How not to be a bogan in Bali
Beaches, bars and breaks – a holiday in Bali is just a six-hour flight from the east coast (3.5 hours if you’re from Perth) and an escape from your everyday. And with news that the $US35 arrival fee could be scrapped for Aussies, means Bali is getting even cheaper for us. (Just check out our amazing Black Market Flights deals - $49 return flights to Bali from Perth and $449 return from the east coast when you book seven nights at selected resorts and villas). But just because you’re on vacay doesn’t mean you should bring your inner bogan with you. Respect the culture, be friendly and polite to the locals and you’ll come back home with a lot more than a Bintang singlet tan. Here’s how not to be a bogan in Bali.
1. Hair apparent
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, braids on kids are cute. Adults? Not so much. If you are 12 and under, you can rock those cornrows. In your teens and over? Bogansville. Even James Franco can’t get away with this look. Apply this credo: what would J-Law do?
2. Mari kita makan: Eat where the locals eat
For the love of satay, why would you eat at Maccas when you’re overseas (toilet facilities aside, of course). Why fly and eat (and drink) the same meals and beer that you can get at home? A Bali holiday is the perfect opportunity to try the unique Balinese cuisine and stuff yourself full of tropical fresh fruit. Seek out local faves like iga babi panggang (barbecue pork ribs), babi guling (Balinese roast suckling pig), bebek betutu (spicy filled duck) and authentic mie goreng.
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3. Get out of Kuta
If you’re a Bali newbie, by all means get down to party central (hello Bounty) and take in all the bars, markets, shops and other Aussies you can handle. Kuta Beach is beautiful and great for surfing novices, but you’ll also find amazing beaches at Legian, Seminyak, Nusa Dua and Uluwatu. Staying at a stunning luxury villa in Seminyak or Legian is more affordable than you think too. If you’ve heading over to Bali with a group of mates from Perth, you can get an amazing villa with a view for next to nix.
4. Tatts enough - keep it covered
Bali may be a Hindu province in a predominantly Muslim country, and one that sees a lot of Western travellers, but the Balinese are still a modest lot - so keep flashing the flesh to a minimum out of respect. Swimwear and floaty dresses are fine for the beach and getting around, but if you’re visiting temples, leave the skimpy attire at your resort room, cover up your upper body (and any tattoos) and take off your shoes before entering. Sarongs and scarfs are usually included in the entry price of most Balinese temples. Also, don’t be a bogan and take photos of sacred spaces without asking. Be mindful and respectful.
5. See more than just the pool
It’s your holiday and you can drink cocktails by the pool all day and all night if you want to, but travel is all about experiences and staying in your resort lagoon isn’t going to expose you to much more than Aussie flag bikinis. Visit the amazing Tanah Lot Temple and experience an ombre sunset, head up Mount Batur to be literally walking in the clouds on an active volcano, and clog up your Insta feed with pics of the sculptural rice terraces near Ubud. There’ll be plenty of time for a selfie by the pool when you get back.
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