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Bali
 
  To Airline   Fare  
  Bali Malaysia Airlines fr £299
  Bali Cathay Pacific fr £429
  Bali Thai Airways fr £399
  Bali Qatar Airways fr £399
 
Lush and languid, Bali beguiles with its beach-side charms.

Bali is so picturesque that you could be fooled into thinking it was a painted backdrop: rice paddies trip down hillsides like giant steps, volcanoes soar through the clouds, the forests are lush and tropical, and the beaches are lapped by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.

Recent tragic events have scared away many of those who simply saw Bali as a place for cheap beer. While the Bintang is still tasty and plentiful, Bali's temples, ceremonies, beaches, mountains and passion for life are undiminished and more easily enjoyed than ever.

Weather

Just 8° south of the equator, Bali has a tropical climate - the average temperature hovers around 30°C (mid-80s°F) all year. Direct sun feels incredibly hot, especially in the middle of the day. In the wet season, from October to March, the humidity can be very high and oppressive. The almost daily tropical downpours come as a relief, then pass quickly, leaving flooded streets and renewed humidity. The dry season (April to September) is generally sunnier, less humid and, from a weather point of view, the best time to visit, though downpours can occur at any time.

A Top Day in Bali

If I was staying in South Bali, I'd get up and go for a walk on the simply amazing beach that runs north almost from the airport in the south past Kuta, Legian and Seminyak, and onwards for at least another 5km (3.1mi). This sweep of sand is buffeted by the kind of surf that first put Bali on the map for backpacking boarders in the 1960s. Rent a beach chair, join in a volleyball game with some locals, take surfing lessons, get a massage from one of the veteran masseuses or buy a beer from one of the many vendors - it's a pretty mellow scene that stretches as far as you can see..

Furthermore, if you need to get from, say, Seminyak to Kuta fast, taking the beach route is the quickest and prettiest way to get there by far. At night I'd head to one of the myriad of superb restaurants in Seminyak for dinner, later hitting one of the many clubs of the moment. If I was staying in Ubud, I'd get a room with a view and simply chill out. I might stir once in a while to go for a walk through the rice fields and river valleys, but I'd soon find myself back by a pool. I would definitely make time to wander the streets and check out some of the cool little shops which seem to appear like mushrooms after the rain.

 
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