The following is a guest post by Bianca of My Wild Earth
Cascading waterfalls, breathtaking views and unique temples that blend seamlessly with modern infrastructure, Bali is an idyllic island that really has it all. Likely the most popular and well-known of Indonesia’s islands, it has long been a favorite for travelers, tourists and honeymooners alike due to a diverse range of activities and sights to see that keep you wide-eyed and filled with wonder.
We’ve put together a list of our favorite places so you can get the most enjoyment possible from your trip to the jewel of Indonesia.
Five Things You Need to do in Bali!
1. Uluwatu Beach & Temple
Perched on top of a cliff some 250 feet above the waves that lap gently against the shoreline sits Uluwatu Temple. A location that houses some of the best sunsets you will ever witness, this is an absolute must-see spot. Visiting hours are 09:00 – 18:00 and guest will be required to wear a sarong and sash. The beach itself is one of Bali’s most well-known surfer hot spots, so if this is something you enjoy, it goes without saying that this will skyrocket to the top of your list of places to visit in Bali.
Even though the beach delivers the perfect waves for surfers, Padang Padang Beach is beautiful and calm, with stunning cliff overhangs that make it feel hidden and isolated. This is the ideal spot to spend a perfect beach day soaking in the sun and cooling off in the inviting water.
Finally, beware of the monkeys. At the front of the temple is a forest which houses monkeys by the hundreds, who are believed to watch over the area and protect it from evil influences. But the monkeys themselves will have bad intentions if you’re not careful and can take your possessions in a flash, so be on alert!
2. Ubud – Tegalalang Rice Terraces & Tegalalang Waterfall
Coined as Bali’s cultural heart, Ubud is just a short drive from the Tegallalang Rice Terraces with sweeping scenes of semi-submerged cascading rice paddies, the traditional means of irrigation used by the Balinese. You can capture the perfect photo here! The way the rice terraces swoop down the valley paint an unbelievable picture that will stick in your mind for a long time.
Surrounded by a jungle fortification lies the nearby Tegalalang Waterfall. Getting there is relatively straightforward and once in the area, you’ll be greeted by souvenir shops, stalls which sell refreshments and the ticket booth. Pay the fee and experience the magical feeling of the waterfall and if you’re confident, swim under it for a truly wild experience.
3. Ubud Monkey Forest
Staying in Ubud, the next must-visit attraction is the famous monkey forest sanctuary. It’s located close to the town centre and it’s an easy site to walk to. There’s a great ice cream shop nearby, but only grab one after visiting, as any food you take in on display will be snapped up by those naughty monkeys!
Upon entry there are stands which sell bananas that you can purchase to feed the primates, but be warned, do not show them all out at once, otherwise, you will be completely swarmed and relieved of your fruit almost immediately! It’s an absolute laugh riot however and we highly recommend you partake in this feeding frenzy for the sheer amount of hilarity that will ensue as you have them bounding over to you. Take caution though, as they are wild animals after all and biting is not uncommon.
Within the forests are multiple holy sites which are linked to the Balinese Hindu belief system about death and reincarnation. Providing a fascinating backdrop to the occasional madness of the monkeys, there is much to see and do at this revered destination.
4. Campuhan Ridge Walk
Beginning in Ubud, this hike is a free way to enjoy one of Bali’s most beautiful vistas as you trek along its route. The path itself is usually quiet so you’ll have plenty of time to take everything in at your own leisure without feeling cramped or pressured to move on.
Along the walk, you will encounter the magnificent Pura Gunung Lebah temple complex, which offers another look into the rich cultural aspect of Bali. Moving on from the temples the landscape will open out and the view is dominated by boundless hills that encompass the valley.
During sunrise or sunset, you will experience astonishing vistas of color as the skies really flaunt their full spectrum, unhindered by man-made structures. Your path will diverge and you can choose to head to Ibah or continue west and eventually wind up in the hills of Payogan.
5. Ulun Danu Beratan Temple
Conceivably one of the most iconic images of Bali, this sanctuary shares similarities with Uluwatu Temple. The lake surrounding the area is silky smooth, providing a reflective surface that is mirror-like and gives the impact that the temple bases are actually floating, providing a great visual.
Dwelling in the background is the mountainous region of Bedugul which surrounds and isolates the lake, encapsulating you in a majestic atmosphere which provides a real sense of wonder. You can hire a traditional jukung outrigger to explore the lake completely and there is also an opportunity for partaking in activities like parasailing and jet skiing. The temple complex itself is host to the wonderful Balinese architecture and shrines that are dedicated primarily to the god Vishnu.
As you can see there are heaps of fascinating and wonderful sites to visit, cultural lessons to be soaked in and rich surroundings to be witnessed. Whether it’s enjoying a moment of calm within one of the temples or seeing the glee of a monkey scurrying towards you as you proffer a banana, Bali offers experiences in life that you simply cannot get anywhere else. Make the most out of your time there and absorb it all, the memories will last a lifetime.
About the Author
My name is Bianca. Me and my family lived in Bali for several weeks before moving on. There was simply too much to take in on a shorter visit. It can get very hot along the coast, so move inland toward Ubud for a cooler experience. The hawkers at some of the more popular beaches tend to get a bit overbearing so definitely check out paid beaches like “Sundays Beach Club” and “The W” for an uninterrupted experience.
That being said, the people are amazing, the architecture is unreal and you’ll be hard-pressed to find more beautiful scenery anywhere in the world!