Bali has so much to offer, from some of the most beautiful beaches in the world to active volcanoes. There is something for everyone! The people of Bali are also so kind and friendly which makes it even more of a pleasure to visit. We absolutely loved our time here and I definitely want to return soon! I’ve rounded up my top 10 things to do whilst in Bali to help get you started…
I’ve put Munduk as No 1. because this was my favourite day out of our whole trip to Indonesia. Maybe it was because of the friendliest people or the interesting stories, but paired with stunning scenery and off-road fun I can’t recommend this experience enough! Munduk is a small village located high up in the mountains near to the twin lakes Danau Buyan and Danau Tambligan, old volcanic craters. Whilst Jhoni drove us up the winding roads, I felt like we were seeing the real Bali.
There are numerous different adventures on offer, and they include a great lunch from base which offer the most incredible views. We went for the off road buggy type vehicles and mountain bikes. We stopped at the stunning waterfalls where our guide led us to a natural pool where we could have a little dip surrounded by jungle. It was such a special experience. Be warned though, there are LOTS of steps down and then back up from the waterfall, work those thighs. We were also invited to the guides house where we met his family and ate some local food. Like I said, all the guides here are incredibly friendly and we learnt so much about Bali. We booked with Munduk Wilderness. Book a trip now!
2. Rice Fields
Whilst we were staying in Ubud, our hotel the Alila was surrounded by rice fields. There is just something so beautiful about the lush green rice fields. You can explore the rice fields by foot – our hotel actually provided a little booklet of short walks. Cycling is also a great way to get out and see the stunning scenery. There are lots of bike tours popping up in Bali now, or if you would rather explore independently it is easy to rent bikes.
3. Sacred Monkey Forest
This is a dense area of jungle which houses three Hindu temples and is home to about 4 troops of the ever so cheeky long-tailed macaques. The Sacred Monkey Forest is located at the southern end of the Monkey Forest Road in Ubud. Lots of paths let you explore the forest, through ravines and down to the stream. At the main entrance you can buy bananas to feed to the monkeys… beware, they don’t wait to be fed, if they see food they will go for it! I would avoid taking any food in your bag during your visit – they will find it! A great place to spend a couple of hours whilst exploring Ubud.
4. Mount Batur
Located on the north eastern part of the island, Mount Batur stands at 1,700m which means it is not too physically demanding and the ascent can be made in a morning. It is a beautiful part of the island and the views from the top are stunning. It best to do the climb early in the morning – many tours start as early as 4am to catch the sunrise at the top. It may be cold so remember to bring a jumper/jacket.
5. Get a massage
Yes, yes, yes. You must get a massage whilst in Bali, it will help you relax and feel zen. Exactly what Bali is all about. There are numerous luxury spas and most hotels and villas will also offer spa treatments for great prices compared to here in London. I had an hour and a half full body massage whilst my husband went white water rafting, definitely his and hers activities!
6. White water rafting
I had to put this on the list as my husband loved the morning he spent white water rafting. Not my cup of tea, but like I said Bali has something for everyone. This was organised through our hotel, but there are loads of tour operators that offer rafting. The rafting was along the Ayung river near to Ubud. It entails fun filled rapids, set on a backdrop of rainforest and waterfalls. There are different rapids for varying levels of confidence/adventurer!
7. Eat fresh fish in Jimbaran Bay
Head to Jimbaran Bay for sunset and you can enjoy freshly caught fish cooked right there for you whilst sipping on a cold Bingtang, watching the sun disappear. The bay is lined with warungs (local restaurants) that spread out onto the beach. They all sell items so I would recommend you go for the busier ones, and whichever you find the friendliest! There is a huge choice of fish, I say each order something different and share among the table. Stay after dark and enjoy all the music and dance performances that run down the beach.
8. Watch a Balinese dance
Balinese dances are an ancient tradition, one which is part of the religious and artistic expression among the Balinese people. The dances are very dramatic. It is messmorising to watch – the story they can tell with just their eye movement, incredible! The dance is taken very seriously and learnt from a young age. The costumes are also extremely beautiful.
9. Go shopping in Seminyak
Seminyak offers some of the best shopping on the island. There are numerous gorgeous boutique shops selling items from clothes to homeware. There are lots of great designers here so be sure to have a wander. Also, you will definitely stumble across a piece of art you fall in love with and way up the cost vs. gain of getting it back to the UK! We did exactly this, we risked it and now have a beautiful piece of art in our living room.
10. Watch the sunset
The sunsets in Bali are magical. Find yourself a bar or restaurant on the beach front and enjoy a few cocktails whilst you watch the sun go down. Our favourites were Ku De Ta and Potato Head in Seminyak.
Wonderful Indonesia – This is a great site for finding information on the whole of Indonesia. It will give you plenty of ideas for where to go and what to do, whilst also making you want to spend months there! Great for history and culture too.
Munduk Wilderness – This is who we booked our Munduk adventure with. Check them out!
Bali Tourism Board – Lots of useful information about Bali!