Behind the Photo – Bali

Bali, Indonesia was absolutely magical, and now we have been back for a bit more than a week, I have fully recovered and I am now craving my next adventure.

Recently I have been hearing some very interesting and critical views on Bali and “Instagram culture” in general as to how it has misled users and increased irresponsible tourism. I thought it might be a good idea to share 4 things you may not have known around the instagram photos you see – what to expect/what is behind the photo.

Before we start, I think it needs to be highlighted that Bali is not a country, it is one of Indonesia’s +17,000 islands and Bali itself is a huge exporter of tourism – therefore logically it makes sense to market and make the most of any sort of tourism activity they can.

Not all is as it seems.

If you have flicked through photos of Bali online without a doubt you would have seen a photo like this:

Epic gate, mountain perfectly positioned, and lake like reflection. What a lot of people are not aware, is that lake like reflection is exactly that – “lake like”. The effect itself is what I like to think is a live version of photoshop performed by a local who you tip to take the photo, after lining up for hours on end (unless you were lucky like us and someone gifted us their number). The live photoshop is just a mirror held up to the camera to create that reflection. The gates themselves look like this normally:

Bali Swing or Bali Swings?

When you think of the Bali swing you think of a swing in one location, whereas in fact there are Bali swings everywhere! The location we visited (The Real Bali Swing) Had about 12 different types of swings – the best being the one where they had to put you in a full on harness and you obtained the falling feeling as you swung down for the first time.

Rent a Dress

Additionally, I’m sure you have seen in the Bali swing photos all the influencers with their beautiful flowing dresses and you may have thought about maybe getting a photo like that. Well do not despair, if you do not have a long flowing dress – turns out in most places you can rent one for a small fee so you won’t miss out on the ever so instagramable moment!

Depends on the Season

Depending on the time of the year you visit Bali you may be expecting this temple (pura ulun danu bratan temple) to look somewhat like this:

Take note that if you have arrived during the dry season the water will not be up around the temple – but will still look absolutely magical like this!

And just as an additional logical tip remember to trust and do not trust google maps:

During our time in Bali, google maps were a lifesaver in terms of knowing how to get around, however, the times they report are not to be trusted, there always seemed to be unexpected surprises along the way, so make sure you budget additional time to what maps says, so you aren’t running behind!


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