Bali is a lush tropical place blessed with gorgeous weather conditions both almost daily, and year round. In Bali there are both wet and dry seasons with both of the seasons lasting for roughly six months, give or take. The dry season is cooler and generally lasts slightly longer from around late March until September with the wet season taking up the remaining days from October until mid March.
On the splendid piece of mother earth we call Bali, it can still rain during the dry season but rain usually comes and goes in either season rather quickly.
Bali is a magical land full of history, tradition and amazing culture dating back to the Stone Age when the first settlers from China were said to have migrated to there around 2500 B.C.
Bali is truly one of the world’s premier surfing destinations that offers a variety of world class waves within your reach to accommodate all skill levels whether you are a professional, beginner or anything in between.
I don’t know if the first settlers were fortunate enough to surf any of these A+ waves, but you will be for sure when you hit the beautiful beaches of Bali in Indonesia.
Visit the Besakih Temple
If you are in Bali and looking to absorb some of its abundant cultural offerings, visit the Besakih Temple. The temple at over one thousand years old is known as the “mother temple of Bali”, and is perched on the breathtaking slopes of Mt. Agung at a hefty three thousand feet.
To the Balinese people visiting the temples sanctuaries and laying offerings to the gods is considered to be a special pilgrimage. Besakih Temple is truly a collection of temples, but many of the inner courtyards will be closed to its visitors.
In Bali there are many temples coming in all different shapes and sizes, believe it or not there are more temples than houses existing in this lush tropical paradise today. Most everyone in Bali has a small temple in there home to pay homage to the gods. If you only have enough time to take in a few of their wonderful sites, you may want to consider including The Mother Temple on your list.
Besakih Temple can get extremely busy with tourists and people serving the temple alike, making the early morning (before 9:00am tourist buses arrive) and the late evening the most peaceful times to visit.
During these times of day you have the best chance of being able to hear yourself think, and take in the rich sights this beautiful temple has to offer.
Get Home Safe
Many tourists flock to Bali every year to take in all the natural splendor it has to offer us. Whenever traveling to any unknown destination one should always maintain a higher level of awareness to your surroundings to ensure your personal safety. Bali unfortunately has fallen victim to terrorist bombings in both 2002 and 2005. These two separate attacks targeted establishments popular among foreign visitors.
If you are the cautious type, you may want to avoid any of the high profile western hangouts, being these were the types of places targeted in the past attacks. Some of the more prudent choose not to frequent any establishments that don’t have ample security measures in place, or they choose to head out of the southern Bali tourist areas all together.
The truth in the matter is that Bali’s roads and motor vehicles pose a far greater risk statistically than any terrorist attack. Be extremely careful when travelling whether on foot or by motor vehicle, as Bali’s roads can tend to be reminiscent of the Wild West only they’re not traveling on horse back.
A dangerous risk in Bali can be mother ocean’s dangerous rip currents. They have been known to sweep people out to sea with little or no warning what so ever.
If you see a red flag planted in the sand, and you must swim or surf there, use EXTREME CAUTION. Even the most experienced waterman can find him or herself in serious trouble. If you do get caught in a rip, do not swim against it. Swim along the shore until you clear the rip current and then swim to shore.
Another great danger in “all” of Indonesia is being caught with any amount of illegal drugs in your possession. Indonesia has some extremely harsh drug laws and to them there is virtually no difference between distribution and personal consumption. If you get caught you will pay through your nose, in many cases in the tens of thousands of dollars American, just to reduce your sentence. On Top of that your own country’s laws cannot protect you here, so there are no guarantees.
Do not trust anyone trying to sell you any illegal drugs, as more often these are set ups for someone to put you on to uniformed officers so they can extort you.
This cute little culprit is not to be underestimated when visiting Bali, this cunning little cute faced Orang-utan monkey…
They roll in packs and will gang up on you to steal your food, and they have even been known to get rough with small children.
These rough cunning little thieves will also steal your small possessions such as cameras, glasses, wallets, you get the picture. So watch your back and DO NOT FEED THEM.
Hazards and Health
In Indonesia health hazards can vary by the specific area that you are traveling to so be aware of this, but in this particular case we are talking about Bali, Indonesia. In Bali there are no major health concerns that vaccinations prior to your trip cannot take care of. Although it is always wise to stay current and do your own due diligence as far as any health concerns in the area to which you will be traveling to.
As they say, it’s better safe than sorry.
Websites such as www.mdtravelhealth.com are in the business of staying up to date on any health concerns that you need to be aware of before traveling to your destination.
Whenever traveling to any third world country or out of your own kitchen for that matter, be sure that all foods you consume are prepared and cooked properly. Also, I highly recommend staying as far away from the tap water as possible. That means, putting ice cubes in your drink or preparing food and obviously quenching your thirst. This will almost surely land you a long trip to the super bowl and I’m not talking about the football game. Diarrhea is no fun when you’re on vacation in case you were unaware. The good news is that most restaurants are equipped to handle this problem and bottled water is everywhere.
