TRAVELLING SOLO TO BALI? HERE’S WHERE TO MEET PEOPLE
As a solo travel destination, Bali offers a retreat into nature, spirituality and healthy living that compels those of us wishing to delve into self-introspection. For the most part, the island is safe, easy to get around and filled with smiling locals ready to enhance your journey. However, when you want to share your dive experiences, find love or simply watch the sunset with new friends, there are plenty of options to do so.
Here’s where to go.
From the Liberty wreck in Tulamben to Manta Point in Nusa Penida, diving in Bali attracts ocean lovers from across the globe. To find like-minded souls, you can stay at one of many dive resorts dotted around the island, with onsite dive centres and tours available for your underwater fix with new friends.
Menjangan Dynasty Resort is an eco-friendly boutique retreat, with safari-style tented rooms for a ‘glamping’ experience. From the onsite PADI dive centre, you’ll explore the reefs of Menjangan Island; just a 30-minute boat ride away. Dive the vertical walls of Selang Island, from Baliku Dive Resort in Amed or choose a ‘stay and dive’ package to get up-close to Manta Rays, from Penida Dive Resort
Travellers and expats flock to yoga classes in Bali and, from there, regularly meet up for vegan treats, drinks and dancing.The Yoga Barn, in Ubud, has a community vibe and an extensive schedule of classes and workshops. From Ecstatic Dance to Vinyasa Flow and Kirtan, you’re sure to find a modality to suit you, along with kindred spirits.
While you’re diving in Amed, head to Blue Earth Village. You’ll practice yoga with views of Gunung Agung and meet people over vegetarian and vegan dishes in the restaurant. Sanur boasts dive sites like Penjor Reef, just offshore. Before or after your dive, head to Power of Now Oasis, for classes in a bamboo beachfront studio.
Festivals and Events
‘Festival friends’ are often the best friends and you’ll find Bali alive with year-round events. For one, the Bali Spirit Festival is a vibrant explosion of yoga, music, dance and healing seminars. Concerts take place under the stars at Bali Purnati, a short drive from Ubud. If foodies are your tribe, align your trip with the Ubud Food Festival or the Bali Vegan Festival.
For writing, reading, art and culture, immerse in the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. Be sure to check out clubs and restaurants in the area you’re visiting too, as you’ll find live music, seminars and guest performers throughout the year.
Are you living the digital nomad dream? Coworking spaces are available across the island. However, Canggu is the reining hub. Along with chilled-out, black sand beaches and vivid green rice fields, the surfing mecca is packed full of trendy cafes and work-friendly spots for networking.
Dojo Bali is just a short stroll from famous Echo Beach. It’s a collaborative community that hosts social meetups, inspirational events and cosy nooks to work and chat. Perch on the edge of a rice field at District with your laptop, and you’ll quickly find others to procrastinate with, over Indonesian coffee and fresh local produce.
Even if you don’t attend classes or events, Bali is the type of place where just strolling on the beach or sipping cocktails on a beanbag leads you to meet people. The island allows plenty of space for solo time and inner-contemplation, however, new friends are always just a smile away.
Have you met new friends, the love of your life or a diving buddy in Bali? We’d love to hear your tips on where to go.