So you’re a single lady looking for some action in Bali. You have seen the pictures of easy going, attractive, and sun-kissed tourists with pearly white teeth and surf-swept hair that are plastered all over travel brochures and Instagram — but come on, you know that’s not a real representation of the Bali dating scene and there’s some more depth to what Bali has to offer. Right?
From students to senior citizens, there’s probably someone on the Island of the Gods that you can watch the sunset with over drinks at Rock Bar or wander through Ubud’s enchanting jungle and rice paddies with.
If you are the type that believes Bali’s beauty is better shared than not and you would rather book that couples massage instead of flying solo, then here’s a handy guide for you on how to navigate the potential dates you will come across in Bali, illustrated in six stereotypes that you can seek out if you’re having a desperate moment.
1. The backpacker
They can pack the next six-months of their lives in a single 15 kilogram backpack and love to spend as little as money as possible — they’re casual, carefree and inquisitive. They may be passing through Bali on the way to eastern Indonesia, to exciting locales like Flores and Papua. Or perhaps they’re doing a larger Southeast Asia tour and Bali’s just a stopover for Bintangs and beaches.
Meeting point: Head to backpackers HQ in Kuta and Legian. Master the Poppies area first and ask some Bali tips from locals, then sit at a MiniMart where you can spot your target – those who walk around with Lonely Planet books – and tell them some local tips you’ve already acquired. Another approach is to take a tourist bus to nearest destination (Ubud or Sanur) and sit next to a single traveler. If you’re the forward type, even better if you can offer to pay for his bus ticket, or invite your new “friend” to share a twin-bed room.
Poppies 2, Kuta
We give it: The more you can show local gems to him, the more time you can spend together as you act as his guide. Let’s hope he won’t get bored and “buy another Lonely Planet book”.
2. The sexy surfer
Golden skin, blonde hair, and a happy trail that leads from his ripped six-pack down to his board shorts. He’s into riding world-class waves and maybe you, if you’re up for it. While these surfers sure are sexy, good luck detaching him long enough from his board to get in your quality time, especially if that swell forecast has him really excited.
Meeting point: Your best bet for picking up the sexy surfer (if you don’t mind waiting for hours on the beach while he gets his fix) are those killer Bukit beaches like Uluwatu, Balangan, Bingin, and Padang Padang. If you really want to hook him in, practice your surfing beforehand. Then if he’s impressed, maybe he’ll even take you for a hot pre-honeymoon session at a secret beach spot.
Jl. Labuan Sait Pantai Suluban, Uluwatu, Pecatu
Go for Sunset Session, usually 5pm-10pm
We give it: Trying to make him adopt another hobby will be a waste of time. Your best luck with dating him will depend entirely on how much you like the ocean, and how much you like being called a ‘surf widow’.
3. The schoolie
If you’re under 20 and enjoy being wild and free, then join the schoolies crowds in Kuta clubs when they come over every year for their seasonal splash. They’re loud, they laugh hard, love making fun of their mates, and dress like Justin Bieber meets Kurt Cobain. Adulthood is boring for them, although they need one now to pay for their booze. That could be you.
Meeting point: The best strategy to get with a schoolie is probably to behave like one and blend in. Hit that dance floor and hold nothing back. Buy a round of drinks and help them manage their parents’ credit card bill.
Jl. Legian no. 61, Kuta
We give it: Master some baby-sitting skills first to enjoy the fountain of youth as you please. PS, don’t expect him to remember your name in the morning.
4. The exotic “cowboy”
Unlike American cowboys who ride horses and play with ropes, this type of cowboy rides Kuta waves (and female travelers looking for a holiday fling). If there is one thing these exotic cowboys know how to do, it’s showing you fun and a real good time. But to get the most out of your time with him, get discounted or even free surf lessons and see Bali from the back of his motorbike. All you have to do is foot the alcohol and lodging bills and he will show you the best of Indonesian hospitality (day and night).
Meeting point: Just stroll down Kuta beach and approach one of those “beach cowboys” with their charming smiles, six-pack washboard abs, tanned skin, and arak-nicotine breath. But just a word of advice: don’t get too attached because you’re probably not the only woman in his heart.
sun up to sun down
We give it: As long as his sugar-mommy is not in town, you will get his attention most of the time. Well, unless there is another mature woman who comes along offering him a motorbike.
5. The smooth expat
He knows the coolest places to hang out in Bali and even the ingredients of every drink on the menu. Chances are he may be in the middle-age demographic and is either enjoying Bali on his retirement payout or he’s working remotely for some tech start-up. His popularity makes you question if he’s a real person or Brad Pitt in disguise as you step into his luxury villa. But don’t expect too much because your queen’s life may end in the morning, so good luck getting in touch with him ever again, well, unless you’re on par with Angelina Jolie.
Meeting point: Hang out at Seminyak’s popular beach clubs or the hippest club of the month. Observe the bar and approach those who get exclusive treats from manager and bartender. Ask him which drink to order and put on your dazzling Scarlett Johansson persona. Remember, you’ll have to swim in an ocean full of tropical fish with attractive colors, so try to make yourself stand out from the crowd.
Potato Head Beach Club
We give it: You know what to do when he’s taking you home to his palace: leave him before the sun rises to avoid any heartbreak.
6. the new age raw organic hippie
He eats raw and organic and is all up on the latest health crazes. He practices yoga religiously and the way he can bend into a pretzel puts your body to shame. He might even have dreadlocks and definitely seems a bit hippie dippie.
Meeting point: Go to Ubud or even Canggu for starters. Drop in on a yoga class and then invite him for juice at the closest organic joint, because lord knows those places are everywhere.
Jl. Raya Pengosekan, Ubud
We give it: Unless you can stand all this namaste, kum ba ya stuff, you better weigh if the kama sutra he’s so into is worth eating seeds and nuts instead of meat and pasta.