For most of us, our lives were rudely interrupted in 2020. We were forced to stay put and although 2021 appears to look better, all we could do was just flip through our travel photos because boarding a plane to Bali is near impossible. While we love going through our memorable travel moments, we hope that one day, we can pack our bags and get our passports stamped for our next destination.
Cross fingers that the international borders will open again very soon and we for one are looking forward to welcoming travellers back to Bali.
Bali comes to a lot of minds as the preferred destination when travelling is possible again. Why? Who better to ask than people who fell in love with the island of Gods (far) before covid hit. We asked travel bloggers for their reasons to return to Bali.
We can’t help but nod in agreement at the overwhelming responses we received. Read through the list, relive the moments, and find a reason to return to Bali.
A laid back weekend in Bali won’t be complete without a Sunday Brunch Bali Style. Enjoy local and international cuisines while you bask under the sun, feel the gentle breeze, and hear the relaxing waves by the beach.
The great vibe perfectly complements the dining experience, as you enjoy premium meats, fresh seafood, sinful desserts, and refreshing cocktails. Whether you want it a la carte or buffet style, you’ll find a lot of choices for an extravagant Sunday brunch in Bali. You can even find a place perfect for you and your kids. A Sunday brunch on the island is truly worth returning for.
By Karlie Cummins from Bali Buddies
I can’t wait to go back to Bali for the roti. Roti is one of the best street foods you can eat. The circular flat bread is fluffy on the inside, and crispy on the outside. You can eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a snack. It is super tasty for something that is usually made with flour, sugar, ghee, water and salt, and accompanied with some sambal and dahl curry sauce. Instead of a plain roti, you can opt for fillings such as onion, egg, cheese, sugar and butter.
I loved the roti from Warung Bunana in particular, an authentic local roti and tea house in Bali. Warung Bunana is unique to other warungs with its open kitchen. The staff are full of smiles, energetic and friendly. They practically put on a show when getting your order ready. Buy a roti with a cold refreshing teh tarik milk tea. Once you’ve tried Warung Bunana’s roti, you’ll be back there a number of times, like I was on my last trip. Roti is a must eat when in Bali.
By Clara from Petite Capsule
Swim with Sea Turtles
Everyone knows that Bali is truly a little piece of paradise. The island is full of magical experiences and opportunities to make once in a lifetime memories. One of the most exciting things to do in Bali and the surrounding islands is to swim with sea turtles. The best spot for this is definitely Gili Tranwagan which lies just a short ferry ride from Bali.
The Gili Islands are known for their sea turtles and also popular for nightlife. What makes them special is the fact that you can swim with turtles right from the beach without having to book an expensive tour. Turtles tend to graze in shallow waters so spotting some while you’re snorkelling is very likely in Bali. If you’re not up for making the ferry journey to Gili Trawangan you can also head to Bali’s north to find turtles. It will be an absolutely magical experience and will keep you coming back for more.
By Victoria from Guide Your Travel
Bali is one of those places that you can visit again and again, and still want to keep coming back. Over the years we have been many times and have built up a connection to the island, the lifestyle and the people. Each time we holiday in Bali we visit the same group of people who work on the main beach in Kuta. Here, we spend hours sitting on the beach, talking with the locals while drinking the infamous Bintang.
We know Hans and Toni, the owners of the little ‘beach bar’. Eddie the ice cream man always comes around, and the kids get spoiled. And Irwin, the surfboard guy. Their faces are familiar, we remember them and they always remember us. Even when they don’t know that we are in Bali, all we have to do is walk past and they will come to see us!
It’s the little things like this that make Bali feel like a second home. A reason to go back after the pandemic has subsided.
By Megan Sibum from The Common Adventure
Bali is the perfect place for any type of vacation. From backpackers to visitors looking for luxury hotels, from singles to multigenerational families, but one of the best reasons to return to Bali is certainly for the welcome you receive even when you are with children. People in Bali are generally very kind and helpful, always smiling and ready to help you, but even more so when there are children.
Bali is not a destination that has developed through family tourism (in fact if you are traveling with small children it is better that you organize yourself with a travel cot if you want to be sure of the standards), but despite this people will go out of their way to accommodate your every need.
The fact that it is a paradise destination has also seen an explosion in the offer of accommodation in the last decade with an abundance of private villas with swimming pools where after a days exploring you can relax with the sounds of the forest in the background. These are also often the most comfortable solutions when traveling with children. You’ll have no worries if they are a bit lively, and if you still want to feel like in a luxury hotel it is easy to find a chef who will delight you by preparing a new dish every day with local delicacies.
By Clotilde from A Princess Travelling with Twins
The bad news is 2020 was rough for the Island of the Gods. The good news is 2021 is starting to look better. The better news is the cost of living in Bali has never been lower. While it takes a little bit more effort to get back to the island, the accommodations are cheaper, the surf has never been better, the meditation just as serene, and the acroyoga just as playful.
