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Travel Guide: What to Do and Where to go in Bali, Indonesia

Let's travel to: Bali, Indonesia

An Indonesian island made famous by the book & movie Eat, Pray, Love and known for its iconic rice paddies, meditation and yoga retreats, historic temples, and magnificent sunsets. It has something to offer to everyone - springbreakers, honeymooners, exchangers, backpackers. Whether you are looking for a cultural experience, romantic getaway, nightlife or relaxation - Bali truly has it all and will live up to your every expectation.

Interesting Facts

  • The Balinese usually have one of the following four names: Wayan, Made, Nyoman or Ketut. They mean First born, Second born, Third born and Fourth born regardless of the baby's gender 
  • Bali has both beautiful white sand beaches and black sand beaches from the surrounding volcanoes 
  • 80% of the economy is related to tourism

Useful Information

  • Time to travel: August, September and Christmas are high season and can get extremely busy and touristy (especially in Southern Bali). December to March is rainy season but rain will often come and go quickly.   
  • Transportation: Bali is a huge island with many areas to explore. A great option is to hire private tours where a private driver will take you to various locations throughout the day as attractions are fairly spread out.
  • Accommodation: Consider spending a few nights in more lively areas like Seminyak and a few nights in quiet areas like Ubud to get the best of both worlds. 
  • Haggling: Like most places in SEA, haggling is key. Prices for almost anything will have a tourist markup - learn to haggle with locals to make the most out of your time there! 
  • “Bali Belly”: While the ice supply is quality-controlled, stay away from tap water in Bali to prevent getting sick during your trip! 

What to do

  • Embark on the Mount Batur volcano sunrise hike
  • Take yoga classes overlooking rice fields
  • Take a traditional Balinese cooking class in a local Balinese home 
  • Travel up a mountain to the Bedugal temple - a temple high in the mountains floating on a lake
  • Ride an elephant in the Elephant Safari Parks
  • Explore monkey forest in Ubud
  • Have a romantic candlelit dinner on the beach in Jimbaran Bay
  • Visit the famous Padang Padang hidden beach
  • Go temple hopping starting at Tanah Lot and then watch the sunset at Uluwatu temple
  • Take surfing lessons in one of the many beaches or other water activities 
  • All kinds of spas! The options are endless
  • Wander through picturesque rice terraces 
  • Sample coffee at coffee plantations (try the Luwak coffee - local specialty!)
  • Take a weekend trip to the Gili Islands or Nusa Lembongan Island
  • Go beach hopping at black sand beaches (Lovina Beach) and white sand beaches (Karma Beach) - a ton of beautiful white sand beaches in Nusa Dua
  • Snorkel the Bali reefs

Local Specialties

  • Bebek duck -  Roasted duck
  • Babi Guling - Small roasted suckling pig 
  • Luwak coffee - Coffee made with part digested coffee cherries eaten and defecated by the Asian palm civet
  • Bintang Beer

Where to shop

  • Local shops in Ubud and Seminyak towns (Monkey Forest Road in Ubud)
  • Ubud Market
  • Kuta Beachwalk - modern outdoor mall with restaurants and shops 
  • Kuta Square 

Where to eat

  • Seminyak has a huge range of restaurants from amazing small local places to beautiful and upscale fine dining restaurants 
  • Bridges - open-air restaurant hidden among a forest with beautiful views
  • Seafood restaurants all along Jimbaran Bay 

Where to go out/drinks

  • Anywhere in Kuta: Extremely touristy and full of spring breakers from Australia but definitely the place for budget bar hopping! 
  • Potato Head in Seminyak: A chic resto-lounge with its own private beach and infinity pool overlooking the most magnificent sunsets - make sure to be there early for sunset as it gets very busy! 
  • Rock bar in Ayana Resort: Ride a cable car down to this bar perched on top of a cliff overlooking the ocean. Amazing for sunsets but an extremely long line. Located a fair distance from city centre but in the most gorgeous resort ever! Consider having dinner at a restaurant in the resort and heading down to the bar for drinks after to beat the line. 

List by: Vanessa Yuang

Vanessa has studied abroad in the most isolated city in the world and has an endless list of places to visit. Favourite thing to do when travelling: Wandering the streets and finding hidden gems.

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