The island of Bali is captivating, tropical and magical…the further away you get from the tourist areas. The friendliness of its citizens is legend as is their respect for visitors. Nudity is practiced only in a couple of places; otherwise it's verboten. Read on.
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Bali Indonesia and its people
Bali, part of the country of Indonesia, is an island of tropical wonder. Indonesia, northwest of Australia and south of the Asian continent, straddles the equator and is home to millions of citizens with diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds located on islands dotted throughout the region. Over 3 million Balinese citizens live on their small island; you'll find most of them living in the central, southern and northern parts while the western and eastern regions are less densely populated. They are polite and supremely respectful… a welcome change from many tourism destinations we've visited.
Return their respect and courtesy toward you and you'll find them willing and anxious to please you without being obsequious.
Only recently (about 30 years ago), Bali was thrust into the mass tourism arena after foreign artists, writers and artisans "discovered" the island paradise in the early 20th century. Prior to that, Bali experienced hundreds of years of occupation by local and regional factions from Java and elsewhere but eventually became a major power in the region, home to numerous artists, artisans, priests and aristocracy. After experiencing Dutch colonialism in Indonesia in the late 19th and early 20th century, and domination by the Japanese during World War II, Indonesia (and Bali) gained independence by 1950.
Although tourism is a major engine in today's Bali economy, agriculture and art, religion, adventure sports and crafts still account for a strong and established component of the island's cultural and economic makeup. Most citizens observe a local Balinese version of Hindu while the minority religions are Christian, Muslim or Buddhist. You will find numerous fascinating religious festivals and rituals practiced daily throughout the island which reflect a culture refreshingly family- and community-based.
Check out Wikipedia for Bali's cultural details, geographic facts, maps and excellent photos.
Probably the property that has been around longest as a nude facility is Bali Au Naturel on the north side of the island near Buleleng on the beach road between Gretek and Kubutambahan, near the crater lake we visited, at Danau Batur. Besides standard and deluxe rooms, 6 eco-friendly bungalows are available; a private one bed room and a private 2 bed room villa is located on property as well plus a luxury, private accommodation called the Glass House next door. Accommodations start less than USD $100/night in the main resort. Rates here are not guaranteed and are subject to change without notice. In addition, more Bali information is in a USA Today article by Jean Asta, an American free lance writer. ALERT: Small properties in Bali may change hands often, close, re-open and alter their offers, amenities and format. Information provided is not guaranteed and the reader is encouraged to practice due diligence when evaluating the present condition of a villa, resort, hotel or motel mentioned here or in Trip Reports.
Here's what the owners, Mock & Nick, have to say about their property, Bali Au Naturel:
"The only nudist beach resort in Bali is “Bali au Naturel” on the northern side of the island, consisting of 6 standard and deluxe double rooms and 6 eco-friendly bungalows as well as a luxury one bedroom two story villa called the “Glass House”. All rooms come fully equipped with private balcony, private bathroom, safety box, refrigerator, satellite TV, WiFi and A/C. NOTE: The bungalows have no A/C, refrigerator, Wifi nor TV. There are three swimming pools, a Jacuzzi, massage & spa room by the beach, fully equipped gym and beach front restaurant and all facilities are accessible free of charge to all guests (except massage). Another nude property near Denpasar and Kuta (in the Umalas hotel area) is the gay Laki Uma Villa with 4 bedrooms and plunge pool/swimming pool.
This is not just a “clothing-optional” resort – nudity is compulsory in and around the swimming pools and highly recommended everywhere else within the resort, day and night. Most, if not all, guests are all true nudists and the management staff also works in the buff." Both properties are owned by Mock & Nick.
Besides enjoying the resort all naked, outside textile activities are plentiful: excursions through north and east Bali, and snorkeling and scuba diving on the coral reef right in front of the resort are main features. Rates are between USD $35/night and USD $90/night. Rates here are not guaranteed, subject to change without notice and vary with currency fluctuations.
Another nude property in Kuta (South Bali) is “Laki Uma Villa” – a luxurious mansion turned into a nudist guest house for men only – with four luxurious rooms and a six bed dormitory all with A/C, WiFi, satellite TV, Jacuzzi and a swimming pool. Rates start at USD $24/night (dormitory per person) to USD $ 55/night (master room). Rates here are not guaranteed, subject to change without notice and vary with currency fluctuations.
