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Travel & Resources: BALI

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BALI -- area code +62-361

General Information

Bali demon (c) 2012 by John Goss

    The Balinese are Hindu/animist, unlike the rest of predominantly Muslim Indonesia. They are self-assured, genuinely friendly, curious, and always make time to chat. Some of your most memorable experiences will come from warm interaction with locals. Everyone here seems to be an artist of some kind and daily offerings and rituals are a way of life. While men and women no longer wander about in innocent nakedness, you will certainly encounter unselfconsciousness at the morning and evening bathing hours at rivers, pools, and public baths (Balinese become invisible when they slip out of their sarong).

Bali bathing (c) 2000 by John Goss

    While Bali is one of the most tolerant and gay-friendly destinations on the planet, you will not find much in the way of open gay lifestyle except in the touristic southwest coastal area. Open gays you encounter will usually come from Java or other islands. Locals have quiet and discreet cruising areas of their own away from both the tourist areas and their villages. Many Balinese mythical figures celebrated in music and dance have androgynous characteristics. However, for the Balinese, marriage and the union of opposite genders is a requirement for their full participation in village life. That said, homosexuality is certainly not a serious matter or one requiring a moral judgement. Murals in The Hall of Justice in the Taman Gili luridly depict the punishments of hell, represent a wide range of sins -- from incest and bestiality to gossiping and farting -- but no proscriptions against homosexuality are recorded.

Bali bottle openers (c) 2013 by John Goss

    Not surprisingly, Bali has been a famous haven for homosexuals, and a number of its renowned foreign residents lead comfortable, open lives here. Respected artists like Rudolf Bonnet, Donald Friend and, most famously, Walter Spies, all contributed to the thriving cultural synthesis that is Bali today. The spectacular kecak monkey chant, perceived by millions of tourists as a glimpse back in time to the "real" Bali, was actually re-choreographed by Spies, who combined several languishing performance traditions, increased the number of male performers, stripped them to loincloths, and set them in a circle around a central fire light.

Bali kejak dance (c) 2001 by John Goss

    On the topic of sex, it needs to be said that the Balinese are not especially given to going out and having a few drinks at a bar and getting picked up. These are people who believe you can go into full-fledged demonic possession at the sound of a gong, and being drunk is not a happy feeling for them. On the other hand, they are not shy about physical contact between people of the same gender. Friendly encounters may lead to a chance to get better acquainted, but you are likely to be disappointed if you arrive with the expectation of finding a holiday boyfriend. Knowing a little Indonesian, and the gentle art of teasing and flirting, will go a long way towards making friends.

Bali temple (c) 2001 by John Goss

    In mid-2012, two Indonesian ISPs, IndoSat and Telkom, began blocking websites with gay content. If you want to access your favorite websites on holiday, use SIM cards from one of the other ISPs that don't censor (such as Axis) and choose hotels that provide non-censored Net connections. Or, more easily, go to your device Settings menu and navigate to your Wi-Fi settings to find the DNS settings for the provider you are using in Indonesia. Then, insert [8.8.8.8,] (without the brackets) in front of the other DNS numbers in this field. That work's for iOS, and something similar works for OSX and Windows. You can then use your device as a Wi-fi hot spot for your laptop as well.

    The population of Bali is about 2.5 million (that's 100,000 Utopians).

  • Bali Gay Scene Updates message forum
  • Men in Bali message forum
  • Travel in Bali message forum

    Navigating the local gay scene is easy with our interactive Utopia Map of Gay & Lesbian Bali:

click for our interactive map of Bali


Businesses

    ISLANDWIDE

    Bali Dream Gay Weddings UTOPIA VERIFIED APR 2014
      77a Uluwatu Dua, +62 878 6176-0402, email. Gay and lesbian wedding organizers for your union ceremony on the beaches of Bali. professional Wedding Planner in Bali. Specializing in private villa and beach weddings with the best LGBT-friendly local partners. Their European (Dutch) mentality is "what we say is what we do!" They understand the emotions, and the nerves, and their experience, professionalism and many years in Europe and Bali will make your special day all about you. They will work closely with you to create a unique event, reflecting your taste and style with stress-free planning to give you and your guests happy memories. Utopia Member Discount

