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What can we tell you about Bali that you have not read in the papers or experienced for yourself.

Is it safe, what about the terrorists? Short answer is that the whole purpose of terrorism is create terror and uncertainty in the minds of normal people. Give into them and they win. These people do not have the support of the normal people of Bali or Indonesia in general, indeed many are not even Indonesian.

Go there and enjoy, you have more chance of being hit by a bus at home than you do of encountering a terrorist in Bali, or anywhere else for than matter. The locals are beautiful, lovely, kind and generous people, go and find out for yourself.

On our most recent trip to Bali it was obvious that the demographic of tourist has changed. Many more Indonesians, more Europeans, fewer Americans, fewer Brits, didn’t see a Kiwi anywhere. Lots of French, Dutch, Germans, the occasional Russian, a few Japanese, not too many Chinese, very few Singaporeans and almost no Arabs. The Australians were generally the Bali Tragics if it's safe to say that? Most of the Australians I spoke to went at least once every year, some for up to a month at a time, and all said they were a little worried about the possibility of another attack but all felt very safe and all believed that the only way to beat the terrorists was to show a strong front by returning time and again.

 

What is there to do in Bali? Well it's pretty unlimited. Kuta is the Surfers Paradise of Bali, beach is pretty good, water is warm and there is always a good wave. Plenty of shopping and some bargains to be had. Legian and Seminyak are the places of choice for many with cafes and boutiques with the same names as you will find in Chapel Street, New Farm, Mossman, Subiaco and Gouger Street.

Must go places include Ku De Ta for sunset dinner or a leisurely Sunday afternoon. it's not cheap, but you will have the Best Bali experience there, food is superb, setting is other worldly, just take your time, take your lover and take your credit card (or a friend with an expense account).

Take a stroll along Jalan Legian and Jalan Seminyak from mid-afternoon, plan a rest here and there, grab a cold drink or a coffee and get back to the hotel in time for a pre-dinner swim/snooze etc and then rest up and head out for dinner after 8pm. Plenty of places to go, live music of varying degrees all over the place. Even found a lady-boy review in Legian last time, didn’t stay for the show!

Ubud is a great place for a very quiet break. it's very very different to Kuta area. Lots of winding little streets, interesting galleries, boutiques, coffee shops and restaurants that seem to serve hemp matting as a main course. But if you want peace and quiet so you can revisit your inner self, Ubud is the place to go. Once is enough for most people. It is however the best place to buy a coconut duck (a coconut carved into a duck that is). Don’t pay more than $2 or you’re being ripped off.

It's worth hiring a Kijang and driver. Average price is Rp400,000 a day, more than that and you are paying tourists rates. Buy your driver lunch (he wont eat with you though as that is not appropriate in most cases) and give him a parcel of Padang Food to take home to his family, it will cost you $4 extra. These guys know all the best places, but be firm or you will find yourself at his best friends suit making shop, his best mates coffee shop/jeweler/shoe shop/spa and so on. You will know the first time this happens and just be firm but nice about it. They will all try it as they get a commission each time they bring someone, you can even offer them another Rp50,000 not to take you to places you don’t want to go, it's also worth it in the end.

Other parts of Bali are unknown to me and I am happy to take advice from others on what to write about them.

Link to recent photos of Bali      -      Accommodation in Bali