Why Bali Makes the Perfect Island Escape
By Emily Wickens
Last updated: 29th September 2023
It’s easy to see why Bali is the perfect destination for those looking for an island escape. From jaw-dropping waterfalls, lush rice paddies, crystal clear oceans and golden beaches, Bali is packed full of everything you need for relaxation and adventure!
I recently visited this jaw-dropping island on Gap 360’s 12-day Bali Intro trip, and haven’t stopped thinking about it since. I was short on time, so needed to have a quick adventure, and this was the perfect length of trip! We managed to tick off all my bucket list locations, including Ubud Monkey Forest, the Gili Islands, Canggu and more.
1. Tropical Wildlife and Ocean
Bali is every ocean lover's dream! Think blue water, cute clownfish, curious dolphins and beautiful sea turtles. My favourite part of Bali was the endless options for ocean activities. On my adventure, I was able to take part in snorkelling, surfing, boat trips, diving… the list goes on. Swimming with turtles and seeing hundreds of tropical fish was a highlight of my trip! The best place to see turtles was on the boat trip on Day 8. You’ll start your day on Gili T, then hop on a boat to visit the iconic Gili Meno Underwater statues, before moving onto Gili Air for lunch. During this boat trip, we saw around 5 different sea turtles and loads of fish, including clownfish! Definitely something I was able to tick off my bucket list!
2. Lively Nightlife
No trip to Bali is complete without experiencing the beach clubs in Seminyak and Canggu. During our trip, we spent one of our nights watching the sunset over Seminyak’s stunning beaches, relaxing on colourful beanbags, with a drink in hand. We then headed back to our accommodation in Canggu, where we walked down to the beachside clubs and bars. It’s safe to say it’s easy to see why Canggu is known for its messy nights out.
3. Volcano Treks
Towards the end of this epic adventure, we went for an unforgettable trek up Mount Batur. It’s a very early start (1:30 am), and takes around 3 hours to get to the top. I would recommend some good hiking shoes or trainers, and a lightweight jacket and backpack will really help as it does get cold at the top! Still being an active volcano, we were able to use the natural heat to cook our breakfast of boiled eggs and hot banana sandwiches, which sounds weird but by this point, everyone was hungry and ready to eat anything! After watching the incredible sunrise, you’ll head back down with a much easier route and then go back to your accommodation in Ubud (to a very well needed massage).
4. Local Culture and Temples
One of the most unique things about Bali is the temples and culture. As the main Hindu island of Indonesia, Bali has over 20,000 Hindu temples (known as ‘pura’) which you can see every corner you take. The beautiful carvings on the temples show the amount of love and care which goes into them. Each morning, the locals will leave offerings known as ‘canang sari’ at their temples. We were lucky enough to learn how to make these offerings during our tour. They are usually made of woven bamboo containers, flowers, fruits, spices, and rice, and it is an offering to the Gods as a gesture of gratitude.
5. Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
Nowhere in the world does rice terraces quite like Bali. On our trip, we visited the stunning Jatiluwih Rice Terraces which stretch on for miles. We met up with a local tour guide who explained to us how the rice is grown and picked (all by hand with no modern machinery!). This area was high up in the mountains, so was quite a long drive to get to. However, this hidden gem was out of the typical tourist track, so we were able to explore at our own time without any other tourists around. For someone who has never visited rice paddies/terraces before, this was a moment I will never forget!