Here is everything you need to know about where to visit and what to do in Bali!
Bali: Top 10 Things To Do For Affordable Luxury Travel
Bali, an island located in Indonesia, is a popular destination for many and is on the bucket list for travel enthusiasts around the world – and it is easy to see why. Bali is home to extraordinary beaches, rice fields, incredible sunsets, volcanic mountains, waterfalls and coffee-tasting. There is something out here for everyone.
The island is also very popular for couples on their honeymoon as it offers relaxing spa facilities, picturesque landscapes, and exciting activities. Over the last few years, many digital nomads have started to live in Bali as well, as it offers an affordable lifestyle and a unique vibe to the people living there.
There are different ways to travel across the island. Many people prefer hiring out a moped to avoid traffic, and some prefer hiring a tour guide for the stay. It all depends on your preferences. The two most visited areas on the island are Ubud and Seminyak, both offering two very different experiences.
Here are some of the best places you should visit in Bali:
1. Tegalalang Rice Terrace
This is perhaps the most popular and beautiful rice field on the island. The luscious green rice fields offer scenic views and a jungle swing that will take your breath away.
Like many other places in Bali, it is best to arrive as early as possible to avoid queues and unwanted crowds in your photos. In order to get in, an entrance fee is not needed. However, they do request a small donation and normally it could be as little as a pound.
When standing in the middle of these rice terraces, you come to realise the simplicity and beauty of the life of Bali’s locals. You get to experience how the farmers work and learn about their day-to-day lifestyle. Even though the island is full of rice paddies, I would recommend visiting Tegalalang as it offers the most stunning views.
2. Bali Swing
On the list of must-try experiences on the island is the Bali swing, where you can enjoy views from the top of the jungle. The swing ride lasts 3 to 4 minutes and allows you to be at one with nature, whilst having a beautiful backdrop for your travel photos and memories.
Another spot that you cannot miss while visiting this place is the recently added ‘Love Bali’ sign for your photos.
3. Coffee tasting
Many tour guides will offer to go to the rice fields and have a coffee tasting session as part of a day tour. Coffee tasting and visiting the plantation is a truly unique experience. If you are a coffee fanatic, this is the activity for you, as you’ll get to try a variety of new flavours to tantalise your taste buds.
Personally, I am not a big coffee lover, but I didn’t want to miss out on this unique experience. What I really enjoyed about visiting the plantation was seeing the traditional coffee-making methods whilst being amidst the glorious views. Some plantations offer you to collect beans and make your own coffee too.
I knew my visit would leave me with many stories to tell my friends, but I didn’t realise I would discover the world’s most expensive coffee in the world. I wasn’t as surprised that I found out about the most expensive coffee but finding out how it is made. This particular coffee, Kopi Luwak, was made by digested coffee cherries that had been eaten, digested and defecated by the civet cat. They are cleansed, roasted and brewed, which then transforms into Kopi Luwak. The reason why the coffee is so expensive is because the cat chooses the best cherries to eat and, in its stomach, the digestive chemicals remove the harsh bitterness.
Personally, this coffee’s taste wasn’t my favourite but perhaps that’s because its method of making had put me off from the start. However, there were other incredible flavours to enjoy and take home for my coffee-loving friends.
4. Enjoying the Spa
Ubud is the dream destination for many couples to put their feet up and relax. This is the reason why you’ll see many holidaymakers come to Ubud for their honeymoon. This is particularly true for those from countries like Australia and New Zealand, as the flight time is relatively short compared to the rest of the world.
Known as the relaxation capital, the island offers a wide range of luxurious yet affordable massage and spas. These have incredible views that will further help you to relax and forget all your worries. In Bali, you are spoilt for choices when it comes to spa facilities and wellbeing – from relaxing traditional Balinese massages to yoga as well as zumba that will make you feel refreshed and reinvigorated.
