Even though Bali is not a big island compared to the other islands in Indonesia, you can’t really get bored in Bali if you know what you want to do. In this blog post, I will write about some of my activities during my time in Bali. From cultural sights like temples until water sports like surfing or diving.
Do you like cultural sights? I guess you would visit the typical touristy sites like Ubud, Uluwatu and so on.
Here are the most 5 famous temples and my ultimate opinions.
1. Pura Tanah Lot. No one visits Bali and doesn’t visit Tanah Lot.
It’s like you go to Paris and don’t see the Eifel Tower.
The first pictures you will get to see about Bali is probably even Tanah Lot. It is a rock formation and a cultural icon for photography. Yes, it is beautiful and I already visited this temple three times and every time with a different person. But all of them were delighted.
The last time I went there, they increased the price twice.
Afterwards, I started to boycott my visits at Tanah Lot and in my opinion it is not really worth it – to the best of my memory, for 120000 IR (9$).
One or two times is enough.
2. Uluwatu temple is probably my all time favourite temple in Bali.
At sunset time it’s redundant with people. But IT IS worth it.
I have been there already 4 or 5 times, even watched twice the Kecak Fire Dance, even though I reckon one time is enough.
You can see the monkeys walking freely around, but don’t feed them.
They can be aggressive. By the way they also stole my water bottle and one of my flip-flops, I was too afraid to fight it back.
Whoever of them has it now, I hope they are happy with it!
3. Goa Gajah also known as ‘Elephant Cave’.
Don’t think about any Elephants, it is an archaeological complex with great historical importance. A temple courtyard with a huge collection of large stone relics. On tours to Ubud region, it is nice for a brief stopover at Goa Gajah, but definitely not worth a whole day trip.
Bring a Sarong with you. If not they will give you one. But a sarong is one of the most usable piece of clothing you could have during world traveling. It can be used as a towel for the beach, a beach dress, a skirt, a cape like superman and so on.
4. Bali’s ‘mother temple’ is Pura Besakih. It is the largest temple on Bali island and should be visited in combination of Mount Agung. Each shrine has its own anniversary, therefore many celebrations were held each year.
Plan a whole day trip to explore this temple and better bring your own Sarong with you.
5. Pura Ulun Danu Batur is a must-visit temple for me. Especially during high tide, the reflective surface of the Beratan Lake surrounds the temple base’s. In the background the mountain range provides the visitor a unique and dreamy landscape. Some leisure activities include short boat trips around the lakes. It enfolds nine different temples, 285 shrines and pavilions and are dedicated to the gods and goddesses of agriculture, water, art, crafts and many more.
How about a trip to the rice terraces like Jatiluwih Rice Terraces or in Ubud the Tegalalang Rice Terraces. Immerse yourself in Balinese nature and forget what’s happening around you.
The monkey forest should not be missed at all. It’s one of the best tourist attractions in Bali. Enjoy monkeys play at their playground. Or a mother monkey suckle her little baby monkey. Or feed them with bananas, you can buy the bananas at one of the entrances.
On the way to Munduk, there are enough monkeys waiting happily to get some bananas, too.
If you are fed up by the south of Bali, go to the north.
Munduk is calling. Drive 2 hours with the scooter from Sanur to Munduk, refresh yourself in the Munduk Waterfall and drink at evening a hot tea and have a beautiful view of the mountains. Munduk is the place to go, but can be very cold at night, don’t forget to pack in a jumper!
The Gitgit waterfall (highest waterfall in Bali) and some hotsprings can be visited nearby.
I spent one day afterwards at Lovina and its Pantai, but it was more or less underwhelming. People mainly go there to observe dolphins, but I didn’t do it. Actually it is a good place for snorkeling, but definitely not the best in Bali.
If you’re already in the north, you can also pay a visit to Bali’s former capital, Singaraja and its typical colonial architecture.
The first days in Bali I visited Dreamland Beach, it is with Padang Bay one of the most famous and beautiful beaches in Bali. I am not sure if it’s always safe and great to swim there, the waves and current are kind of strong. I still did it, with another bodyboarder in the water and I had loads of fun. After spending the whole day at the beach, the best thing is to go to Single Fin and watch the sunset there. Usually you have to make a reservation if you want to eat dinner at this amazing place.
But for a Bintang or a cocktail you don’t need to reserve, please don’t expect to get any seats. But the stairs welcome you to sit with your butt on them.
Do you love coffee? Go to a coffee plantation, if you’d like to.
Kopi Luwak, includes part-digested cherries eaten and defecated by the civet cat.
I only went to Bali Pulina Coffee Plantation close to the Tegalalang Rice Terraces. The location of the plantation is marvellous, while sipping at your coffee (50000 IR) you can relax and enjoy the green nature and hills around you. The view is gorgeous, therefore highly recommended! 🙂
The shopping area in Kuta next to Pantai Kuta is all a shopaholic needs.
