Are you looking for exotic travel destinations whilst still maintaining an eco mindset? If so, I recommend considering adding Bali to your list! Here’s why…
One place I have thought a great deal about visiting one day is Bali. As popularity grew there, so did western influence. It became a tourist trap for travellers the world over, including Singaporeans. With the sun, sea and culture; this is unsurprising. However, Ibiza this is not. Sure, it has nightlife and a party scene but what is more interesting about Bali is the rise of resorts dedicated to connecting with the community and embracing nature.
For me, the appeal in this is more than just my eco-centric mindset. Exploring the world should be about discovery, enlightenment, perspective, personal growth and understanding the context of the world at large. These stays emphasise the uniqueness of the island; they put focus on the natural beauty, small island life, culture and ecology. It is stepping away from the over-crowded Westernised industries that pop up and focusing on their own authenticity of living. It is cultural preservation and conservation. We should be supporting these efforts the whole world over.
Where to Stay?
The best place to stay really depends on what you want from your experience in Bali. The island is small enough that wherever you base yourself, you are bound to be able to get to where you want to go and what you want to experience. Although be aware that if environmentalism, sightseeing and spiritualism are what you are seeking then it wont just be a case of public transport.
If you are primarily looking for an inherently spiritual and cultural experience then typically Ubud is the way to go; which has yoga huts, rejuvenation packages and cafes with organic, local gown ingredients. It is also very central which allows for mountain-biking tours, hiking as well as day visits to some of the more extraordinary sights.
Image credit: My Dreamality
Families will probably be more interested in one of the Nusa Dua hotels. These have on-site activities, pools, restaurants, vast gardens and are incredibly clean with easy access to the beaches.
Those wanting a complete experience of Bali and total context as to what tourism and conservation mean to island would do well to stay in a Seminyak villa. From here, you have access to the beaches, spas, restaurants, cafes and nightlife. The traditional tourist scene if you will; but going out further and enjoying the eco, spiritual and cultural scene is possible as well. Giving you a complete view of what Bali is achieving.
Wherever you go, one thing that sets this wonderful island apart is its recent ban of single-use plastics. Residents and businesses are very mindful of pollution, especially ocean pollutants. So, whether you go for the nightlife, a yoga break or a four-hour hike you can be sure that you won’t be supporting the use of carrier bags, straws or Styrofoam wherever you base yourself.
What to Do?
If you’re wondering what sort of eco-friendly activities you can enjoy in Bali, I can tell you that you’ll be spoilt for choice. Here are some highlights:
The R.O.L.E. Foundation Zero Waste to Oceans Centre
Based in Nusa Dua, the centre provides half and full day tours where guests can learn about Bali’s ecosystem and the struggles of the residents to maintain it. It also highlights R.O.L.E’s role in teaching local Balinese residents sustainable farming methods and in ensuring that local women do not miss out on opportunities to learn literacy skills.
Mayong Village Tour
If slice of life is what you are looking for, this experience is highly recommended. Located slightly off of the traditional tourist routes (but close enough to visit) is Mayong village. The community prides itself on keeping its traditional way of life and agricultural focus. They offer eco tours across rice fields, forests, cocoa plantations and villages.
Turtle Conservation and Education Centre
When it comes to pollution, we all get a raw deal. Turtles however continue to suffer for our indifference whilst also having to survive the harsh realities of nature. Located on Serangan Island there is a conversation centre you can visit dedicated to rescuing and releasing the little beauties.
West Bali National Park
You need to have a guide to visit and treks can range from an hour or 2 to an entire day. This is however a key conservation zone of Bali and is well worth the extra effort.
With opportunities for adults, kids and families the Greek Camp teaches sustainability through culturally appropriate, practical learning. They offer overnight camps, off-site trips with children, activities and survival and sustainability skill development. Their aim is to empower, educate and enjoy.
The List Goes On…
Of course, there is much more you could do. Many more places you could visit. There are various walks, tours, museums, and sites of historical and cultural interest. There are photography tours, hot springs, birdwatching experiences, forests, waterfalls and even a volcano to visit if you see fit. Bali truly is a fascinating delight with much to entertain and inform the eco-traveller and the party animal alike.
*This is a collaborative post