Bali is one of the favorite travel destinations for many, being fairly inexpensive, not to mention exotic and beautiful. It’s the perfect place for a family getaway, as the Balinese are very community-oriented, patient with Western tourists and love children.
Bali kids get to grow up like our grandparents did: close to nature, playing with simple home-made toys, or lovingly handcrafted ones – by their parents or other family members. There are plenty of kite-making workshops, which are eco-friendly too: your child can learn how to make a kite either from paper or a plastic sheet on a simple, lightweight bamboo frame. Local kids make them themselves from plastic bags and sticks, adorned with colourful taped decorations.
Then for the test part: flying the kite over a field or a beach is endless fun! You’ll also see plenty of children seemingly playing by themselves in the open countryside – but don’t worry, there are pairs of eyes watching over them, as in the local community everyone knows one another and it is not only quite safe for kids here, it is also almost impossible for them to get lost.
If you happen to be staying anywhere near Ubud, which is the cultural centre of Bali, it’s a must to go for a walk through the local Monkey Forest. It is best to buy a good few bunches of bananas for the hordes of macaque monkeys that live here, and ask your kids to put their toys and any loose items in safely closed backpacks, as the monkeys are spoiled rotten really, and quite naughty.
I have seen them playing with various hair clips, water bottles, and even a posh shawl with pom poms, which admittedly caused merriment for both monkeys and visitors for hours on end. Not sure how the shawl owner felt about that though, as the item was unlikely to ever be returned.
Don’t be scared of the monkeys though, as they are mostly harmless and can be bribed with bananas and peanuts, but if you are too friendly, they will climb up to sit on your head or shoulders! The forest also houses a beautiful temple and the local villagers use this place regularly as a source of fresh drinking water from the spring.
Scooters and bikes are the main form of transport on Bali’s roads, which are a little reminiscent of those that you find on golf courses back home… Children that are of bike riding age will love to come along for the many bike tours on offer around the local countryside.
You’ll get to ride among the famous rice paddies, through lush bamboo groves and friendly villages, where you can admire local craftsmen at work. It’s a great way to introduce your kids to the ways of a different culture as well as food – most tours also include a relaxed buffet style lunch of traditional local dishes, including lots of tropical fruit.
Author bio : You’ll find that there are plenty of Bali family packages to choose from for your summer holidays, and despite prices not being what they used to, this continues to be an inexpensive, lovely and safe place to take the kids to. Patricia Bieszk+ is a freelance writer who loves to travel and explore the many different cultures around the world.