Unless you enjoy being sick in your hotel room when the waves are going off, take precaution and visit your doctor before you go. He will get you properly vaccinated and you then will have “peace of mind”, and you can concentrate on getting them good waves. After all that is what you came for.
Denpasar Bali International Airport is located near the southern most tip of the island. To cope with the increasing influx of tourists in 1989 it was transformed into a full scale international airport. Once you arrive, getting through customs can be a slow process but once you reach the counter it should be quick. Outside there will be plenty of taxis waiting to take you to your destination. Although they are usually affordable, ask inside of the airport how much the going rate is to your destination. The cabbies will try to hustle you, but if you know what you are talking about they will not hassle you. If they do, never fear there’s about five cabs waiting directly behind them.
Stop by and See
The Balinese people are immersed in culture and history making Bali a very interesting place unlike any other that I have ever seen. From the spectacular handmade arts and crafts to their magnificent temples, to their many forms of dance and drama there are countless things you can stop by and see when visiting Bali. As far as dance goes, there are many choices as dance is at the heart and soul of very Balinese life and culture. Dancers in Bali perform for the pleasure of the gods and also to entertain friends and family.
There will be many different tour companies that you can choose from that offer all these activities and more. We have listed a few of them below for your convenience.
They will customize your tour to suit your individual interests. This is a travel agent service that will hook you up with top rated reliable tour services for most any activity that you choose.
They are a long established tour operator with many different activities to choose from and world class facilities.
Good Eats, Restaurants & Pubs
Many different influences from all over the globe can be found relatively easily when dining out in Bali. The possibilities are endless from the roadside stalls, to the mobile carts called five legs carts (three legs for the karts wheels and two for the boy pushing it) to the world class five star restaurants. Some of the dishes may be extremely spicy, or prepared with ingredients you have never heard of or want to hear of in your life.
So know before you go and ask before you order your food. I know I may sound like a broken record but will say it again, STICK TO THE BOTTLED WATER or you may find your rear end stuck to the toilet while your boys or girls are going to score some world class waves. Almost everything you order will come equipped with white rice and after that the choice is yours. Bali has had contact with so many different cultures for centuries that even the pickiest eater should have no problem finding something to satisfy the his or her taste buds.
In the Sanur area -
Telaga Naga (operated by the Hyatt hotel in Sanur)
The restaurant is located on a beautiful garden setting complete with ponds, ducks and other sights to make your dining experience more pleasurable. There are many dishes to choose from but expect to pay hotel prices.
The Sanur Beach Market
Located at the end of Julian Segara they serve up many different choices ranging from Chinese to Indonesian to purely Balinese dishes with an emphasis on seafood. Great location and reasonable prices.
Pregina is a restaurant specializing in authentic Balinese and seafood dishes. They are located on JL. Danau Tamblingan.
The Cat & Fiddle Pub
The Cat and Fiddle Pub serves up Irish and English favorites with a lengthy menu selection. They are located at JL. Cemara #36. Head over and grab a cold pint of Guinness.
In the Kuta area -
Mades Warung is located on Jalun Pantai in Kuta close to the Bemo corner and has been around since the early 70 s. Here you can choose from many different local flavors as well as international flavors.
TJ’S Mexican Restaurant
TJ’s has also been a staple in Bali for some time and has become well known for tasty food, good music and even better drinks. The service is good and the prices are reasonable making it a sure shot for tourists and locals alike. They are located on Poppies Lane in Kuta.
Kori Restaurant & Bar
Kori’s is located on Poppies gang II. This is an international steakhouse that has a light lunch menu with a dinner menu that has all the bells and whistles you would find at a western steakhouse.
Ku De Ta
One of Bali’s trendiest restaurants is located on the beach next to the Oberoi hotel. They are reasonably priced for top quality food and drink. They also have a live D.J. Friday and Saturday.
Surf Shops ~ so what’s nearby?
In Bali there are all sorts of shops carrying surf equipment. Some carry nothing but wax but somehow still consider themselves a surf shop, and others have anything you can hope to find in the world of surfing. Kuta Beach is always a safe bet if you are in another area of Bali and can’t find what you’re looking for, they have an abundance of full scale surf shops. Ask around where you re staying or take a ride to Kuta Beach, you will definitely find what you’re looking for there. We have listed the names of some of the shops in the Kuta area for your convenience.
Padma Street no. 51
Kuta, Bali, Indonesia
Tel: 0361 761 225
Rusty Surf shop
La Piazza Mall
138 Jalan Legian
Kuta, Bali, Indonesia
Extreme Sports Surf Shop
The Black Shop & the Byron Bay Surf shop – Pulu Surf - Check out the site for a map. Both of the shops are located on Poppies Lane II in Kuta.
