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Is Bali A Country? A City? An Island? What is it?!

So, is Bali a country? NO. Bali is not a country. Bali is an island within the country of Indonesia. So, nope, Bali is NOT an independent country. The reason people often mistake Bali for being its own country is that culturally, and religiously, it differs from the rest of Indonesia. That and the fact that it has its own international airport too (Ngurah Rai International Airport). So people can generally skip flying via Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta.

It’s a common question, kinda like people wondering if Dubai is a country (also no).

Sidemen bali
Sidemen, Bali

Where is Bali

Bali is located in central Indonesia, in South East Asia, in the continent of Asia.

What Is the Capital of Bali?

The Capital of Bali is Denpasar (population 900,000). Just 10 minutes south of Denpasar is the tourist town of Kuta, which’s where Bali’s international airport is.

Bali itinerary
Bali itinerary; hiking mount batur

Is Bali Safe to Travel?

Bali is a very safe destination for travelers, including solo female travelers. It’s hugely popular for tourists, and because of that, there are efficient tourist infrastructures in place, from airport transfers,s to luxury hotels.

Like any popular destination in the developing world, there are some small issues with pick-pockets, and over-priced tourist scams, but nothing too serious.

Indonesia is a Muslim country, but Bali is Hindu. Previously there was friction due to the party nature of the island, at odds with the rest of the country, but there have been no serious issues in more than a decade. Most danger now comes from riding scooters and drunk tourists.

bali itinerary
Bali itinerary; 10 Days in Bali

What Religion is Bali?

Indonesia is the highest populated Muslim country in the world with 300 million people. However, Bali, as an island, is Hindu, not Muslim. This is why alcohol, bikinis, etc are widespread across Bali.

What’s the population of Bali?

The population of Bali is 4.3 million. It’s also become a huge hit spot for Instagrammers and YouTubers. Much like Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Bali gates of heaven
This is the REAL Bali gates of heaven, without the fake reflection!

Best Time to Visit Bali

Bali has two main seasons: the dry season, which runs between May and September and the rainy season, which runs between October and April.

Western summers are peak season, especially August and September. Christmas and New Year are also super busy. Australians also visit during school holidays in early April, late June, and late September. Expect Bali to be super full during these times.

Anytime outside of that, Bali can be surprisingly quiet.

gunnung anung ubud
Beautiful Bali

Final thoughts on if Bali is a Country?

I’ve been living in South East Asia for more than 10 years, and while my base is in Thailand, I love Bali (and most of Indonesia). When you plan your Bali Itinerary, try to also add in some things to do in Lombok, including climbing Mount Rinjani, and the Gili Islands. An awesome extra to your trip. It’s really easy to get around Bali by taxi. And if you want to hop between islands, there are ferries and speedboats to help.

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