You might be soldiering through yet another dry and oppressive week, but a plucky 12-year old just returned from an international joyride. Denied permission to go to Bali, the boy from Australia chose to coolly surf the waves of rebellion and escape on a solo trip, courtesy his parents’ stolen credit card! While devilishly entertaining, the news has hardly made a dent on the serenity of Bali. Famous for its tranquil atmosphere and warm hospitality, it’s got something for every brand of traveller. And with the hottest temperature averaging at 28°Cin May, scalding isn’t a word you have to worry about.
Here are five reasons why you should consider Bali this summer:
The menu can be staggering–from betutu (marvelous slow-roasted chicken) to sate lilit (marinated, skewered and grilled meats with spicy sauce) to Balinese suckling pig, to freshly-caught grilled seafood at beach-side cafes. The Indian palate is one that will definitely enjoy the sweet, sour and often spicy Balinese fare. Post sunset, night markets at Sanur, Badung and other locations offer delectably affordable street food, traditional art, and handicrafts to take back as souvenirs.
A bounty to photograph and soak in
Dramatic sunsets, untouched caves and canyons, terrestrial and marine wildlife, lush forests and rice terraces at golden hourthe list goes on. Tribal festivals, such as the Usaba Sambah festival held in May-June in Tanganan village, could also offer excellent photo opportunities, provided your calendars coincide.
Whether you’re staying at a tree house, or relaxing in an infinity pool overlooking the ocean, peace and quiet is a common denominator here. Balinese professional deep-tissue massages–combining acupressure, refloxology and aromatherapy–are a fantastic way to unwind after a day of exploration. If you’d rather have a day of contemplation outside, there are several hidden beaches like Blue Lagoon and Rambut Siwi. The latter is especially beautiful, with its glittering black volcanic sands.
April-May marks the beginning of surfing season
For beautiful winds and consistent swells, head to Uluwatu’s beach on the southern tip of the island. The more adventurous can try their hand at a longboard, cliff-jumping or scuba diving, but there’s always room for less threatening options–you can visit the ancient Hindu temple near the shore to enjoy the traditional Kucak fire dance.
Paradise for party animals
Kuta Beach, Seminyak and Legian are the top picks for sundowners, with rooftop bars, gastropubs, international bands by the beach and more. If you’d rather savour more of Balinese culture, there are cabaret shows, live music venues that begin at midnight, glamorously wild gay bars in Seminyak, and heritage theatre performances. Devdan is an iconic show, which traces the stunning vistas of the Indonesian archipelago.
Getting There: Indonesian carrier Garuda has introduced the first direct non-stop flight from Mumbai to Bali, currently operating Mondays and Thursdays. On arrival at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Indians have a free visa for a 30-day stay in Indonesia with no extension. For stays between 30-60 days, the voluntary Visa on Arrival option offers a single extension for USD35. Consulting the Bali immigration office or a visa agent about the duration is your best bet. For currency conversion, there are official moneychangers and ATMs right outside the airport. We’d suggest taking a look at official recommendations about your arrival here.
P.S. Bali’s dormant Mt Agung has shown fluctuating seismic activity in 2018, so island security is amped up. In the event of an eruption, the Denpasar Airport will remain closed, but those already on the island can travel around safely. The impact area (2% of Bali’s landmass) has been cordoned off, and most tourist attractions are well beyond Agung’s reach. Detailed information about cancellation of tickets, compensatory arrangements and alternate travel routes can be found on the Bali Tourism website.