Bali for beginners

Anna King Shahab covers some of a basis and need-to-knows for first-time Bali visitors.


The island might be small, though Bali trade can be a force to be reckoned with so unless we wish to spend many of your holiday in a cab removing to and from attractions, it can be a good thought to order your time between a integrate of areas (depending on a length of your stay) so we can good use your time to try locally. Here’s a really severe beam to some renouned attractions in a few areas.

Ubud: Hits a mark for Balinese culture, yoga classes and post-yoga, plant-based feasts, halcyon rice paddies, cooking classes, stream rafting, jungle treks and sauna treatments regulating handmade products.

Bali. Photo / Getty Images


Home to many high-end ubiquitous hotel chains, this area is good for selling — mostly ubiquitous brands now though a daily humanities marketplace is good for crafts and internal textiles. The roller is glorious and a beach clubs (places like Potato Head and Ku De Ta) attract some glorious ubiquitous acts. There is also a horde of good bars and restaurants.

Canggu: While fast-evolving, this area still has a boho vibe; surf, yoga and celebration cultures accommodate in harmony. Lots of internal boutique stores for rummaging and some good restaurants.

Jimbaran: Built on a long, golden silt beach that’s good for a accumulation of H2O sports including amateur surfing. Being tighten to a airport, it creates a good place to start or finish your outing in oppulance surroundings.

Uluwatu: At a southern tip of a island and home to tucked-away high-end resorts, clifftops trailing down to dull beaches, extraordinary sunsets and a overwhelming Uluwatu temple.

Nusa Dua: A bit like Fiji’s Denarau; built on package holidays, if that’s what floats your boat.

Nusa Lembongan: Hasn’t seen too many growth nonetheless and has a laid-back charm. Great mark for diving, snorkelling, surfing and stand-up paddle boarding.

The North and East Bali coastlines: Accommodation centres around spots like Amed and Tejakula, and a areas are still partially quiet, both charity good diving and snorkelling, black-sand beaches, and insights into normal Balinese encampment life.

Kuta and Legian: Overrun with tourists and, in my opinion, best avoided.


Marked taxis (Bluebird is a many prevalent) are abundant in some areas, like Seminyak and Jimbaran, and nonetheless gossip has it their drivers should use meters, this frequency happens and it’s customarily easier to simply negotiate a bound price. The same goes when regulating a touted cab in areas like Canggu and Ubud: settle on a transport before we get in a automobile and bear in mind that drivers tend to explain they don’t lift change.

If we wish to revisit mixed locations we can sinecure a motorist for a day (or longer). Unless we wish unscheduled stops during trinket factories and coffee farms (where a civet cats that are used to furnish kopi luwak are, sadly, treated cruelly), make it famous to your motorist that we wish to hang to your designed destinations.

Hiring a scooter is a string (usually we won’t even need to furnish a licence). Prices change from about $5-15 a day depending on area. Areas with reduction trade are many some-more gainful to scooter roving so try a hinterland of Ubud, Canggu divided from a categorical road, and Nusa Lembongan.

To transport between areas, arranging a send by your accommodation is preferable as they’ll know accurately where to collect we and will bucket your luggage. The same goes with attainment during a airport: if your accommodation offers a pickup, book it; many properties, generally private villas, are located down small lanes (especially in Ubud, mostly with no automobile access), and it takes a motorist who knows a place to deposition we there stress-free.


There is so many accommodation in Bali that it’s a doubt of squeezing down a accurate features, plcae and cost you’re penetrating on. If we devise on checking out a few opposite areas, we might also like to brew adult your accommodation type. Spend a widen in a private villa in an area with lots of activities to check out, afterwards if check allows, a few nights in remote five-star luxury, relaxing and enjoying a onsite perks.

A private pool during Devi’s Place, Ubud, Bali. Photo / Anna King Shahab

I’ve requisitioned countless villas and hotels in Bali and we rate for a few pivotal reasons. Not usually is there a outrageous operation of options though we like that we can set filters to find me properties that are within walking stretch of specific things like yoga studios, restaurants, rice paddies for relaxed walks during dawn, or we can hunt exclusively for villas with a private pool — a non-negotiable for a H2O babies. we also adore being means to book simply on my phone, though any remuneration — it’s so many tidier settling a check by credit label during a finish of a stay, with a inclusion of additionals such as scooter hire, excursions, food and splash orders.