It is important to note that the owners build and opened these resorts with the sole goal of providing luxurious accommodation in a truly open and nudist atmosphere which reflects their own lifestyle. These resorts are not failed textile resorts that allow nudity (“clothing-optional”) in order to financially survive and where the owners themselves are not naturists.
Besides these two resorts, many other private villas also allow nudity under certain circumstances (especially when the staff is not around or in a secluded corner), but this is like being naked in your own back yard with no one around you.
Here are excellent comments and recommendations from a Castaways client couple from near Perth, Australia who have visited Bali many times, stayed at Bali Au Naturel as well as numerous textile hotels and resorts throughout Bali. Their comments focus on their favorite textile hotels and tourism areas, mostly in the southern regions of Bali. Most are within an hour from the Denpasar International Airport and due European influence, most tourist beaches are topless friendly, but check them out first when you arrive.
"The following are a few hotels we have stayed at in Bali. Here is a quick summary of our likes and dislikes, these would be our picks - GT and FT
1.Ayanna in Jimbaran Bay. Great place, big room count, awesome pools and rock bar, great club lounge and rooms, the four seasons is next door but has smaller rooms and costs more. Both hotels have the same view but Ayanna has better pools and bar area. The Rumba Hotel on the left of Ayanna has a great bar and rooms but views are of the old trash dump. Smells bad too!
2. Sol Beach House ,Nusa Dua/Benoa 4 Star probably. Great party hotel for ages 40+ and up. Great pool bar and fully flowing drinks, big rooms and layout with private beach, service to die for. We have been to this place 15 times. Love it - bit like Hidden Beach but not nude, however topless is normal on the beach. Club Med is great which is next door but Sol Beach is our pick of the two if all-inclusive is your thing,
3. Hard Rock Hotel in Kuta town , great party location – Standard Hard Rock food and drinks but if you want to be in Kuta, this is the place, not far from the beach.
5. Double Six Hotel 5 star in Legian district. Great location on Double 6 Beach, new hotel with great service .
TOURISM AREAS - Summary
Benoa – 4 and 5 star with great little spots to visit – our pick if you include Sol Beach House
Kuta- Full of young Aussies drinking 24/7- cheap 2 star hotels - like New Orleans Bourbon Street but 365 days a year
Legian – Aussies & families and mix from all over. Full of 3-4 star hotels - Heaps of great food outlets and bars
Seminyak- Is a bit more up market and LGBT friendly but the good hotels and clubs are all spread out and hotels like The W are in good places but miles from the nightlife action(not this W Hotel which is expensive but with 2 star service - we wouldn’t recommend it).
Nusa dua – Heaps of high end resort hotels but no atmosphere.
Sanur – 3-5 star areas. Lots of visitors from Europe stay there; some good bars and clubs .
Ubud- if you’re not into bugs, forget this place. You'll be eaten alive after dark. That said some really good spa type hotels some of Balis best.
And of course the north coast – still not really developed so if you like that its great and with mock and nick they do anything to make your stay great. Only down side is the transfer from the airport can be bit draining if traffic is heavy - once the northern airport is built, it will be great.
U.S. Citizens: Passports are required for international air travel to all destinations outside the USA.
Bali is 8 degrees below the equator and is due south of Hong Kong about 4 hours by air. The small, crowded but beautiful island is located east of Java and west of Lombok in Indonesia, a country comprising hundreds of lush islands
About 90 miles long and 50 miles wide, Bali is tropical, dotted with several imposing volcano peaks, thousands of rice paddies, tropical rain forests and many lush beaches.
Surprisingly, the weather and temps can be quite mild year round. Temps vary little with night 70-75 F and day time 85-90 F. The island's two seasons are wet and dry. Wet is from about early October to March.
The international air gateway to the island is via Denpasar, the capital city of Bali. Denpasar is served daily from world wide locations…most visitors arrive via Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Europe or Australia. Many also arrive by boat and cruise ships.
Expect to pay about $25-$35/person for an entry visa upon arrival and a $10-$20/person exit tax upon departing Bali. Prices not guaranteed, subject to change without notice.
Taxis are cheap. Driving a rent-a-car, a Moped or motorcycle is too, until you have a fender bender or injure a citizen…or vice versa…you can face real problems and a serious lock up so think twice. Taxi is a preferred way to go. Try to choose a taxi with a meter…otherwise, cut your deal with the driver before you get in the vehicle. Most drivers speak another language so choose one who speaks yours to avoid misunderstandings.
