Bali. The name evokes a beach paradise with hot gleaming sun and an array of water-activities. Bali does not need an introduction – everyone knows it. Personally, Bali is the most international place I have been to. Wrapped in this island is a microcosm of global culture steeped in local tradition and filled with people – local or not – who live in harmony and share a love for nature.
I have been to Bali twice. In 2010, Bali was rustic, charming and captivating. In 2014, I was hit with endless franchises of McDonald’s, Starbucks, Coffee Beans and retail outlets you could find in any Orchard shopping mall. Cheap hotels have popped up all over the place and somehow, it has lost some of its simple charms. Regardless, Bali is still magical and very much, as a local friend once said, a state of mind.
Why will I never get bored of Bali? Here are four reasons:
Reason #1 – Hello, Beaches.
As a Malaysian, my fellow country(wo)men and I are spoilt with beautiful beaches in the likes of Redang, Sipadan or neighbouring wonders such as Phuket, Phi Phi Island or Boracay.
Bali is different from any of the places above though. It is an island with approximately 4.2 million inhabitants and countless beaches which accommodate anyone. If you are a surfer, you can have beaches with big waves that crashes every 30 seconds. If you are just looking for a nice tan, there are beaches with calm transparent water and smooth white sands. Everywhere you go, there’s a new beach to discover – nature is bountiful here. Or if you aren’t a big fan of beaches, then you will have mountains to hike, art to see, culture to experience as well.
Reason #2 – Food.
Of course, the trip advisor sign is a huge help here but it is only in Bali where you can virtually walk into any restaurant and expect decent food (and don’t forget fresh seafood!) to be served. Bali is every foodie’s wet dream. Name any type of food – European, Mexican, Spanish, Chinese, etc, etc, etc – and there will definitely be one to cater to your test. It helps too that those niche eateries are usually opened by the expats themselves; a Spanish restaurant is opened by a Spanish and so forth.
Reason #3 – Go crazy with the sunrises and sunsets.
Catching the sunrise or watching the sun sets seem to be a trend among the city folks. In Bali, you can have both, every day, in different places as long as you wake up for it/sit your butt down to watch it.
Reason #4 – Waterbom Bali
If you are in Bali and fail to visit Waterbom, you haven’t been to Bali at all. If you, like me, are into roller coaster rides and love heart-dropping adventures – this is it! Extreme waterslides, relaxing swimming pool or chairs for tanning are all available here. The most gratifying rides are those that spins overhead into darkness, drops in extreme angles and gently spits you out underwater.