Few faces remain at Southampton from Bale's time there as, following his departure, they dropped down to third tier and at one point teetered on the brink of bankruptcy.
However, back-to-back promotions saw the club end a seven-year exile from the top flight and the Welshman was delighted to face his former club at long last.
"It was amazing to see them back in the Premier League," Bale said.
"I was fully chuffed for them when they got promoted last season and I am sure if they keep playing football like they did in the second half that they will survive in the league and kick on from there.
"It was nice to come back. I've been waiting obviously about five-and-a-half years to do so.
"It was great to come back. I've got some old friends here but the most important thing was to come here and get the job done with three points."