Hey, half the fun of travel is encountering the local citizens…what better water to get started.
Most travel packages include airport transfers..that's the most reliable way to reach your initial destination. You will typically be met at the airport by a driver who speaks your language.
Just about any type of hotel, resort, restaurant, bistro, bar, night club, shop, sports and personal service are available throughout Bali. The best feature of resort selections, restaurants and personal services in Bali is:
They're about half the price of similar services in typical North American or European establishments.
If Bali only recently discovered tourism (within the last 30 years), the country has made up for lost time and learned fast! You will find a finely tuned tourism infrastructure throughout the island. Most services are there that you would expect in any established tourist venue in the tropics. Bali even has an exclusive Galleria and duty free shopping zone for upmarket items and fine goods.
In addition to sight seeing by vehicle or tour, the island is small enough for you to hike through villages and down local paths. Some places, you can even find village guest houses to stay in for the night for hardly any cost, but the village leader would find it courteous for you to make a contribution to the local cause. Note: Such accommodations can be very basic: A roof over your head, a room to sleep in and a hole in the floor for your toilet…just aim and hope for the best!
Visits to towns, tourist areas, shops and beaches are popular. Trekking, hiking and biking are popular as well. Arguably, the most wide spread water sports activities include hanging out at the beach, surfing, diving, snorkeling and sailing.
Bali is captivating, tropical and magical…the further away you get from the tourist areas. The friendliness of its citizens is legend as is their respect for visitors. And, most service employees, tourism providers and vendors speak English or other foreign languages.
If you use a few words for greetings or thanks in Balinese, they may laugh at your attempt to use their words but will respect for your use of their language.
The island is green everywhere and even more so in the countryside where it seems a rice paddy grows at every turn or there is an artisan, wood carver, stone mason or artist at work down every village lane. Whole villages in Bali are known for their specific artistic talents. If you're a shopper or collector of arts and crafts, you will enjoy yourself in Bali.
Most tourism zones in the southern and central part of the island are crowded with both visitors as well as locals, who seem to enjoy the prosperity from tourist (your) presence ….motor bikes and cars are everywhere, thanks to tourism and its relative prosperity.
Streets vendors abound in most vacation spots including Kuta, Legian, Ubud, Sanur, Jimbaran and other heavily traveled areas. Half the fun of visiting Bali is trading with the street vendors. We found the native Balinese are truly polite and ultimately respectful of visitors and guests alike….similar to the citizens of Thailand.. You may find the few pushy vendors may be actually immigrants from other islands or nations.
Having stated all the caveats, we found true Balinese even in towns, in the highlands and in the villages to be supremely respectful and courteous….as part of their culture, you will be treated with the utmost kindness. Trips to the countryside and to local villages will take you to the foundations of where Balinese customs originated.
The island is home to approximately 3 million citizens of Indonesia who call themselves Balinese, culturally and religiously somewhat different from citizens in their neighboring islands of Indonesia. In addition, they speak Balinese, different from Indonesian and you will find numerous other daily rituals and habits that are wonderfully and uniquely Balinese.
For beach ambiance to a flavor of the countryside or even mountain accommodations, you have hundreds of resort properties to choose from. Guest house and hostels cost a few dollars a night to luxury resorts that top out at $1,000 or more a night…not including meals or drink!
Select accommodations from the biggest resort names and chains in the business to the smallest hut on the beach or in a village. The big ones include Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, Hyatt, Club Med, Sheraton, Westin, Melia, Le Meridien, Hard Rock and more. However, we enjoyed beach side accommodations, great little cliff side bungalows or romantic resorts in lush, tropical valleys overlooking rice paddies and rivers more than formula resorts.
We do not have listed group trips to Bali, but that doesn't mean its not a great place for two, three or even dozens of couples to get together for a group trip. If you have other couples that might want to join you, please contact us and see what kind of group trip deals we might be able to package especially for you.
Due to Bali's long established cultural history and religious foundation, visitors will find no public nude beaches. If you find a deserted beach along parts of the island's eastern or western beaches, consider yourself lucky if you decide to sunbathe nude. Hey, you can take your chances and push the rules, but the local reaction to public nudity can be unpredictable and may well be against the law: Legal or religious.
Nude diversions: Bali Au Naturel in Buleleng attracts both straight and gay clientele in its complex of three villas on site, about 2.5 hours from Denpasar. The owners actually operate two resorts: One is for a mix of clients (at Bali Au Naturel) and the other is called Laki Uma Villa, gay only near Denpasar .
