Want to know what Bali is really like for kids?
We’ve gone straight to the source and asked a bunch of experts, ranging in age from three to 14, what they loved the most about holidaying in this island paradise.
From the ‘yummy’ food to the beautiful Balinese people; from beaches and pools and Waterbom Park to playgrounds and games; from the zoo and safari marine park to the ‘monkey forest’ and from learning the culture to learning the language, here’s the lowdown on Bali for kids!
In their own words …
Dylan – 14
Dylan joined his mum, dad and 16-year old sister on a Balinese surfing adventure.
Stay and play
We stayed at Bungalow Sebelas, a private villa in Seminyak, for four nights then went to Nusa Lembongan where we stayed at Lembongan Island Beach Villas. This turned out to be our favourite. The accommodation and view was fantastic and it was close to some good surf spots – Playgrounds, Lacerations and Shipwrecks.
We also hired scooters to explore the island and visited the underground house and suspension bridge. On the main island we stayed in Balangan in a beautiful wooden villa right next to a world-class surf break. The rest of our trip we spent at Kumala Pantai in Legian where we surfed, snorkelled and relaxed with books around the pool.
There was heaps of rice, curry and satay. Although you could find some quality western food as well.
The Balinese were very friendly. I made a few friends out in the surf. I met a 15-year-old island boy at Nusa Lembongan. The other was a 14-year-old Hawaiian who had lived in Padang Padang, another Balinese town, for two years.
To embrace the culture we learnt a few main words to help communicate, although most of the Balinese people we encountered spoke good English.
The value of the Australian dollar enabled us to undertake activities that would be too expensive in Australia, this opened up new opportunities and experiences.
Dylan’s top tip
All kids should know that Bali can be a safe and fun place if you are cautious. But don’t drink the tap water!
Dom – 3
Little Dom had a multi-generational Bali beach family holiday with his mum and dad and his brother; nana and papa; aunt and uncle and his cousin.
Stay & play
We stayed near Echo Beach – about fifteen minutes from Seminyak – in a villa. We really liked going for walks to Echo Beach and visiting the monkeys in the forest.
I liked the ice-cream.
The people were nice.
I liked the pool and going to the Monkey Forest and seeing the monkeys.
Dom’s top tip
Visit the Monkey Forest.
Tyler & Abby – 9 & 7
Tyler and Abby enjoyed a relaxing retreat in Bali with family and lots of friends.
Stay & play
We stayed at the Sanur Paradise Plaza Hotel. They had a waterslide and a pool with an island. There was a basketball hoop, a pool table, table tennis, a playground and a giant chess set. They had a kids club so that mum and dad didn’t have to look after us. [Adds Tyler & Abby’s mum, “Oh dear!! I’m sure that was meant in a good way”]. We especially loved the Waterbom Park at Sanur and the waterslide at the kids club.
There was great pizza. Tyler – “When I was getting my hair braided they gave me a white fruit, it was nice”. Abby – “Bacon and eggs were good”.
They [the Balinese people] are very nice and we made lots of friends at the kids club. Some kids even left us their ball when they left. We gave all our toys to our driver for his kids.
Dad taught us to say hello, goodbye, good morning and good night (in Indonesian) but we have forgotten them.
Having a massage and the fish who nibbled at our feet. I’d like to go back a million times, because the massages don’t cost much in Bali.
Abby and Tyler’s top tip
Learn some words they say and see how nice the people are.
Dena – 11
Dena enjoyed getting glam with her fam on a luxury break in Seminyak
Stay and play
We stayed at Serene Bali Villas in Seminyak. Our villa had its own pool and we could watch movies on a big screen outside in our own courtyard. The villa was so nice we hardly ever left. We even had our own butler who helped us with whatever we wanted. When we did go out I went shopping in Seminyak with mum and I really liked all the shops. We also visited Ku De Ta on Sunday for Family Dayze. They had loads of things for us to do but we mostly spent our time in the pool while mum and dad had brunch with friends. We also took a trip to Bali Safari Marine Park and got to meet an orangutan, which was totally the coolest thing ever.
I really liked most of the Balinese food we tried, especially satay, but my favourite was definitely the banana pancakes that our family butler brought us at Serene Villas.
The Balinese people were so friendly, especially the staff at Serene Villas who were all really, really nice to us.
We learned to use special greetings for each time of day. Selamat Pagi for morning, Selamat Siang for afternoon, Selamat Sore for evening and Selamat Malam for night and also Suksma which means thank-you.
I really loved spending time with my family relaxing by the pool in our villa. And meeting the orang-utan at Bali Safari Marine Park.
Dena’s Top Tip
Bali is beautiful, the people are lovely and you will have the best time.