One of the reasons why I can’t wait to head back to Bali after the pandemic is to play and practice acroyoga. For those unfamiliar with the term, acroyoga, or acro for short, is a combination of acrobatics, gymnastics, dance, and yoga all rolled up into a playful practice done in pairs or groups.
By Marco Sison from Nomadic Fire
Interested in Bali accommodation? Book your villa here for short and long stays.
Amed, on the East Coast
Amed over on the east coast of Bali is our vision of paradise, and we can’t wait to go back there, especially after the pandemic. It is the perfect place to relax and forget about your troubles. This laid-back fishing village/beach resort has always been quiet and peaceful, and we’re sure it will be even quieter when we can finally return to Bali.
Of course we want to go back to Amed for the excellent snorkelling, heavenly massages and laid-back vibes, but we are also curious to see if our favourite warungs and restaurants are still open. After having visited Amed three times, we simply can’t imagine a vacation in Amed without some places being there.
Amed is the paradise that we imagined Bali to be before we came to the island the first time. Friendly people, crystal clear water, delicious food, Hindu ceremonies and not a care in the world is why we fell in love with Amed, and the reason that we’ll continue to go visit again…and again.
Not only do we want to go for a relaxing holiday, but we also want to support the local economy and people of Amed to recover and get back on their feet. After more than a year without any foreign tourists, Amed is ready to shine again.
By Jin & De Wet from Museum of Wander
Bali Rice Fields
One of Bali’s most beautiful and popular activities is a walk through the seemingly endless rice terraces of the island. After all, Bali is home to some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen. So it’s hardly surprising that many visitors associate just such a walk through Bali’s rice paddies with the Indonesian island.
I’m sure you’ve also seen a picture of the stunning rice field landscape on social media or in travel magazines. A visit is an absolute must-see for every visitor and an essential point on every Bali itinerary. But since visiting the rice terraces is free of charge, it’s just great – even for visitors who visit Bali on a budget.
Probably the most famous of the rice terraces are called Tegalalang and are visited by many tourists. Its popularity comes mainly from the fact that Tegalalang rice terraces are located so close to Ubud, the most popular city on the island. However, if you prefer it a bit more secluded, you can also visit other rice terraces, such as the Jatiluwih rice terraces.
By Vicki Franz from Vicki Viaja
Surfing in Bali
Surfing is one of the main reasons Bali became the tourist destination it is today, and it’s the number one reason why I can’t wait to go back. In the early 1970s, a surf film called Morning of the Earth revealed the near-perfect wave of Uluwatu on Bali’s Bukit Peninsula—a wave that’s been attracting surfers from all over the world ever since. I first went to Bali in 2014 with my surfboard in tow and returned so often, a travel publisher eventually hired me to write Moon Bali and Lombok, a guidebook to the islands. I’m excited to explore the island on two wheels again, stop for a fresh plate of nasi goreng, and paddle out at my favorite wave off Bali’s tiny island of Nusa Lembongan.
No matter if it’s your first time or your 500th time, Bali is an iconic place to surf. Beginners can learn at an accredited surf camp while more experienced surfers will be happy to venture off the beaten path.The perfect return trip would be checking into a villa with friends, going on sunrise surfs, and hanging out at a seaside bar on the cliffs of Uluwatu for sunset.
By Chantae from The Salt Sirens
Kecak Fire Dance
One of the main reasons you should go back to Bali is to immerse yourself in authentic Balinese cultural experiences. Kecak Fire Dance is one of them.
A fascinating dance and music performance, Kecak is based on stories from the Hindu epic Ramayana. It features 4 main characters – Rama, Sita, Ravana, and Hanuman – and a chorus that keeps on chanting the phrase “cak kecak” in the background to set the stage for the performance. The name Kecak comes from the chant.
The dance usually ends with a moral to the story and a daring stunt by a man walking over red-hot coal.
Kecak performances are held in large temple compounds during early evening hours. Kecak dance of Uluwatu temple is a really popular one. Many temples in Ubud also have less touristy versions. Watching a Kecak is truly a mesmerizing experience and an absolute must-do when visiting Bali.
By Soumya from Stories by Soumya
Good Old Friends
Our first introduction with Bali was in 2015 when we were traveling with our toddler for 10 months. Bali was actually the first stop on our adventure in South East Asia and we loved it. In fact, we loved it so much we stayed for two months. The night market in Sanur, scuba diving in Amed, a trip to Nusa Lembongan, driving all around Bali on a scooter with our son in the back carrier and staying at a homestay in Ubud… all wonderful experiences that we’ll never forget.
In a small village near Ubud we even attended a huge and very impressive cremation ceremony for the village priest that passed away. We met a lot of lovely locals, some of whom we’d stayed in contact with via Facebook. Now that our son is a bit older and can more consciously experience all that Bali has to offer, we’d love to go back and meet up with our old friends again. We can’t wait to travel to this part of the world again!