However, in major tourist areas (read: "where the money is" at beach resorts in the southern parts of Bali at Kuta, Nusa Dua and Sanur), you'll find women enjoying topless sunbathing and beaching...without any hassle. Paradoxically, even though Bali's culture is religiously conservative, in major tourist centers in Kuta and elsewhere, single women may find attention from "Kuta cowboys," young men who make themselves available for companionship and entertainment. In addition, the local scene also includes and embraces gays and lesbians; neither is considered illegal in Bali. In fact, drag queen shows are popular and are held several times weekly at clubs in tourism areas.
Adding further to the confusion, in some of the villages in the countryside, some husbands may have more than one wife….legally and religiously.... Go figure.
Unquestionably, the heart of the tourism fun and games is in Kuta, overrun with shops, restaurants, hotels, bars, bistros, beaches (great for surfing) and all types of humanity in between. This variety ranges from locals hoping to make a quick buck off the visitors to tourists enjoying great little, economical guest houses for $10/night to upscale, garden villas with private plunge pools at $200/night. Kuta has it all: Crowded, tropical, economical, party bars, surfing (dudes), nightlife and shopping, street vendors (dollar men…buy it for a "dollah"!) and lots more.
Speaking of "dollahs, " we found Bali to be about the, least expensive international location we've ever visited. Your bucks go a long way on Bali and it's a shopper's Mecca for art, crafts, woodworking, clothing, accommodations, transport, food and drink.
Visitors will find virtually every variety of food and drink in Bali.
Western, Oriental, Asian, Indonesian, Balinese cuisine and even fast food restaurants are located in most major tourism towns including Kuta, Sanur and Legian and Jimbaran. If you're looking for the finest choices in dining and best chain hotels and accommodations with restaurants on site, stay in Nusa Dua. This upscale resort area is "homogenized" and compares to the big resort sites like Cancun. For local flavor, choose to stay elsewhere on the island. Otherwise, meals elsewhere on the island are about half the price you would find anywhere in the world. We found a fine meal for two people in most places cost about US $10-$15 but prices may vary. Drinks extra.
Wine is about twice as expensive compared to most place while beer and mixed drinks are priced similarly to North American and European tariffs
Most accommodations in Bali are sold nightly on a room only basis. Simple one room cottages abound for back packers to private luxury villas for millionaires and everyone in between throughout the island.
All inclusive plans (with room, meals, drinks, entertainment, taxes, tips and service charges) are not found in Bali, with the possible exception of the Club Med resort in Nusa Dua. Adult only accommodations are available primarily via rental of private villas on the island and in Nusa Dua plus certain locations in the countryside.
A favorite style of resorts in Bali is the individual bungalow with private plunge pool found in certain plush resorts in the Ayung Valley and other tropical locations inland. Such resorts are typically smaller (less than 50 rooms) compared to the big chain hotels. These resorts offer romantic privacy coupled with luxury services and drop dead views from your private bungalow built with native materials. Many of the properties have been featured in major tourism publications such as Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure Magazine.
Typical hotel room costs range from a few dollars/night to accommodations in excess of $1,000/room/night (plus meals, drinks, taxes and tips).
A typical room cost for nice chain hotels ranges from $75-$200/night, double occupancy. Most chain hotels include breakfast, taxes and tips in their packages.
Typical government tax and service tips are included in the price of a room, a restaurant tab or bar bill…..usually about 20% of the total. Rates are subject to change without notice.
NOTE As stated earlier, the cheaper accommodations are very basic: A roof over your head, a room to sleep in and a hole in the floor for your toilet…just aim and hope for the best!
▼ There are no nude legal nude beaches in Bali and only two resorts where you can be nude.
▲ But, with numerous other properties to choose from, many offer private plunge pools where you can let it all hangout…albeit privately. This is fun where some of the villas with a private pool can accommodate two couples or more.
▲ On many tourism beaches, you will find topless sunbathing accepted.
▲ The Balinese are great citizens and respectful of visitors and citizens alike. Typically, any vendor you may encounter who appears to be pushy are usually immigrants from other countries.
▲ Bali is arguably one of the greenest, most lush tropical island destinations you may find on earth.
▲ Bali is one of the least expensive tourism destinations worldwide.
▼ Traffic can be congested in the city centers of Denpasar, Kuta, Jimbaran and even in the more popular beachside resort areas such as Sanur.
