My mom recently decided that she wanted to visit the island of Bali in Indonesia and decided to take my sister and I during the June holiday this year. We stayed in Bali at the Grand Mirage resort in Nusa Dua from 28 June till 6 July. The resort is very well situated for a family holiday or honeymoon, but if you want to experience the local vibe of Bali, I would rather recommend staying in Kuta or Seminyak as it is where all the action happens.
The streets of Bali can be compared to those of India with thousands of scooters and motorbikes dominating the roads. After having been strongly advised by hotel staff and other locals not to rent a scooter due to the dangerous roads, I decided to go with my own mind and hired a scooter for the last two days of the trip from Bali Bike Rental. The scooter was delivered to my hotel and rental costs were about R80 per day. Having had years of experience driving a scooter, it took no time to adapt to the chaotic roads of Bali. It was an amazing feeling to be able to explore the island on my own and I would consider it one of my highlights of the trip. During our stay we visited Uluwatu Temple, where we watched a cultural storytelling dance called the Kecak dance during sunset. If you ever visit Uluwatu Temple, I strongly recommend you pay extra to stay for the dance as it is not expensive and well worth it. We also visited Waterbom Bali, which has been awarded the best waterpark in Asia and third best waterpark in the world. Entrance was quite expensive (around R500 pp) but if you decide to make it a day trip, you won’t regret it. There are over 17 waterslides and is an excellent place to visit as a family.
We visited many beaches in Bali, of which the most notable are Padang Padang beach in Uluwatu and Double Six beach in Seminyak.
Padang Padang beach can be compared to the beaches of Thailand, with white sand and crystal clear waters. It is quite a secluded beach surrounded with beautiful scenery. On the other hand, Double Six beach is where all the locals go. The beach is filled with many restaurants, literally on the beach. La Plancha is definitely a place you must visit! It is a restaurant with bean bags and colourful umbrellas on the beach with live music during sunset. It is an excellent place to go for a sundowner.
Bali is also known for its posh beach clubs. I only had time to visit two of the better-known ones, namely Potato Head and Cocoon. Potato Head has an infinity pool overlooking the ocean, with live music all-day long and three restaurants to choose from. As far as beach clubs go, it is not too expensive and I do not think a few cocktails would break the bank. On the other hand, Cocoon is a much classier beach club and can only cater a small crowd. I attended a pool party that they hosted and drinks were really expensive (I am a student) for shooters starting at R100 and a glass of wine nothing less than R180. I was there another time as well, and I must say that the prices are a bit more reasonable when you go during the day.
Bali can be a really affordable place to visit once you get out of the tourist areas, but prices in Bali are more or less on par with those in South Africa and I would definitely recommend saving enough money to spend as all the major attractions can be costly.
I really enjoyed my stay in Bali, but it was simply too short. I am planning to go back again next year in June and rent an apartment for a month in order to fully explore what the island has to offer.
Other places I recommend paying a visit:
Kuta Square, Kuta
La favela, Seminyak
Ku de Ta, Seminyak
AYANA Resort and Spa, Jimbaran
Monkey Forest, Ubud
Rice fields and volcano, Ubud
Seawalker & Flyboard, Nusa Dua
Neighbouring islands such as Gili