Bali is one of the 1,700 islands of Indonesia but it is the most popular tourist destination in the country: 80% of the tourists coming to Indonesia are visiting Bali and only Bali! But this popularity also has it's problems: places like Kuta, the most popular tourist town in the South, are becoming concrete jungle, tourists touts are annoyingly frequent and some places are really crowded.
Bali is quite accessible with many flights operating to the island from around the world. If you live in relatively nearby countries like Singapore, Malaysia or Australia you also have many budget airline options flying regularly to Bali.
Where to stay in Bali? The answer to this question depends on your budget and what you would like to do in Bali. Bali is a huge island and the bikini and alcohol soaked beaches of the south are quite different than cool and forested mountain lakes. By far the most popular region of Bali is the south, especially Southern coastal towns and villages near Kuta.
There is a reason Kuta is quite famous. Kuta was the first place discovered in Bali as a tourist destination. Until late 1980s, only a few backpackers knew the place and Kuta was one of the 3 backpacker heaven "K"s of far east: Katmandu, Khao San Road and Kuta.
South Bali (Kuta, Seminyak, Jimbalan, Legian, Nusa Dua)
The southern coast line of Bali is the most popular tourist destination of the island. Bali is governed from Denpasar town here (which has the airport but offers almost nothing to tourists). Bali's entertainment, night life and partying center Kuta is here. Seminyak, a calmer and more expensive destination and Legian in between Kuta and Seminyak is also here (Legian caters to older tourists). Bali Denpasar Airport is also in the south.
Kuta largely caters to budget to middle level tourists. Although it is popular with almost all nations, in peak seasons Kuta is largely full of Australian youth. The city looks like a mass and is ultra chaotic but it some how works and is still very popular. The main reason for its popularity is its night life and 5 kilometer sandy beach, one of the best beaches in Bali.
Kuta is not a place to enjoy luxury Bali villa stay. Calmer and more luxury hotels and resorts are in Seminyak and Nusa Dua. Especially Seminyak is highly popular with its luxury villa resorts, luxury SPAs and calmer environment. Seminyak was just a sleepy fishing village a decade ago and now is one of the most important tourist destinations in Bali.
If you want to stay in Kuta, Seminyak or Nusa Dua, you can visit Bali Kuta hotels, Seminyak hotels and Nusa Dua hotels pages.
|Bali regions map. South Bali is the most popular tourist destination in Bali and houses Kuta, Seminyak,|
Legian, Nusa Dua, Denpasar ... Courtesy of WikiTravel.org.
South Bali is a beach resort destination and Bali is quite well known for this type of holiday making. Central Bali offers a very different holiday experience. Far from the beaches and in the mountains, Central Bali is the ciultural and art center of Bali and offers a mystical, magical and cool (literally, it is in the mountains) holiday.
Ubud is probably the most famous town in Central Bali offering a Zen holiday in Bali. Made more famous by famous book and movie "Eat, Pray, Love", the place offers a cool retreat for the people living in the tropics and a cool, tropical mountain holiday for all. If you will stay in Central Bali, try staying outside major towns like Ubud and select hotels and resorts overlooking rice fields, terraced hills and majestic rainforests.
|Ubud Viceroy Bali Hotel pool. In Central Bali, select hotels outside major towns and on hills overlooking forest,|
terraced hills and rice fields.
|Ulun Danu Beratan Temple Beratan Lake Bali|
Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida and Nusa Ceningan Islands are perfect places foir divers (actually the smallest of these, Nusa Ceningan, is a better place for surfing and snorkeling than diving). These islands are 15 kilometers off Bali and offers clear waters with rich marine life and fantastic beaches.
Nusa Penida is the largest of all these islands but almost all the accomodation is on Nusa Lembongan.
North Bali is not as popular as the south and it is far from souths crowds. In the past, when Dutched ruled the island, north was the capital. Today Lovina in North is a popular tourist destinations for budget and mid-level accomodation seekers also looking for a calm place to relax and find bargain prices to stay.