B.A.L.I. First Impressions.. May 26, 2019

If you are like us, you probably never really thought about what Bali was like. You just dreamed of some far off paradise that surfers talked lovingly about, and the rest of us just had on our legendary bucket lists… But after considering Bali for our next DestinationUnknown, I wanted to know what to expect. After all how do I set the clues, if I know nothing about this veritable paradise. What I found out, was not exactly what I had imagined, yet held even more intrigue to me than ever before.

Bali is a province of 3 islands, much like Phuket in Thailand. It is made up of many cities and towns and has a population well over 4 million. The capital City is Denpasar but that is not really what people think of when you think of Bali. Tourism makes up 80% of the economy and rightly so. This is an amazing place but it is not some sterile, commercial beach destination made up of Gucci, Prada and Hermes (although I’m sure they are here somewhere). This is life in Indonesia at it’s best with small towns, engaging people and a simpler way of life.

We are staying in Legion beach which is a stones throw away both Kuta and Seminyak. These 3 towns seem to form the crux of coastal happiness. But Bali is much more than a coastal destination. It is every bit as much an eco tour as well as a dense rain forest destination, with the cultural center being Ubud (which we will also visit). But here’s the deal, the coastal part is not some magical paradise like Bora Bora or Maui. The coastal water here is warm (better than Croatia last year) but the seas are fierce and the water a basic ocean green. The sand is vast and soft on our feet which was nice. I’m sure in some of the islands and other locations it is that postcard perfection, but nothing we have seen so far.

We took a 5 hour walk today around town to get a feel for it (and then soaked in the lagoon and infinity pool at our resort for a couple hours to soothe the feet). We found the people to be very friendly and not overly aggressive toward tourists. Speaking of tourist, I’d say we are just in Australia North, because all you see and hear are Australians. Every once in awhile I heard an American but certainly did not identify any Europeans. The towns look well kept and clean. My best description is this is a massive Puerto Vallarta, but for Australians but without the sparkling condo towers everywhere of Vallarta. There is much more of everything than Vallarta, and everything is low rise for the most part similar to Cambodia, Thailand and other under developed coastal infrastructure locales. That said, we pretty much loved everything and felt totally welcome and safe. As always, the pictures to follow…. Tomorrow… Volcano and the Chocolate Factory…

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