When I was little, I though paradise was an actual place. So every time someone asked me “where would you like to visit?” I’d always say paradise. Cos I was cute like that 😛
Today I have a comparison post on Bali and Fiji for you, which are both often thought of as a kind of paradise.
Bali, where I decided to get married and Fiji where I was born.
Both are amazing holiday destinations but which one suits you better depends on the kind of holiday you are after.
Accommodation and facilities:
Fiji is home to hundreds of resorts with really friendly staff. The hotel staff will strive to remember your name and will never pass you by without giving you a dazzling smile.
Denarau Island about 20 minutes from Nadi International Airport offers big name hotel such as Hilton, Sofitel, Wyndham and Radisson all lined up right next to each other. These hotels start at $220 for basic rooms.
One of the things that Fiji prides itself for is having amazing kids clubs at these major hotels. You can drop off your children and they will be entertained with frog racing, beach side walks, playgrounds etc.
Bali has big name hotels as well but they also have the extra option of gorgeous boutique hotels set amongst rice paddies. Plus dreamy Airbnbs are popping up just about everywhere.
If a hotel isn’t your thing – try hiring a villa. You can get a luxury private villa with a pool for about $120 a night with staff to cook your meals as well as provide general housekeeping.
The decor and garden at most Balinese accommodation is really inspiring and peaceful with lush green gardens.
Spa and relaxation:
In Bali you can be getting an hour long massage, a manicure and pedicure and a facial for $30. It’s that cheap that you could afford to do it everyday. I highly recommend sifting through reviews on TripAdvisor before signing up to a package deal because 3 hours is a long time to be receiving a bad spa service.
In Fiji the massage/spa culture hasn’t really peaked. Yes it is offered at all major hotels but you will be paying the same price you would be paying back home..perhaps even more. If you do decide to go for a spa service – I highly recommend a Pure Fiji Spa. These guys really know their stuff.
Bula! You will hear it everywhere and everyday in Fiji. The Fijians are friendly, happy relaxed people. Hotels often include a village tour which is usually a walk around a neighboring village. Unfortunately they are often the usual tourist trap because they will try and sell you beads and mats that you can get for a fraction of the cost else where.
Fijians also run on “Fiji Time” which means that nothing ever happens on time. You will need a lot of patience for this holiday.
Fiji Indians make up a large number in Fiji and you will spot temples and masjids and several sari shops in the main town areas.
The Balinese are predominately Hindu and often leave offerings to the Gods at the front of their stores. Infact it was one of the main reasons why I picked Bali to get married – the Hindu religion is so important to this beautiful island and it is evident everywhere you go.
You won’t be hassled in Fiji once you step out of the resorts..but you will probably be stared at. Fiji doesn’t offer much outside resorts so most people feel no need to venture out of the hotel. On the other hand Bali is quite well known to have people try and sell you things the minute you leave the hotel.
Bali definitely has the better souvenirs between the two with abundance of massage oils, candles, textiles on offer. Fiji has the usual holiday beads. I tend to pick up Pure Fiji products or Coconut Oil products when bringing back souvenirs from the island.
You will also find gorgeous dresses from markets in Seminyak and Ubud whereas Fiji hasn’t really tapped into that kind of market for it visitors.
Fijians love their seafood and fresh vegetables. Often you will find roadside stalls near the highways selling boiled corn, boiled and roasted peanuts. The restaurants usually offer the standard menu, but if you venture out and explore eateries outside the hotels you will stumble across gems like the Fiji-Indian dhaba Tata’s Restuarant or Daikoko a teppanyaki restaurant.
The Balinese love their satay chicken and you will too. Also try the Nasi Campur/Lemak which is rice, with chicken and little varieties of sambhal and salads.
Bali wins hands down in the cocktails and happy hour department.
Even though they are both lovely destinations that I have been lucky enough to visit and experience, I am all about Team Bali.
Bali has a life outside of the hotels, resorts and Airbnbs. You can visit elephant parks, rice paddies, coffee plantations, water parks, visit the Monkey Forest, see several temples, go partying at several beach-side clubs. The value, the gorgeous natural scenery, and the culture have won me over.
Fiji is great if you have young children and want an easy holiday where these is no need to leave the resort but bear in mind that it will not be cheap. Fiji takes less effort from Sydney as it is only a 4 hour flight away while Bali is about 8/9 hours away.
Have you been to either or both? Which did you like better?