Who says Bali is only for the young?

For many reasons I had never been to Bali until recently, perhaps buying into the cliched view of it as a place full of bogan Australians intent on late night partying and boozing. But the last few trips have dispelled that myth.

Reason one

It is close by. The beauty of Bali besides the weather, the people and the great food, is that it is only five or six hours from Australia. So, for the older traveller, the agony of long-haul flights sitting and wearing compression stockings, and fretting over getting to the toilet, is avoided and a whole new exotic world is easy to get to and experience.

Reason two

The food. Of course, if you want to, you could find places to rage late at night but for most of us, a good meal followed by an earlyish night is heaven on a stick. Bali has restaurants to fit any budget and range of foods from Indonesian delicacies to western meals. Many Australian and international chefs have set up restaurants here and the quality of the meals and presentation is superb.

Many restaurants also offer cooking classes, a great way to experience the local culture and come away with a new skill. 

Eating at local warungs is also a great option. Most are small family run restaurants, with perhaps six tables and offer the local Balinese staples of nasi goreng and satays. They are cheap and cheerful and quite safe to eat at. Going hungry here is never a concern.

Reason three

Visas are all online. I was warned to obtain online visas before my trip to help expedite my way through the madness of the arrivals area of Bali airport. The official website was easy to navigate, except for the bit about converting jpg passport photos to pdfs. Ask a young person if you don’t know how to do it or consult the oracle of Google.

It has clear instructions. The regular visa costs approximately $50 and is payable with a credit card. My visa arrived electronically within 10 minutes of applying and paying. Then it was a simple matter of printing it off with the QR code prominent. 

The second visa to obtain is for the $15 charge to help keep Bali beautiful and financially support the people after COVID. This is a new charge but hardly punitive. Again, it was a easy online application.

The last one that is needed is the Customs Declaration that can also been done online and printed off. Just be careful to use the official site and not a sponsored one that will charge you for completing the form. Again, print these off and also transfer the emails/visas to the wallet section of your smartphone. Then you have backups in case anything goes wrong.

Reason four

They like old people! It is not too often that you can be thankful to be oldish.

The cliché of being old and wise does not always make up for the creaky joints in the early morning and the wrinkly face that peers back at you in the mirror. However, there is a whole customs section at the airport arrivals specifically for travellers over 65! And pregnant women.

When we arrived the other day, we sailed through this very short queue and were out of the airport arrival area in under 10 minutes. Superb.

Reason five

There are a range of activities for all ages, from snorkelling and diving, to temple visits and visits to coffee plantations and, of course, shopping for local wares. Aside from searching for the ubiquitous T-shirt, Balinese handcrafts of cane and wood are varied and of high quality.

So, check out the travel deals that abound for Bali, throw away any prejudices you may have and fly off to a delightful tropical paradise. You won’t regret it.

Have you been to Bali? Did you find it suitable for older people? Why not share your experience in the comments section below?

Also read: Australia’s best whale watching hot spots

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