Introduction to Bali
If there was a holy grail for student-friendly holidays, Bali would probably be it. A tropical island where fantastic food, beer, resort accommodation and sparkling pools come packaged in an achievable price. But it's the icing on top of this affordable cake that sets Bali apart from the myriad of beach resorts that line Australia. One with ingredients that include lush rainforests, enchanting temples, fascinating wildlife, pounding surf, spectacular sunsets and a friendly culture. All together, Bali is a small island with an potent recipe for holiday success.
Though technically a province, Bali is mainly known as an island of Indonesia and an Island of the Gods. Unlike much of Muslim Indonesia, Bali is predominately Hindu, a religion that presents the island with a fascinating spirituality complete with various temples, traditional rituals, ceremonies and dance. As such Balinese culture sets itself apart from the rest of Indonesia. Its natural assets are also worthy of praise, luring travellers with hopes of sunny days spent on pristine beaches, quiet contemplation amongst peaceful rice patties and wild adventures through lush rainforests. The holy grail of holiday destinations — especially if you're on a budget.
While the resorts of Bali will happily keep you occupied all day with pools and onsite spas, try and resist the urge to merely flop and drop. This is Southeast Asia after all and you didn't take that medium hall flight to enjoy a resort that could easily be found at home. Beyond the resort pools is a Bali of temples, rice terraces and safari parks. One of the island's biggest attractions is Tanah Lot Temple, an ancient sea temple spectacularly perched on top of a huge rock by the ocean. While a visit to the temple is a must, it's the view of the temple (ideally at sunset) that will stay with you long after your flight has landed.
A hangover may also follow you home from Bali, especially if you over indulge in cheap Bintang beer and nights out in Kuta. But it's not all in vain. In addition to hangovers you can also leave Bali with a newly acquired skill with a cooking or surfing class. Or bring home a bunch of souvenirs from market handicrafts to modern Balinese art. And then there are the experiences that will last you a life time; wildlife watching in Uluwatu's monkey forest, exploring the Elephant Cave, white river rafting in the Telaga Waja River and having way to much fun at Water Bomb Park. Plenty of things to keep you occupied outside of the resort pool.
For more must-dos in Bali, check out our things to do page and start planning your Bali holiday.