  • Balispirit.com UTOPIA VERIFIED SEP 2013
      44 Jln Hanoman, Ubud, +62 361-970-992, email. A centralized registry of Bali's holistic venues including accommodations, healthy foods, yoga and meditation retreats, health and spas. Gay and lesbian-friendly, Earth-friendly, socially responsible and health-mind-body conscious. Utopia Member Discount
  • Gede Transport & Tours UTOPIA VERIFIED JAN 2014
      +62 813-5366-6692, email. Experience the culture of Bali with a gay and lesbian-friendly local. Choose from their many different tours of Bali and customize to your interests. Gede Transport is here to serve all of your tour and transportation needs in all parts of Bali. Utopia Member Discount
  • Legal Gay Weddings UTOPIA VERIFIED SEP 2013


    SOUTH BALI: BATU BELIG, LEGIAN, SEMINYAK

click for our interactive map of South Bali: Batu Belig, Legian, Seminyak

  • Celebes Lifestyle Branding and Design UTOPIA VERIFIED APR 2014
      Jln Padma Utara, +62 812-3958-4410, email. Gay-owned lifestyle branding and design business located in Legian. Its main focus is to service the hospitality sector and its diverse branding and design needs. The company is a fusion of new, more effective and cost efficient branding ideas shared between Yanti Celebes, long time resident in Bali, and Henrik Lisby of Klint & Co, a Danish-owned and Jakarta-based design agency with an extensive expertise in hospitality and destination branding. Their goal is to introduce a new way of branding and design methodology to the community, from larger scale hotels and resorts to small boutique enterprises and shops. Utopia Member Discount


    SOUTH BALI: OTHER AREAS

  • Blue Corner Dive UTOPIA VERIFIED JAN 2013
      Jungutbatu, Nusa Lembongan island, Utopia Map, +62 877-6104-2438, email. Gay-owned Blue Corner Dive Resort is a friendly beachfront place on the north end of Jungutbatu village. Dive shop, chill-out beach bar and traditional bungalows. They host the island's Fri night beach party - the best place to party with surfers, divers, backpackers, beachboys, and anybody else who likes to enjoy the tropical paradise life! Utopia Member Discount
  • Blue Season Bali UTOPIA VERIFIED SEP 2013
      Jln Danau Tamblingan 59x, Sanur, 270-852, email. Gay-owned and managed Padi 5 Star Dive Center, offering all courses and IDC. Utopia Member Discount
  • PADI IDC Bali UTOPIA VERIFIED SEP 2013
      Sanur, 288-610 , 271-316 , email. Gay and lesbian-friendly scuba diving instruction courses and career development divemaster internships training. Utopia Member Discount


Organizations

  • Gaya Dewata, Bali Gay Association UTOPIAN VERIFIED AUG 2012
      Jln Sakura IV No. 8, 780-8250, email. A resource for locals and visitors. They also organize once-a-week volleyball games on Sat or Sun (call for details) for transgenders that's lots of fun.


Travel Services

    ISLANDWIDE

  • Bali Discovery Tours UTOPIA VERIFIED SEP 2013
      P.O. Box 3581, Denpasar, 286-283, FAX 286-284, email. Without a doubt one of Bali's very best and gay-friendliest family of travel experts. Accommodation, tours, activities and transportation services. Great rates and ready suggestions for gay-friendly holidays in Bali. Specialists in arts and culture, the offbeat, the spiritual and the less-touristed. Utopia Member Discount
  • Bali Traditional Tours UTOPIA VERIFIED SEP 2013
      +62 859-3500-9823, FAX 859-3500-9823, email. Experience the true culture and traditions of Bali with a gay and lesbian-friendly tour company. Private tours to show you what makes Bali a unique destination.

    Unseen Bali UTOPIA VERIFIED FEB 2014
      Jln Umaalas 2 - Kerobokan, Kuta, 811-388-681, FAX 473-6569, email. Unseen Bali is the direct representative for four exclusively gay and clothing-optional luxury accommodations with personal attention. They also offer one week guided tours of Bali (with accommodation in gay clothing-optional resorts), numerous day trips to off-the-beaten-track locations in North and East Bali, as well as Balinese man-to-man spa massage, scuba-diving, and sea kayaking. Day passes for local residents and visitors staying at other hotels are available at their gay-only clothing-optional resort in Kuta with steam room, whirlpool, swimming pool, and TV room, as well as in their North Bali nudist beach resort where there is a unique clothing-optional beach front restaurant, Mock's Kitchen. New in 2014: six new eco-friendly wooden bungalows added to their Northern Bali resort. Utopia Member Discount