After several visits, I’ve staid on a few favourites. On a still hinterland of Ubud in a center of rice paddies, though walking stretch to lots of attractions, Devi’s Place keeps sketch a family back. From one-bedroom cottages to a large, ethereal three-bedroom pool villa we hired this year, Devi’s Place has a operation of affordably labelled options, with normal Balinese pattern touches and always conscientiously clean. Owned and run by internal male Ketut and family, a business has enabled his children to go by university. Ketut and son-in-law Kadek offer motorist services, and also have scooters for hire.

For all-out luxury, we were severely tender with a turn of courtesy during Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay; wherever we are on a 14ha property, staff hail we by name. In a universe of anonymous, white-on-white hotel design, Four Seasons stands out for being certainly Balinese, designed like a normal encampment with high mill walls around any villa, finish with a indentation beside a lofty wooden entrance doors to place daily canang sari offerings. The breakfasts were amazing, a sauna treatments heavenly. If you’re going to splurge, this is where to do it.


There are innumerable options to fit all palates and budgets. Warungs dot roadsides, charity Balinese fare. Popular dishes embody nasi goreng (fried rice), nasi campur (rice, meat, tempeh, vegetables and sambal wrapped in a banana root or paper parcel), slake lilit (minced fish or duck grilled on skewers of lemongrass), babi guling (suckling pig with glorious crackling). To try wider Indonesian cuisine in stylish surroundings, conduct to Kaum in Seminyak and Hujan Locale in Ubud.

Eateries with wholefoods or plant-based menus are mushrooming. Great examples are Yellow Flower Cafe, Alchemy, Dumbo and Moksa in Ubud. In Canggu check out Shady Shack, Quince Cafe and Betelnut, and on Nusa Lembongan, Ginger Jamu, right on a beach.

No matter what you’re craving, we will substantially find a damn good chronicle of it in Bali, and eating out, even in a aloft finish places, is generally good value. Da Maria has Maurice Terzini (of Sydney’s Icebergs fame) behind a Southern Italian sass, branch out woodfired pizzas (kids are invited to make their possess alongside a chefs), pastas and pleasing seafood dishes as good as torpedo cocktails, their signature being a negroni.

Smokehouse BBQ is an all-out Texas-style corner putting out severely good smoked meats from a outrageous pit-smoker, served with a classical sides.

On a coast, seafood is so affordable it’s tough for me to go past it during many meals. At Jimbaran, sup with your feet in a silt during any of a dozens of seafood restaurants that line a beach; fish, crab, lobster, clams and calamari are grilled during heated feverishness over coconut husks to give a wheeze of additional benevolence on a flesh. At Sundara’s Sunday brunch — where we compensate a bound cost for tasty free-flow tapas dishes — a seafood options are generally bountiful.

Breakfast play during Yellow Flower, Ubud, Bali. Photo / Anna King Shahab


Bali banking is a Indonesian rupiah and NZ$1 roughly equates to IDR$10,000. So we flattering many only lop all a zeros off (most menus quote prices though those annoying thousands anyway).

Restaurants, bars and hotels supplement taxes to quoted prices (often 10 per cent vat and 11 per cent service, though it varies). Additional tipping is not approaching though is of march appreciated.

ATMs are found in many places mentioned here, solely Nusa Lembongan, that we should revisit with adequate money to cover your stay. Some ATMs have a limit withdrawal of IDR1.5 million ($150) since others will go adult to IDR2.5 million.


Balinese pronounce Bahasa Bali and mostly Bahasa Indonesia though it’s generally easy to get by in English. Ceremony and tradition immerse a daily lives of Bali’s primarily Hindu population, though in ubiquitous there aren’t despotic manners that visitors need to belong to equivocate causing offence, only hang to a simple amicable mores and respectfulness.

Be wakeful that external countenance of annoy isn’t a finished thing in Balinese enlightenment and, if visiting a temple, cover a legs and arms (a sarong in a trek comes in handy).

Balinese enlightenment is voiced by dance, puppetry, music, weaving, pottery, portrayal and martial arts, into all of that visitors can straightforwardly get an insight.



new approach use from Auckland to Bali starts on Jun 15, and will run year round. Return fares from $899. Surfers can check in their play for free.

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