Affordable bliss mere hours from home
The 17,000 islands comprising the South-East Asian nation of Indonesia make it the world’s largest archipelago and the jewel in the crown that is the stunning wonder of Balikpapan, or as it is affectionately known to most Australians - Bali.
From the exquisite Bali beaches to unique architectural wonders and its world famous spa resorts, a Bali travel experience offers something for everyone, and often at a very affordable price.
A Bali travel experience starts with a Bali flight, and one that will land you on the Island of the Gods in roughly 5 or 6 hours if leaving from the Eastern Seaboard of Australia. Travellers jumping from the top end of the country can be there in less than half the time, making it a particularly great destination for those keen to explore Western Australia or the Northern Territories before heading overseas.
Arrival into Denpasar will give you numerous options on where to go and what to see first. Bali is a relatively small island -- just 2,232 sq miles -- so your Bali travel plans can take you to most anywhere on the island in around two hours from the airport.
Getting around Bali is relatively easy with plenty of cars for hire, buses, and very affordable drivers and tour operators to choose from.
One of the most popular ways for getting about is on the back of a scooter with a local, or hiring a scooter or motorbike. It can be a little dangerous, so make sure to wear that helmet, and don’t drink anything intoxicating, because that’s not good either! Check your insurance product disclosure statements before taking on the streets, and be wary when riding into the busiest areas of Bali, as the local traffic can get incredibly chaotic, and the combination of party goers and moving vehicles can lead to your travel plans going awry.
Fortunately most things in Bali are very affordable and many luxuries can still be enjoyed even on a fairly small budget. Be conscious to always have some small coins and notes available for making the donations requested when entering temples and other attractions.
No Bali travel experience is complete without a visit to the monkey temples. Hold on to any loose items, though, as the monkeys can be quite bold about getting their hands on things that make them curious. Be respectful of their inherently wild nature, even when they appear very tame, as a scratch or a bite could result in unforeseen medical expenses.
Of course, Bali is renowned for its amazing spas and there is no shortage of information online about the many selections on offer. Bali massage shares much in common with Indian and Chinese treatments, but there are a few pleasures that are unique to Bali.
For a truly eye opening spa experience, ask around for one that offers "Shirodhara", a technique that involves having warm oil dripped on your forehead for around an hour and is said to help open the third eye, leading one into a state of meditative bliss.
Also unique to Bali is Mandi Luluns, a body scrub comprising yogurt, rice powder and turmeric. While you won’t be feasting, this combination of elements is said to help relieve many ailments, and an inside tip is that it’s particularly great for those that have caught a bit of sunburn after a day on those stunning Bali beaches.
There’s so much more that a Bali travel experience can offer, from the volcanic black sand beaches of Lovina in the north, to the hustling and bustling nightlife of Kuta Beach in the south.
Bali’s east and west isn’t to be missed out, either, and you and the family can find your way to the Bali Safari and Marine Park for a stroll with the animals on the eastern side, while the west of Bali delivers some surfing spots of choice.
Wherever you go, you’ll find Indonesia’s popular island offers a travel experience like no other.