Exploring Bali is an experience that goes far beyond a simple holiday; is an immersive adventure that embraces the culture, spirituality and natural beauty of a unique island. In this post of mine, I want to share with you 10 unmissable experiences that make Bali such a fascinating and unforgettable destination. From rice terraces to sacred temples, enchanting beaches to monkey forest adventures, Bali offers a world of discovery and wonder just waiting to be explored. Join me as I immerse myself in the magic of Bali, where every corner contains a story to tell and an experience to live.
So here are the 10 things to do and see in Bali.
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1. Rent a motorbike
If you don’t rent a motorbike, you will definitely visit half of the places in Bali. I highly recommend renting a 150cc motorbike (it’s the most powerful you can rent), even if it’s more uncomfortable and expensive than a moped (you won’t need to show your license anyway).
A Cut to Ubud, the most well-known cities, you will not have difficulty finding motorbike rentals: be careful, however, that the price of a motorbike should not exceed 10 euros per day (around 150,000 Indonesian rupees). As for petrol, you can get it from street vendors that you will notice on the sides of the roads: they sell petrol in bottles of Absolut Vodka! The price of a single bottle is around 5 euros (7000 rupees).
2. Visit sacred temples
Bali is full of sacred temples to visit. To be honest, the most touristy and visited ones disappointed me a lot: the Pura Tanah Lot e il Pura Ulun Danu Bratan for example they are “almost” to be avoided. The first is because it is full of people ruining the atmosphere with their cameras. The second because from the images you see on the internet it seems much more powerful and spectacular, while in person it is really very small. Furthermore, almost everything has been renovated, so there is very little traditional left. I recommend finding those remote temples around Bali, where tourism is almost non-existent. Il Pura Besakih invecealthough also very touristy, has a fascinating majesty.
3. Taste the most expensive coffee in the world: Kopi Luwak
Il Kopi Luwak it takes its name from the animal that “ferments” it: the Luwak. In fact, if you are near Ubud, just ask a local to take you to taste this coffee. When I said “which ferments it” I meant that this animal, which reminds me of a large ferret, feeds on coffee beans and then digests and defecates them. Once defecated, the grains are processed one at a time by hand by the locals. Here you will then be offered other types of coffee and tea produced by them, but Kopi Luwak is the only one that you will have to pay dearly for: 50,000 rupees for a coffee.
4. Getting robbed in the Monkey Forest
It won’t be difficult to see monkeys around the island, but they will never be as friendly and thieving as here, in the Monkey Forest: sacred place where monkeys enjoy stealing bananas from pockets. If you are in Ubud I recommend you go and socialize with these cute creatures. Be careful with valuables!
5. Visit the rice terraces
The Balinese have been growing rice on their terraces for more than a thousand years. These terraces are called “the stairways that lead to the gods” because the cultivation of rice is essential both for their standard of living and for various religious rites. The most important and largest are those of Jatiluwh located about an hour from Dempasar. To go and see the latter you will have to pay 3 dollars to contribute to their maintenance.
6. Beach life
Bali is also well known for surfing. Thousands of people come here every year to ride these dream waves. If you are a fan you cannot miss the Balinese waves.
So here are some of the best surfing beaches in Bali:
- Uluwatu: Located in the southern part of Bali, Uluwatu is famous for its powerful and constant waves. The beach is mainly suitable for experienced surfers, but there are also quieter areas for beginners.
- Padang Padang: This small bay near Uluwatu offers world-class waves. It is popular with advanced surfers and has been the location of some international surfing competitions.
- Canggu: This coastal town has become a mecca for surfers. Canggu beaches offer a variety of breaking spots suitable for surfers of all levels.
- Kuta: Kuta is one of Bali’s most popular beaches and is known for its beginner-friendly waves. Although it can get crowded, it’s a great place to learn to surf.
- Seminyak: Seminyak offers consistent waves and is suitable for both beginners and more advanced surfers. It is also famous for its lively nightlife atmosphere.
- Bingin: Located on the Bukit Peninsula, Bingin is known for its fast and powerful waves. It is best suited to experienced surfers due to its challenging conditions.
- Medewi: Located in western Bali, Medewi is famous for its long right hand wave. It is suitable for surfers of all levels, although it is more popular with intermediate and advanced surfers.
If you simply want to relax on the beach, Bali offers many enchanting beaches.
7. Water games
There are many attractions that Bali offers, but water games are among the best known. Personally I recommend the fly jet e il water board. You will find the first one at Nusa Lembongan, an island that can be reached in about thirty minutes, where the price will be around 30 euros for fifteen minutes (but if you are good negotiators you can lower it). The second one can be found almost throughout the southern part and the price is around 9 euros for fifteen minutes.
8. Relax on the Gili Islands
Between Bali and Lombok there are three small islands: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air, all reachable by ferry for around 25 euros in less than two hours. Trawangan is the most touristy and is where there is more nightlife, but if you want to have more time for yourself and more relaxation, I recommend staying on the other two islands.
9. Scuba Diving
Between Bali and the islands mentioned above there are many places to do beautiful diving. Also in Kuta and Ubud you can find gods Booths which act as travel agencies where it will be possible to book dives around the island. If you already have an open water certification, prices vary from 50 to 60 euros for two dives, while snorkeling can be done for free or you can pay up to 24 euros to go to the best places.
10. Relax in a SPA center
Have you spent a day traveling up and down Bali and now you just want to relax a bit? So what’s better than a nice full body massage for just 3 euros for an hour? Trying a wellness center certainly cannot be missed during your stay in Bali and certainly could not be missing from my list of things to do and see on this Indonesian island.