A honeymoon in an idyllic island would sound like a dream come true for many, and two names that immediately come to mind are Bali and Maldives. While the former is renowned for its volcanic mountains and rice paddies, the latter is unparalleled in its collection of breath-taking atolls, coral reefs, and beach resorts.
However, it is true that Bali has its fair share of stunning seaside spots and luxury resorts. And the Maldives is much more than just swimming and sunbathing – it’s also about village hopping, taking cookery classes, and dining in underwater restaurants. But you can only honeymoon once (officially, anyway!) – so which one will it be?
Bali or Maldives overview
Bali is an island in Indonesia, while the Maldives is a country in itself, but in both cases, it would be impossible to see everything in one trip. Some parts of Bali are more like Maldives (Sanur, Nusa Dua, Seminyak), while others are totally different (Ubud, Kintamani). In the Maldives, you tend to explore the island that your resort is located on, along with nearby attractions.
English is spoken more widely in the Maldives than Bali. As far as religion is concerned, Bali is primarily Hindu, while Maldivians are Muslim. In Bali, the main currency is Indonesian Rupiah and in the Maldives, it’s Maldivian Rufiyaa. But in both destinations, you can easily use or convert US Dollars.
There are myriad attractions in Bali such as Uluwatu Temple, an ancient Hindu shrine with traditional dance performances at sundown; the volcanic Mount Batur with a placid lake and panoramic views from the top; and Ubud Monkey Forest, a green paradise full of macaques and ancient structures. In the Maldives, the primary draws are water sports, glass boat rides, sandbank picnics, diving trips, and various excursions and programs organized by your luxury resort.
Both Bali and Maldives have wonderful five-star hotels and resorts but the latter is particularly renowned for its celebrity-endorsed private island retreats with dreamy ocean suites and infinity pools. However, Bali’s Thai spas and forest villas are unrivalled.
Indonesian cuisine is famed for vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian dishes like nasi goreng (fried rice), gado gado (vegetable salad), sambal (spicy sauce) and satay (meat skewers). Local Maldivian food is not as renowned but restaurants at luxury resorts are often helmed by celebrity chefs and offer the best of world cuisines and cocktails.
Both Bali and Maldives have sunny climates averaging 25-28 degree Celsius. In Bali, it rains from October to April, while in the Maldives, May-October is the wet months. So the timing of your honeymoon would have a major role to play in the decision making process! Nevertheless, if you do visit in the rainy season, you’d enjoy fewer crowds and off-season prices.
In a nutshell, choose the Maldives if you’re looking forward to pristine, private sunsets in uber-luxurious resorts. Also if you would like to experience exhilarating underwater excursions in one of the world’s best beach destinations. On the other hand, if you’d like a more multifaceted honeymoon with generous doses of culture and nature, Bali might be more apt for you.