Intrepid traveller Mia and her family have racked up four visits to beautiful Bali. You can read all about her family’s top travel tips on their blog www.travelwithbender.com
Stay & play
We stayed in a fish tank! [Mia’s mum adds, “I am not sure what this means, our last trip we stayed in villas in Ubud and Jimbaran and prior to that, Bali Dynasty Resort.”] At Dynasty there was a kids club which was so much fun. There is so much to do like swimming and the Waterbom Park & Peekaboo at Sanur. My mummy has a website with 10 great things to do with kids in Bali – we did them all.
I love Mie Goreng [noodles]
They [the Balinese people] are nice and friendly and the seahorses too. [Mia went to a school a few times a week in Jimbaran, she made great friends and learnt the language]
Going to the Waterpark. I also loved painting my nails with mummy. I’d like to go back but it’s so far away, we need to take a plane.
I can count to ten in Indonesian.
Mia’s top tip
Mummy said not to drink the water, but I think people should know where the Waterpark is.
Neala – 7
Neala enjoyed a month long multi-generational holiday in Bali with her parents, the “twinnies” (her twin brother and sister), grandparents and uncle. You can read more about Neala’s adventures on her mum’s blog, www.parentalparody.com
Stay & play
We stayed at different hotels – Gardenview Cottages in Legian for two weeks because we have friends there, Febri’s in Tuban for one week, because it’s close to Waterbom Park and Centro Shopping Centre. Then Daddy took the twins home and Mummy and I went with everyone else to Sanur and stayed at Griya Santrian for another week. Tinah, our Nanny, came every day to look after the twins because they’re only four and they don’t like being out all day in the heat. When we’re not in the pool we bring or buy lots and lots of toys and games to play with Tinah, so it’s like our own kids club! Before Tinah comes we do something every day. We go out walking, to the Bali Zoo or Safari Park, or to Waterbom Park which is my favourite.
I love the rice and noodles. I also like the satay chicken sticks and the corn cobs cooked on the BBQ. I also really like the Pizza Hut and McDonalds, but mum says we don’t go to Bali to eat that.
I love the people in Bali. They are always happy and smiling and nice. Mum’s Balinese friend has little kids and we play together when we go to Bali.
I know how to say Silahkan (please), and Terima Kasih or Suksema (thank you). My school is now teaching Indonesian, so I will know lots more words when we go next time.
Having Christmas. The hotel did a big lunch and had Father Christmas and we all got presents. Everyone was happy and we got to spend the day in the pool. Mum jokes about moving to Bali, and I think we should.
Neala’s top tip
The Bali people are all really nice. All the hotels have pools and you can spend the whole day swimming.
Rafferty – 4
Rafferty and his family experienced a little culture and a whole lot of food on a recent Bali break
We stayed in a villa at Ayana Resort & Spa. We had our own garden with a pool and an enormous bed outside, but mum made me sleep inside. They had about a hundred other pools with crazy animals squirting water and one which had all different bits with waterfalls. There was so much to do. I learned to cook and even learned how to make perfume for my mum and sister. The kids club had an animal zoo. I liked the craft best and I made a red plate that my mum said was beautiful. One day a nice man from the hotel took us to a temple to see dancers and loads of naughty monkeys.
There was loads of yummy food. My baby sister and I loved the chicken satay sticks. But the best thing was the Nasi Goreng and Duck in Banana Leaf that I learned to make at my cooking lesson with mummy.
Everyone was nice. One really nice man even took my baby sister to get her blessed in a temple and I got to play with a boy on the beach who was four just like me. His name was Ketut.
I learned to say Terima Kasih (thank you). Plus I learned how to make perfume and cook, which I loved.
Eating. And also swimming with my dad and sister and seeing the monkeys and the “chat chat” dancers at the temple.
Rafferty’s top tip
You should go to the beach with the fish markets and see all the big fish and crabs and eat them.
Family & Friends
Kai & Axel – 11 & 10
Regular visitors to Bali, Kai, Axel and their family had plenty of fun holidaying with four other families.
Stay & play
We stayed at Kumala Pantai and Nusa Lembongan. We loved the surfing, swimming, shopping and Waterbom Waterpark. We’ve been four times now and I always want to go back. We went to a kids club on a previous visit and I really enjoyed doing activities with the Balinese ladies like learning how to make a peace offering. Our favourite spots were Uluwatu for its waves and swimming in the pool at Potato Head Beach Club.
We loved the food, including Nasi Goreng, coconut shakes and juices. It’s so much fun eating at a restaurant every night.
The Balinese are the friendliest people I’ve met – they always high five me in the street. We travelled with other families but still made friends with the locals in the water while we were surfing. There were always other kids in the pool to play with. We made friends with a girl called Ellie and had dinner with her and her family.
We learned a few basic Indonesian words like hello, goodbye, good and thank you. Summa summa means ‘you’re welcome’.
The surfing and Waterbom Waterpark.