My wife and I took our 15 year old daughter to Bali for 9 days. We were filled with anticipation and looked forward to going in the warm tropical ocean and taking walks on the beach, seeing a new culture, and experiencing a country where English isn't spoken as a primary language. We also looked forward to reasonably priced quality restaurants and the swim up bar. We stayed at a beach front hotel in Legian.
What we were shocked to find was absolute filth on the beach, in the ocean, on the roads, in every corner, against every curb, and in every frequented area there was garbage. My best description is that it looked like a convoy of garbage trucks purposely dumped garbage from the waters edge to the tree line for Km's of beach front. The rivers had islands of floating garbage and the streets were filthy. Although I respect Hinduism as a religion and a culture, there are offering trays left out to be kicked, driven over and washed away by the rain almost everywhere. The not so subtle odors wafting from garbage, sewers, scooter/car exhaust and thick population was overwhelming. The efforts to cover these odors with insence was almost embarrassing.
On another note, we had read about Bali and the need to be cautious with food and water. Depsite our efforts to go to high-end restaurants, avoid ice, salad, etc, we all got very ill to the point that I had to go to a "clinic" to pay 1 million Rupiah ($100) for a broken english consultaion and 10 pills, which may or may not have been what they said they were. We spent one day in Ubud to see the monkeys, which was a highlight for all of us. Monkeys are one of the few things that can entertain you even when you've got a full dose of Bali Belly. Although I'm sure that some people really love the chaos of Southern Bali, I wouldn't recommend going there to my worst enemy. When we stepped off the aircraft at our home airport, we all felt like kissing the ground. We've been home 5 days now and we're all still very ill. Thanks, but no thanks, Bali.
I agree your points..there are some places which will be like what you described. I personally feel Thailand and Paphos beaches in Cyprus are good. If we ignore the garbage dump, Bali will also one of the best fun filled destinations.
Oh! That's so sad. But I think you mainly got the bad experience there as its also have some very good fun spots which are very enjoyable. But still I am feeling so sorry about your Trip, but its good that you get back to have an environment suitable for you and hope you'll get well soon.
I have just returned home from an extended stay in Bali. I went for 3 months and ended up staying for 6 months. I stayed in Ubud for 95% of the time only venturing down to the beaches to catch up with friends. Sanur beach was beautiful and clean and I would recommend it, I didnt get to the other beaches near Kuta.
Ubud is an amazing place, the people and the culture they all work there way into your soul. I attended ceremonies and really got to understand the culture and the people. I would agree maybe next time you go, try staying in Ubud and perhaps you may enjoy your time there a little better
Thanks for the post. I will have a trip to Bali this summer, actually I intend to visit Jakarta, but once in Indonesia, you thought I also should visit Bali, too. But after reading your comments ... . However, I think I will give it a try. Hope I will have a better time than you ^_^
WHY THE SHOCK??? Perhaps Bali wasn't Eden, but is it really what you would want the rest of humanity to believe.
ranting about Bali is so 1990's, atleast for the seasoned travelers.
So Bali had trash? You should have gone to Florida. Why do people bother to go to Bali??? It used to be the cheap beers and the possibility of sleeping with hot Scandinavians on a holiday. But these days people go to places like Bali, so they can RANT through a blog the drama of being stressed out by an exotic culture in a far away land (of filth).
People travel so they can rant about something... I'm not saying you did. I met so many people said INDIA is filthy and filthy as hell. But I will go to India and I will love it, because I'm quite sure that when I travel in Asia, I am not looking for Idaho or OHIO for the price of a rupee or Baht.