Bali back in vogue with travellers
I KNOW this week's piece will not be everybody's cup of tea, however every year this destination tops the lists of places where Australians go to holiday. It's a place that can polarise, some people love it and have been many times, while others could not think of a worse place to go to for a holiday. Even in the travel agency here opinions are divided.
This island of Bali located in Indonesia can conjure up thoughts of terrorist attacks, drug smugglers and police corruption. Definitely not the idyllic setting when you are looking for holiday destinations.
The truth is there is always going to be the possibility of imminent threat wherever you go in the world. It's just a matter of taking the right precautions in ensuring your safety. Unfortunately it is the world we live in today, where someone can get a crazy idea into their head and make it an evil reality.
Bali, Indonesia's most popular tourist destination or lesser known as the "Island of the Gods" tends to be cut short of the praise it so rightfully deserves. Little do people know that this holiday hotspot offers a vast range of fun and adventure activities for every age. There is always something to do in Bali.
I have been selling travel for a while now and Bali has always been one of the cheapest holiday destinations to sell. Now when I say 'affordable, I'm talking a clean, comfortable hotel room right in the heart of Kuta for not more than $70 per night with a buffet breakfast included. You could also go the other end of the scale and I must say Bali does the rental villas better than most countries and there is a great variation on cost across the island. You can stay at a luxury villa that would sleep six adults with your own private pool, breakfast daily and private car transfers to and from the airport for around $450 per night. Now where can you find somewhere like that in Australia without costing you an arm and a leg.
The streets of Kuta and Legian are lined with merchants selling everything from imitation designer clothes, sarongs, handbags and jewellery to intricate paintings, wood carvings, sculptures. It is truly a bargain shopper's delight, where you set the price. It may seem a little daunting at first but bartering certainly gets easier with practice. Just make sure that you have extra room in your suitcase.
For families with active teenagers who grumble on family holidays with the lack of things to do then Bali has the answer. You can't go past AJ Hackett's bungy tower right on Kuta Beach, or white water rafting in Ubud? Maybe have a round of golf on the quiet and lovely beaches of Sanur? Bike ride through Bali's scenic countryside. Explore the coral reef that surrounds the Island of the Gods, abundant in marine life; it is the perfect playground for the snorkelling and diving enthusiasts.
Or how about catch a few waves on the beautiful beaches of Uluwatu. Or drop it back a notch and simply visiting the Monkey Forest, Bali Safari and Marine Park, take a day cruise to Nusa Lembongan and visit the temple at Tanah Lot?
If that all sounds like a little too much effort, why not simply enjoy the subtropical weather and relax by your resort pool with a nice cool drink in your hand? I'm sure you'll find one of the many day spas in Kuta Beach to your liking too. And again, with very affordable prices, it will be hard to limit yourself to just the one pamper session.
In the evenings venture down to Jimbaran Bay. Enjoy the breath-taking sunsets and mouth watering seafood dishes the many restaurants here have to offer. After dinner be prepared to party the night away like schoolies do. Immerse yourself in the Balinese nightlife. You'll find cheap cocktails, bustling nightclubs, lively, upbeat music to burst your ear drums all night long.
The flight prices to Bali have been some of the cheapest prices I've seen lately with return flights from around $500. They might be tricky to find but they are out there so keep an eye out. Both Virgin, Jetstar and Garuda are all working hard to fill their planes and if you are a little bit flexible you will get a great price on your airfare. Combine that with the reasonable priced accommodation rates and you are on your way to one very affordable holiday.