I went there for two months last summer, and it was the best of times. First of all – I worked as a volunteer English teacher, and it was amazing, but also very hard. But it helped me gain some understanding of the people on Bali and the culture.
Me enjoying a fresh coconut in Penestanan
No matter where you go on Bali the people are so nice and warm. Of course there will always be exceptions, but most of them are so sweet and helpful. I lived in a small village close to the bigger city Ubud in the middle of Bali. It’s a perfect area to stay in. First of all you are in the middle of everything, and you can drive almost everywhere on a scooter (if you dare!) or with a local driver (remember to settle a price before deciding which driver to use). Second, the area is not as filled with tourists and tourist traps as the southern parts of the island. Finally, it’s a very beautiful area and they have a lot of yoga retreats and one-day-yoga places if you’re up for some zen (don’t go to the famous Yoga barn – unless you want to use too much money on something you can get much cheaper only a kilometer from there at Intuitive Flow).
Bali is filled with beautiful nature, and even though many people tend not to visit the northern parts of the island, this is a big mistake! The nature is a bit different, not filled with tourists all over and very extraordinary. And if you like diving, you can dive with dolphins in the North!
I would recommend you to go there for a minimum of two weeks. I stayed for two months, but also worked a lot, so if you’re only there for holiday, two weeks would do (but you’d wish you stayed longer, when you leave 😉 ). Maybe stay in 2-4 different places on the island, or set for one base and then take some weekend- and day trips from there. It’s very cheap to use drivers and the scooters are cheap to rent. But be careful! On the bigger roads and bigger cities, the police only target tourists and give them looots and lots of fines! And you can do nothing about it, except for trying to talk your way out of it.
I finished of my trip with a hike on the island Lombok, and I am so grateful for that! It was one of the most amazing but also toughest hikes of my life! You can read more about it in my post here 🙂
Furthermore I went to Gili Trawangan for a week. There are three Gili islands and Gili T is the party island. It was nice, but I was sick some of the days, so I couldn’t really enjoy it. But I still met some awesome people from all around the world, went diving and enjoyed the beach. But beware, Gili T is much more expensive than Bali. So if you’re on a budget, you need to by some food and snacks on the mainland before heading there – and the you need to visit the nightly foodmarket! It’s cheap and the food there is unbelievably good – and then you can get almost everything!
I hope this is helpful, and you’re always welcome to ask me about anything 🙂