Before I tell you what I didn’t love about Bali, a disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links. I receive compensation for any purchases made with links on this page. Thank you!
Bali was heaven on earth. Have I already mentioned that? So many parts of the island were absolutely beautiful, and I had the most amazing time with the most amazing people. But despite the soaring feeling I felt throughout my time on the island, there were some things I didn’t love about Bali.
I didn’t love the constant bombardment in Kuta
Walking down the street, it was impossible to find peace. Ten people lined up along the sidewalk, all ready to ask you the exact same question: “Miss, taxi? Transport? Where are you going!” You say no to one, and then you have nine more to answer to. Some people didn’t like hearing “no” either. In fact, one man asked me why I didn’t want a ride, and when I told him I like to walk, it’s good for me, he told me that walking isn’t good for his wallet. I understand that that’s how this man makes a living, but please, if I say no, let me walk in peace!
This type of solicitation happened everywhere in Kuta and I didn’t love this about Bali. On the beach, people would try to sell you everything under the sun. From surfing lessons, to ice cream, to bracelets, to beer. I think I said “no thank you” more on this trip than I ever have before in my life.
I didn’t love the overblown prices at the markets
As is common in many Southeast Asian countries, things like souvenirs and sim cards are wildly overpriced. I have two theories for why this is. One, the people selling the items want to pocket some extra cash. And two, people from western countries are not accustomed to haggling. It is not something present in our culture. We are told a price, and if we like the price, we pay it. If we don’t, we walk away. There is no haggling for prices.
In fact, Bali was the first place I ever haggled. Perhaps it’s because I was on a strict budget, or because I was with a friend, I felt more confident in exercising my negotiation skills. My first attempt wasn’t great, and I paid way too much money for a sim card. By the time we went to the markets in Ubud, I was doing much better at getting prices down to something I felt was reasonable. While I grew confident in my haggling skills in markets, I avoided taxis and bikes on the street because I knew they would try to overcharge me, and I instead opted for Grab.
I didn’t love the plastic in the ocean in Bali
All over the world, plastic waste washes onto shorelines. Bali is no exception to this rule. While the beaches in Kuta were quite nice, there were stretches of beach where you would see plastic bottles littering the shoreline. Even swimming in the ocean you might encounter a piece of plastic brush up against you. I didn’t love this about Bali, and it was pretty sad to see so much waste on the beaches.
But I realize this is not the fault of the island, especially since it’s happening worldwide. Instead we really should consider how much plastic and waste we are using in our daily lives. Even when we recycle these items, they can still make their way into the ocean. I mean, just look at things like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This is the legacy we are leaving behind, dirty beaches and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
The only redemption to the plastic beaches were the sheer number of people I saw out cleaning up the beach. People who weren’t Balinese, and who appeared to be tourists. Perhaps they were volun-tourists, I don’t really know. But considering we all share one planet, it was nice to see these people treating it as the shared home it is and taking responsibility for the plastic they stumbled across.
It was really hard for me to think up the things I didn’t like about Bali. Well, beyond the constant questions and haggling in the markets. But really, what it came down to was Bali was a dream. Every destination has some downfalls, things that aren’t picture perfect, but at the end of the day, Bali was everything I hoped it would be.
Have you traveled to Bali? What did you think? Did you find that you noticed these things as well? Comment down below and let me know!
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