Island of the gods

Bali is the Indonesian island best known for its forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, sandy beaches, and coral reefs.

Anyone who’s had the chance to visit this oasis of Southeast Asia understands that there’s something special embedded in its landscape, people, and culture. It may be difficult to articulate, but it’s impossible to forget. Terima kasih.

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In recent years, the number of travelers jetting off to Bali has skyrocketed. It’s unsurprising, given that the island paradise is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, and unique traditions. But, as with any place, visiting without proper preparation may result in unexpected challenges. Before you book your flight or pack your bags, here’s what you should know about Bali.


Despite its portrayals in writing and film, Bali is more than just azure seas and white-sand beaches. So, whether you’re seeking an epic surf trip, a wellness retreat, or simply an opportunity to explore the place’s history and beauty, Bali has experiences suited to every type of traveler.


In recent years, Bali has welcomed a record number of visitors as it’s gained a reputation as both a surfer and yogi paradise. Because of this growth in popularity, more and more of the island’s towns and villages have been permeated by tourists, and the well-known serenity that originally captivated travelers is becoming harder to find.


Smoothie bowls full of tropical fruit, banana leaves stuffed with grilled fish, heaping plates of rice, veggies, and smoked meat — Bali is a foodie’s dream. (Warning: don’t read this guide on an empty stomach.)


Though Bali is known for its beaches, parties, and yoga retreats, the island offers plenty of experiences for travelers looking to go beyond the standard itinerary. Want to venture off the beaten path and explore Balinese traditions, secrets, and oddities? You’ve come to the right place.


Eat. Pray. Love… Hike? From exotic rainforests to majestic volcanoes, the island of Bali transports its trekkers through a variety of landscapes, each filled with pockets of wonder at every bend in the trail. Find your path here.

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Bali has two active volcanoes — Mount Agung and Mount Batur. Mount Agung most recently erupted during the summer of 2018.


Don’t visit Bali during Nyepi, a Hindu celebration and a day of silence. All beaches and streets will be closed — even to tourists!


Because water is not potable in Bali, ice is regulated by the government!


Bali is located smack-dab in the middle of the Coral Triangle, an area so biodiverse that it has been nicknamed the “Amazon of the Seas.” The Triangle is home to over 600 species of coral and 2,000 species of fish.

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Language Tips

Packing your bags for Bali? Here are 15 useful words and phrases in the national language ― Bahasa Indonesia ― to know before you go.

Good morning: Selamat pagi (s’lah-mawt pag-jee)

Good afternoon: Selamat siang (s’lah-mawt see-ung)

Good evening: Selamat sore (s’lah-mawt sore-eh)

Good night: Selamat malam (s’lah-mawt maw-lahm)

Goodbye: Selamat tinggal (s’lah-mawt ting-gahl)

Yes: Ia (ya)

No: Tidak (tee-duck)

How are you?: Apa kabar? (up-ah kah-barr)

I’m great: baik baik (bike-bike)

Thank you: Terima kasih (teh-ree-mah kah-see)

You are welcome: Sama sama (saw-ma saw-ma)

No worries!: Tidak apa apa! (tee-duck up-ah up-ah)

Great!: Bagus! (bah-goos)

My name is…: Nama saya… (nah-ma sigh-ah)

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