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Escape the Tourist Hubs and Experience the Real Bali

For many generations, #Bali has been a holiday mecca of sorts for travellers from Australia. In fact, it is rare to find someone who lives in Australia who hasn’t been to Bali at least once. While Bali is a hot spot for travellers, the truth is these people rarely experience the #realBali.

Travellers from Australia tend to gravitate towards the tourist strips and beaches. They like to sip on cheap cocktails and have their hair braided. This may sound amazing, but it isn’t the real Bali. This is the tourist Bali.

Bali is so much more than these hot spots for tourists. It is an amazing, beautiful place, but you have to be brave and willing to venture off the beaten path.

If you want to experience the real Bali, the following are some tips on how to make that happen.

Photo credit: Artem Bali /

Take a Peaceful Retreat to Some of Bali’s Temples

So many travellers go to Bali and never experience the religious aspect of it. Even if you aren’t overly spiritual, taking a peaceful retreat to some of Bali’s temples can be calming, relaxing, and extremely memorable.

Some of the temples you could consider visiting include:

The Dramatic Kecak Dance

A visit to Bali would not be complete without witnessing the most captivating traditional performances the island has to offer.  Don’t miss the traditional Kecak Dance. This is one of Bali’s artistic masterpieces.

What makes this dance particularly unique is that the drama uses no artificial backdrop and no musical instruments. The focus is entirely on the concentric circles of about 50-60 men, bare-chested, wearing only distinct Balinese sarongs sitting cross-legged around a set of torches in the centre.

Held in the open air at sunset, usually above a cliff facing the sea. Starting at dusk, the story continues into the dark, when only light comes from flickering bamboo torches.  The Kecak Dance is said to have originated from a Balinese ancient ritual called Sanghyang, aimed as a form of exorcism or to repel evil spirits in which dancers fall into a trance. 

Stop in Ubud

Ubud is the place to go when you want to really get the true scenic view of Bali. Filled with breathtaking views of rice terraces that just cascade down the hills, Ubud will leave you breathless.

While visiting Ubud, you can do everything from dining at one of the local restaurants that overlook the beautiful rice terraces and rolling hills to shopping at some of the local vendors where you will find unique handmade gifts that can’t be found anywhere else.

Skip the Huge Resorts and Opt for Smaller, Local Lodgings

Huge resorts tend to look like versions of Australia. They have the same types of food, people and atmosphere. The only difference is that it is physically located in Bali. When you want something different, skip the huge resorts and go with local lodges.

Local lodges are smaller, quieter and allow you to immerse yourself in the local culture. If you happen to find a smaller lodge or villa, you might even meet some locals who are willing to give you personalised tours, cook you some local cuisine and show you what day-to-day life is like in Bali.

Just remember, if you do want to go to a local lodge make sure you do your research. This will help ensure you pick a safe, reputable local lodge.

Take Some Unique Tours

Not everyone feels comfortable going outside of the resorts. If you are one of those people, that doesn’t mean you can’t experience the real Bali. There are several unique tours that aren’t as touristy which will allow you to see what the real Bali is like.

The Luwak Coffee Plantation is a great example of a unique tour. This tour isn’t as popular as some of the other local tours so you will get to experience something unique without having to stray too far from the tourist hotspots. The Luwak Coffee Plantation shows you everything from how the coffee is grown and made to how it’s roasted and prepared.

There is so much to see and do in Bali that isn’t part of the typical tourist experience. Temples, waterfalls, and beautiful views of gently rolling hills, all of these things and so much more allow you to experience the real Bali. On your next trip, take some time to get out and explore these areas, you will be amazed at just how awe-inspiring these places are and how different the “real” Bali is from the tourist Bali.

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