▲ The least populated parts of the island are the western and eastern ends of Bali.
▲ The range of resort and hotel accommodations in Bali is extremely diverse and you will enjoy great value for your money.
Bali is for singles, couples, kids, grannies and families alike. You will see all ages from babies to senior citizens throughout Bali…visitors, tourists and villages alike. And, senior citizens are a respected part of society on Bali.
We found younger folks to be fun and approachable plus they are very interested in inquiring about your country.
Best Time To Go
Bali is a year-round destination. Rainy season is usually October-March.
● Our only wish would be for the introduction of nude beaches in Bali.
The photos were either shot by us or our clients. If you have recently visited Bali we invite you to send in your photos for us to display. To contribute you own photos (or trip reports), go to our Contribute Trip Report / Photographs page.
If you have recently visited Bali, we would appreciate you contributing a trip report. You can contribute to this section by using our Contribute Trip Report / Photographs page. Here is one we have from a recent visitor
May 2014 - nick4nude
We are a couple devoted to nudism and frequently travel to nudist destinations. Recently we were in Bali and used www.unseenbali.org to make our bookings. Our first stop was in Kuta, more precisely in Seminyak/Kerobokan, at the new Sunclad Villa. A luxurious 4 bedroom villa with swimming pool and a very large lobby. There is also a cheap but luxurious dormitory (for men only). Because of the latter, this villa attracts a younger mainly gay clientele but hetero and bi-couples feel very welcome. Nudity is compulsory, the owner is always naked too when he is around. Staff does not go naked though. We felt absolutely relaxed while we were naked, sun tanning, swimming, with all other guests naked as well. The villa also offers catering services so one does not have to go out for lunch or dinner, it is delivered at a small cost and they provide soft drinks and beer at nominal cost. In the evenings the atmosphere became a bit more erotic and play-full with like-minded people.
Our second stop was in Northern Bali, in a very large nudist resort, "Bali au Naturel", same ownership as Sunclad Villa. Adjacent to it are also the Laki Uma Bungalows and the Glass House, all connected to each other. This is the best nudist resort we have ever visited and nudity is compulsory in and around the swimming pools (there are 3 pools) and the Jacuzzi, and also expected and encouraged but not enforced in all other areas of the resort. The very well maintained gardens contain hundreds of species of plants, trees and flowers. The orchid collection is fabulous. Animals are all over the place; indigenous birds, squirrels, turtles, fish. The rooms are very large and have all basic comfort, such as AC, ceiling fans, TV, DVD, hot water showers. Activities while being naked were plentiful : gym, billiard, ping-pong, massage, there is an extensive library, DVD collection. The place is extremely socializing, especially in the late afternoon at the pool bar and during dinner in their fabulous clothing-optional restaurant (most guests were happy to have dinner in the buff).
The menu is very varied, from local Balinese, Indonesian and Asian specialities to western dishes. Small groups can also do their own BBQ right there in front of the restaurant, close to the beach. Skinny dipping after sunset was also great fun (not allowed during the day). The full-time naked manager makes you feel very comfortable (you will never see him wearing anything)and has also some excellent information over what to do and visit in Bali. He will also be happy to show you his personal videos and pictures of his naked travels all over the world, especially Indonesian Papua where he spent time with the naked local tribes. Amazing ! They also provide custom-tailored excursions off the beaten track in North and East Bali, some of them are free ! And he can assist you in organized travel to naked Papua tribes and isolated beaches. The pool bar remains open at night till the last customer goes to sleep, and you can also bring your own (duty-free) bottle of liquor, even in the restaurant. We met several regular returning guests and become friends with some of them. Scuba diving is done on the coral reef right in front of the resort (not naked).
There is a dive master and they also provide PADI courses with delivery of the certificate upon completion. The diving courses first take place in their largest and deepest pool and can be done naked. All over, our two weeks in Bali were over before we realized it. We will go back. If you look for an active and cultural/sight-seeing holiday in Bali and want to be naked all or most of the time, don't look any further.
March 2010 - Tom & Linda
This was our third trip to Indonesia but our first trip to Bali.We are divers and nudists.I can't say enough about the beauty,the people,the food and of coarse the best diving in the world! We stayed at Tauch Terminal Resort(German for dive terminal) in Tulamben.A three hour ride up the east coast. After a week there we flew to Papawa and went on a liveaboard for ten days.WOW!!! We can't recommend it more highly!