I’m Sarah, a 24-year-old photographer living in the jungle in Bali, Indonesia. Last winter I was home in America, between jobs, and the travel bug was biting me hard.
So when an opportunity to teach English and art to Balinese kids materialized, I jumped on the next flight out. Volunteering segued into an amazing job, and now I’ve been in Bali for the better part of a year! It’s amazing where life’s little twists and turns will take you.
Must go in Bali
The Bali beaches!
Must do in Bali
Catch a ceremony procession in the street
I pass them about once a week when I’m driving home from work but the experience never fails to have a deep impact on me. The haunting sounds of the gamelan orchestra and the women in their brightly colored kebayas is the stuff that great travel memories are made of.
Must eat in Bali
Anything in a Padang
Meat eaters have got to try Babi Guling, Balinese suckling pig. The pig is spit roasted for hours and basted in coconut oil and just about every local spice. Mouth-watering!
Cultural tips for Traveling in Bali
Talk to the Balinese locals. This might sound obvious, but talk to people! The Balinese are some of the most hospitable people on earth. A stranger greeting you on the street probably isn’t trying to scam you, so go ahead and have a friendly chat.
Even if you’re being sold a service you don’t want (massage, taxi, handicrafts, etc) a polite “no, thank you” or “terimakasih” is always appropriate.
Cheap travel tips for Bali
Despite the abundance of luxury resorts, Bali is best discovered on the cheap, and you can stay here quite comfortably for under $30 a day. Lodge in a homestay with a local family. Eat at Padangs and markets, many of which run late at night.
If you want something cheaper than a hotel, but more posh than a hostel, Airbnb’s a good bet. Here’s a beautiful, one-bedroom villa for $67 a night and here’s a three-bedroom three house for $97 a night. If you’ve never used Airbnb before, here’s a $40 credit towards your first booking!
Alcohol is expensive except for arak, a rice wine moonshine. Its production is illegal and unregulated, so drink it at your own peril.
Travel by Bemo, the brightly colored buses that run along fixed routes between towns.Take it easy, travel slow, explore off the beaten path, keep an open mind, go with the flow, and you’re sure to have the trip of a lifetime.
Have any of you been to Bali? Any tips to share?