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Travelling to Bali alone

Omagh, United...
5 posts
Travelling to Bali alone

Hi there,

I am travelling to Bali alone in July 2015, I am quite nervous as this is my first time away. I will be going for over two weeks, I was wondering is there solo travel group/tours were you can meet other people to explore what Bali has to offer. I really enjoy company and will be meeting a friend near the end of the trip however I would like to mingle with people as soon as I arrive to enjoy the whole experience.

Any tips and advice would greatly be appreciated

Thanks

Laura

75 replies to this topic
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
10,373 posts
99 reviews
1. Re: Travelling to Bali alone

No worries, you can always hitch up with a Kuta Cowboy who will make sure all your money finds a better home...

Taking a tour is a simple way of meeting people who may have similar interests. It is up to you if you want to have a conversation with anyone else.

Santiago, Chile
Destination Expert
for Scottsdale
Level Contributor
1,218 posts
1,296 reviews
2. Re: Travelling to Bali alone

I also agree with the tour idea I had don't know how many people I have met over the years through random and touring. You could also meet some people at the hotel at the bar or some nonthreatening location versus a club or something a little more extreme

kent
Destination Expert
for Kent, Solo Travel
Level Contributor
14,663 posts
141 reviews
3. Re: Travelling to Bali alone

There are loads of day tours, cooking classes and activity tours available locally. If the rivers gorges have enough water, there are white water rafting day triops too. These are a great way to meet people.

The "things to do" item in the Bali forum ( green bar, top of the page) will give you an idea of what is available, but you can wait till you get there and book locally.

You won't feel like a fish out of water, as Bali is popular with all age groups, solo's and families.

The Bali destination forum here in trip advisor is one of the friendliest forums I've ever used, and I'd recommend reading posts and info there, and perhaps submitting some questions yourself.

Lovely island and lovely people.. you lucky traveller!

Edited: 11 April 2015, 15:12
Omagh, United...
5 posts
4. Re: Travelling to Bali alone

Thank you folks really appreciate that advice :)

England, United...
Destination Expert
for Somerset, Solo Travel, Exmoor National Park
Level Contributor
34,521 posts
111 reviews
5. Re: Travelling to Bali alone

Don't be too nervous, you don't have to launch into things the minute you arrive. Take it slow, late breakfast (if you are not to eager to get out and explore) wander out, investigage the locality, back for lunch and a drink etc.

You will soon pick up a feel for the place once rested from the flight and find your way around. Then's the time to look for things you would like to do.

2 weeks isn't that long, about right I think. And being a little nervous is normal and also part of the excitement. You'll be fine as soon as you are underway and realise that people travelling, on the whole, are nice and helpful. Lots of others doing the same thing.

Sounds great, have fun. And come back and let us know what it was like and what you did.

Amsterdam, The...
Level Contributor
16,943 posts
6. Re: Travelling to Bali alone

Suebovington is right, a little nervousness is normal. You're going to a whole new environment and don't know what will happen yet. Which is part of the fun too!

And you don't need to undertake everything immediately. Just settle in first and find out where things are, at your own pace. Wander around, have some food and a drink...

Almost any country in the whole world offers plenty of daytrips, multi-day trips and shorter tours, for example boat tours to watch dolphins in the north of Bali, snorkeling tours from Sanur, cooking classes, I'm sure Ubud offers guided temple tours if you wish... This can be a great way of meeting other people but in my experience that works best if you're not TOO keen or desperate. But at the same time open to it. Just chat with people, see who you click with... and then you can always suggest to have dinner together that evening for example. Don't worry if someone doesn't want to chat or spend time, you'll never see them again anyway, and they probably have their own reasons for wanting to be alone (nothing to do with you personally).

One of my best memories from Indonesia was traveling on the cheapest local bus from south Bali to north Bali, being the only foreigners on the bus, and having chats (with hands and feet and phrasebook) with the locals.

kent
Destination Expert
for Kent, Solo Travel
Level Contributor
14,663 posts
141 reviews
7. Re: Travelling to Bali alone

Laura.... you haven't said which area in Bali you are travelling to. I'd suggest not going to Nusa Dua, as this is quite far south, and entirely created for resort based tourism. Consequently prices are higher and getting to other places in Bali will take much longer.

Kuta ( west coast) is the most popular area for young people, and has some very good surf schools. Very lively night life too.

Seminyak is north of Kuta and more "up market", with prices to reflect this.Tanah Lot temple is a must see for this coast.

Sanur is on the south east coast, and although more family orientated, is still very popular with solo's. The beach is wide and shallow, and protected by a reef, so isn't good for surfing.Night life is more laid back than in Kuta, but plenty of very good restaurants and a few Australian pubs too.

Ubud is the cultural heart of Bali, and is inland, set along a stunning river gorge. Ubud really packs alot in, and is extremely popular with all travellers, be they families or solo's. Very walkable, and the range of accommodation is excellent, but personally, I'd suggest staying in the smaller family run B & B's. Very safe and very beautiful! Nightlife is based on Balinese theatrical shows retelling cultural stories (and very easy to follow even if you don't know the language), plus outstanding restaurants/cafe's etc. If you are feeling adventerous, this is a good base for white water rafting.

Candidassa is on the east coast, is tiny and has one of the best beaches... hidden away, but pure white sand, a few beach bars, and local fishermen berth their colourful boats at one end. Not for surfing as there is no life guard, but very swimmable, safe and good for kite flying. It is in spitting distance of Tirta Gangga, which were once royal baths and gardens and very well worth visiting.

