I’ve decided to settle down in Bali which is not something I thought I’d ever do. In fact I clearly remember telling family members that Bali is crowded, the traffic is nuts, it’s not at all for me. That was before I discovered surfing. Now that I know this Indonesia island has some of the best waves in the world, well it changes things. Even if you don’t surf it’s worth coming here, but there is a way to do it right so that you get the most out of your trip.
See, the thing with Bali is that there is traffic, trash and tourists, the terrible Ts. But what’s so amazing is that there are also pockets of incredible beauty. There is a hidden beach on the far south end, a “secret” beach that you can find with a quick Google search, which is one of the best if not the best beach I’ve ever been to in my life. And I have dedicated a not insignificant amount of my life to the pursuit of sand and surf.
Bali has some of the coolest houses and apartments you’ll ever find. The best Airbnb I’ve ever been to (I’ve stayed in more than 50) was in Ubud. A studio apartment on the second floor, jutting out into the jungle where I woke up each morning with the sunrise and tropical birds sitting on the railing. Good God! The Balinese have a preternatural ability to create beautiful homes and majestic spaces.
The rice fields, of course, are astounding. Especially when you find the restaurants built into them. This one in Ubud, and this one in Canggu, are two of my favorites. Speaking of rice fields, last time I was in Bali I managed to find a half mile looping path running through one of the largest rice fields I’ve ever seen. No cars, no crazies, just this path through acres of rice fields. Incredible. I’ll keep that place to myself but if you try hard I’m sure you can find it. It’s not so far from that second restaurant I mentioned.
At the beginning of this short post I mentioned that I’d tell you how to get the most out of Bali. Well first off, the farther away you get from Denpasar the better, just as a rule of thumb. But more than that, the key to enjoying Bali is exploration. You have to rent your scooter and go out on an adventure without knowing what you’re looking for. Go down some side roads, follow traffic and see where it takes you, go to Ubud and discover the awesomeness of driving through the vine wrapped tunnel. There are so many beautiful, amazing places in Bali but you’ll never find them if you don’t venture far from your hostel. And if you’re really not into traffic and tourists, try heading to the far south, around Uluwatu. You’ll be close to the beaches and away from most of the bustle. That’s about where I’m staying, maybe I’ll see you there.