Bali is a province of Indonesia and the westernmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands. East of Java and west of Lombok, the province includes the island of Bali and a few smaller neighbouring islands, notably Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan. The provincial capital, Denpasar, is the most populous city in the Lesser Sunda Islands and the second-largest, after Makassar, in Eastern Indonesia. Bali is the only Hindu-majority province in Indonesia, with 82.5% of the population adhering to Balinese Hinduism
According to a travel blog that focuses on Asia here are 5 bad things about Bali
Bali! A place rich in stunning nature, full of waterfalls and rice paddies. An Instagrammer’s and digital nomad’s paradise. But is it all fairy-tales and beauty? Is Bali overrated? We hear time and time again how Bali is everyone’s dream destination and how they would give an arm and a leg to go. With all the hype surrounding this well-trodden backpacker hot-spot, it goes without saying we were expecting big things from this island. Unfortunately, after arriving we soon realised that Bali was not our cup of tea. That may come as a surprise to many of you, so here is why we think Bali is overrated.
1. Way too touristy
Number one on this list of bad things about Bali is the sheer amount of tourism. Bali has to be the most tourist-populated destination we’ve ever been to in our lives; even more so than the popular islands in Thailand. I have to say, for such a small island, it’s quite shocking the amount of tourism the island generates; from backpackers, 2-week holiday-makers, to digital nomads alike. It’s safe to say, Bali sadly suffers from overtourism.
As much as we enjoy the company of our own countrymen, we didn’t have many chances to interact with locals as often as we hoped. The sheer number of international tourists on Bali have made locals desensitized to our culture, and make it impossible to have those unique foreign/local encounters (you know what we mean). We feel this small island wins the award for the “Magaluf of Asia”. If you love culture and interacting with locals, Bali probably isn’t for you. Hop over to the other side of Southeast Asia for a trip to Myanmar for a more authentic feel.
2. Traffic traffic traffic
Due to the heavy tourism demand, especially from nearby Australia, the island is bursting with people. So much so, the roads cannot withstand the population boom. The traffic is horrendous! As the roads are very narrow, the mass amount of motorbikes and cars clog up the roads. It can take forever to get out of the town areas.
All we wanted to do was get close to the beautiful nature, but this was quite frustrating when we were spending so much time stuck in traffic. After being among the millions of motorbikes in Ho Chi Minh City constantly for the last 6 months, the last thing we wanted to do was sit in traffic on our trip to Bali. But one thing is for sure, once you crawl your way out of the tourist hot-spots of Ubud, Seminyak, and Kuta, the open roads are yours to enjoy.
3. Too far to travel to everything & false representations
Not even we can deny that Bali has some truly beautiful scenic spots. However, it can take a few hours to drive from one end of the island to the other. It became quite stressful trying to tick off all the hotspots, as it just took too long. Whilst cruising around on the scooter is one of our favourite things to do, it became quite tedious when we are on it for 5 hours a day, every day. If you’re on a tight time schedule like we were, we recommend choosing a few places to see rather than running around like madmen trying to see it all.
4. It is not cheap
Indonesia was one of the last remaining places for us to visit in Southeast Asia. After travelling through Asia for the past 2 years we came with the expectation of prices being similar to those in Thailand and Vietnam. Whilst Yogyakarta was similar and relatively cheap in prices, Bali was NOT. Everywhere we went there was some sort of tourist tax. At times it felt like we were being charged to just breathe the air!
Furthermore, prices at local markets and for taxis are highly inflated. Even with hard bargaining skills, you may still end up over-paying. We spent way longer than we should have, trying to get a taxi from the airport because of the outrageous prices. In the end, we ordered a Grab which was 1/4 of the cost we were being quoted.
5. Local food is not accessible for local rates
After tucking into some delicious dishes, such as nasi goreng, bakso, and gudek in Yogyakarta, we arrived in Bali excited to try some more authentic Indonesian cuisine. You can’t imagine the disappointment we felt when we realised that more western food was served in restaurants than Indonesian food. Even when Indonesian food was served, it was still the same price as a juicy burger and fries. Given the choice between local and western food at the same price, it was easy for us to get trapped into a cycle of eating the more familiar taste of western food.