Bali, Indonesia

Bali temple Our Grantourismo team set off for Bali in June and they spent two weeks in a traditional Balinese villa situated on the edge of a small rural village called Tumbak Bayuh. The property is owned by English professor and writer Paul Smethurst, who shares his reason for buying a property in Bali, as well as his recommendations for travellers interested in visiting the island.

For more great tips and inspiration about things to do and see in Bali, read all Lara and Terry's posts on their trip to Bali.  

Why did you choose to buy a property in Bali?

I decided to buy a property in Bali with a view to retiring on the island. 


When did you buy the property?

I bought the villa in 2005.


Why did you decide to make it into a holiday home / rent it out?

I wanted to offer local Balinese people employment.


On average, how many weeks do you rent out per year?

On average I rent the property 35 - 40 weeks per year.

Why should people come to visit Bali?

People should visit Bali for its year-round warm weather, the friendly people and service, not to mention the stunning tropical landscape and the chance to learn more about a unique culture.

What are your top three tips for ‘living like a local’ in Bali?

It is difficult to live like a local in Bali, as most Balinese people live on $50 a month and believe in a spirit world. You can live like a sensitive tourist and not make the difference too obvious. Try jungle trekking in the lakes, visit the West Bali natural reserve, fish and cycle. Also visit the expensive shops and restaurants because the money does go to employing locals.


What is you favourite place in Bali?

Apart from Villa Tukad itself, my favourite place in Bali is Lake Tamblingan near Bedugul.


What is your favourite local dish and the best place to enjoy it?

Simple seafood barbecue at Echo beach in Canggu.


What’s the best thing for travellers to take home as a souvenir from Bali?

Carvings and weavings from the local village near Candi Desa. You can also buy furniture and stone carvings and ship them to your home.


How would you describe the local people in Bali?

Lovely, spiritual and poor.

Paul Smethurst

Paul owns a traditional villa located on the edge of a small rural village called Tumbak Bayuh, more than a 30-minute drive to Kuta. The property is available to rent on (Property 58274).

Property 58274

Property 58274

The villa combines traditional Asian with modern Western elements. The spacious accommodation comprises three stylish bedroom suites and an additional bed in the attic room and contains a wealth of Buddhist and Balinese artefacts and antiques. The veranda overlooks the secluded pool and spectacular tropical garden, that extends to the river and contains three pavilions with cushions or sofa. There are water features, stone carvings and shrines, and an infinity pool surrounded by palms, giant ferns, orchids and bougainvillea.

Read Lara and Terry's full review of the property