    SOUTH BALI: BATU BELIG, LEGIAN, SEMINYAK

  • AquaMarine Diving - Bali UTOPIA VERIFIED SEP 2013
      Jln Raya Petitenget 2A, Seminyak, Utopia Map, 473-8020, FAX 473-8021, email. Gay-friendly dive specialists and Bali's only British owned and managed dive company, PADI R-6344. They offer day trips and custom-made diving and accommodation packages to Bali's best dive sites. They also offer PADI courses and introductory diving programs. See their website for full information on Bali's dive sites. Utopia Member Discount

    Bali Friendly UTOPIA VERIFIED SEP 2013, UTOPIA VISITED AUG 2012
      28 Jln Nakula, Seminyak, Utopia Map, 730-326, email. Gay-owned online reservation agent for gay-only, gay-friendly, and clothing optional accommodation, hotels, villas, massage, spas and tours in Bali.


    SOUTH BALI: DENPASAR

  • Bali Driver UTOPIA VERIFIED SEP 2013
      61 Jln Ratna, 0813-5308-5225, email. Gay and lesbian-friendly English speaking driver, specializing in open road, customized tours for individuals or couples. Utopia Member Discount


    SOUTH BALI: OTHER AREAS


Popular Spots

Accommodations

click here for Villa Layang Bulan

click here for PHIL'S PLACE SEMINYAK, Bali


Attractions


Bars and Clubs


Cabaret


Galleries

      CENTRAL BALI: UBUD

      Bali Symon painting (c) 1998 by Symon

    • Symon Gallery UTOPIA VERIFIED SEP 2013
        Jalan Raya Campuhan, Utopia Map, email. Located just across the Champuan Bridge on the way up the hill out of Ubud. Symon carries on the tradition of Balinese painters of male nudes with his bold, colorful paintings and surreal sculptures and has gained an international following of avid collectors. Also, see more of Symon's work in our Utopia Gallery.


Massage for Men


Meeting Places

      SOUTH BALI: BATU BELIG, LEGIAN, SEMINYAK

    • Batu Belig Beach UTOPIA VISITED SEP 2013
        Canggu, Utopia Map. At the end of Jln Batu Belig, turn left to go down the sandy beachside road to Warung Cantina (just to the right of W Hotel as you face the ocean). You will see small rainbow flags hanging from a tree trunk (see Warung Cantina listing under Restaurants). This is a gay hang-out and cruise spot, especially towards sunset. Also some trees, shubbery and hidden nooks next to the building developments here.
    Bali Putra beach stall (c) 2013 by John Goss

    • Putra Beach Stall UTOPIA VISITED SEP 2013
        Jln Double 6, Legian (just south of Hotel Kumala and exactly opposite Restaurant Seaside), Utopia Map. Look for the large rainbow flags flying. Putra is the out and proud queen of Legian Beach. Expect to be welcomed, cruised, teased and flirted with all in one breath. Chairs, tables and umbrellas for the LGBT community and friends. Cold drinks. Tourists, expats and Javanese cuties in their skimpiest beachwear.

        Comments from Utopians:

        "There is now a gay stall on Legian beach. Very friendy owner. There a couple of gay flags, so quite easy to find." -- Jeroen, Jul 2013

    • Seminyak Beach UTOPIA VISITED SEP 2013
        At the end of Gay Street, Jln Champlung Tanduk (still referred to by locals as Jln Dhyana Pura), not far from all the gay bars. Utopia Map. Late in the evening you will find many local Balinese, Javanese and Indonesian guys walking along the footpath on the opposite side of the street to the gay bars. There are usually a lot of guys to chat up, with something to suit just about everybody's taste. Further down the street toward the beach is where the ladyboys usually hang out and the more you drink the better they may look.


