Bali is a destination beloved of backpackers over many years, the combination of low prices and great weather proving irresistible. The geographical location also attracts Australians in particular, as their closest foreign resort island. Indeed, the very use of the term ‘exotic’ when referring to holidays is partly defined by the location. No matter how attractive a place might be it is relegated to the normal if it happens to be on the doorstep.
That is why Bali is always going to be a special attraction for people from the UK, Europe or the Americas; it has that air of being somewhere special and magical. For Australians that might be a European island destination instead – distance turns the beautiful into something even more exclusive.
It does mean that Bali operates on at least two different levels; Kuta fulfills the mass market and backpacking needs while further along the coast towards Seminyak you find the more exclusive retreats, while inland to Ubud there is the flavour of a more authentic Bali.
Those travelling from great distances are rather more inclined to do the kind of exploration that turns Bali from being just another beach destination into something special. For islands around the world suffer from the same problem, that large numbers come to the resorts and don’t explore beyond. Majorca is a stunningly beautiful island, largely ignored by the majority who visit in favour of the nightlife and resorts. And that is of course ok, but the side benefit of taking the trouble to come from afar is that more time is set aside. Two centre holidays, excursions, trying to find the soul of the place becomes much more the focus.
Without long enough to truly do that, it is a matter of scratching the surface. Scratching will commence shortly.