Saturday, 3 March 2018

Ask an expert: The many faces of Bali

Last updated 12:17, March 1 2018


Q. I am planning to spend a week or two in Bali with friends and would like to experience different aspects of the island. How many places would you recommend us basing ourselves in and what is the best way to get around?

A. For two weeks in Bali I'd recommend heading south and doing a loop, relying on cheap taxis, bike rentals and local buses for a real cultural insight!

Seminyak is great for an initial place to base yourselves, and great if you're a foodie. From the roadside warungs(small, family-owned businesses with traditional Balinese dishes) to chic city restaurants, your taste buds will love it.

Canggu, just 20 minutes north of Seminyak, is your go-to for beach clubs and cocktail bars. La Laguna Gypsy Circus is particularly fun. A kooky gypsy caravan park sitting next to a golden beach, it's really bohemian. There's also the famed Finns Beach Club, with skilled Bali surfers in eyeshot.

For laid-back Bali, head down to Uluwatu and soak up the surfer lifestyle. The beaches are beautiful here, as are the temples. Nyang Nyang Beach is a spot that few tourists know about. It's mostly deserted except for locals, and some shipwrecks! Then there's Tegal Wangi Beach in Jimbaran which is pock-marked with cankers - little holes that litter the shoreline and then fill with sea water. Climb in and gaze across a perfect ocean horizon - it's especially good at sunset.

Definitely stay in Sanur and catch a ferry to Nusa Lembongan Island. Relatively undiscovered, it offers exotic escapism just 30 minutes from the mainland. Rent bikes and explore the islet, stopping to snorkel with manta rays at Manta Point. 

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Neighbouring Nusa Penida is also gorgeous - less developed and perfect for nature hikes.

Helen Jackson, House of Travel Remuera

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