As I mentioned previously in my Bali Bible guide post, there is so much to see and do in Bali. So much so that I wanted to write a completely separate post on everything we did. We hired a driver for two days for 400,000 IDR (€27) per day, who took us everywhere we wanted to go. So here is my Bali Travel Guide of the top things to see and do in Bali:
We first stopped at Taman Ayu Luwak Coffee plant. Here you do a coffee tasting of local coffee beans, including the famous Luwak coffee made from the Asian Palm civet’s poo! Sounds disgusting I know, but it was actually so good and apparently it is the world’s most expensive coffee. The whole experience is very cute. You get a complete tour of how the coffee is made followed by a sampler of twelve different coffees to taste while enjoying stunning rainforest views. And best of all, it’s completely free!
Next we went to the Tirtha Empul water temple. This a national cultural heritage site meaning “holy water spring”. It consists of a large purification bath where visitors enter the crystal clear (freezing) mountain water and bow their heads under the water sprouts for prayer and purification. The temple itself is beautiful and surrounded by stunning monuments and gardens. The Balinese people are extremely spiritual, so it is important to respect their culture while visiting the temples. So that means covering up gals! I just used a sarong and scarf to cover my legs and shoulders when entering temples.
We then made our way to the Tegalang Rice fields and Tenganan waterfall. You are absolutely sure to get the most instragram worthy snaps here! The Tegalang Rice fields are famous for it’s stunning views of the rice paddies. It really is just as impressive as the Pinterest photos! It is located in the village of Ubud which itself is very artsy. The rice fields are a popular spot for tourists and artists to sit and paint/draw. There are many art galleries to admire and cafes near the ledge offering panoramic views of the rice terrace. The perfect place to stop for lunch. The Tenganan waterfall is located very close by and is hugely popular among tourists. And for a very good reason, it’s gorgeous. Take a dip in the refreshing mountain water (trust me it’s needed), sit back and relax or release your inner Instagram goddess with a few killer snaps, the choice is yours to enjoy.
Next up was the Monkey Sanctuary located right in the middle of the Ubud jungle. It defiantly has its fair share of monkeys, but be warned… monkeys are not your friend! They just use you for your bananas! But seriously don’t look them in the eye has they can get quite aggressive. The ones at the beginning are the most friendly but as you move further into the forest they are not as nice. Watch your belongings, especially your sunglasses and any plastic bags you are carrying. They WILL want it and they WILL get it. I had a very close call with my camera lens cover, he just climbed right up my back to try and grab it from me. Not ideal fighting with a monkey. You can get stunning photos though with the monkeys around the grounds of the beautiful temples inside, just be careful!
We squeezed so much into our first day sightseeing that we wanted our second trip to be more relaxed. We opted to visit the absolutely stunning Pandawa beach first. A one kilometre, white sand costal stretch of pure heaven hidden behind the ocean facing cliffs. Perfect for surfers, kayaking, swimming or sipping coconuts on sun loungers. Complete bliss. We continued our beach crawl onto Padang Padang beach, Bali’s most popular surf spot. Just 100 meters in length, Padang Padang enjoys an exotic setting accessible down a flight of stairs through a unique hollow rock entrance.
We then made our way to Uluwatu temple to seek the famous sunset views overlooking the edge of an ocean cliff. To our disappointment it was too cloudy to get the sunset we wanted, but the stunning temple grounds made up for it. Please do all you can to avoid the monkeys here. They are wild and can get very aggressive very quickly. It does cost a small fee to enter the temple and you can then pay an additional cost to see the traditional Kecak dance performance.
Shopping in Bali
Put your haggling hat on and do a spot of shopping. The markets in Ubud are an absolute must! Ubud is so unique and artsy with quirky little boutiques, art galleries and stalls. Here you can find everything from fresh produce to silk scarves, handmade monuments, kites and handwoven bags.
Potato Head Beach Club
Possible the greatest place on earth?? Uh-mazing! Bask in pure luxury morning to sunset with a cocktail constantly in your hand. This place is complete paradise. Tropical tunes, infinity pool, delicious (and extremely well-presented) cocktails, what more could you possibly want on your holibops? Top tip here would be to reserve your sun bed in advance as they are in high demand and tend to book up quickly. The bed costs 500,000IDR (€35) for the day, BUT that money is used as credit towards food and drink so essentially it’s free! I loved it here and I’m 100% sure you will to, put it on your list!
Sunrise at Mt. Batur
Unfortunately we didn’t get to do this as apparently the price has increased quite a bit this year and our backpackers budget didn’t allow it! (We have other big treks planned this year! Eek). However I heard it is absolutely amazing and has the most incredible views above the clouds. My friends did it last year and loved it. I do know that you need to book a guide and driver and that the hike takes about two hours.
I didn’t get around to this, but there are yoga classes on everywhere hosted by most hotels and hostels. If you want to completely zone out on hols then grab a mat and head to a class, usually overlooking the beach!
Hit The Town
Kuta is a very popular spot for some lively nightlife and bars. If I’m being honest, I wasn’t a big fan of Kuta in general. I found it very crowded and dirty. We took a short taxi ride there and found the beach very disappointing. The water was sadly filled with rubbish. We lasted 20 minutes before heading back to Seminyak, where the beach is spotless and more relaxed.
One of my favourite places to go in Seminyak was Frankenstein’s Laboratory. This place was SO MUCH FUN! It is “Halloween” themed and everything on the menu had a quirky name with the cocktails being presented as IV drips and Bunsen burners etc… All the staff dress up and are very friendly. Halloween is my favourite time of year, so this was a complete winner for me!(I’m such a child I know). They do shows for kids during the day and the adult show takes place at 8pm. This show gets wild leaving everyone on their feet (or tables) all night. They have professional dancers performing three shows a night; usually along the lines of “The Rocky Horror Show” , “Michael Jackson” or “Beetle Juice”. SO entertaining with great food and cocktails. Make sure you book this in advance as it is booked out every single night. They do however have a walk in service for the bar seats, which is how we managed to come across it. Make sure you try and get there for 7:45ish to be in with a chance. The bar is defiantly the best seats!
Take A Trip To The Gili Islands
You can hop on a boat over to the Gili Islands, three small islands off the coast of Lombok. If you want a remote island experience merged with relaxation and nightlife, take a trip here. The only way to get around is by horse and cart or by renting a bicycle, it’s a really refreshing break from the craziness of Bali mopeds. Read my post on our trip to the Gili islands here as we were lucky enough to have time to visit all three.
So there you have it! My top list of things to do in Bali. I’m sure there is much more of Bali to explore, but I hope my few highlights will help you get started.
Hope you enjoyed!