Super Kitsch surfing god statue

Bali, the island of the Gods? Opinions on Bali. My impressions after dreaming of it for years.

Bali, Indonesia, has been a popular destination for many years now, (VERY popular).

White beaches, blue water, perfect waves for surfing, exotic foods and animals, temples, yoga, spirituality, but also wild parties and promiscuity… Little Bali offers something to everyone, at a very low cost.

But is everything that glitters gold?

After a two months stay in Bali, I described the island this way:

“Bali is that girl you used to go after when you were at school.
She was the most beautiful at the whole institute and everyone wanted her. She was your dream.
 But one day, it happened that another guy came ahead of you, a moron, one who just wanted to give her the time. One for which she wasn’t special, she was just one like the others. He didn’t even care if she kept all her kings in the back row or not.

But for you, the magic was gone.

Yes, you still liked her, and you still secretly dream of dating her. But then, another guy came, and another, until the point everyone gave her the time but you, and the image you had of her got lost forever.

If you see her nowadays, she now looks aged, still dressing like a kid instead of as a lady, wearing a heavy and kitsch makeup”.

Bali Today

Today, on its paradisiacal beaches, you can pretty much find girls in bikinis and wastes brought by the tide scattered around in similar amount (especially plastic bottles). Architectural monstrosity, restaurants and shops mark the bays and white cliffs like scars.
And then the decadence: in Balangan beach, I could swim in an infinity-pool facing a kind of an open-air sewer. Traffic is out of control (a real nightmare), it’s full of merchants selling trinkets, and you should be careful to avoid scams.
The Balinese are a welcoming and friendly people, but also smart, and they quickly understood how things work. Every price must be compared and negotiated, still, many will not resist the urge to cheat you, even for just a handful of cents.

It’s not my fault, nor yours, but I think we’re all guilty when we buy T-shirts for under three bucks.

Super Kitsch surfing god statue
I think this picture best describes what “Bule” (“white man” in Indonesian) did to the island of Bali. A gigantic and kitch statue of a surfing god, facing a bunch of power lines. It makes me question myself about who might like something like that.


So you’re telling me I don’t have to go to Bali?

No, I think you should definitely go.

If you ask me, Bali is one of the best places I’ve ever visited, and I can’t wait to go back.

Am I sounding incoherent?

I don’t think so. You have to visit Bali, but I’m warning that you’re late, both you and I should have gone to Bali at least 15 or 20 years ago.

But that’s exactly the point: Any person you will meet who has been living there for a while or who is not on his first trip to the island will tell you that you should have gone there before.

“Two years ago, everything was cheaper…”

“Five years ago, it wasn’t overbuilt…”

“Ten years ago, it wasn’t crowded…“

“Fifteen years ago, there was just nothing…”

“Twenty years ago, I slept in a barrack for free…”

So what should you do? Skip one of the most mystical and beautiful places in the world?

No, just be aware that you will not visit a virgin and pristine place, and with an airplane landing every 15 minutes, you won’t be alone.


Read my tips to visit Bali in the Destination Card.

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