Bali’s Hidden Secrets

Uncovering Bali’s Hidden Secrets – Getting Off The Beaten Track

Although Bali is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia when it comes to partying and enjoying the nightlife, it has a lot more than cheap alcohol and a good time to offer. Sure, it can be nice to stay in Bali villas or resorts for a few days and just relax, but I would recommend getting off the beaten track and experiencing a few of Bali’s hidden secrets.

To help you do this, I’ve put together a list of a few of my favorite hidden gems in Bali. Some of these will take a bit of effort to get to, but others don’t need more than a bit of time and a sense of adventure. Consider visiting the following places on your next trip to Bali:

Munduk

Munduk is a small town in the mountains in the north of Bali. It sits roughly 800 meters above sea level, and boasts relatively few tourist amenities. As a small rural town, Munduk will give you the chance to experience the true Bali.

It’s worth basing yourself here for a few days and exploring the area. You will find things like waterfalls, lakes, and beautiful rainforest where you can hike, swim, and just relax in general. Be sure to speak to the locals when you get there, as they can recommend the best things to see at the time of year you’re visiting.

Amed

If you love beaches, but can’t stand the huge crowds that frequent Bali’s more famous destinations, then consider visiting the Amed area. When you hear people talking about Amed, they may mean one of two things. In some cases, they will mean the small fishing village of Amed. In others, they will be referring to the region itself.

Tattoo In Bali

Is It Safe To Get A Tattoo In Bali?

Getting a new tattoo can be quite an expensive endeavour in a country like Australia. This drives a lot of people overseas, where prices are generally a lot lower, even for work of the same or better quality. Bali is a favourite destination for people heading overseas to get a new tattoo. I mean, who wouldn’t want to stay in a Bali villa for a week, relax on the beach with a few drinks, and get their tattoo done – without spending more than you would on the tattoo alone in your home country.

In theory, this sounds great. However, a lot of people have concerns about the health and safety aspects of getting a tattoo overseas, especially in a place like Bali. Is it really safe to get a tattoo in Bali?

In Most Cases, Yes

If you’re careful, yes, it’s absolutely safe to get a tattoo done in Bali. This means doing your research before you choose an artists, making sure that you have a good design before you get it inked, and above all, looking after your tat after you get it done.

What Could Go Wrong?

If you’re not careful enough, there are a lot of things that could go wrong when you’re getting some new ink while on Bali holiday, leaving you with a living nightmare instead of your dream tattoo. Some of the most common issues that people come across include:

  • Infections caused by poor hygiene and safety standards. These are probably the biggest risk associated with getting a tattoo done somewhere like Bali. Infections like HIV, Hepatitis or even Herpes can be contracted if the tattoo studio isn’t following the right hygiene practices. However, as long as you choose a decent studio with a good reputation, you should be fine in this regard.
  • Poor quality work associated with cheap ink. If cheap inks are used – and they are in some of Bali’s budget studios – you might find that your tattoo fades and loses its ‘shine’ after a relatively short amount of time.

9 Reasons to Check Out Seminyak

If you are travelling to Bali, Seminyak is one place you should never miss. It has an amazing beach and with the main street just a few steps away, many boutique restaurants and luxury hotels are conveniently situated. In fact, Seminyak Villas may be the best place to stay with their luxurious garden pools almost at the door of each villa. So here are 5 reasons to check out Seminyak.

    • The beach – Known as Bali’s most fashionable beach due to the line-up of elegant and luxurious hotels and restaurants that line its edges, Seminyak Beach is clean and long with plenty of space for kids to play and the most wonderful sunsets. It is best in the dry season because in the wet season the wind causes waves to dump a lot of seaweed and other rubbish on the sand. That’s okay because the best time to visit Bali is in the dry season.
  • Spas – It has one of the best and cheapest spas where you can get your hair done and have a facial, pedicure or almost anything else for $20 or less. Bodyworks employs over 80 staff so you are sure to get in at short notice.
  • Rooftops – With the weather so warm and balmy, making use of the rooftops for alfresco dining makes a lot of sense. You can enjoy the view of the Indian Ocean and nightlights while you dine on your choice of amazing meals.

