Is Bali good for solo travel? You bet it is! In fact, we’d go as far as to say that the Indonesian Isle of the Gods trumps just about any other destination in Southeast Asia for going it alone. Yep, move over Thailand. Take a hike Vietnam. This speck on the side of the Indian Ocean has oodles up its sleeve for the would-be lone globetrotter.
Don’t believe us? Read on. This guide runs through five reasons why we make such a bold claim about Bali being one of the best solo traveler destinations anywhere in the region. We hope it’s got just enough to convince you that this land of emerald-green rice paddies and mystical Hindu shrines is the place to be on your unaccompanied adventures in the coming year.
We’ll touch on everything from specific destinations that are among the biggest backpacker hubs in the world to the general vibe of the place, and also mention the just how easy it is to plan travel to Bali, something solo backpackers might like the sound of. Let’s begin…
Tours, tours, and more tours
Bali has more tour options than you can shake a bowl of peanut-topped gado gado egg salad at. From quick half-day snorkeling trips to Padangbai to week-long romps over the mighty volcanos in the north of the island, you should never be short of a planned activity on the Isle of the Gods. The upshot? For solo travelers, it’s not a chore to find a ready-made group of likeminded folks to move around with.
Disclaimer: We’re a tour company so we would say that, right? Right. But don’t just take our word for it. Ali from Travel Made Simple sums it up…”tours are a great way to meet other travelers so you won’t feel completely on your own the whole time.” The people at Flight Center Canada say something similar: “Strong friendships develop when you are experiencing amazing events and sites with one another.”
Basically, tours are a sure fire way to give yourself a whole bunch of new travel buddies as soon as you land, and Bali is brimming with them. It’s one of the reasons why we’ve put group experience front and center of our tour planning. No other company aims to get people bonding like we do, whether that’s catching your first wave on the beaches of Kuta together or watching the sunrise over Mount Agung with new BFFs.
The nightlife scene
Don’t worry – you wouldn’t be the first person to request a bit of Dutch courage when it comes to socializing, and you sure as Bali’s consistent waves won’t be the last. Cue the nightlife scene on the Isle of the Gods. It’s pretty legendary stuff, offering sleek beach bars that pump with EDM next to gritty rock bars and rollicking sky clubs that don’t stop partying until the early hours of the morning. If you find meeting people on nights out is the easiest way to meet people, Bali has you covered.
Our advice here would be the base your trip somewhere around the south of the island. The resort strip that runs from Kuta up to Seminyak is the most famous area for nocturnal entertainments. Kuta is probably more of a classic backpacker scene, with narrow streets that lead to hostel bars and beer halls. Legian, the next town over, is a bit chicer, for the Insta influencers and whatnot. Then there’s Canggu, which has epic boho drinking spots like Old Man’s and others.
And you don’t have to hit it hard and party all night long if you don’t wanna’. There are also mega-chill spots all along the seafront between Canggu and the Bukit. Sunset hangouts like Single Fin are great for happy hour chats and mingling with the surf crowd, for example. Beyond The Cliff offers something similar. There’s just so much on the menu once the light has faded.
Bali is pretty darn safe
Bali is unquestionably one of the safest places to travel in the whole of Indonesia. The island is primed from tip to toe for mass tourism and it shows. There’s a strong police presence, good infrastructure, and basic amenities like pharmacies and health clinics almost everywhere you go. Even though it can feel like you’re on some wild jungle frontier when you hike the trails of Sidemen or Tembuku, you’ll never be far from a bout of civilization in these parts.
On top of all that, Bali has an extremely low overall rate of crime. 2019 saw just 72 incidents per 100k head of population, making this island WAAAAY safer than New York City, Chicago, and a whole cascade of other North American towns. Digging even deeper into those stats, you find that the most common crimes are petty theft and card scams, which might be financially damaging but are hardly life threatening.
The point here is that solo travelers often prefer to head to low-risk destinations like Bali. Why? For the simple fact that people traveling alone are often a much bigger target for criminals, thieves, and organized crime groups. The main worry on the Isle of the Gods is more likely to be where that next Bintang is coming from. And that’s a nice worry to have!
It’s really used to tourism
It’s no secret that tourism makes up a colossal slice of the economy in Bali. In fact, the folks over at Euro Bali estimate that “the overall contribution of tourism to Bali’s economy is estimated to be in the region of 60-70%.” That translates to over two million travelers on the ground per year and more than 58,000 jobs directly tied to the industry. This is one seriously well-visited place.
The result of Bali’s constant influx of global travelers is a destination that’s very used to catering to people from all over the world. You’ll find it a cinch to do anything from book a hotel at the last minute to grab a taxi over the mountains from one town to the next. There are cafés and restaurants everywhere, serving both Western and Indonesian foods. There’s even a dedicated Tourist Police force here that you can call if something goes awry.
Knowing that there’s a good infrastructure in place to take care of you as a traveler is something that folks going solo often value very highly. It means that, on Bali, you’ll waste little time travel planning and worrying. It’s an island that really takes the stresses away and lets you focus on the adventure at hand.
Oh yep, and then there’s the fact that two million-plus travelers each year means that Bali is now one of the best-connected destinations in Southeast Asia. Direct and indirect flights now run here from Bangkok, from KL, from Ho Chi Minh City, but also from way further afield – London, Sydney, Paris; the list goes on and on.
The adventure that awaits
As if we need to introduce the sheer wonders that abound on the island of Bali. Bucket-list-busting POIs are everywhere here. So, where to start? How about with Ubud, where you’ll wander between mist-haloed valleys to incense-scented Hindu temples inhabited by macaques? How about with Kuta, a surf town extraordinaire that has beginner-friendly waves caressing its sands? How about the Uluwatu Temple, where people go to watch stirring fire dances inspired by the Hindu epics?
That’s really just scratching the surface but the point is that Bali is packed to bursting with amazing things to see and do. Of course, that’s good news for any type of traveler but especially for those going solo, mainly because the must-see attractions of Bali are so easy to access, so well managed, that it’s never too much of a headache to string them together.
And your adventures don’t have to end on Bali itself, either. The isle sits smack dab in the middle of an archipelago that includes the paradise Gili Islands, the cliff-backed beaches of Nusa Penida, and the surf bays of Lombok. They’re mere boat rides away and promise even more in the way of amazing sights and experiences.
So, is Bali good for solo travel? Our conclusion
Is Bali good for solo travel? Yes! Above are five reasons why we’d rate the Isle of the Gods as one of the very best destinations for traveling alone. Mhmm, that’s one of the top solo travel hotspots anywhere on the planet!
For one, it’s relatively safe compared to many places around Southeast Asia, with a great infrastructure set up to handle its two million or more visitors each year. Then there’s the fact that there are oodles of amazing hotspots to see, from gushing waterfalls to coral-filled snorkeling bays to smoking volcanos. Finally, the abundance of top-quality tours – like ours! – mean that we think you should find it pretty darn easy to meet a whole bunch of new pals to travel within these parts.