      SOUTH BALI: DENPASAR

click for our interactive map of South Bali: Denpasar

    • Lumingtan UTOPIA VISITED AUG 2012
        Off Jln Gatot Subroto, Denpasar, Utopia Map. A true, non-commercial gay cruising scene takes place here after dark until about 11pm (after 11pm police occasionally hassle hangers-on for bribes). This spooky, abandoned lot used to house government offices (long gone) and the surviving spectacular Balinese gates on three sides, and spooky statuary inside, give this place an unexpectedly gothic ambience. Local men park their motorcycles and wait for others to join them in conversation. Sometimes clusters develop, and the dark perimeters, especially near the shrines in one corner, get active. The crowd is a mix of all ages and it is friendly for the adventurous foreigner who wants to experience a totally non-touristic gay hot spot. Destined to be re-developed (bulldozers were already leveling land as of Aug, 2012), catch it while you can. There are more empty lots and a park nearby that are also sometimes active, so you might want to walk across the street to the north and northeast to check it out. Don't take valuables.
    • Puputan Park UTOPIA VISITED AUG 2012
        Denpasar, Utopia Map. Not as popular now that more families use the park during the evenings, so best from 11pm-4am. Locals do seem to hit the foreigners except the hustlers who approach in droves. May be cruisy for Asians who can pass for locals. Some transgenders.
    • Tohpati riverside recreation area UTOPIA VISITED AUG 2012
        East side of Denpasar, Utopia Map. Take the road downhill to the parking lot next to the river. This non-commercial cruising spot for local gay men is busiest in the heat of afternoon when most straight people are indoors. May also be active at night.


      SOUTH BALI: OTHER AREAS

    • Kuta Beach UTOPIAN VERIFIED AUG 2012
        Between the beach side McDonalds and Anggrek Hotel. The best time is 8pm-midnight. You need to walk along the beach side of the footpath. Also facility at far end parking lot. A mix of local hotel workers, foreign tourists and expats here, so the scene is more consensual fun and less commercial.
    • Plaza Ramayana
        103 Jln Diponegoro, Denpasar. Somewhat cruisy mall, especially 2/F.


Restaurants and Cafes

      CENTRAL BALI: UBUD

    • Café des Artistes
        Jalan Bisma, 9 X, Ubud, 972-706, email. A nicely decorated, gay-owned restaurant, with excellent food, full bar and winelist. Enjoy your meal on a streetside terrace or in a lounge with soft cushions. Reasonably priced. Utopia Member Discount
    • Waroeng Bernadette UTOPIA VERIFIED JUN 2012
        Jln Raya Mas, Banjar Teges, Peliatan, 0812-385-7915, email. Directly opposite Rudana Museum and Babi Guling Ibu Oka 2. Gay and lesbian-friendly with a small, quality menu focusing on home style Indonesian specialties. Try the Sumatran beef rendang (a spiced stew). Friendly ambience with art adorning the walls. Open 10am-9pm.


