Bali is one of the world’s major tourist destinations, but many people know very little about the location of Bali or where it is exactly. We often hear people ask if Bali is its own country, or whether it is part of Thailand, the Philippines or Australia. This article aims to clear up those queries, so next time someone asks you where Bali is you’ll be armed with the facts.
Consider this essential reading for anyone about to purchase a plane ticket to Bali. Being educated on the location of Bali will help you to fully embrace and enjoy the amazing cultural experience you are about to embark on.
Understanding Bali’s geography
Bali is an island province that is part of the Asian country of Indonesia. It is considered part of Southeast Asia, along with countries like Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, the Philippines and Malaysia. Bali is situated eight degrees from the equator in the Java Sea, and is separated from Java by the Bali Strait. It lies 4,555 km (2,830 miles) from Australia, with Java to the west and Lombok to the east. Other neighbouring islands that are part of Bali province include Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida and Nusa Ceningan, which are separated from Bali by the Badung Strait.
In relation to other countries, Bali lies to the south of Malaysia, the south east of Singapore, the south west of Indonesia and the north of Australia. The capital city, Denpasar, is located in the southern part of the island, and is home to the region’s major airport, Ngurah Rai International. The major tourist regions of Bali include Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Ubud, Nusa Dua and Sanur, although there are plenty of other less visited areas across the island which are populated predominantly by Balinese locals.
Bali lies west of the Wallace Line, which is the faunal boundary line that separates the ecozones between Asia and Australia. Being on the western side, Bali has fauna with Asian characteristics and very little Australian influence, unlike nearby Lombok which lies to the other side of the boundary and is distinctly Australasian.
How big is Bali?
Spanning east to west, Bali is approximately 153km wide and 112km high with a total land area of approximately 5,780 square km (2,231 square miles). It has a population of roughly 4.225 million people, with a population density of around 750 people per square km. Depending on where you visit in Bali, you can feel overwhelmed by the number of people around, or completely at peace in isolation.
Bali has a very diverse landscape, consisting of golden beaches, bustling cities, rugged jungles, fertile rice fields and the stunning central mountains. The highest peak is Mount Agung, an active volcano that stands well into the clouds at 9,944 feet high.
How long does it take to get to Bali?
How long it will take you to get to Bali depends entirely on where in the world you are travelling from. Bali can be reached in a short amount of time if you’re coming from a fellow Southeast Asian country or certain parts of Australia, or can be a round-the-world trip if you hail from North America or Europe.
For an idea of just how varied Bali’s travel times are, here’s approximately how long it will take to get to Bali on a direct flight from some major global cities. Keep in mind that very few of these cities provide direct flights in and out of Denpasar, so you will likely have at least one stopover along the way which will add to the travel times below.
- Jakarta to Bali – 1 hour 55 minutes
- Sydney to Bali – 6 hours 15 minutes
- Perth to Bali – 3 hours 30 minutes
- London to Bali – 18 hours
- New York to Bali – 20 hours 45 minutes
- Stockholm to Bali – 17 hours 30 minutes
- Delhi to Bali – 9 hours 15 minutes
- Bangkok to Bali – 4 hours 15 minutes
- Toronto to Bali – 20 hours
- Dubai to Bali – 9 hours 5 minutes
- Auckland to Bali – 9 hours 15 minutes
- Tokyo to Bali – 7 hours 15 minutes
- Shanghai to Bali – 9 hours
Hopefully this information has been helpful and you now have a grasp over where in the world Bali lies. Read our top tips for Bali first-timers to learn more about getting to Bali and what to do once you arrive.