Money Handling Tips for a Bali Holiday

Whenever you go overseas you will find the money is different and, you cannot pay using Australian money; Bali is no different. Not everything can be paid for with a credit card, so you need to use Bali currency, the Rupiah or Rp when abbreviated. Larger hotels will take credit cards, while smaller accommodation such as some Bali Villas and guesthouses do not.

Why cash is important

So make sure you have plenty of cash for the small things you will need such as drinks and snacks, transport and other things that don’t cost a lot. Many smaller boutique stores and cafes won’t be able to change a large note so it’s important to have smaller ones. Keep larger notes for purchasing high ticket items.

Don’t take travellers cheques

You may have heard that taking travellers cheques is the safest way to carry money that can be used in an overseas destination; not so in Bali. It will be difficult to cash such a cheque there. Cash and your credit/debit card are the best ways to go. And a credit card is handy for booking tours in advance when you need to pay a deposit.

Money exchange

You can easily change Australian currency to Rupiah at a bank, your hotel or at an official, licensed money changer. However, it is important to take care when dealing with money changers. Most are honest, but some are not, as in any country. Money changers offer the best rate of exchange and hotels usually offer the lowest. Banks are good but the queue is usually long and slow and you don’t want to waste your holiday hours waiting.

Balinese Culture

The Balinese Culture is Real and Not Just for Tourists

Bali is an interesting, unusual, enchanting, and exotic place to visit. Unlike many tourist destinations where the true culture has been lost and is now only seen when it is presented theatrically for the benefit of tourists, Bali’s culture is real and alive.

For anyone that visited Bali before it became a popular tourist destination, you were probably told “You should have seen it a decade or two ago.” And if you showed up for the first time today, you will likely hear something very similar from one of the locals. But the difference is that while Bali has changed over time, like any other country, it has managed to hang on to the traditions and culture that is so important. It’s also this culture that makes Bali such a desired place to visit.

However, Bali government officials are concerned that the Balinese culture is under attack, that the modern world will devour Bali like it has so many other places that were once fabulous getaways. For example, it used to be tradition to go to the beaches topless in Bali, but the Republic of Indonesia passed laws against these practices. It was because of tourism that these laws were changed, thereby taking away something that was part of Bali culture forever.

Ecommerce in Bali

The Growth of Ecommerce in Bali

Bali, long a treasured tourist destination and jewel of Indonesia, has seen a surge in tourism in recent years. In step with that, it’s seen a growing and thriving ecommerce industry. If you’re interested in founding an online-based business having to do with Bali, there’s a lot of support in place already. Associations, agencies, and offices are springing up on Facebook, Foursquare, and Linked-In. The best course of action is to join this network, and keep an eye out for the ever-increasing business opportunities revolving around Bali.

Established “brick-and-mortar” businesses, some of them thriving for years before the web came along, are also coming to the web. Not just tourism businesses, but local industries and small businesses are thriving online. One such notable small industry is mopeds – one of the most popular means of transport around the region. Sales and rental moped businesses are finding the web a valuable resource for drawing in customers.

Bali Property Prices

Rich Foreigners Driving Up Bali Property Prices

Foreign investors are flocking to Bali and buying up property, especially those along the beautiful beaches. Who are these investors? You’ll see the women strutting along in their spikes and sexy dresses accompanied by their men in comfy pants and button-down shirts. They are spending their money in a local restaurant drinking champagne and eating truffles during the day, and busting a move at night enjoying the nightlife. These, are the same people that are buying up property at every chance they get.

Luxury property prices in Bali jumped more than anywhere else in the world for similar type properties. Jakarta say an increase of 38%, compared to the runner up Dubai at 20%. While Monaco remains the most expensive place to buy at 5,920 a square foot, Bali is quickly catching up. So what does this mean for locals and visitors alike?

These wealthy buyers are coming from Australia, the UK, and France, as well as Singapore and Hong Kong expats who keep the market afloat. They are purchasing vacation homes, private villas, hotels, and condo-hotels.

