Bali: The liveliest places to stay in Bali with your mates

by - 9:51:00 AM

When it comes to the Island of the Gods, it’s not all Eat, Pray, Love and blissful cycling through rice paddies. Although you can definitely incorporate a bit of zen into your holiday, if it’s non-stop fun with your mates you desire, you’ve come to the right place.

Surf, dance, drink and shop in Kuta
There’s no denying that Kuta is Bali’s party capital – get your Bintang shirts at the ready, folks. Kuta is under 15 minutes from the airport by cab, so once you’ve chosen your cheap accommodation you can pretty much get the fun started straight away.
You’ll find heaps of bars lining the crazy streets here, but one of the liveliest places for groups of friends is Sky Garden (61 Legian Street).You can head here straight from the beach if you like – no dress code – but go before 7pm to avoid the crowds. Bag some seats on the roof, tuck into a bargain all-you-can-eat steak and seafood dinner (certain nights only – around AU$5) and watch the wacky Indonesian world go by.
Kuta Beach is one of the most sociable places for surfing in Bali, but don’t spend all day nursing a hangover on the sand or in the waves. Hire yourselves some scooters and head off to view the scenery. There are plenty of fun day trips around Bali that begin here.

Tan, surf and party in Uluwatu
It’s not as hedonistic as Kuta, but if it’s a cool beach vibe you’re looking for with the best surfing in Bali by day and great parties by night, get your crew down to Uluwatu.
There are several cheap hostels and hotels in Uluwatu and most are close to the beach. Watch the surfers in the crashing waves at the beautiful Balangan Beach and chow down on some nasi goreng at one of the few small beach shacks.
You’ll find the lively surfing scene in Uluwatu switches to Single Fin (Blue Point, Uluwatu) after dark. This surfers’ bar on the cliff top hosts live bands, quizzes and movie nights, but check their Facebook page for updates. You can also take the gang to Uluwatu’s famous cliff-hanging temple and play with some monkeys. Don’t forget the sarongs.

Scuba dive and dance all night on Gili Trawangan
Okay, so it’s not technically Bali, but it’s close enough and gaining popularity by the day. Gili Trawangan is one of three remote islands off the coast of Lombok, but it’s by no means the place for desolate peace and quiet. You’ll find street vendors willing to send you to ‘Gili T’ all over the place in Bali and it generally takes about three hours by van and speedboat from Kuta or Ubud to reach those crystal-clear waters and hot white sands. (Cost: roughly AU $50 return journey from Kuta).

When the sun goes down, eat a yummy grilled fish buffet dinner, smoke some shisha or watch a movie on the sand. Scuba diving is hugely popular on Gili Trawangan, as you can imagine, and you’ll find over 15 dive shacks wanting to teach you. Keep in mind that it’s best not to drink the night before you dive.

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