at the beach and getting pampered at the amazing spas. In the evenings we soaked up the nightlife. If you go to Bali then a visit to the famous Sky Garden is a must. Here you can eat and drink all you want for roughly £5 – including alcohol!
For some, this is ideal, and I’m sure many people come to Bali solely to visit Kuta or Seminyak, but I couldn’t wait to head on to Ubud.
Kuta and Ubud are nothing alike and if you’re looking for a place to unwind then the latter is definitely for you. I loved it here – the town was peaceful, friendly and vibrant with its Hindu culture.
We attended a spiritual meditation session at a yoga barn, visited the sacred Monkey Forest sanctuary, and took a trip to the famous rice terraces and Kintimani where we had incredible views of an active volcano. This was when I got to see just how beautiful Bali is, and if I’d had the time, I definitely would have stayed longer.
I got to see the places that I’d dreamt about – the waterfalls, the rainforests and the amazing views. I had the chance to experience the remote, traditional Balinese villages and on top of this got to volunteer at a local primary school – something I’d always wanted to do, and something I’ll never forget
From Bali we headed to the Gili Islands, which were again completely different. I’d heard amazing things about the Gilis and had to make sure I saw them before I left Indonesia. These three little islands (Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno) are located just off the north-west tip of Lombok.
Gili T is the most visited and cosmopolitan of the three with its vibrant beach party scene, laid-back lifestyle and incredible snorkelling spots. If you want to soak up the sun on a gorgeous beach, experience some of the best diving in the world, or simply relax with live music and a cocktail in hand, then the Gili islands are for you. And the best part? There are no motorbikes or cars on these islands, so push bikes are the best way to get around – and honestly what’s better than cycling on the beach under a sunset in paradise?
So what do you think... does Bali sound like somewhere to include in your next adventure? Yeah, we thought so! We'd like to say a big thanks to Hannah for providing us with this great content.