From big and luxury brands to bargaining at street shops. Everything your heart desires can be found there. In Beachwalk you can even go to a cinema (200000 IR per ticket) with fully reclining chairs and food service to your seat in a cozy small room.
I prefered to go to Galeria XXI shopping center and watched a movie there for 50000 IR per ticket.
Near Lippo Mall Kuta is one of the best water parks in South East Asia: Waterbom Bali, dare to ride all the water slides while your adrenaline level is getting higher and higher. You can spend the whole day in this park, but it’s better to bring your friends or boyfriend/girlfriend with you!
In the evening you might want to watch a beautiful sunset at Kuta beach.
All the people coming together, whether locals or tourist. Also the locals who are afraid of the sunshine will come to see the sunset.
Sunset time is the best time to feel that you are never alone and to find inner peace. All the emotions I had during sunsets in Bali were overwhelming.
Afterwards try to join in traditional clothes a ceremony in a temple; Believe me there are enough.
Or just dive into the nightlife of Kuta, Legian or Seminyak. Whether reggae bar or electronic you will find everything at the party mile of Kuta.
I LOVE water and I do like sport, so the perfect combination is to do watersports. And Bali has a lot to offer. You don’t believe me?
Here we go!
My first surfing experience was awful, but I got better and better and later I bought my first surfboard. Surf spots: Kuta Beach, Legian, Halfway, Uluwatu, Batu Bolong Beach, Echo Beach, Jimbaran, Nusa dua etc. Just to name the most famous ones. The secret ones are better kept to be secrets.
Next one: Wakeboarding. Easier than surfing, but more expensive if you don’t have your own equipment and want to get better.
Sorry for the bad quality of the wakeboarding photo, someone took it with his phone and he has obviously not the best phone in the world.
I did every week twice wakeboarding in Tanjung Benoa. A friend of my friend worked there, so I got a big discount.
After all, I was their regular customer.
Stand-Up-Paddling, abbreviated SUP. I did it in Sanur and paid after bargaining a good price. But not my favourite one to be honest. I was just keen to try it once.
Flying Fish and all the other water activities was fun. BUT Flyboard is the best among them.
The board is connected by a long hose to a watercraft. Under pressure water is forced to the boots with jet nozzles underneath which provide thrust for the rider to fly up in the air. By the way, I also dived for no reason headlong through the water. The pros can fly up to 15 metres
(49 ft), but not me. I was happy to reach 2 metres (6,5 ft).
Snorkeling. One of the activities I love to do in my leisure in Bali.
Whether Serangan or Amed or Lovina. There are endless spots in Bali to snorkel. During strong currents, please pay attention.
Tulamben, Padang Bay or Nusa Lembongan are only few places to name for divers. But if someone has a diving license, don’t ever hesitate to do scuba diving in Bali.
The island has wonderful sites to dive and it is my second favourite sport, respectively water sport, throughout all of time.
No other sports like surfing and diving gives me the feeling of freedom and to have profoundly respect for Mother Nature.
Have fun driving a jet ski or paragliding with an unforgettable view over Bali.
Okay, let us get away from water sports and talking more about other sport activities. For example climbing, probably my third favourite sport.
There was a climbing wall in Kuta, where I used to climb a lot. But it has been closed (maybe opened again?).
Boulder at Eager is an alternative, you can apply for a membership for one month, if anyone is interested in :).
Therefore, you can boulder at anytime and have weekly and regular training.
Cycling during daytime is stupidly too hot, but each to their own.
Joining a beach festival like the Kuta Beach festival
Other Islands you can go to explore (not far away from Bali) are:
Nusa Lembongan (my favourite one), Nusa Penida, Gili Trawangan ( a little bit too much for someone who isn’t a party animal like me), Gili Air (great snorkeling sites and very small island) and
Gili Meno (I know nothing about Gili Meno, I haven’t been there yet).
Okay, off-topic, but I want to share with you two of my favourite desserts. And places I went out at night in Sanur.
I loved spending time in the evening with my friends in bars or warungs.
Roti Bakar: Indonesian version of grilled bread, I prefer the sweet option.
Sorabis from Waroeng soerabi bandoeng 101 in Jalan Dewi Sri/ Kuta, next to it is Warung Pepe Pizza, whose pizzas taste heavenly.
Warung Beach Breeze: I spent countless nights in this warung.
Especially when they play live music- you can’t stop me to go!
Thank you for all the beautiful memories we made, you guys are awesome! Btw, I ate too many Gado Gado’s at this Warung.
Please say hello from me to them, if you will ever go to Beach Breeze.
Casablanca plays every night different kind of music. Thursday night is Ladies’ Night and classic rock music.
So far as I recall, Wednesday is Reggae night.
Last but not least: Linga Longa Bar! I had unforgettable nights in this bar with my friends. Am I right – Steffi, Daniela and Jayson?
You can explore much more in Bali, but it’s better to discover places off the beaten track by yourself. Have fun ! 🙂