So there’s this island in Indonesia, about a six-hour flight from the Eastern states and even less from the west. It’s an incredible destination: epic beaches, delicious food, surf and wild parties. AND it’s super cheap, even for really nice accommodation.
It’s called Bali. Ever heard of it?
Alright I get it, we’re not breaking any exclusives when we tell you about Bali, where Australians have been travelling like a 9th state/territory since at least the 1960s.
Most Aussies have found themselves there at some point. But not me, which is kind of crazy when you think about it; a 30-year-old Australian travel writer who hasn’t been to Bali.
It’s not like I didn’t want to go, but was it top of the list? Meh…I mean I’ve seen everyone’s Instagrams…what more could there be?
Here’s a few things I learnt on my first trip to Bali:
1) It’s underrated.
O.K hear me out. I have this belief that New Year’s Eve, as a party/holiday, is underrated because of the way everyone says it’s overrated. Everyone says that, your expectations are low, and before long you’re hugging your friends on a beach somewhere, there’s homemade fireworks going off and you’re drunk and you’re discovering that it’s actually an epic time. Bali is the New Year’s Eve of travel destinations. I constantly found things were pleasantly surprising me, for example...
2) Balinese food: massively underrated
One of the most primary sources of pleasant surprise came from the food. Time and time again over the course of a week, we ate like Kings and Queens, devouring mild and spicy and everything in between. Bubur Ayam is like chicken porridge, and the best one in Bali can be found at the Archipelago International restaurant in Ubud
3) It’s beautiful
This one might not come as much of a surprise, but it needs to be said. Bali is one of the places that is just as good in reality, as it is on social media. There’s no let down when you reach the beach; it really is long stretches of sand, warm, light-blue water and bars as far as the eye can see.
4) It’s no busier than Europe’s tourist traps
At least here you can spread out; find your own little stretch of sand to chill out in, or spread your money across the numerous bars and restaurants that line the narrow streets. Whereas in Paris, there literally is only one Mona Lisa.
5) You can be whoever you want to be
A group of teenagers and early-twenty-somethings can go to Bali and party and have the time of their life, with stories coming out of their asses when they get back. But by the same token, Bali is also suitable for a married couple of 40 years, honeymooners, full-moon hippie types, the clean eaters and yogis, the bookworm, the adventurer and the person who just needs to get away for a week. There’s something for everyone.
6) Each area has its own personality
We stayed in Canggu, where there was an exceptional beach party happening on the main beach just down the road each night. We then transferred to Ubud, where I could not have been any more zen. Pick the suburb that’s right for you.
7) I will be back
Everyone who can afford to (which is anyone who can afford an international holiday, given its affordability) needs to get to Bali once in their life. Take it from a reformed Bali sceptic.
The Air Asia Super app is your best bet for any trip in Asia, including Bali.
You can book flights, accommodation, on-ground transport and heaps more. The best part is that the flights aren’t limited to just AirAsia – over 700 airlines from around the world feature here in a similar manner to something like SkyScanner, helping you find a good deal.