One of the most talked about holiday destinations in the world is the Indonesian island near the Equator is thought of as an exotic destination that’s incredibly beautiful. However, the reality is that Bali is not such a paradise that you think it is, I think you should save the eye watering amount it costs you to fly there as it is the same Mallorca or any other sunny destination in Europe. I have nothing against Indonesia, on the positive side, Bali is a fantastic spot for surfing and the locals can be very warm and welcoming.
Bali is Overwhelmingly Touristy
For a relatively small island, Bali gets millions of tourists every year and most places are just for tourists with gaudy souvenir shops and ridiculously opulent hotels. There isn’t a place that is packed with people and even the immigration queue when I arrived at the airport lasted almost two hours.
The southern areas of Bali are heaving with tourists, mostly young backpackers from the UK and Australia getting drunk and putting themselves in danger by riding mopeds unprepared. In the area of Kuta Beach, you can’t go 5 meters without some guy trying to offer you drugs or a moped ride, eventually ripping you off.
Complete Lack of Authenticity
Linking to my last point, Bali feels like you could be anywhere in the world, my first night when I arrived there, I was in Ubud and was eating tacos in front of a band butchering Oasis and Bob Marley songs. Ubud is an alright place, but it is mostly tourists you’ll see around there, Kuta has McDonald’s Starbucks and fancy malls. If you go to Bali, don’t expect to see much authentic culture unless you really look for it and most other places to eat are burger places.
It’s a Mess
Thanks to the overwhelming amount of tourists who come here, it’s not the beautiful spiritual place you actually think it is, Kuta especially is a horrific wasteland which completely lacks any sort of tranquility. Because the only way of transport is by car, the traffic is horrendous throughout Bali when you expect a peaceful paradise, the traffic is as bad as Bangkok. Unfortunately, the beaches are also a mess, being full of tourists and the worst part is that there is plastic and litter on a lot of the beaches.
The Food is Average
As Bali is heavily visited place, you can easily find American fast food places in the most touristy areas and also there are restaurants of all kinds. On trying the Indonesian food, I did not enjoy it at all, I ate mie goreng, which felt like I was just eating a pack of super noodles.
The Weather isn’t Always the Best
This might be nitpicking and I was there in March and April so take this point with a grain of salt. When I was there it rained frequently and the tropical rain was horrific. I had to buy an umbrella while I was there and it was also cloudy during the times I was hoping to relax at the beach. During the days the weather was good for the beach, it wasn’t too hot and would always become cloudy.
Although Bali has some great prices that can mean you can live like a king and some of the best waves I have ever surfed on. It is heavily visited by tourists and nowhere near as beautiful as you think.