For the most part, the locals are not affected by this buying frenzy, and as long as the government protects local lands for local people it will remain as such. For tourists that come to stay, there could be many benefits as foreign investors buy up Bali villas or build new villas, and then make these available to tourists up and down the island for reasonable rates. It’s a far better accommodation idea than staying in a hotel.

Holiday Destinations

Why Bali Should Top Your Must Visit Holiday Destinations

Bali is so easily accessible by air, than many tourists imagine. The image of Bali as an island on the South East Asia region tends to convince many that they can only access it via the sea, but this is not true. You can visit the islands through different international airlines. The island is home to numerous resorts and luxury villas, excellent hotels not forgetting the scenic landscapes that make it a top tourist destination. The presence of millions of tourists in Bali has not destroyed its uniqueness.

If you are looking for top class or luxury accommodation, you will be spoilt for choice here. You can choose from home stays where a tourist can spend $20 per night, but if this is not your thing, you can go for the super deluxe resorts and luxury villas, which can cost up to $2,000 per night. You do not have to stay in a single location during your entire vacation at Bali. You can shift from one resort or villa to another as you keep moving to different areas in the island.

Mass Tourism

Will The Beauty of Bali Suffer From Mass Tourism?

Bali – The pearl nestled among the Sunda Islands, and for decades a well kept secret. Today it is touted as ‘paradise,’ because of its white sandy beaches, tropical beaches, amazing temples, and local people. However, some are concerned that the Bali that everyone is drawn to, may become a thing of the past as mass tourism grows and Bali pays the price of those increasing demands.

One of the concerns is that Bali’s 3.5 million population will explode beyond recognition, as more and more people come to the island. Sure, these tourists are not permanent residents, but because so many people are travelling to Bali all year long, the island is home to a population that far exceeds the 3.5 million that call Bali home all year round. Every day 13,000 cubic meters of waste is dumped. Every year more than 700 hectares of land are turned into luxury homes for foreigners, and hotels, or to improve roads. The number of cars on the road grows by 13% leading to an increase in massive traffic jams.

Sundara Bali

Sundara Bali Sees New Beachfront Restaurant Open

If there is one thing Bali has to offer in addition to all its beauty and amazing Bali culture and villas, it is the options vacationers have in dining. Whether you are looking to enjoy local cuisine or the comfort foods of home, you won’t have any problem finding just that. But recently there’s been a lot of talk about a new beach-front restaurant that has just opened.


Sundara Bali is enjoying a beachfront restaurant at the Four Seasons Resort in Jimaran Bay, Bali. This five-star restaurant has a great beach club vibe. The menu is certainly a great mix of eclectic to international. The evening menu offers amazing steak and seafood menu options. The restaurant is open from lunch until the wee hours of the morning so come when it suits you.

You will want to try at least one of the special cocktails on the menu. Many are designed by Javier de las Muelas a mixologist from Barcelona – one of his most famous cocktails is his dry martini.

Bali Develops 10000 Medicinal Plant Species

The Bali-India Foundation in cooperation with a major international cooperative, is now developing more than 10,000 medicinal plant species with a focus on curing different diseases. Dr. Somvir, the foundation’s chair, is optimistic that they will be able to achieve their goal.

A number of medicinal plant species were imported from India and planted among hundreds of plants local to Bali. These plants have been cultivated for a few years now using organic fertilizers in an effort to maintain and replenish the fertility of the soil. It will take approximately five years before these plants will be able to cultivate these herbs and use them for medicinal purposes.

While working at cultivating the current plants the Bali India Foundation continues to seek out new medicinal plant species that can be added to the collection and later used for medicinal purposes. There are plenty of medicinal plants and what the foundation has to review is whether they will thrive in the Bali region.

The foundation hopes to eventually incorporate medicinal herbs as part of the doctor’s prescriptions and to eventually incorporate it as part of typical medical treatments. Experts have determined there are at least 3,000 medicinal plants are available to offer an enriched treatment experience in Bali.