      SOUTH BALI: BATU BELIG, LEGIAN, SEMINYAK

    • 66 Corner (western and Indonesian) UTOPIA VERIFIED MAR 2012
        Jln Arjuna (66), no. 23 Jln Werkudara, 730-403, email. Gay-friendly restaurant close to the famous 66 Beach. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Utopia Member Discount
    • Bali Beach Shack (western food)
        Jln Sahadewa 7, 0819-3622-2010, email. Gay Aussie-owned restaurant. They also host Hulu Café, Indonesian drag shows Thu-Sun, two shows nightly at 10 and 11:15pm. Dinner and show bookings available. Utopia Member Discount
    • Café Local (Belgian and world cuisine)
        Poppies 2, Jln Benesari (next to Suka Beach Inn), 860-3274, email. Owned and managed by a Balinese/Belgian gay couple. They offer Belgian specialities like vlaamse stoofkarbonade (Flemish beef stew), Italian pasta, woodfired pizza and a selection of Asian favourites. Serving nicely dressed plates and lovely food in a beautiful setting need not always be expensive as Café Local proves. Warm interior colors, 70s wallpaper and modern furniture are the decor here. Staff are very friendly, helpful and handsome. Say hello to Gert and Pande on your next trip to Bali! Utopia Member Discount
    • Gado Gado Restaurant and Café (international) UTOPIAN VERIFIED AUG 2012
        99 Jln Champlung Tanduk (still referred to by locals as Jln Dhyana Pura), Seminyak, reservations: 736-966, email. Gay-friendly Gado Gado has earned its reputation as one of Bali's top restaurants through its fine food, romantic seaside views and attentive service. They offer a diverse menu that incorporates seasonal fresh produce. Selection of international wines, champagne, and cigars from their humidor are also on hand. A multi-functional space, it can also be arranged to accommodate large groups up to 800, events, birthdays, etc. Private, aircon dining room with bar is also available for up to 14 people. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
    • La Lucciola UTOPIA VISITED SEP 2013
        Jln Kayu Aya Beach, Oberoi, Utopia Map, reservations: 261-047, 730-838. Open air restaurant, bar, and beachside oasis. Located just past The Legian Hotel, access is from the beach or via the parking lot in front of the large Pettitenget Temple. Owned and operated by a gay couple from Sydney. This is the place to chill-out, with fabulous international cuisine and great breakfasts (perfect eggs Benedict!). Sun bathe in their lounge chairs and enjoy the passing parade on the beach, or sit in the shade of their two-story, thatched restaurant and enjoy a meal. Friendly, gorgeous sarong-clad staff and reasonable prices.
    • Pili-Pili Warung (Indonesian and European)
        Jln Mertanadi 63, Seminyak, email. Gay-owned warung offering a relaxing, friendly environment with tasty food.
    • Waroeng Bonita (Indonesian, western and Mexican) UTOPIA VISITED SEP 2013
        Jln Petitenget 2000X, Seminyak, Utopia Map, 473-1918, email. Gay-owned and operated garden restaurant, with a loyal following among both local and visiting gays. Plush and cozy open air ambience. Have a romantic dinner in a candlelit grove of fragrant frangipani trees, or try their Indonesian buffet lunch and heap your plate with tasty local treats. Extensive drink and food menu with local and international specialties. Opens early for a hearty breakfast, and till late for a nightcap or latté. If you are lucky you may get to meet the fabulous Bonita, one of Bali's famously fabulous personalities and gay community entrepreneurs (he's also the owner of DIX nightclub). Popular cabaret show on Fri nights at about 8:30pm (make a reservation). Utopia Member Discount


Saunas and Fitness for Men

      SOUTH BALI: BATU BELIG, LEGIAN, SEMINYAK

      Young Generation Sauna and Warung UTOPIA VISITED SEP 2013
        Jln Tangkuban Perahu - Kerobokan Dekat LP, Utopia Map, +62 813-5300-4333, +62 899-555-8171, email. Adjacent to and entered from Young Generation Massage. Bali's first gay-friendly men's sauna. 1/F has a beautiful and well-designed steam room with cool splash and a jacuzzi; 2/F has five relaxing rooms. A sauna/steam bath born according to the ancient Roman and Turkish criteria. An unforgettable experience for your skin, offering the possibility of a total relaxation while you socialize with the young locals who patronize this facility. Just as the old tradition requires, after the Turkish bath and jacuzzi, unwind in their relaxation rooms. In their warung you can taste Indonesian and international food while sipping fresh fruit juice or various types of tea and other soft drinks. Gets busy starting at sunset. Utopia Member Discount


Shops

      CENTRAL BALI: UBUD

    • Joy (hair and beauty salon)
        14/3 Jln Raya Seminyak (opposite the Kura-Kura restaurant). Johann, fomerly of Depe salon, has set up shop in a little court set back from the street next to a gallery. Downstairs they have all the usual salon-hair stuff. Upstairs there are two massage areas.


      SOUTH BALI: BATU BELIG, LEGIAN, SEMINYAK

    • Meng UTOPIAN VISITED AUG 2012
        Paul's Place, Jln Laksamana 4A (near the Oberoi Hotel), Oberoi, Utopia Map, 736-715. Gay owned and operated boutique selling a variety of clothing made in Bali along with gifts, furniture, homeware and art. Utopia Member Discount


      SOUTH BALI: OTHER AREAS

    • Leon Savalo Hairdressing and Make-up
        63 Jln Raya Tuban, Kuta, 990-3330, email. Gay-owned hair dressing and make-up salon with multiple branches in South Bali. Utopia Member Discount
    • Yes Bali Creations UTOPIAN VERIFIED FEB 2013
        Jln Mertanadi, Kerobokan. Look for the rainbow flag hanging out front of the small shop. Gay-owned men's clothing store. They have trendy clothing for going out to the clubs as well as sexy underwear and swimsuits, plus other fun accessories at decent prices.



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