Being the wanderer that I am, it is normal for me to roam from place to place. Often times when i travel, its rare that i will stay at one accommodation or one location for the whole of my trip. I book different rooms for a short period of time at different locations in other to get a feel of how a place is from different angles. Doing this has made me see the different sides of a country i visit and get to pass my own views. I mostly visit the popular side, the not so popular ones and my own special offbeat destination. It can be adventurous but sometimes a risk as choosing offbeat parts can be fun as well as it can be not so fun…. I will tell my funny travel stories someday.
This is exactly what i did when i visited Bali. On my first trip, I booked my accommodation at three different locations, a week at each destination and i must say each place gives a different vibe and feels like a completely new destination than it being the same island. My second trip I have lived at two other locations and really have come to know the differences in places ideal to live in; from the hippies paradise to the fun side to the reserved ones.. I am happy to have explored and know it all and here I am with a list to share with you guys based on my experiences.
I always call Kuta the fun side as it’s the holiday town to have fun and be in the holiday mood with bliss. It’s no wonder young traveler and backpackers see it as their ideal location and the best place to stay in Bali. Kuta has the best beaches in Bali, a magnet for surfers and sunbathers. Balinese clothing shops line the side-walk, tourists in flip-flops and t-shirts , its is the place to be in a holiday mood. Due to its long waves, most surf lessons are offered on the beaches for beginners and board rentals are also on hand. Kuta has legendary sunsets on its beaches that can’t be missed.
At night, then the real party begins, load music from bars and restaurants where you will see the routine of holiday seekers moving from restaurants to nightclubs. It is home to sky garden a very famous night club in Bali. Due to the masses of tourist using there as their ideal destination its of no wonder it has one of the pricey accommodations and merchandise to purchase as locals find it a venture to make extra dollars from tourists…you will have to bargain hard if you are a backpacker on a budget . Kuta with it bliss has seen a horror side when the 2002 October bombings claimed many lives of Australian tourists and Indonesian workers(may their souls rest in peace) of which a memorial has been erected for all the victims, do pass by to pay respect if you pass through. Even with this unfortunate situation, Kuta still grow in popularity….make sure not to miss it on your trip to Bali.
Seminyak is on the north side of Kuta and rather laid back than Kuta. It boasts of its luxurious resorts,hotels, villas and spas and its high end shopping and international restaurants. It has its sleek bars and famous double six beach. Seminyak is known for its heavy traffic too, you could be stuck in traffic for hours that even the motorcycles find it difficult to pass through it. Living there for a week was like living on another island and not Bali, its lifestyle is really different.. more like a rich on the upper hand kind of neighborhood and its endless lists of villas. Unlike Kuta, the beaches are quieter by day and a little crowded at night to watch its beautiful sunsets. It’s the spa and boutique capital of Bali, every turn you make there is a spa and i am like damn… really? If you love the resort life and spas.. i suggest you stay here.
Canggu is rather packed with business and casual cafes with black sand beach. Canggu is still largely rural area away from the beaches but its developed fast. Nelayan Beach (Fisherman Beach) is where you can still get fresh fish, lobsters, prawns etc every early morning. The beaches are not prized by tourists for swimming and sunbathing, but offer some renowned and challenging surfing spots. The area remains popular with surfers, the breaks are inviting, the water is clean and the beaches are not as littered with plastic as Kuta and Seminyak.
The area is popular with many expatriates who choose to live here, and a large number of the villas owned by overseas nationals are located here. Much of the area features quietly undulating terrain with the rice paddies that typify much of south central Bali.
Ubud known commonly as the hippies paradise…. they say its a spiritual place to live and reflect on life. I always woke up to the sounds of nature and the greens with ponds filled with fishes. Ubud is the traditional crafts and dance of Bali. The surrounding terraced rice paddies dotted with Hindu temples and shrines are among Bali famous landscapes. Its home to many of Bali attractions from the monkey forest to Goa Gojah cave. Ubud is simply culture… and no matter your budget, you will find something for you to reflect on the Balinese culture except of course for the transport fares when you dont rent a scooter. You could find good restaurants here with street shops selling merchandise from local artisans. Ubud is just a flourishing craft center. It is a completely different atmosphere to the busy areas of Seminyak and Kuta.
Sanur is quite and reserved. It mostly being inhabited by families and older middle aged who are evading the party scene, not really an ideal location for youngsters ad fun seekers. it is a bore to youngsters but i did find it quiet refreshing to be away from the noises and the crowds. My accommodation was located just 500 m away from the sea which is lined with several restaurants . I must say i loved Sanur the best among all of it, maybe because i being a person who loves quirt settings. unlike Seminyak and Kuta, Sanur streets gets quieter at night and it hard to find nightclubs around here except for restaurants and bars who have live band performing on weekend. It streets are lined with cafes and western restaurants and normally middle aged couples are spotted than younger ones in the other side of the island.
Have you ever been to Bali? Which of the five places have you stayed in? Which of them will you like to stay? Let me know your thoughts and views in comments down below.