Did you know more than 4 million people visit Bali each year and there are only 3.5 million inhabitants on the whole island. Since Julia Roberts filmed Eat, Pray, Love in Bali the buzz surrounding the island has been electric. The island of Bali does very little to advertise itself to the outside world but still acts like a magnet for a plethora of tourists from all over the globe.
That is one of the main things I like about the island is that you really do get a mixing pot of races, nationalities and religions. Bali has an all-round appeal with its, nightclubs, beaches, surfing, extreme activities, nature, mountains, unique culture, backpacking hostels, luxury villas and boutique resorts. In Bali you can find rich tourists, tourists travelling on a shoe-string and expats, all from Europe, China, Japan, Jakarta, America, Russia, Korea, Australia, Saudi Arabia and Dubai.
Bali's location in south East Asia, its welcoming religion, cheap rates and natural features make it the perfect holiday destination for people from all the continents of the world.
Poppies 1 and 2 have been serving the needs of surfers, students and backpackers for years now; but the development of luxury designer villas and hotels is accelerating at a fair old pace. If you look anywhere in the Sanur, Kuta, Seminyak, Kerobokan and Changgu you can see development. The great thing about this development is it is mostly low rise so you do not see the ruinous development like that seen in Spain (Costa del Sol). The big hotels tend to only be a maximum of 5 stories tall but the majority of the construction is single story villas.
Bali resort private villas
If you do decide to visit Bali on holiday I can be very confusing when deciding where to stay. There are many popular areas but my favourite is Seminyak.
In Seminyak you are far enough away from Kuta to get away from the backpackers and students but close enough to take part in the madness if you so wish. In Seminyak you have great beaches that are relaxed and have less people trying to sell sarongs and massages. Also on certain days the waves get really big and you can watch the pro surfers catching waves at 66 or KuDeTa wave breaks. Seminyak also has some great shops for any kind of retail therapy you need; fashion, design, antiques, technology. The cherry on top of the Seminyak cake is the busy but not crazy nightlife; great restaurants (cheap and expensive), bars and nightclubs.
It took me a long time to decide where to stay but I settled on a fantastic place called Essence Villas. The villas have a traditional open Balinese design but with all the modern comforts. The villa has a private road taking us into a quiet location where I could really kick back and relax. As we sat drinking our morning coffee I could feel the cooling breeze come sweeping through the open kitchen. After taking a dip in the pool and soak up some tropical sun we headed down into Seminyak town to taste some local food. I really suggest you try the ‘nasi campur’ which is literally translated ‘mixed rice’, it is white rice served with a choice of vegetable dishes or meat dishes.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Bali and I am glad that I stayed in Seminyak. A drive to the airport and I was away from the magical island of Bali. I forgot to mention that without the Balinese people Bali would not be the place that it is. There is something about the aesthetic beauty of the Hindu religion that makes you feel you are in a special place – every where you look you can see temples. It is the spirit of he Balinese people and the constant offering to Krishna (the Hindu God) that can be seen everywhere – this is the true essence of Bali.