One Month In Bali: First Impressions

Welcome to the “way-too-soon” edition of what will be many blog posts about Bali to come. After just 24 hours, I have amazingly already come to a conclusion about this diverse and gigantic island! In this post, you will find sizzling hot takes, opinions with little to no evidence, and whining about other tourists whilst being a tourist myself.

(Sarcasm, for my non-US readers).

I touched down in Bali late last night. After about an hour of waiting through immigration and customs, I made it out alive. I found my driver (I’ve never had anyone wait for me at the airport before!!) and we escaped the bustling airport and he whisked me away to my secluded island paradise.

After an hour of sitting in traffic or swerving through the insanely busy streets, of course. It was almost midnight and the streets of this island were still packed.

Let me make some confessions. Before last week, I wouldn’t have been able to pinpoint Bali on a map. I also didn’t know how big it was. I also did not know how developed it was. To be honest, I did not know a lot of things. Unfortunately, I did expect a lot of things.

Like I said, this is very much a reactionary post and I am at least 99% sure that Bali will prove me wrong by the time my month here is over. Have you heard of that Paris disease that Japanese people often suffer because Paris ends up not being as great as they expected? I kind of felt that way about Bali so far, but not necessarily in a bad way.

Since going to Koh Phi Phi in Thailand, it has been the gold standard for me of paradise island living. No cars, no motorbikes, no traffic, no giant buildings, nothing that can take you away from your island paradise and snap you back to reality. Bali, being as popular and as big of an island as it is, definitely requires cars, motorbikes, supermarkets, and so on.

The modernization and size of Bali can definitely be both a blessing and a curse. It really depends on what kind of person you are. I thought escaping to Bali would be filled with empty roads, lots of freedom, and the freshest air money can buy. Others might come for the megaclubs, cheap shopping, and weird gimmicks. Things like fake safaris, a zoo, extravagant but ingenuine statues, and a bunch of other things that you really have to see to believe.

balinese food
Thankfully, the food has been consistently AMAZING.

Long story short, I can see why Bali is one of the world’s most sought-after holidays. Unfortunately, that popularity has also spoiled a bit of the magic of Bali.

Regardless, I can see myself having a ton of fun here. Riding a scooter for the first time in months was as liberating as it gets, even though I inevitably encountered stop-and-go traffic since I’m too scared to slither through traffic like most motorcyclists. The rice fields right by my villa were lush and expansive and it was only a glimpse of what the rest of Bali would have to offer. The nature of Bali is what I have been most looking forward to, and touristy or not, I will make the most of every second.

ubud bali rice fields

My new gang and I ride off into a beach sunrise tomorrow at 5 AM. The adventures are just beginning. Let’s see what you got, Bali.

P.S. It really helps that my villa has a puppy.

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6 thoughts on “One Month In Bali: First Impressions

  1. Just got back from my own month in Bali. For me the true highlight was the islands in the Bali Sea – the Nusas and the Gilis. You should find a taste of what you found in Phi Phi on the Gili Islands.

    1. I am definitely going to visit Nusa Penida and the Gili Trawangan. Are there any others you would recommend?

      1. Gili Air was a really nice island and much more chilled out / less touristy than Trawangan, but if you want social / nightlife with clubs etc then Trawangan is your best bet. If you have time then Trawangan first for some fun then Gili Air to wind down and relax after that.

        Nusa Lembongan was nice too. Went on a great snorkelling trip there, saw some huge manta rays etc, but you can probably do that from penida too.

        South Bali was nice too, uluwatu etc.

        I hated Kuta and that area!! Never been hassled so much in my life. Traffic was insane!!

        Overall I liked Bali though. Enjoy!

      2. Yeah, driving through Kuta can definitely leave a bad taste as a first impression haha, I’ll make sure to check those out. Thanks a lot!

    1. There’s so much to do in Bali I’m overwhelmed haha. I’ll definitely try to check out Munduk though! Thank you!

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