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The island of Bali in Indonesia is an amazing place full of waves, sunshine, cheap food and shopping. Yet, it does have its downsides too. There’s the traffic, the crowds and also the pollution, especially during the wet season. You may also have simply traveled there so much you’d like to try something new. If you want to go somewhere with a similar feel, but are wanting something a little different, look no further. Here are 5 alternative destinations to Bali that will knock your socks off.
If you want somewhere more chilled but with almost the same flavor, Nusa Lembongan is like Bali was 20 years ago. Those in the know will realize that this tiny island is just off Bali. In fact, you still need to fly into Denpasar airport to get there. But, Lembongan is quieter, cleaner and has very little traffic. You’ll still find smiling local people, plenty of culture, amazing food, and incredible surf. There are the expensive resorts on the hill that overlook the surf, or you can find something to suit a tighter budget along the beach or set back in the village.
A different Kuta than the one in Bali, Lombok is a short flight away from its more famous cousin but has pretty much all of the same charms. Again, it’s a bit quieter but has surf, food, shopping and exceptional prices. Some people will say that the locals here aren’t quite as welcoming as the Balinese, but as long as you try to start each conversation with a little Indonesian, you’ll get plenty of smiles from them. Before you go, invest in an Indonesian-English dictionary, try out a few phrases and jump into the fun (and sun).
Still tropical, still great surf, loads of culture, yet worlds apart in its little idiosyncrasies. Sri Lanka has so much to love about it. The food is absolutely delicious too. It doesn’t havequiteas many luxury options as Bali however, so be prepared to go a little more spartan if you’re normally used to infinity-poolside massages. Still, that’s all part of the adventure.
If you’re in the USA, Costa Rica is more accessible than Bali yet still has amazing weather, waves, fishing, food and is safer than most other countries in Central America. You can soak up tropical rainforest wildlife, see volcanos, or chill on pristine beaches. If it is surf you’re after, then the Pacific side has most of the waves, although there are a few options on the Caribbean side in the right season.
This one is for the Europeans. The Canary Islands is more old-world feel than the other locations mentioned here, but it still has great weather, surf, and value for money if you know where to look. There are excellent local markets for produce, plenty of free museums, parks and tourist walks, plus loads and loads of amazing beaches. There is also a wide range of luxury options if you’d like to spoil yourself, just remember you’re paying Euro, not Rupia, for that privilege.
Quite a few of the place mentioned above can have problems with petty theft if you’re not careful (where doesn’t these days). To pack a little peace of mind with you, check out Pacsafe’s anti-theft backpack range here and anti-theft luggage here.
Tim Hawken is an Australian writer who enjoys surfing, Indian food and romantic midnight strolls to the beer fridge. He has clocked up visits to 23 countries on 5 continents (and counting). Find out more about his weird world by heading tohis website, or following him onInstagram andTwitter.
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