You’ve heard this and you’ve heard that. What to believe? We help you discern fact from fiction, as well as all the grey area in between!
1.Bali is overrun with tourists!
People complain all the time about Bali being ‘too touristy’, ‘over commercialized’ and ‘unauthentic’. Well, hang on a second! Which parts of Bali exactly have you been to?
We can concur with you that certain parts of Bali have become relatively streamlined towards catering for tourists. No surprises that these include Kuta, Legian and Seminyak, which are popular as shopping and dining hotspots.
Even if you hate crowds, however, if you hence dismiss all of Bali as such, you will have missed out on some of the finest that Bali has to offer.
Tourist development is in fact still very much confined to the South of Bali. There is so much of Bali that has been relatively untouched by the throngs of tourists that descend upon Bali each year. Head North and East for some of the most pristine beaches and towering volcanic peaks, or to the West for the Taman Nasional Bali Barat (National Park). Nature lovers will find that Bali has much to offer.
Verdict: False to a large extent
2. Bali is dangerous
Dangerous is a highly subjective term, but for the most part, you are very likely to go and return from your holiday in one piece. Of course, there can be no absolute guarantee, but Bali is no more dangerous than many other places in the world.
Rest assured that there is no significant threat from unrest or terrorism, as security has been stepped up. Crime is not a major concern in Bali. An unlucky tourist might meet with pickpockets, or get tricked into buying a product at a much higher price. Take precautions and do not flagrantly display your belongings out where would-be thieves can reach them easily.
If you stay in a private villa, you can also rest easy with the assurance of private security around your villa.
Exercise common sense with regards to safety, do not pat or touch stray dogs and monkeys, and you should be able to enjoy your holiday with no mishap.
Verdict: False to a large extent, no particularly pressing safety concern
3. Bali is a beach destination
We don’t fault you for this, many media portrayals and advertisements of Bali focus on Bali as a beach paradise, with white sand and clear blue seas. The first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of Bali, then of course is of Bali as an idyllic beach resort.
This is not entirely false, Bali is indeed an excellent beach destination, with plenty of beautiful beach resorts, surf and diving spots…
However, Bali is also a rugged landscape of volcanic peaks, terraced green rice paddies and winding rivers. Bali is not just for beach lovers! It is perfect for everyone, from nature seekers to adventure junkies, romantic couples and family bonding!
In short, Bali is not just a beach destination, its is all that and more!
Verdict: True to a certain extent, but Bali is more than that!
4. You will be able to ‘find yourself’ in Bali
We attribute this to the popular movie ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, which focuses on Bali as a place to find an inner balance of love and spirituality.
To understand this stereotype of Bali, you have to first understand Balinese culture. Balinese culture certainly encourages meditation and reflection. Yoga, massages and holistic living is very much a part of the Balinese culture.Naturally, those who embrace such a lifestyle find that they are able to connect with their inner thought life and can be calm and collected.
Come to Bali, embrace the Balinese way of living, embrace their culture of reflection and balance in life, and perhaps you may find yourself open to a new way of living.
However, if you come to Bali and expect that it will magically transform you into a ‘new you’, that’s just not going to happen. After all, nothing and no one can change you, except you.
Verdict: True to a certain extent, try embracing the ideology of Balinese culture and see if it works for you.
Now you have the facts of the most popular stereotypes in Bali. Look forward to our post on myths and legends in Bali!