Amed and Lovina are on the north coast, very laid back and ideal for sub aqua diving. Good for travelling to Eka Kary ( the botanical gardens... huge and bring a picnic) and Pura Ulan.... a holy site with temples and perched on a lake. There are no big hotels here, but instead some smaller friendly guest houses, and B & B's. Don't go here for the night life, but for the stunning seascape, salt pans, and very laid atmosphere.You can do an escorted 26k bike ride (all down hilll!) from here.

Although Bali is a relatively small island, travelling around can take ages, so I'd suggest a multi stop trip. A few days here and there will give you the opportunity to see more. The places I've listed are all very safe for a solo traveller (male or female) and because the Balinese people are such delightful hosts, their friendliness seems to rub off on other traveller too...I'd certainly go back in a heart beat!

The Bali forum is the best place for more information about current prices and things to do/see.

Omagh, United...
5 posts
8. Re: Travelling to Bali alone

Thanks so much folks, A wealth of brilliant information very supportive/knowledgeable advice.

I land in Denpasar Airport, any suggestions for a really nice reasonable hotel in close proximity that offers airport pickup?

I hope to head to Kuta then work my way back up to seminyek, ubud etc I love the idea of visiting really cultural, unusual places, experiencing nice food with a relaxing beer at lovely beaches :) Alcohol wise should I be wary of any drink? Dress code, is this something I need to be careful about?

It's nice to come on here and here positive feedback about Bali as some government sites and news clippings are quite negative...which is always the way I'm sure about anywhere.

£400-£500 spending money would be suffice for a little over two weeks?

Thanks

Laura :)

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
284 posts
21 reviews
9. Re: Travelling to Bali alone

Hi Laura,

I visited Bali as a young solo female last year. I went on a couple of day tours with a private driver. It's so inexpensive to do this and they are happy to wait around for as long as you require. I personally didn't see any group tours advertised, but I'm sure if you said you'd like to go with others it could be arranged. Balinese are pretty easygoing people and can arrange anything you want, they have a lot of experience in dealing with tourists' requests and are flexible to your needs.

Jimbaran and Sanur are nice places to sit on the beach with a meal and a beer, very relaxing. The sunset is particularly nice on Jimbaran as it looks to the west.

In terms of cultural places; I thought Gunung Kawi was really something. I also visited the Holy Spring Water temple in Tampak Siring, a couple of nice waterfalls and the Elephant Cave temple where the gardens are lovely. Uluwatu temple is also worth a visit - walk right along the cliffs to the end for really nice views towards the temple on the hill.

All I would say is I hope you are fit as there are hundreds of steps up and down to these cultural sights and it can be pretty strenuous and tiring on a hot day! My guide kept asking me if I was ok as my face was so red haha.

If you want to see local culture up close, I went on a walking tour from Ubud (which is usually a group but I was the only one that day) which takes you through rice fields, visiting the house complexes of local people. We spoke to a blacksmith, farmers, locals building new walls in the fields etc. Then the guide took me to a local coffee plantation which was quite interesting, lots of nice flowers and the staff were really friendly.

They do really know how to treat you well in Bali and if you get a personal guide you can have a chat and a laugh through the day - like you I felt it might be a bit awkward just me and the guide, but the Balinese are very open and like talking about their culture and finding out about yours so there were no awkward silences. I also think the cultural sights are so spiritual in Bali that I got so much out of them visiting on my own and might have felt more herded around with a group tour, not taking it all in - but everyone is different.

In terms of dress all cultural sights mentioned should be visited in baggy pants and long sleeves, or at least take a sarong. They will provide a sarong at the door but sometimes you will be required to pay a fee.

For something unusual (well, it is a tourist attraction but I don't imagine many solo travellers think to visit), I highly recommend the Bali bird park. It's about halfway between Ubud and Sanur and you'd have to get a taxi. There were so many beautiful and interesting birds, and the food at the cafe was great too. I normally don't visit Zoo type things out of principle but the birds seemed well cared for and the keepers interacted with them a lot. I had a great day out there.

Balinese are used to westerners walking around in, ahem, western clothing in the touristy areas, but for safety and respectability reasons I wore long pants when I was there, with either long or short sleeves. I found the men were very respectable and I never felt gawked at or disrespected at any point.

Finally I think £500 would be fine for 2 weeks. The food, drink and accommodation is inexpensive, and there is enough money left in there to do activities and take taxis without worrying about budget.

Cheers

CG

kent
Destination Expert
for Kent, Solo Travel
Level Contributor
14,663 posts
141 reviews
10. Re: Travelling to Bali alone

Hi Laura

Bali is so small, you really don't need to stay at a hotel in Denpasser, but can get a taxi (or bus) to Kuta.

I agree totally with Copper, that local drivers/guides are Govt licenced and are exceptionally good value for money. The Bali forum is the only one I know of that has a list of recommended drivers, so I'd suggest checking that list, or just asking a question in the forum.

Alcohol.... wine is mostly imported from Australia and relatively expensive. There is a locally produced wine called Hatton, which is ok. The local beers are very refreshing, the main one is called Bintang, and there is a low alcohol version too. You could try arak which is a local spirit ( personally I didn't like it ) and there are rice wines too. The fresh fruit drinks and smoothies are delicious.

Dress code and spending money... again I agree with Copper.

I would also recommend the little spa shops, especially for a Balinese massage, mani/pedi, hair mask, etc, very professional and incredible value for money.

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