Most of the articles on this blog are about the road less travelled. I adore getting off the beaten track and discovering corners of the world that get less love than more popular destinations.
With that said, I don’t know that I’d necessarily recommend off the beaten path travel to new solo travellers.
Travelling to places where nobody speaks English and where tourist infrastructure is non-existent can be challenging, and sometimes it’s better to choose somewhere a little more popular if you haven’t had much solo travel experience.
Bali could never be considered ‘off the beaten path.’
This tiny Indonesian island is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world and is one of those destinations that pretty much everybody wants to visit before they die.
Bali was also the first place I visited as a solo traveller, all the way back in 2015, and that trip remains one of the best I’ve ever taken.
A big reason for this is that solo travel in Bali is so easy, and you don’t need a tonne of travel experience to have an amazing trip.
While you may think of couples basking in infinity pools when you think of Bali, believe me when I tell you that Bali solo travel is wildly popular.
So, if you’re considering visiting Bali alone, then just keep reading, because I’ve put together a list of all the things that make solo travel in Bali so damn awesome.
7 Reasons Why Solo Travel in Bali is the Best
1. Everybody speaks English
Being able to communicate and make yourself understood when you travel is super important, especially if you’re a solo traveller.
Despite Southeast Asia having been firmly on the tourist track for years, I struggled to make myself understood in places like Vietnam and Cambodia, which made getting from A to B difficult sometimes.
In Bali, this is not an issue.
Practically everyone that you will encounter in Bali speaks English, and often a smattering of other languages too!
2. Bali is fairly small
Another reason why solo travel in Bali is super easy is that Bali is that all of the places you’ll want to visit are pretty close together.
The longest journey that I took in Bali was the two hour trip from Uluwatu to Ubud. I shared an Uber with a girl I met in a hostel and it was super cheap and convenient.
Other destinations in Southeast Asia often involve taking 12-hour night buses to get from A to B.
If you’re travelling with somebody, this isn’t a huge issue, but night buses are often not the safest places, especially for solo female travellers.
Not only do you run the risk of getting your things stolen from you while you sleep, but you might even find yourself sharing a bed with a man you’ve never met before. I’d heard many stories of sexual assaults taking place on night buses in Cambodia, for example.
3. Tonnes of backpackers go to Bali
The beauty of solo travel in Bali is that so many solo backpackers visit Bali.
I met people from all over the world during my solo trip to Bali – Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, the UK, the USA – dozens of other solo travellers who wanted to meet people and explore Bali.
Most hostels in Bali have large outside areas and swimming pools where you can relax and meet fellow travellers, and you’ll quickly find that solo travel in Bali is never really solo travel.
4. There are lots of ways to meet people
If you don’t plan on staying in hostels when you travel to Bali, don’t worry – there are tonnes of other ways to meet people on your solo Bali trip.
Many people travel to Bali after reading Eat, Pray, Love in search of yoga retreats and spirituality, so if that’s your jam then you’ll definitely meet likeminded people.
Bali is also a top digital nomad spot, so you’ll if you’re working as you travel, you’ll find lots of people doing the same thing in the many hipster cafes, beach bars and coffee shops of Bali.
Lastly, there’s a large surfer community in Bali, so if you’re a surfer yourself or you’ve always wanted to learn, head to Uluwatu or Canggu to catch some waves and make some new friends.
5. Bali is the perfect combination of East & West
If Bali is your first trip as a solo traveller, you could not have picked a more perfect destination.
Bali is steeped in tradition, culture and natural beauty, but it also has enough Western comforts to stop you from feeling too out of your depth.
In Kuta, a popular party spot, you will find all of the familiar chain stores and fast-food joints that you’re familiar with, and while you might not necessarily want to eat McDonalds when you could be eating on all of the glorious Indonesian food around, it can sometimes be nice to see something familiar.
6. There is a developed tourism infrastructure
Perhaps the most important thing as far as solo travel in Bali is concerned is that Bali has a really developed tourism infrastructure.
The tourist trail in Bali is well-established and it’s super easy to get from A to B.
There are also tonnes of guided tours that you can do in Bali, from hiking up a volcano at sunrise to visiting Hindu temples. These tours can be organised at the many tourist offices dotted around, or you can search on Get Your Guide.
This makes exploring Bali super easy as you don’t have to figure out all the logistics yourself.
7. Bali is safe
On the whole, Bali is safe.
The only exception, from my experience, is Kuta.
Pickpocketing is rife in Kuta (three of my friends got their phones stolen on the same night), and tourists have even been known to die after drinking alcohol laced with methanol in Kuta nightclubs – this has happened all over Bali but Kuta comes up time and time again in these cases. I stayed away from cocktails and only drank bottled beer in Bali just to be safe.
However, while I would advise to exercise extra caution in Kuta, the other tourist spots in Bali are generally safe, even for solo female travellers.
Don’t walk alone after dark, keep a close eye on your valuables and you should be fine. I also recommend keeping your money and phone in your pockets or a bum bag as bag-snatching is pretty common in Bali.
Lastly, don’t travel to Bali without buying travel insurance. While Bali is generally safe, accidents happen and it’s always better to be prepared. My go-to travel insurance is World Nomads due to the extensive cover that they provide and the fact that you can extend your cover while on the road.
Solo Travel in Bali | Final Thoughts
Bali was my first ever solo trip and it paved the way for the following seven years of solo travel.
Even now, after having seen so much more of the world, I still rate Bali as the perfect destination for solo travellers, especially if you’re new to solo travel.
The tourism infrastructure is the best in Southeast Asia, so if you want to explore this part of the world by dipping a toe in rather than jumping straight in at the deep end, Bali is a great choice.
That’s about it for now but as always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section below and I will get back to you!
Until next time,
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