If you’re dreaming of a bright Christmas instead of white, if you’re ready to exchange snow for sands and sunshine, Bali could be your Christmas paradise. Despite being predominantly Hindu, Christmas has become one of the most festive and touristy occasions in Bali. From shopping to charity, discover how to spend the holiday season in Bali.
No matter how you feel about Christmas shopping, shopping in Bali is going to be a blast. First, there’s the abundance of great stuff, both imported and locally made. There’s something for everyone, every taste, every budget. From upscale concept stores along the streets of Seminyak to authentic handmade crafts at Sukawati Art Market, the only struggle will be deciding what to buy from the myriad of options. But then, there’s the relatively lower price tag, so you might as well just take them all.
Indulge in a Christmas feast
It’s okay to yearn for familiar the Christmas menu while away from home —turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, or any of your usual. Many restaurants offer Western package deals for Christmas dinner, lunch, even brunch. Jemme has one of the most-sought roasts especially during the holiday season, while Bali Beach Shack is popular for its scrumptious Christmas buffet. If you fancy Balinese-style festive meals, try the famed Roasted Balinese Duck Breast and fresh seafood meals at La Lucciola. Be sure to make a reservation!
There’s really no bad time to party in Bali, but if you need an excuse to go crazy, Christmas is a really good one. Venues are trying to top each other to throw the liveliest party on the island, and that rivalry leaves tourists with a wide selection of great events and promotions. Embracing the opportunity is just good sense, right? (Keep telling yourself that). From music to cocktails, every place on every corner will most likely have a Christmas special. If you like partying with a big crowd, try Cocoon Beach Club or Ku De Ta.
Get on the yoga mat
If you think you’ve spent too many special occasions partying and looking to do something more mindful, productive and spiritual this year, try a special Christmas yoga retreat. Yes, it’s a thing. Skip the loud music and alcohol for a calming meditation and chakra healing for a refreshed, revitalized mind and body to welcome the New Year. Kookaburra Yoga in Ubud offers a week-long pre-Christmas yoga retreat with a great balance of yoga practices, meditation, breath-work, and traditional healing.
Watch fireworks on the beach
No, it’s not New Year’s arriving early. Indonesians love lighting up the sky with fireworks for any special occasion —New Year’s, Christmas, Eid al-Fitr, Chinese New Year, Independence Day and more. As the sun goes down, the fireworks shoot off to the sky, illuminating the happy faces in the crowd. If you choose one of the west-facing beaches like Kuta or Canggu, you can start the celebrations early with a magnificent sunset while securing the best spot to stay for the fireworks show.
Laze the day away
One of Bali’s most coveted highlights is the stunning but affordable accommodations. Think beachfront private bungalows, villas with private pools, cliff top resorts for well below $100 —and with Christmas come the package deals you simply can’t resist. Relax and unwind the whole year’s tensions away while enjoying the tropical sunshine and magnificent views. Even if you’re staying in for Christmas, getting into the holiday mood will still be easy, just join the in-house events, admire the festive decorations and gather for a big meal with friends or family.