I just got back from Bali, Indonesia where I spent my spring break in a villa. Bali was not at all what I expected and although I was battling a stomach sickness for most of the week I still managed to have a great time.
When you think of Bali you think of beautiful beaches and scenery, which it does have, but perhaps more notably it has a lot of shocking characteristics that might steer the average western tourist away. Garbage is a huge issue in Bali, from the streets to the beach and even in the water, it is everywhere. Walking down the streets you are often greeted with various unpleasant smells and the sight of many sad looking stray animals.
Anywhere you go, people are trying to sell you goods or services. They see that you are a tourist and they strike at the opportunity. I found this quite sad, but I enjoyed bartering for cheap goods on the street. I did not try a ton of authentic food but that which I did have was quite good. Bali boasts marvelous seafood and their traditional dishes of Hindu and Asian influence are very unique and delightful.
Most of our trip consisted of day trips to all the tourist hot spots. We saw temples and rice fields, chilled with the monkeys in the monkey forest, and even went white water rafting. Some of my roommates rented motor scooters which dominate the roads and can be obtained with relative ease and at a cheap price. Everything there was very cheap which was great, but having to constantly buy bottled water was burdensome. I definitely enjoyed my time on “the island of the gods” but I don’t see myself returning in the future.