August is Bali’s most perfect month. It’s the driest time of the year, which means sunny skies every day, with cool breezes bringing the tropical temperatures down.
This is also when the island’s western side gets the big waves that have made it Asia’s surfing nirvana. The waters will be crowded – but that’s all the greater motivation to seek out quieter coves. Try Green Bowl Beach, or take a boat to Nusa Lembongan.
And while there are events throughout the year worth noting, August is great for the variety of experiences on offer. You can spend one day taking part in a ritualistic Hindu fire ceremony (6 August at Fivelements in Ubud), hang around in Ubud for the Jazz Festival on 11-12 August, and then witness the chaotic joy of Indonesia’s Independence Day throughout the island on 17 August, with parades, community gatherings, sports events and performing arts festivals.
If heading to Bali in August
… at the Alila Villas Uluwatu, a sleek, designery hangout set on the lush southeastern tip of Bali’s Bukit peninsula. Pool villas are set into the jungly limestone hills, 600 steps above a private beach.
… at Blooming Lotus Retreat, where you can practise meditation, pranayama (breathing), yoga asana classes, yoga nidra (psychic sleep) and enjoy dharma talks.
… babi guling. This dish of roasted suckling pig stuffed with a mix of turmeric, coriander, galangal, chilli and garlic is Bali’s most revered street eat. Eat it off a paper plate at Ubud’s Ibu Oka – chef Anthony Bourdain is a fan.
Cathay Dragon and Cathay Pacific fly to Bali from Hong Kong nine times a week