Bali has become one of the favorite destinations and a hub for travelers, yoga lovers, honeymooners, solo travelers, and digital nomads alike.
While visiting Bali has become cliché these days, but I found Bali to be a beautiful island, budget-friendly, and lots of things to do.
Bali has an endless list of serene beaches, fascinating spiritual energy, wonderful rice fields, and glamorous sunsets-there is so much to see and experience on this paradise.
Going to Bali is like never-ending adventure, there is an activity to suit every soul. One can experience yoga, meditation, surfing, spiritual awakening, trekking, water sports, delicious food, and amazing nightlife.
Some areas of Bali have been influenced by tourism with hippie cafes and bars, vegan restaurants while some areas still give you the feel of unique Balinese beauty and charm.
We didn’t want to get a touristy-feel in Bali, trying to check activities off a to-do-list and feeling the pressure to do and see as much as possible. We just wanted to relax and have our own time, and we loved the experience!
To give you a taste of what we loved in Bali, here we share our experience.
If you want to see the cultural side of Bali, Ubud is the cultural heart of Bali. So, start your adventure from Ubud. There are rice terraces, waterfalls, museums, temples that are Instagram worthy of visiting.
Exploring Ubud by a rental bike would be the most convenient option to enjoy the street vibes, local shopping, art market, and other major attractions.
The streets of Ubud are lined with galleries where artists create beautiful sculptures showcasing the island’s rich cultural grace.
Ubud is famous for its wooden articles that are beautifully carved with artistic design and Balinese batik prints. And if you are an art-lover, the Balinese beautiful hand-crafted paintings will never disappoint you. You would love to take these souvenirs back home for sure.
Rice Terrace, Ubud
We have all seen the rice terrace shots of Bali on Instagram and this is one of the images that comes to my mind when I think of Bali.
The most famous rice terrace is Tegalalang. We visited the same rice terrace and it should be on your itinerary as well. (our recommendation)
You can see a number of activities going on there like Bali Swing, Zip Lining, Cycling.
The Bali Swing is the new tourism activity in Bali which has become popular recently. This is worth a visit if you are looking to experience something new and the freedom and thrill of swinging above the trees.
Get adrenaline rush, unforgettable experiences, unique pictures!
Just imagine swinging and gliding on various spots over lush green forest and rice fields, river valley, amazing cliffs, and much more.
My experience: I was damn scared, but thanks to my friends that they convinced me to try the swing. And it was breath-taking, loved the experience. Do not miss out! Trust me; it would be a lovely experience!
So, grab your flowy dress (or you can get it on rental basis as well) and a wide brim hat and pretend you are an Instagram model! Throw your head back and laugh! Snap! Ah! A lovely picture!
Religious and Spiritual
Bali is a place where you get to visit lots of temples. It was fascinating to know how the people in Bali worship the same Gods as we Indians do. From India to Bali, the image of Lord Ganesha is everywhere. You can see the idol of Lord Ganesha often facing the entrance to a house or a temple to keep out the unworthy.
The Balinese people also perform a daily ritual to make offerings to the Gods.
Make sure to put a few temples on your itinerary, as they each have their own vibe that makes these temples unique.
You can definitely include these two temples in your itinerary:
This temple is perched high on a cliff with stunning views. When you enter the temple, you are required to wear a long purple sarong around your waist (both men and women). This is one of the best spots for sunset.
And, yes, keep a close eye on your belongings, like sunglasses, bags, because you would find lots of monkeys in Uluwatu who are just not afraid to steal anything that interests them.
Pura Tirta Empul
This temple is a holy site for Balinese people. People take a holy dip in the spring water which is said to have cleansing properties, and locals come here for ritual purification. And it’s not only locals who are allowed to do so but even foreigners are welcome.
Teganuang Waterfall, Ubud
Bali is home to oodles of waterfalls and you should definitely try to see at least one when you are in Bali. One of the most famous waterfalls in Bali is the Tegenungan Waterfall. It’s a good choice but you might found it a bit crowded as it is easily accessible. But you would love the place and you can spend hours and hours enjoying the waterfall.
