It has the landscapes dreams are made of a culture to match: between pristine beaches, palm trees dancing in the breeze and time defying temples, Bali embodies my idea of holiday paradise and is one of the places I am most looking forward to explore with my kids.
Bali entered my travel radar a couple of years ago, when a friend of mine visited the islands for a wedding: she came back happy, tanned (make it: really tanned!) and with photos that tickled my wanderlust – if this wasn’t enough, her tales talked of a family friendly and safe island that she had no difficulties defining as ‘perfect for kids’. I am not one to let such a remark go and soon started out some research. The results were incredibly encouraging: even a quick google search returned articles about infinite things to do in Bali with kids and between those and breathtakingly beautiful photos, my tentative itinerary for Bali was ready.
For being someone who hasn’t been to Bali yet, I have a surprisingly clear idea of where I want to go and what I want to see so today I decided to share it with you! If you have been to Bali, I’d love to know what you make of these ideas and if you think there are any specific places I should add.
My dream family vacation in Bali:
Accommodation is always my first concern when planning a family holiday and there is one place in Bali that to me embodies paradise: the Novotel Nusa Dua. A gorgeous looking resort, the Novotel Nusa Dua has everything I may possibly ask for: gorgeous rooms, one of the most tempting swimming pools I have seen in years, restaurants that promise delicious bites and a strong commitment to welcoming families. Famous for its traditional Balinese hospitality, I would perch myself in this hotel and use it as my retreat during my Bali escape.
Bali is famous for its temples and shrines and in true learning escapes style I would make a point of visiting as many of them as possible. The choice seems infinite: Bali has a rich traditional culture that survived and evolved during centuries (the island has been inhabited since 2000 B.C.!) and the temples are now a testimony of the past and still very much part of daily life.
Among the several religions on the island, the most widespread is Balinese Hinduism, that combines local beliefs and Hindu influences: this is a form of religion I haven’t personally encountered before and I would love to know more about, especially after seeing the gorgeous and elaborate architecture it gave birth to!
Dance and costumes
Balinese culture is famous for beautiful traditional dances and being a crazy dance lover I would not want to miss the chance of seeing traditional shows showcasing movements and costumes. I have read that Balinese performing arts usually depict scenes from religious and epic tales and can therefore be enjoyed at different levels: adults can delve into the cultural meaning of the movements while the elaborate costumes and gracious dancers please kids to no end.
When travelling, we always try and pick destinations with beautiful nature and Bali seems to be perfect also from the point of you of potential animal encounters, being the home of many monkeys! I know monkeys can be scary, but I love them and I would like my kids to be able to see them in the wild. A place that comes up times and times again is Monkey Forest, where the animals seem free to roam and visitors are welcome, but as this photo shows, they are at home almost everywhere!
The sea is also home of wonderful nature and Bali promises a plethora of family friendly activities: snorkelling is popular and older kids and adults can even have a taste of the underwater world in Sea Walker Bali, which lets you walk on the bottom of the ocean under the protection of a breathing device that looks like a space helmet! Not sure I’d have the courage to try it, but it sure is tempting and would make for great photos. One thing I know my kids will demand to try is the Bali tree adventure: after they real monkeys, it’s time for the kids to be monkeys themselves!
Beach and pool life
I couldn’t possibly conclude this overview of reasons to go to Bali without a mention of its amazing beaches and pool life. The images of Bali’s crystal clear waters are the very first that caught my attention and nothing appeals to me more than the combination beach – gorgeous hotel with a poolside bar. My ideal day would have a lazy morning on the beach, a fun afternoon exploring with the kids, a relaxing time at the spa and a lazy evening sipping cocktails near a pool: Bali promises to deliver all of this and more and this is what I cannot think of another place I’d love to visit more.
I would like to thank my friend Laura for the gorgeous photos and the wonderful blogs and websites that gave me info and inspiration for this armchair travelling adventure!