There are a lot of different surf schools in Bali catering to all levels of surfers that will not be hard to find. You can do your research from home and book the school of your choice (recommended) or you can choose one of the many schools that are available once you get there. Either way you shouldn’t be disappointed.
Pro Surf School Bali
They are located in Kuta.
JL. Pantai Kuta,
Tel: +62 361 7441466
Rip Curl School of Surf
They operate from three different Bali locations and offer courses for all levels of surfing. They also offer courses in wakeboarding, kitesurfing, paddleboard and tow in. Learn with the pros!
JL. Arjuna Kuta
Tel: +62 361 735858
Bali Learn to Surf
Another professional outfit with qualified pro surfers. Located at the Hard Rock Hotel
Tel: +62 361 761869 ext. 8116
Odyssey’s Surf School – They are also located in Kuta, and are sponsored by Oakley. They have instructors fluent in English and Japanese. They are located at the Mercure Kuta Hotel Arcade.
JL. Pantai Kuta
Tel: +62 361 7420763
Padang Padang Surf Camp
Whether you are intermediate or advanced they will get you where you want to go. They also cater from the beginner to the advanced surfer. Padang Padang is another one of Balis better known world class breaks.
Padang Padang, JL. Labuan Sait, Pecatu
Tel: +62 81 337 737210
Big Kahuna Surf School
They are located on the beachfront.
Jalan Pantai, Kuta
Tel: +62 361 7650
Where to Stay
In Bali you will find a many different accommodations ranging from the mostly pleasant and affordable hostels, to the four and five star resorts on the southern tip of the island.
Your options all depend on where you want to be located on the island, the level of service that you are looking for, and of course how much you are willing to spend. There are so many different options in Bali and the level of service and pricing can vary greatly, so be sure to do your research well before you pull the trigger and finalize your choice.
Five star accommodations.
Lempeh, Banjar Dinas Kangin, Uluwatu
Tel: +62 361 8471000
Two star hotel. Budget accommodations at its best. Fifteen minutes from the airport and a ten minute walk form the beach.
JL. Batu Bolong (old Poppies Lane)
Kuta, Bali Indonesia
Tel: +62 361 751804
The Hiltons are always a sure shot as far as comfort goes.
Jalan Pratama 168, Bali, 80363
Tel: +62361 778788
Champlung Mas Hotel
Two star hotel. They are located near everything in Kuta.
JL. Melasti Legian, Kuta
Tel: +62 361 751580
Five star accommodations. They are located in Nusa Dua. Great location for those looking to be away from the hustle bustle and looking for all the amenities of a large resort.
P.O. Box 53 Nusa Dua
Tel: +62 361 771234
Sentosa Private Villa’s & Spa
Elegantly decorated in Balinese design. You can choose from many different villa options ranging from one bedroom to a presidential suite with every amenity you can dream of. Popular choice for honeymooners. Check out the website for exact map location.
JL. Petitenget, Kerobokan, Kuta
Tel: +63 361 730333
Nightlife after Dark
There is absolutely no shortage of nightlife in Bali If you know where to look. In Sanur and Nusa Dua as well as Ubud the options are limited, but anybody whether tourist or a local or expatriate who know where the party really gets jumping head to Kuta.
In Kuta they have something for everyone, couples and singles included. Just don’t show up to early or most everywhere will be dead as the party starts pumping around midnight.
So check the swell conditions, and if you re not on dawn patrol then head out and get busy.
The Sanur & Nusa Dua area -
Janger ~ At the time of publication Janger is currently the only disco in Sanur. Also check out the Trophy pub which is located in front of the Sanur Beach Hotel. There is also Kafe Wayang and the Jazz Grille which are located in the some building across from the Radisson Hotel.
The Ubud area -
Following suit with Sanur and Nusa Dua there is not too many choices here. Some of the more popular spots we have come across are the Magic Bar and the Putra Bar which are both located on JL. Monkey Forest. On Saturday nights check out Exile Bar and get back to us and let us know what’s poppin.
The Kuta area -
And last but certainly not least we come to the party hot spot, Kuta. As far as the party goes, if you can’t find it here it’s not happening in Bali. For your information nowadays the party in Kuta also has gotten so big that it now includes Seminyak, Legian and parts of Basangkasa.
There is definitely no shortage of spots to party in Kuta. When you are in Kuta one of the trendiest spots is Ku De Ta. This is a hot spot but you will pay big bucks here. Ku De Ta is located across the street from the Oberoi Hotel. M-BAR-GO is another of the more popular spots in Kuta so stumble on by and check them out. Stop and grab a drink while you’re there at TJ’s or Kori which are also both in Kuta, and by now you should be pretty stoked and having a really good time.
Stop by and visit our friends From Bali To The World at Surftotal for more of the inside scoop around town!