Bali Barong Tours - Home

Click for larger view.Having been in the travel industry for a long time, I'm often asked my opinion about new trends in travel. One very clear-cut trend these days is the desire to get away from other tourists. This request has become so commonplace, over the last year or two, that I now anticipate hearing it whenever I consult with new clients.

I fully understand the desire to experience travel on a more intimate level, because I have always searched out and visited places that were off the radar for most travelers. But, as people become more intrepid, it has become harder to find destinations that are devoid of tourists. And, it should be noted that many tourist sites are popular for a reason. They're popular because they're worth seeing.

There have always been adventurers who trod the world's off-the-beaten paths with little interest in creature comforts, as their main concern is going where few outsiders have been before. But, for most people, the wish to get away from tourists does not necessarily mean giving up comfortable accommodations, good food and access to civilization. And, let's not forget WiFi! Balancing comfort and remoteness can be tricky.

Luckily, Bali Barong Tours has access to hands-on cultural experiences that are not available to the vast majority of visitors to Bali. Though you won't get away from tourists entirely, at least you can experience a side of Bali that most people would never know exists. In addition, there are small mountain lodges that cater to people who love hiking and exporing nature. If you're willing to trade the beach for the mountains, it is still possible to get a glimpse of the "real Bali," without giving up decent accommodations and good food.

Going hand-in-hand with the "get away from other tourists" trend, is the big jump in requests for travel to outer Indonesian islands. For a long time, Bali was the only Indonesian island that tourists wanted to visit, with a handful of people tacking on a few days in Lombok or Yogyakarta. But, in recent years, the number of requests for more remote and obscure islands has gone up significantly. In fact, recently I've arranged trips for people who wanted to omit Bali entirely.

For first-time visitors to Indonesia, Bali is a definite must-see, preferably with a nice mix of tourist sites and cultural experiences that are within your personal comfort zone.

For people who are well-traveled, more adventurous and willing to (possibly) compromise on certain tourist amenities, I would enourage you to visit the more remote areas of Indonesia. Whether it be the cultural-immersion of Toraja in Sulawesi, a river trip to see the orangutans in Borneo, the majesty of Borobudur in Central Java, climbing Mt. Rinjani in Lombok, seeing megalithic stonework on Samosir island in Sumatra, or visiting tribes in West Papua, there are plenty of fascinating off-the-tourist-track experiences in Indonesia. A number of options are detailed in our sample itineraries:

Happy exploring!

Diane Embree
March 15, 2015

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