I am heading to Bali in the middle of May i am a 23 year old girl on my own. I want to see lots of Bali and then head to Lombok and also to the Gillis to do some diving. Has anyone got any advice on what to miss and what not to miss. Also any advice on where to stay would be really helpful. I am on a tight budget so nothing too pricey.
Any help would be great.
I believe the high season in Bali starts around the end of May, so you will likely be forced to pay slightly higher prices for everything when you're there (I think). Still, you should be able to find rooms etc. for about $10 a night or so no matter where you go - Bali is very affordable, and food, drinks etc. are also quite cheap.
Places to see in Bali depends on whether you are looking for a party atmosphere or rest/relaxation. I really liked Ubud - it's inland and the cultural centre of Bali. You can take jewellery or batik-making classes, go to the spa, eat good food, travel the outlying rice fields, etc. If that doesn't seem like your thing - most backpackers go to Kuta beach, take a few surfing lessons and soak up the party atmosphere. If you have a travel book, try to read about a few places - Sanur, Kuta, Ubud, Lovina - and see what you think you're into.
I've heard that Gilli Trawangan isn't particularly safe for single female travellers - be warned there are a lot of drugs on the island (I was planning to go there for a few days but a friend who lives in Bali told me not to, so this is hasn't been verified by me). Plus, the diving in the Gillis isn't spectacular, compared to diving around the east coast.
If you're trying to centre your vacation around diving - I would recommend staying in either Sanur or somewhere further north. The main dive sites in Bali are the Tulamben wreck up north, Nusa Penisa near Sanur, and a few other places - all on the East Coast. I've heard good things about Bali Scuba, based in Sanur. If you're staying in Kuta, keep in mind that you will either arrive at the further sites quite a bit later than most other groups (ie - when there are already 100 divers at the wreck) or have to leave at 5:30 in the morning.
If you have any specific questions, you can PM me and I'll try to answer them - I was just there in the spring.
"...I've heard that Gilli Trawangan isn't particularly safe for single female travellers - be warned there are a lot of drugs on the island (I was planning to go there for a few days but a friend who lives in Bali told me not to, so this is hasn't been verified by me). Plus, the diving in the Gillis isn't spectacular, compared to diving around the east coast..."
I've been to Gilli Trawangan and stayed at the Sagitarius Guest House. It was basic and cheap. I really can't imagine the island not being safe for single female travellers. You can walk the main road with pubs etc in about ten minutes. The island is known as the "Party Island". Local population is about 500 and there were no police when I was there. Magic mushrooms are advertised and sold openly.
I went snorkelling however the coral reef was dead because of past explosion fishing.
Been to Gilis many2 times... one of the safest & coolest place on earth. Dove there a few times... water is crystal clear and simply fantastic. there are (i think) 3 main dive operators. blue marlin, dive indonesia and i cant remember the other. all three are excellent (5 star). i saw 7 big fat sharks sleeping at noon and while we were outnumbered by them, the whole experience was just thrilling. (c'monnn we all know they dont bite us these reef sharks!!! hehehh)
so i would insist. GO TO GILI'S!!! and have a pizza with mushroom!!! hehehehhh. DOnt miss the sunset. I mean it!!!
p/s: I stayed at Aldi Guesthouse for less than US8 per night including breakfast. Clean and a bit away from the noise (bars & restaurants)!!!
Thanks for the advice really helpful. I am off soon so that is very exciting. Only prob is need a hotel in Bali for 2 nights (then flying to lombok - i will be back to Bali afterwards) where can i stay with a pool? Going on sunday so need to think fast
thanks for all the advice