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Is Bali Worth Visiting?

Is Bali worth visiting? Or is Bali overrated? Read all about the dark truth of Bali here as well as how Eat, Pray, Love ruined the island for good.

Is Bali worth visiting? Or is Bali overrated? Read all about the dark truth of Bali here as well as how Eat, Pray, Love ruined the island for good.

Hello my wonder friends! Can you believe I visited Bali way back in 2016 and I still haven’t written anything about it?

Was it because I actually didn’t like Bali at all? Or is there a hidden secret reason for my hush hush Bali secrecy?

Read this article to know all about my Eat, Pray, Taco Balinese experience and find out if Bali is worth visiting or not. Here we go!

Why is Bali The Most Visited Destination of Indonesia?

Before we tackle the main issue of whether Bali is worth visiting or not, let’s step back for a moment and clarify certain points that seem to be quite overlooked by visitors to this magical island.

First, the most important thing: Bali is an Indonesian island, it is NOT a country. And yes, you’ll be surprised to learn that almost every single Australian I met counts Bali as a country when re-telling their “countries I’ve visited” list.

Now that we clarified that…what sets Bali apart from the rest of Indonesia?

The answer is two-fold: first let’s look it from a cultural perspective. You see, Bali is the only Indonesian Island to be almost completely Hindu which makes it extremely from the rest of the country which is mostly Muslim with a few Buddhists and Christians here and there.

Bali is also the cheapest flight to Asia that you can buy from Australia so as you can imagine, that leads to a certain specific type of tourism similar to the one seen in some Spanish and Greek Islands courtesy of certain specific type of tourists.

Yeah, you know what I’m talking about, right? Loud people, pollution at the beach, excessive drinking (and its consequences) plus a certain sense of entitlement are only some of the factors that really put a negative spin on everyone’s Balinese experience (local and foreigners aside).

So…Is Bali Worth Visiting? It Certainly Looks Gorgeous in Eat, Pray, Love

Oh yes. And now it’s time to tackle the second type of tourist that visits Bali: Julia Roberts yoga fans (and those hipster ones that will scream to the four winds that they read the book before the movie came out) that want to recreate their own Eat, Pray, Love experience in Bali.

The problem? EVERYONE in Ubud wants to do the SAME.EXACT.THING leading to an almost unrecognizable Ubud filled with gentrification, international cuisine replacing the local one, material things sold under the guise of being spiritual, scam artists posing as gurus and foreigners doing yoga poses in front of temples JUST for a photo op basically turning Ubud into just a backdrop for their Instagram feed.

Talking to the local Balinese they say that Eat, Pray, Love is the best thing to happen to the economy of Bali but the worst thing to happen to the soul of the Island itself. Sadly, I agree with them.

But hey, not everything is THAT bad. I mean, Bali is a HUGE island and there’s many hidden spots that you can visit on your own (I recommend you to rent a scooter although hiring a car with a driver for the day might be cheaper if you’re with a group).

Ubud is the perfect base for daytrips although the best things to do in Ubud are actually located outside of Ubud itself if you know what I mean. It has, however, some of the best boutique hotels of the entire island so I can understand if you want to spend the night here (I know I did).

Plus, Ubud has THE best Mexican restaurant I’ve ever eaten at in all of Asia so thank you for that gentrification. I didn’t find love in Bali but I sure found some delicious tacos.

That ought to count for something uh?

Some of the best Instagrammable places (no yoga poses please) I recommend you to visit using Ubud as a base are:

  • The Gunung Kawi rice terraces at sunrise: they’re way less crowded than the Tegallalang rice terraces that everyone and their grandma goes to.

  • Uluwatu Temple at Sunset: yes, it’ll be extremely crowded but you can also watch a traditional dancing ceremony.

  • The Monkey Forest at Ubud: because why not??? monkeys are awesome)

  • The Tirta Empul Temple: shower with the locals and learn a thing or two about Balinese Hinduism.

  • The Mysterious Waterfall shown in the photo above whose name and exact location I promised to keep secret (but you can show the photo to a guide and I’m sure he’ll point you in the right direction).

  • Hike Mount Batur: while this is better done if you’re staying in North Bali, a one day trip to Mount Batur for sunrise is certainly doable from Ubud.

The Final Verdict: Is Bali Worth Visiting?

Oh, absolutely. I mean, maybe Bali is not for everyone and maybe your expectations will not be met at all but yes, you NEED to visit it at least once to judge for yourself.

Yes, I know I might sound like a Debbie Downer (and yes, everyone hates a Debbie Downer) but the thing is that I certainly think that Bali is good yet extremely overrated.

It really baffles me how some people might think that Bali is the best thing to see in all of Asia when the truth couldn’t be further away if we’re being objective about it.

However, IF you end up visiting Bali, please remember that Indonesia is a HUGE country with many unique off the beaten path islands and destinations. So instead of spending one entire month in Bali how about going an epic tour to the rest of Indonesia?

Did you know that the Wakatobi Islands offer some of the best diving spots in the entire country? Or that you can climb the Mount Ijen Volcano to watch a crater with blue flames? Why not go to Komodo Island and swim with mantas? Or befriend Orangutans in the jungles of Borneo? How about sunrise at the Buddhist Temple of Borobodur or hiking Mount Bromo on your own?

Indonesia is a very diverse country and there’s a world of opportunities outside of Bali. Don’t miss out on them my wonder friends!!! You’ll love every single one of them! I promise you!

And finally, if an old man approaches you and tells you that you will have two marriages, one short and one long one, ask him to trade you both of them for a few dozen short romances.

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