4 Great Reasons to Not Visit Bali
Your Facebook feed can get annoying when most of your friends are shameless travellers. They have little regard for you, rotting in your air-conditioned cubicle at work. Their photos are specifically targeted to make you tap the “Like” button with your lips tightly distorted in an ugly line.
You scroll away. And a couple of posts later, there are another one of their photos. Some cliched photo where they’re in mid-jump on a beach. You roll your eyes, refusing to acknowledge the gorgeous blue of the sea behind them. The next photograph is them standing on a mountain ledge with their backs to the camera, butt-naked. I mean, for fuck’s sake, the mountains will always be prettier than your blackhead-crusted butt, so put your clothes back on, you jumped-up cave person!
So you decide to take revenge. It is time you proved to the world, how damaging, exhausting and financially draining it is to travel the world and broaden your mind. Mind broadening is for numbskulls.
You surf the internet and choose a destination with the coolest looking beaches with the promise of great food and sites, just so they’re easier to complain about — Bali.
And then, instead of a Love Eat Pray journey, you embark upon your own special Hate Puke Curse journey.
Reason 1: The Temples & Their Locales
Don’t explore Bali’s spiritual centres. Most of them are too ancient anyways. One’s situated on the coast of a sea with waves crashing against its foot, and another stands calmly in the middle of a lake — I mean, what on earth were they thinking?!
Tanah Lot, Ulun Danu Beratan and Tirta Empul shouldn’t be on your list at all. The architecture and locales will leave you stunned, but who has time for all that spirituality? You don’t.
There’s more, of course — Goa Gajah, Pura Taman Ayun and all those, but you really shouldn’t go, because you won’t enjoy the mysterious calm that hangs around these significant structures.
Reason 2: The Local Culture
OK seriously, nowadays there’s just way too much culture to go around. You don’t need to find yourself in another exotic island with stupendous local practices, just so you can have an enriching time.
Don’t go to a traditional Barong Dance show.
Don’t take in a spectacular Devdan performance.
Don’t waste your time immersing yourself in the Balinese culture.
You’re better off catching up on your TV shows at home.
Bali is known for its production of silver-works, wood-works and batik-works. Most form cottage industries, except maybe rice production and wood-works. But a visit to these workshops is not really that useful.
No one needs to see how one of the most expensive coffees in the world is made. Kopi Luwak is made out of beans that a furry civet has just pooped out. A visit to any of the plantations will take you through a unique local trade and a fascinating process that ends in a coffee tasting. Chill out on their terraced cafes, basking in sunlight with a mug of chocolate kopi luwak nestled in your hands. Sounds dreadful, doesn’t it?
Do you want to drink poop coffee? I didn’t think so.
Reason 3: The Spots & The Activities
What is that they say about sunsets? If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ’em all? You can say the same about beaches. And rice terraces. And waterfalls.
There’s nothing special about catching waves early in the morning at Jimbaran beach, or taking a quick ferry ride to Nusa Lembongan, or swimming with Manta rays in Nusa Penida, or river raft in Ayung River, or have dinner right at the beach during sunset, or losing yourself in the magic depths of Angel’s Billabong.
Bali, by the virtue of being an island surrounded by more islands, has undiscovered spots that are not visited by tourists much — hidden bays and waterfalls, exotic beaches, lush green terraced farms. Bali exports rice and their rice terraces are breathtaking. Bali has Mt Batur, their own (active!) volcano, that enthusiasts can climb up early in the morning. This makes for wonderful adventures and unbelievably Instragrammable locations! But this shouldn’t interest you at all. You’re not a post-teen with a feral need to click a gazillion selfies, are you? Who cares about once-in-a-lifetime spots that you need to see with your eyes to believe? No one!
Oh well. These spots are really overrated, I swear.
Reason 4: The Food & The Markets
We can all just walk down the street and into an Asian eatery and order Nasi Lemak. Why on earth is it necessary to go half-way across the world to eat authentic Nasi Lemak and Nasi Goreng and succulent Babi Guling or smoke-grilled Ikan Bakar? And besides, Bali-belly is a real phenomenon. It would be dangerous for you to fall prey to Bali-belly and then have to go shopping in Bali’s fascinating arts & crafts markets.
These local markets are filled to the brim with Bali’s authentic handicrafts that villagers produce and it would be easy to find incredible bargains! But then trust me when I say that you’re better off just staying at home and visiting your local air-conditioned mall for shopping deals.
I think I’ve made a good case against Bali. 4 positively concrete reasons for not visiting Bali this year. Save your money. Use it for other things, like a new iPhone. Out of all the places you can vacation in, Bali is the most overrated. A relaxing getaway with your bae or a fun break with like-minded travellers can hardly tempt you.
But I don’t learn. I’m a fool who makes mistakes and keep repeating them like broken records.