Is Bali next on your bucket list? Read this first…



If Bali has always been in your list of places to visit, why not fast track your plans and head over there in 2017? Bali is a tropical island filled with natural beauty, picturesque resorts, easy-going beaches, warm people, and lovely culture.

Bali is steeped in a daily tradition of customary dress, flower offerings, ornate rituals, and pavilion houses. Here are some things to know before you go.

First things first: Australians traveling to Indonesia. Let’s talk about Indonesia visas and passports. As of March 2016, Australian tourists no longer need a visa when visiting Indonesia for up to 30 days. Take note that your day of arrival counts as day one of the 30 days, same with your departure. It isn’t extendable as well. Check the link above to get updated information about the rules and other guidelines.

Where to stay?

That depends on your primary reason for visiting Bali. There are tons of accommodations on the island – from backpacker digs to yoga retreats, beachfront views to rice paddies, dirt-cheap to lavish. If you’re a surf or beach lover, you’ll enjoy your stay in a coastal area such as Kuta, Seminyak, or Legian. Although Kuta has a reputation for being party central, there are places where you can hear the beach life and still have a good night’s sleep.

If you want to experience Bali’s cultural flair, Ubud would be your perfect base. The area is full of family compounds that are so intricately designed that they look more like temples instead of houses. Try booking lodgings near the main street, Jalan Raya Ubud, if you’d like to simply walk to attractions such as the Monkey Forest, Ubud Palace, and Ubud Market.

What to see and experience in Bali

Bali is typically Southern Asian and lots of its attractions – beaches, rivers, spring, and waterfalls – are same to those you can find in other Asian countries. Still, there are many things to do that are distinctly Balinese. Here are just a few favorites:

Visit Uluwatu. A temple complex found in the southern tip of Bali. It’s an awesome place to watch the sunset and the Kecak fire dance. Here you’ll find specular views of towering cliffs and parades of waves breaking.

Stay in a Balinese home. There are homestay options in Ubud that let you live like a local without having to give up your usual comforts. There are family compounds that allow you to unobtrusively observe daily routines and talk with Balinese people of all ages.

Sample different flavors of tea and coffee. Bali is the home to many coffee plantations, and a visit to one includes a tasting session of more than 12 flavors of tea and coffee. Be sure to try their ginseng and coconut coffee, as well as the lemongrass and mangosteen tea.

Live the beach life. Put on your sarong and head over to the beach to take surfing lessons or spend the day hibernating in a hammock. After all, who knows when you can take a vacation and relax this way again, right?

Climb Mount Batur, of better yet, Mount Agung. Mount Batur is an active volcano, and dawn trekking to watch the sunrise from its summit are very popular and easy to arrange. Mount Agung is taller, and therefore, harder to climb. You need proper gear and need an accredited guide.

That’s it! Of course, there are plenty other things to do and experience once you’re there. Plan your Bali itinerary and book your ticket soon ­– and don’t forget to take advantage of travel deals and packages available in your country. Have fun!