Bali is one of my favourite places to visit. This little paradise island offers unique heritage, religion and lifestyle. And plenty of sunshine too 🙂
Before visiting you need to plan what you want to see and do. Here are my top recommendations.
Places to Visit in Bali
- Kuta – You might stay in Kuta, like a lot of visitors, but if you don’t then you need to visit. Backpackers and surfers dodge mopeds on the narrow streets, which all lead to the mighty Kuta beach. A massive stretch of (imported) white sand, lined with sellers, surfers and massive waves. Home also to many great shops, from cheap market stalls where you’ll need to haggle like crazy to some bigger name clothes shops. Nighttime sees the nightclubs come alive.
- Ulu Watu – This impressive cliff top temple is home to monkeys, amazing sunsets and pounding waves below. It’s still a worshipped temple so you need to dress appropriately, but if you arrive in shorts and t-shirt not all is lost, as you will be provided with a sash and sarong which will get you in. Feeding the monkeys is a treat. You can buy food at the entrance, but be careful as they will steal anything loose about your person.
- Ubud – Bali’s centre for Arts. Right in the middle of the island, Ubud has a great feel and vibe about it. Definitely a place to visit on any trip to Bali, even if you’re not into art. Ubud has many great cafes and shops, and is a great place to take a walk through the surrounding rice paddies.
- Pura Tanah Lot – This island temple, west of Kuta, is home to a spring of Holy Water. Indonesians come here to drink from the spring and to get a blessing. The island is a few meters from the beach, but at high tide it’s like running a gauntlet to get across without getting swept away. Expect big crowds, but worth it.
- Nusa Lembongan – A small island of the coast of Bali. Still living of it’s seaweed farming history, but accommodating more and more tourists. A great remote island with amazing coastline and friendly people.
- Sanur – This sleepy town on the opposite side to Kuta is a great place to unwind. Much neater and cleaner than most of Bali, Sanur is home to little shops and guesthouses that lead up to the pretty beach. The water is very shallow here, and swimming limited. But there are few backpackers, and this is a great spot for families and couples.
Things to Do in Bali
- Surfing – Bali has become the home of surfing in Southeast Asia, with Kuta beach being the epicentre. If you’v ever wanted to try it, then this is probably the cheapest place to learn on earth. Careful though, the waves can get big and strong.
- Waterbom – This impressive water park just a short walk from central Kuta is great for groups and families. Lots of water park amusements and rides for all shapes and sizes. Reasonable value, but great fun.
- Mt Batur – An amazing and revered volcano in the heartlands in Bali. Rarely visible from afar due to the persistent mountain mist in Bali, Batur is the source of many a legend in Bali. Visiting is a great experience, but you run a gauntlet of sellers near the top.
- Rice Terrace walk – Bali is famous for it’s rice terraces. Finding them is not hard. Perhaps those around Kunung Kawi make the most interesting walks.
- Elephant Cave – This impressive holy site outside of Ubud is an interesting place to visit. The ancient trees guard the monks that live there. There is also a snake living in a cave!