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The Truth About Bali: Brutal Honest Review…

Hello and welcome back! I am glad that you found your way to my little blog! Today I want to talk about how I enjoyed my stay in Bali and if I would recommend you going there. But let’s be clear right away: Today I will tell you the truth about Bali. This is my honest review about this island and if it is still worth to visit.

I have been to Bali last year together with my parents and my boyfriend. We stayed in a wonderful villa with pool and really had an amazing time. Together we have been to Ubud, Seminyak and Changgu, saw rice fields, been eating sea food and drinking coconuts. Coming to the point: we had an awesome time. But the question is: would I go again? Stay tuned for the answer.

What Is the Fuzz About Bali?

I can’t remember how it started but suddenly Bali was everywhere. Everyone wanted to go to Bali. Instagram was full with pictures of girls in flowy dresses on the famous Bali swing. Every digital nomad seemed to live on Bali and everyone who is traveling for one year spends at least one month there.

When we were planning our trip around Asia I actually didn’t want to go to Bali, as I usually try to avoid regions that suffer from overtourism but my boyfriend convinced me, that if that many people would like it, it has to be good. So we planned a vacation and were even lucky enough that my parents wanted to join so we would spend our time together.

Reccomended: Mass Tourism all over the world. A collaboration with travel bloggers from all corners of our planet.

What Did I Expect?

Looking at all those beautiful social media postings about Bali, I expected wonderful sites, beautiful beaches with fine sand and a place that sends out this peaceful vibe that I felt through social media and the tales of my fellow travel mates. So you might argue, that I had high expectations in advance but if you think it through, isn’t clean & peaceful environment normal?

But What Did Actually Happen?

When we arrived we first got our expectations smashed as soon as we got in touch with Balinese traffic. It was simply horrible. When we found a cab and hit the road, we were welcomed by a symphony of people slamming their honks as if there is no tomorrow. Furthermore the streets are just overcrowded so that moving further only happens very slow. Not so quite and peaceful, hm?

Vromm vromm, motherf****r

The traffic problem haunted us the following days aswell. For a route of 44km (from Nusa Dua to Ubud, to visit the rice terraces) we drove solid three hours. One Way. The next day way kinda the same, so after spending almost half of our days in a car, we decided to skip the day trips and simply focus on Nusa Dua and the areas close by.

This traffic is a sign, that the island is currently struggling with the huge mass of tourists it has to deal with. Bali’s infrastructure is just not meant for the amount of cars and bikes and I was very sad, that I was contributing to it.

A plastic world?

The second, even bigger thing that shocked me, was the incredible amount of litter that was just lying around on the streets. And on top of that it was also more than shocking to see the contrast between these littered streets and those beautiful, well taken care of and breathtaking hotels that line the coastal streets. If this isn’t picturing humans at its finest, I don’t know. Cleans up their own space but literally dump their waste outside of their area for others to clean up. Nice.

Swing at a beautiful resort in Nusa Dua, Bali
Our beautiful resort. Outside of it, things were looking a bit different.

The same thing was showing at the beaches. Areas for tourists or the hotel’s private beaches were beautiful and clean, but guess what happens when you put one foot outside of the property of those hotels. Exactly, you would find yourself in a nasty mixture of sand, algae and plastics.

Seeing this, really broke my heart. And again: I felt bad, because I was contributing to it. The litter that I created would be there on the street or the beach sooner or later.

Planning a Trip to Bali?

So let’s come to the point: Is Bali still worth to be your next destination? The answer is yes. The island is beautiful and even one of my personal highlights of 2018. Yet the question is not, if it is still worth it but if you should be smart enough to skip it for its own sake. On my side, I don’t want to go to Bali again as long as there are still as fewer restrictions as now. Don’t get me wrong: my time there was nothing but amazing and beautiful. But still, sometimes there are more important things.

And I dearly recommend you to skip it too. For two major reasons:

  1. You can spare you from a stressful time sitting in traffic & being exposed to this mess.
  2. You won’t be another contributor to this problem.

If you still want to go to Bali I want to beg you, to do it in a very thoughtful way. Make sure to book an Eco-Stay, don’t make any road trips & follow my tips on how to travel more sustainably.

I hope you enjoyed this little bit of truth about Bali and that it helped you out. How do you think about this problematic situation? Do you care about it? Would you skip a Bali vacation and look for another alternative? Let me know in the comments!

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Is Bali Still Worth It? - La Vie En Marine


  • You are so right. I was so disappointed with the traffic congestion and plastic pollution. That’s why I headed to the East of Bali. The beaches there aren’t as pretty as in the Western part. Actually, they are black from volcanic sand. However, that side is beautiful from rice terraces and green mountains. There are still tourists of course, but much less and as a whole that side is more subdued. Traffic was light and (almost) no plastic, loved it! I would not stay on the Western part anymore, for my sake and for the sake of Bali.

  • Naomi

    I love posts like this! It’s so important to think about the impact we all have on our Earth.

    Eat Love Explore

    • paula

      Thank you for your comment!

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