Bali Pictorial

Those who know us well – especially fellow nomads – have expressed surprise that we spent so much time in Bali, a destination they associate with package tourism and sprawling resorts. In all honesty, I avoided Bali on my first trip to Indonesia ignorantly dismissing the island as little more than tourist central. But guess what, Bali is beautiful.

While it’s true that portions of Bali have embraced the dark side of tourism and a visit to Kuta can leave you cringing as hordes of drunk Australians stumble their way through the streets, the larger island provides plenty of room for off-the-beaten-track exploration. There is much to discover here: Bali’s unique Hindu culture and architecture is visually stunning; colorful festivals and parades occur throughout the year; the sand runs the spectrum from powder white to glistening gold to charcoal grey to jet black; and the lush tropical center of the island provides for great walks. Perhaps the greatest discovery for us was that the scuba diving is absolutely world-class (and I don’t say that lightly.)

We liked Bali so much that we decided to put together a pictorial to share some of the island’s unique beauty. (I’ll admit the pictorial is a bit culture heavy, but – hey – how many more pictures of rice terraces can we post?) 🙂

4 responses to “Bali Pictorial”

  1. Wise words from a seasoned traveler, indeed!

    I have an “easy” solution for getting away from the tourist hordes: Stay away from the tourist hordes.

    Many small islands are amazingly wonderful, justifiably popular tourist destinations. If clubbing and kitschy shops aren’t for you, I say, “Go where the locals go.” Naturally, that may take some time and effort – neither of which the tourist on a short vacation may have – but I have had my most rewarding travel moments when I took a bus out of town or walked half an hour through the woods to a deserted beach.

    • avatar Tony says:

      Yes, and it is still much easier to get off the beaten path in Bali than many would guess. Although I have to admit, the public transportation system in Bali is worse than on many other Indonesian islands. It seems they want every visitor to travel by expensive private car or tour bus (that’s very much part of the dark side I mentioned in the post). There is, however, a rather camouflaged system in place – you just have to really look for it.

  2. avatar regina says:

    Hi Tony
    You write- there is a “camouflaged” system in place? What does that look like? Thanks– for the pix too.

    • avatar Tony says:

      I said “camouflaged” because public transport options are often not signed, the stops are often in backstreets, and locals will often deny the existence of such options. It’s quite clear that locals would prefer that you pay for more expensive tourist transport. And unfortunately, tourist transport often does not serve many of the off-the-track locations.

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