Bali is a cultural mecca that holds a certain charm unto it’s own. I’ve travelled to other places in SE Asia and expected Bali to be much similar to that which have already been seen, ie: Thailand and Malaysia. Bali however, has managed to retain its culture, despite the flood of tourists.
We stayed at the Padma Resort in Legian, which by the way, also happens to be the top rated hotel in the area. Lodging at a five star resort is much different from my usual mode of travelling (no hostels on this trip!), providing a different experience all together. I would highly recommend Padma to anyone looking for a little luxury… although consider yourself warned! All-inclusive resorts are not common on this side of the world (mostly prevalent in Mexico, from what I’ve seen) and drinks at this place will run you upwards of $10 AUS a pop! Ouch! That being said, if you’re willing to spend the coin, Padma will not disappoint!
The rest of Bali was dirt cheap, just be prepared, as you are likely to be ripped off again and again! Bargain hard here, and try keep a sense of humor about it all. I say “TRY” because when we first arrived, I was looking at buying a dress from a local shop. After asking for the price and deciding to look around a little before purchasing, I told the shopkeeper I might come back later. …. “LIAR!!!” She yells at me! What??? Woa, that was intense.
Fear not though, most locals are very pleasant, although aggressive when it comes to negotiating a price! In fact, many were literally pulling our arms into their stores. Try not to let the physical contact bother you!
It’s also definitely worth taking a drive through the countryside to Ubudd, the area where “Eat Pray Love” was filmed. Cliché?? Maybe, but what can I say, I’m a sucker for the book… Anyway it will only cost you $20AUS to hire a driver for the day, who will take you anywhere on the island you want to go. Don’t miss the evening fire show in the area as well- definitely worth a drive inland.
I will be back some day…Until we meet again, Bali!