Whether you want to relax in front of the beach, enjoy nature, or even have a spa in front of a waterfall, Ubud offers it all. Personally, I would recommend paying a higher amount to enjoy the incredible views. Also, If you are on your honeymoon, you can also treat your other half to a shopping spree as there are lots of options to buy local items.
5. Mount Batur
This location was one I was particularly excited about. If you are someone who seeks adventure, loves hiking and chasing the sunrise, Mount Batur will leave you speechless. I have climbed many mountains over the years, but this was something different, where I got to see a magical sunrise above the clouds that I had never witnessed before.
Be prepared to leave very early in the morning, between 1 and 2am. If you are in Seminyak the journey is around 2 hours, but it gets halved if you are staying in Ubud. Normally, companies offer a pick-up and drop-off service from your hotel, as well as providing tour guides that take you all the way to the top.
The hike itself is not that difficult and I believe it can be done without much trouble, but you must ensure you have a torch or light in order to see where you are going. There will be many people on the same trail so even if there is an issue, there will always be people there to help. When reaching the top, the views from the mountain and the magical sunrise above the clouds were one that I have never witnessed before.
6. Scuba Diving / Snorkelling
Bali offers incredible scuba diving and snorkelling locations and if you fear sharks, this experience may change your outlook. You can be amongst an array of sea life, from stingrays to sharks, to the most beautiful turtles.
One of the things you can do is dive into the ocean and feed the fish, which is a remarkable yet slightly scary activity as the wildlife won’t hold back in interacting and approaching for food.
7. Gilli Island
Another spectacular experience for snorkelling lovers is to visit Gilli Meno in Gilli Islands. There are 48 statues placed in a circle in the ocean and the main reason for this was to create coral and attract fish.
The project, also known as ‘Nest’, is a known hotspot location for snorkelling. Once you are swimming around the sculptures, you really feel like you are in a fantasy world.
8. Lempuyang Temple
Also known as ‘The Gates of Heaven’, this is one of the most picturesque places of all time. It is commonly featured on Instagram and many travel guides. The temple is located in Mount Lempuyang.
In order to take the famous money shot, make sure you are prepared to wake up early and get there by 7am. Waiting in the queue could take anywhere between 1 to 3 hours, so I recommend getting there early to avoid waiting for hours. The reason why the temple is so famous is because of its location. Behind the Gates of Heaven is Mount Agung, with an active volcano. When the sun is out and the sky is clear, the wait and the long drive to the temple is worth it. You can also discover other sides of the temple and take stunning photos of the whole place.
9. Monkey Temple
This is a place where you must be very careful while visiting. Many may be scared by the idea of monkeys roaming freely when they can jump towards you at any time and possibly even take your stuff away. Are you brave enough to take that risk?
However, if you are brave enough and treat the animals well, you can feed them bananas and other food and get great photos whilst they interact with you.
Key tips for a fun yet safe experience – Don’t wear hats or jewellery, and avoid having your camera/phone out all the time.
There are many beautiful beaches across the island to catch the sunset, get a drink or even surf if arriving at the right time. Some of my favourite beaches are below:
Arguably the most famous and beautiful beach on the island. It offers so much for the visitors from beautiful cliffs, white sands, to snorkelling. People often choose to hike and take their best photos from the top of the mountain. Swimming in the crystal-clear water, you will also get to see a lot of mantra rats and turtles.
This is a white sand beach which offers relaxed vibes with many cafes, bars and sports activities. There are hotels that offer chairs and bean bags to enjoy heavenly sunsets. Often, there are live singers there to entertain you as well. You can also take a swim in the pools or relax in the jacuzzi to end your adventurous day.
This is a livelier place where backpackers often party till late. If you want to relax with family, this is probably not the best option. However, if you are travelling alone, or with friends, this is a great option to enjoy the lively atmosphere by the beach.
For more travel tips follow me on Instagram @Globalkaz and leave a comment about where you want to learn about more!