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Bali is on the Bucket List

Bali is on the Bucket List

Most people, after reading the book and watching the highly acclaimed movie, Eat, Pray, Love, starring Julia Roberts, added Bali to their Bucket List. I too, like many, added Bali to my ever-growing Bucket List, in hope of finding love on the island like Julia Roberts did in the movie, with a tall, dark and handsome stranger. But as time has gone on there have been a few more reasons why I am intrigued by Bali, and asked me to explore these reasons.

The biggest reason, well, the two main reasons I want to go to Bali are:
1. South African passport holders do not need a visa. Wohoo, that alone is a big bonus as we often need visas for just about everywhere in the world and they come with a hefty price and a long process.
2. Affordability. As a wanderlust soul I am constantly looking for deals, especially good travel deals. Bali seems to be popping up everywhere and is rather affordable in comparison to a lot of other destinations.
This makes me wonder if Bali could be the new playground for South Africans instead of other Asian countries. When I think of Bali, images of temples, greenery, friendly faces and delicious foods instantly come to mind. Over the last six months I have read probably about 40 blogs on Bali and personally know 10 people who have gone to Bali. I found this post, A Guide to Bali rather informative for the South African traveller. So when my uncle dearest asked me what I wanted from Bali I instantly knew, and even had images of the intricately carved silver bracelets I wanted, and yes I did get them and they are utterly beautiful.

Random facts about Bali :

1.Active volcanoes.
2.Wild jungles.
3.Surfers’ paradise.
4.Black sand beaches.
5.Nicknamed the Paris of the East because of the large number of fashionable designer boutiques and Art Deco buildings.
6.The world’s largest Buddhist temple is found in Java.
7.One of 13 466 islands that make up Indonesia.
8.Fourth largest population in the world.
9.Home to the Komodo dragons.
10. In 2016, nearly five million visitors came to discover Indonesia.
11.Indonesia is 51% forest, making it one of the world’s greenest countries.
12.Locals speak Balinese, Indonesian and English.
13.Hinduism came to Bali in the 5th century.
14.Also called the Island of the Gods.
Now those are some pretty interesting facts. Indonesia is made up of various cities and villages, some of which are full of tourists while others are yet to be discovered. Below are a list of cities in Bali with a description of each to help you decide which to visit.

Cities of Bali

*Denpasar — a bustling city, the administrative centre and transport hub of the island, but not a major tourist destination.
*Candidasa — a quiet coastal town, the Bali Aga, and gateway to the east coast.
*Kuta — surfer central, by far the most heavily developed area in Bali, lots of shopping and nightlife, and the centre of lower-end party culture in Bali.
*Jimbaran — seaside resorts, a nice sheltered beach, and seafood restaurants south of Kuta.
*Legian — located between Kuta and Seminyak; also the name of Kuta’s main street.
*Lovina — beautiful black volcanic sand beaches and coral reefs.
*Padang Bai — a relaxed traditional fishing village with some touristic options; great place to enjoy the beach, snorkelling, diving and eating fish.
*Sanur — seaside resorts and beaches popular with older families.
*Seminyak — quieter, more upscale beachside resorts and villas just to the north of Legian, with some fashionable upscale restaurants and trendy designer bars and dance clubs.
*Ubud — the centre of art and dance in the foothills, with several museums, the monkey forest and lots of arts and crafts shops.

There is definitely something in Bali for all kinds of travellers on all kinds of budgets, from high end luxury to hostels. The relatively cheap food and drink makes it a backpacker’s dream come true.

Now for why Bali is on my Bucket List :

Besides the two main reasons I mentioned earlier in this post, here are a few more reasons ….

Besides the two main reasons I mentioned earlier in this post, here are a few more reasons ….
1.I am intrigued with the Hindu culture in Bali. The Hindus in Bali worship rather differently and the Gods and Goddesses worshipped look nothing like the Gods and Goddesses of India and what I am used to seeing.
2.The gorgeous mystical temples with their intricate designs is any photographer’s dream. And I want to visit the temple in the sea.
3.The food scene is rather interesting and includes raw, vegan and organic, as well as all types of cuisine from around the world. So yes this foodie will defo be eating her way through Bali.
4.A cooking class in Bali is something I really want to experience. One of my resolutions is to try and take a cooking class in all my travels.
5.Bali is well known for their spa treatments, yoga and wellness retreats–food for the body, mind and soul.
6.I have seen so many gorgeous pictures of rice fields that I want to go and visit one, and see where and how rice is actually grown.
7.Go to the Silver Village in Celuk to buy silver jewellery and learn how to make some.
8. Bathe in the sacred waters of Tirta Empul, which you may recognise as the temple that was used as a location in the film, Eat, Pray, Love. This temple complex sits just outside of Ubud and is made up of a number of pools which are filled by fountains. The waters here are said to be sacred, and Hindus from all over Bali come here to bathe.
9.Check out the stone carvings at the village of Batubulan, which has made a name for itself over the years as the place to come if you want to find some of the prettiest stone carvings in Bali.
10.Drink civet coffee. I might chicken out but defo want to try this one. Kopi Luwak has a whole different process from making standard coffee. The fruits are eaten by a civet, a wild animal that looks like a cat, because of the pulp that is inside of the fruits. The fun fact is that the coffee beans will stay intact during the digestion process. The enzymes in the stomach of the civet take away the bitterness of the bean, which gives the coffee a smooth and mild taste. When the beans leave the body of the civet, the farmers collect them. The price is so high (a pound can cost you easily $250, or more) because the whole process can take a while. The civet only eats the ripest coffee cherries. Hmm worth a try I guess.
So have I convinced you to add Bali to your Bucket List yet? Or have you been to Bali already?

Just remember that, before you travel, there are things you need to check off your list, and top of the list has to be Travel Insurance.
Be Inspired!

Ps. All images used in this post are credited to Rajesh Gohil.

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