By Lisa from FlipFlop Globetrotters
Off the Beaten Track
We so loved our first holiday to Bali with kids; and had planned a second trip before Covid hit. As such we literally can’t WAIT to get back to Bali when the time is right!
It is true that Bali is an incredibly populated destination, and quite touristed compared to many other parts of the world. However – I will let you into a secret – if you get away from the main areas on the southern part of the island, like Seminyak and Kuta – and the insanely popular Ubud – then you can have a unique cultural experience as well as a very fulfilling family holiday.
There are plenty of small towns and places that are quite non-touristy and off the beaten track, and I expect that in post pandemic travel these spots might even be less visited. We hope to spend time in the mountainous areas as well as on the East Coast of Bali at some of the little towns, and might even do a family yoga retreat. I enjoy spreading the economic wealth of tourism by visiting these little known places – as well as the cultural benefits of learning more about a truly fascinating culture. Explore more with us, in our Off the Beaten Track Bali with Kids detailed itinerary.
By Ariana from World of Travels with Kids
Sidemen in East Bali
Situated in East Bali, Sidemen is an up and coming tourist destination, yet still, largely a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. I love Bali because the island is so diverse with so many places to see that you can keep coming back each year and never get tired of the island life.
If you’ve already been to Bali and looking for a less touristy place – Sidemen is your perfect choice. There are so many amazing things to do in Sidemen. You can relax in a luxurious hotel or go exploring. Sidemen have some magical rice terraces where you can hike. Visit Gembleng waterfall, which is one of Bali’s newer waterfalls where you can actually swim. For adrenaline junkies, Sidemen has an excellent rafting spot at the Telaga Waja River.
History buffs will enjoy exploring the ancient village of Tenganan, where they can learn about native people and traditional crafts, while beachgoers can visit the white-sanded Virgin Beach. Sidemen is also a perfect place to ditch western food and eat delicious local food made of locally sourced products.
And all that, coupled with the exceptional hospital of the local people, make Sidemen the perfect Bali destination.
By Mal from Raw Mal Roams
Every day our family has been longing to get back to Bali, we miss it so much! The sun, the beautiful Balinese people, the delicious food, the list goes on and on. The first thing we will book when we can finally travel back to Bali is a villa. Balinese villas are the perfect spot to enjoy a relaxing holiday and I love our family to have our own space.
Having your very own personal pool to lounge next to is what holidays are made for. The value for money when you rent a Balinese villa means you have spare cash to spend on things to do around the island. But perhaps the best thing about renting a villa, the amazing staff that help you enjoy your holiday. Maids, gardeners, cooks, nannies and drivers all come together to make sure you truly relax, something we all need after living through the pandemic.
By Kate from Rolling Along With Kids
Itching to return to Bali? Known as one of the most Instagrammable places in the world, the small island paradise has so many reasons to come back after the pandemic.
The list of Bali Instagram spots is increasing due to ex-pats and digital nomads giving priority to finding fresh and inspiring places. Regions like East, North, and West Bali are getting more attention, and feature stunning attractions like waterfalls, unique bamboo villas, new epic viewpoints, and hidden gem. All just waiting to be discovered by you.
Trending Instagrammable spots include locations like the epic Lahangan Sweet sunrise viewpoint, the rushing natural pools of Gembeling waterfall, the iconic Monkey Bar, or one of the many new and swoon-worthy designer villas. Over the last year, exciting cafes have been popping up in the Canggu scene, so if places like Kynd Community feel a bit been-there-done-that, then you have so much more to explore when borders open back up to this Instagram haven.
By Haley of Haley Blackall Travel
Being Australian, Bali is like a second home to us. We have travelled to this beautiful Indonesian island extensively over the years, and when the international borders reopen, we will be heading to our favourite place in Bali, Sanur.
Sanur isn’t as trendy as some of the other areas such as Legian or Kuta, but this is exactly why we love it! It is far more relaxed and here you will get a glimpse of traditional Balinese life and culture.
Its central location means it is a great place to use as a base for day trips to explore the island. The coastal towns of Canggu, Nusa Dua and Seminyak are within an hour’s drive, while Ubud to the north is a mere 45 minutes away.
However, if you prefer to just relax and enjoy this seaside community, there are many things within walking distance to see and do. The Promenade, which runs along the length of the beachfront, is the perfect place to sip on a cold drink, have a tasty Indonesian satay, or indulge in a relaxing massage.
Some of the other must see local attractions include a visit to the Sindhu Night Market, the Le Mayeur Museum, and Taman Festival – the haunted theme park.
By Peta from Exit45 Travels
Are your bags packed and ready to return to Bali? Whether you’re a foodie, a nature lover, or an adventurer, we’re pretty sure you have your reasons to go back to the island. Hold on to it because soon, we will all be having a great time once again, in Bali. For now, keep safe and stay healthy.