Bali Pros and Cons...
1)Everything is dirt cheap! Rooms with attached bathrooms cost us $7 or 8 dollars a night. Meals were anywhere from 90 cents to $5 or so dollars. Large 22oz. Bintang beers cost $2. And all the handicrafts are amazingly affordable....we are now the proud owners of REAL art – 5 paintings for all of about $75 dollars! Which brings me to point number 2:
2)The shopping! Oh man, if we didn't have to carry everything, I would've gone apeshit on this place. I'm already plotting my return trip just for the shopping! The quality of the work is incredible too, and it all costs so little. We got pretty good at bargaining toward the end (you bargain for everything, and I mean EVERYTHING) though we'd still give in a lot. Unlike some tourists we overheard haggling to the death over what amounted to 60 cents, we figured they could benefit from that more than us.
3)The food was all so tasty! We enjoyed trying the local fare and truly loved everything. There are copious rice and noodle dishes on every menu, with variations of chicken, fish, and a variety of veggies tossed in. Coconut milk and lemongrass are common features. We had some amazing grilled fish a few times and one of our faves was the Lillit something-or-other which was spicy grilled chicken bits skewered onto lemongrass sticks. You could find those at the warungs (food stalls) or even just walking down the beach. The smell of them grilling on the little charcoal bbq's was intoxicating! And it seems that everything is served with a side of sambal chili sauce; could it get any better?
4)The people were the most kind-hearted, giving people. I guess living in a tropical paradise does a person's mind and mental health good! Everywhere we went, we were greeted warmly, asked questions with sincere interest, and made to feel extremely welcome.
5)The traditional Balinese massage!! At less than $7 a pop, I wish I would have gotten 2 a day. I only spoiled myself with 2 total, but was comatose and drooling both glorious times.
6)The natural scenery was gorgeous, ranging from jungle mountain tops to beautiful beaches and clear water. Everything was so green and lush. We saw countless monkeys in the wild, which was a hoot. We toured a few amazing temples, all with breathtaking views of the surrounding area. It really is a paradise island.
7)The smells. I found myself deeply inhaling the aroma of tropical flowers and incense that constantly fills the air (every offering always has a burning stick of incense skewered through it), whereas at home incense makes me sneezy and I've never enjoyed its scent. At first we assumed the incense would be great for covering up the unpleasant odors you expect to find in the less developed world, but Bali really never had any stink, even in Kuta where there are huge piles of trash on the beaches.
1)Pro: the food going in. Con: the food coming out. While we thoroughly enjoyed every single meal we had, we were both struck with cases of “Bali Belly” a few times (not a good sign when they have a name for it!). We never could make sense of it either, as we'd both be struck, but always at different times, and we ate the exact same food the whole time. We love to share meals so we can try more dishes. I still think it was worth it, but the hotel must've thought we were crazy with how much TP we went through!
2)Well.....can't really think of a genuine con....let's see, hmmm. I'll get back to ya on that one! We didn't get to stay longer and we didn't do any diving because of the head colds we suffered! Does that count??