And, yes, if you are an Instagram fan, there are lots of “Insta Points” where you can take amazing pictures! So, time to pose again!
Trek at Mt. Batur
If you plan to trek Mt. Batur, keep your day as relaxing as possible because it’s a night trek and takes around 2-3 hours to climb. And also you need to be aware of the monkeys that would welcome you in the Batur forest.
You need to wake up around 2 am and it takes about 1-hour drive to reach Batur and then you can start your trek. The hike might be exhausting but you will love the raw beauty once you reach the top. And after reaching the top, you can enjoy a delicious breakfast and also a chance to visit the Luwak Coffee Plantation.
Several tour agencies can arrange this trek for you. But the best and cheapest way to do is to hire a driver and he will arrange a local guide for you to lead you to the peak.
Mount Batur trek is quite famous for its surreal sky turning from inky blue to pink and orange.
Bali is the best place to re-energize by pampering yourself and releasing bottled-up stress and tension. Balinese massage is one of the most relaxing spa treatments which involve the use of aromatic oil.
You will get to see the spa parlors at each and every corner of the street. But, do not enter any random spa parlor otherwise you might ruin your experience. Check the reviews and enjoy a relaxing spa.
Here are a few recommendations:
- Kristine Spa, Ubud
- Spa Bali Drupadi, Seminyak
- De Nyuh Spa, Kuta
Party in Seminyak
If you want to enjoy the best nightlife in Bali, Seminyak is the place. There is a street called “Eat Street”, head to this street and you will get everything you want. This street gives you the best clubs, music, food, crowd and just get high and enjoy!
Laced with the most electric and interesting collection of beaches, clubs, trendy restaurants, Seminyak is way cooler than Kuta as per our recommendation.
Sunsets in Bali
Sunsets in Bali are spectacular; they are not just pink-to-orange affair!
Make an effort to catch the colorful sky as many evenings as you can, you won’t be disappointed for sure!
One of the best places to catch this amazing view of the sunset is Rock Bar at Ayana Resort.
The Rock Bar is one of the go-to-places for a truly exotic setting and great cocktails. The bar is set at the cliff base of Ayana Resort and Spa.
Get down and order your cocktails and enjoy the most memorable evening with the vast oceans and stunning sunset.
Beach Clubs are a must-thing to do in Bali. And it’s on most people’s itinerary and we understood why when we visited these beach clubs.
With splendid pools, beach views, inventive cocktails, live music, DJs, and an amazing crowd, it can be a fun way to celebrate being in Bali.
Beach clubs often require reservations for daybeds, so if you want to lie down, relax, and have a sunbath, make sure you make reservations.
Best Beach Club (as per our recommendation): Potato Head Beach Club
Recommended Cocktail: Bali Boat
Luwak coffee is said to be the most expensive coffee in the world. This pricey coffee gets digested first by a Luwak (a type of weasel). Yes, right, the animal eats the bean, digests them, and defecates. And these processed beans are collected to be cleaned and roasted for a cup of coffee.
Would you like to try the Luwak Coffee?
Bali is the perfect place for the beginners and experts alike to catch a wave.
You can simply walk up to one of the many shacks on the beach with surfboards or rent one for 2 hours. They typically give you a t-shirt, surfboard and a guide who would train you for an hour.
Try it and you can call yourself as a “Surfer”! 😀
- Keep some cash in local currency. It would be easier for you to shop and pay anywhere.
- The most preferred mode of transportation is either renting bikes or booking Gojek(cabs)
- Wearing a lungi or sarong is must while entering the temples in Bali. You can carry your own sarong or get it on rental basis in the temple area itself.
- If you are shopping on the local streets of Bali, bargain!!!
So, have we convinced you to start planning your trip to Bali? What looks most fun to you?
We would love to hear from you. Please comment below.
Picture Credit: Gaurav Baheti