One of our favourite times to head to Bali is during Christmas. Come rain or shine, this perfect formation of surf, beach, palm, and rock has a kind of magic charm that draws us back in time and time again. There is always something more to discover, and every trip to the ‘Island of the Gods’ is different—but that’s what makes Bali just so addictive.
Here are our 7 best reasons Bali is on our Christmas list!
#1 The best of everything, on one island
Look out for anyone of us during Christmas, and you’ll find us surrounded by family and friends, presents, great food, and fantastic wine. And if you’ve travelled in groups before, you know as well as we do: everyone’s got different ideas.
One thing about Bali, there’s a little something for everyone. Shopping – Ubud or Denpasar? Food – Take your pick of the wide variety of cuisines! Beach – Do you want to surf, be seen, or to chill? Adventure – Nope, I am not going on a sunrise trek with you. Spa – Would you like to try steam-cleaning your hot box ala Gwyneth Paltrow?
OK, maybe not that last one, there’s no scientific proof for that, and there are definitely some caveats there, but you can rest assured that not only will you not be bored in Bali, it’s also easy to really easy to find a high standard of living, just the way you want it.
Read also: The best beaches in Seminyak, Bali
#2 Your choice of #ThatVillaLife
Sure, luxury resorts are aplenty on the island, but Bali life is #thatvillalife. It’s no secret we love a good villa, and we know our way around the best choices. Being able to gather your favourite people away from home without having to compromise on privacy, luxury or comfort is the best way to spend holidays. The hardest choice you’ll have to make is beachfront, or ocean view cliffside (if you’re lucky, you’ll have access to both at the same time!).
We’re all for tearing open presents by the pool before hunkering down for brunch and one-two-many pineapple mimosas (holidays are for day drinking, don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise). Plus having a private villa means a highly personalised menu prepared by your own chef, and not having to share your Christmas tree (or memories) with strangers! The only danger of living too much of this good life is the unwavering desire to make the island home.
#3 Did we mention shopping already?
Oh, Bali, island of craftsmen. Balinese art is an interesting blend of intricate aesthetics and functional design. It doesn’t matter what you’re looking for – Bali has it, and if they don’t – and trust us on this – they can (and will) make it. And they will do it beautifully too!
The best thing about shopping in Bali is you never know what you’re going to find. From woven fabrics traditionally known as Songket to antiques and wooden fixtures for your living space back home, full-blown ornate carvings, silver adorned semi-precious stones, adorable knick-knacks, and plenty more, you’ll be sure to be the talking piece of your friends back home. And these are just the locally made items! Bali also plays host to many international brands from Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and beyond.
There’s a special kind of vibe that flows throughout Bali, and we’re not sure if it’s part of the culture, or if it’s coded straight into the island’s DNA – all we know is that we want to BUY EVERYTHING. Oh right, Christmas souvenirs! How much is the weight allowance for the flight back home again?
#4 Wellness, spirituality, and you
If you don’t already know, Bali is the ultimate wellness and spiritual destination. As if Eat Pray Love isn’t lurking about somewhere on your bookshelf (or movie shelf)! The Balinese are famous for their unique brand of Hinduism and spirituality, and they’re very proud to share their joie de vivre with you – especially if it will put a smile on your face and help you find peace in your heart.
Wander about Ubud, and you’re bound to overhear conversations about realigning chakras, resetting your intentions, and water or fire cleansing rituals. Oh yes, temples and healers, to sitting in the stillness all around you, and eating vegan food the right way. All very cool and life-changing, but personally, we’re huge fans of sunrise yoga and simple cross-legged meditation by the pool.
Hmm, how about 5-minutes of meditation for every cocktail you drink? If all else fails, just strike up a conversation with your driver, or chef, or villa manager, and you may find you come away with an interesting take on the state of things. Who knows, there might be more than one Christmas tale to feed your soul with.
#5 Fire up your tastebuds
What is it about tropical air that makes everything taste so good? Legit asking for a friend. There is just so much good food on this island. We’re always talking about our private chef villa life, but step outside and take a sniff at the culinary scents wafting and let your nose lead you where your stomach rumbles loudest.
It’s surprisingly easy to eat well and to eat plenty on Bali. And you’ll be spoilt for choice too. The best part is being able to balance between healthy eats and delightfully greasy meals. And when you’re interested in trying your hand at whipping up something in your villa’s kitchen, there are plenty of local markets to explore the tropical fruit and island-grown vegetables.
If you ask us though, we love avocado on everything, açaí smoothies, poké bowls, and tearing into barbecue ribs with our bare hands.
#6 Party the day and night away
Partying starts mid-afternoon in Bali and what’s Christmas but a darn good reason to shake your hair and your booty loose. Just slink into your best be-seen swimwear and head over to any one of the island’s ultra-hip beach clubs for cocktails, funky music, and chilled out afternoons that segue into the greatest show in Bali: sunset.
And once the sun goes down, order another round because the party’s just taking off to another level. Bali is the best place to dance the night away, and we’re not ashamed to admit that we’ve ended nights dancing on tabletops before!
#7 Do something you haven’t done before and then do it again
Adrenalin junkies love Bali as much as peace-and-lovers. And it’s the perfect spot to pick up a cool new hobby. Where tropical vistas with awe-inspiring waterfalls lead to rushing rivers and epic surfs, and distant volcanoes rumble there is no doubt that this island is the adult-child’s favourite playground.
Bali is a swell magnet that receives constant waves from the Southern Ocean all year round. If you’ve been surfing in Bali before, you’ve probably surfed down Echo Beach, or if you’re an advanced surfer, you’ve caught those barrel waves at Uluwatu. But Christmas is right smack in the middle of the wet season when the winds change direction. This means less crowds and loads of great east coast breaks. If you haven’t been this side of the sea before, take a gamble on Nusa Dua, Serangan, or Green Bowl!
And for those flat days, don’t worry, you have your pick of hikes, waterfalls, ATV rides, e-bikes, mud fight, and more. Bali is the perfect island for every sort of holiday-goer. For a small island, there is always somewhere you’ve never been before and some form of natural wonder you have to explore.