BEYOND THE TOURIST
Cari Hill explores the ‘real’ Bali
Bali attracts an average of five million tourists per year, which is huge, considering it is just one of a whopping 18,000 islands that make up Indonesia. People flock here for the sun, surf, sand, yoga, and trendy cafés but I was interested in seeing the ‘real’ Bali, in particular, the real people of Bali, away from the crowds of tourists. So, I hired a local driver for the day and asked him to take me anywhere he liked away from the crowds, to show me his views of Bali. We wandered into tiny villages, sampled produce at local markets, navigated through rice paddies, and engaged with dozens of beautiful local people with the warmest smiles and biggest hearts. We were invited into someone’s house for a wedding ceremony, met some kids who squealed with delight upon seeing us, saw men and women working hard at their crafts, and immersed ourselves in the colors and feels of this charismatic island. The local people are at the heart, so do yourself a favor and get to know the heart of Bali.