Despite being such a small island, Bali is packed with so many beautiful areas and awesome experiences – and it’s one of my favorite places to visit in the world. What I love the most about Bali is how much cultural heritage they have, their colorful traditions and celebrations that seem to happen pretty much every day. I’m not lying, almost every day we were told that there was a religious celebration going on in some part of the island that we should go and see – if you haven’t visit Indonesia yet, get a plane ticket and book a hotel to enjoy all this amazing destination has to offer.
Best Places To Visit In Bali Indonesia
After the movie ”Eat Pray Love” it’s probably quite busy in this little town in the middle of the island, but even before that movie, Ubud was popular for a very good reason: it’s the artistic hub of Bali. Surrounded by rice paddies (which for the record you have to see – they’re beautiful!), this town was originally important as a source of medicinal herbs and plants, which is perhaps the reason why there are so many detox- and spa centers there.
If you have a few days to spare I’d really recommend trying a detox program, it totally goes with the spirit and vibe of Bali, and it’s so much cheaper than in the West. In fact it might be cheaper even when including the cost of cheap flights to Bali, than a detox would at home. Today Ubud is also known for the abundance of art and crafts sold there, and it’s a great place to base yourself when doing day trips to the nearby villages.
Amed is perhaps one of the trickiest places in Bali to reach. This can also be seen as a good thing, as there are pretty much NO tourists there, yet it’s the perfect place to go snorkeling or diving, find empty beaches and, for those who want to feel like they’re in the middle of nowhere – Amed is prefect.
A short moped ride away from Candidasa, you’ll find Tenganan village, one of the ancient villages where the native Balinese people live. Here houses and customs are the same as they always have been, and apart from showing a few tourists around the village, inside their homes, and sharing their rare craft and art – things go on as normal.
There are way too many temples in Bali to count, but if you can only visit one temple, make sure it’s Tanah Lot. This temple is unique because it’s located in such a beautiful location. It’s a temple on a rock, surrounded by water and when the tide is high it’s actually inaccessible, even by boat because of the rocks. The best time to visit is when there is an event or celebration going on. It is definitely a highlight to check out the Balinese celebrations, where the locals dress up in beautiful traditional costumes, sing, dance, and carry large plates of food on their heads to sacrifice to the gods. A good time to visit is May, as there are no school holidays in Australia, it’s not a high season for tourists and we’ve found some really cheap international flights to Bali around that time.
Things To Do In Bali, Indonesia
Bali is a small but compact island in Indonesia – with so much to see and do there, and such a strong local culture, it almost seems like a country in itself. To see and do everything you need at least one month, but today we’ll show you some highlights for a short trip to Bali.
The Artist Villages, Ubud
Ubud is known as the artist center, it’s the hub where people from nearby villages come to sell their art. Many of the local artists live in the outskirts of Ubud, and every village has their special art specialty. Painters live in one village, wooden craft people in another, and jewelry makers in a third etc. Visiting these places one by one is a great experience, as you get to meet the whole family of artists (the art form is normally inherited from father to son) and see them work. Also make sure you check out the nearby monkey forest!
Tenganan is an ancient village in the middle of nowhere, 5 km off the road from Candidasa. It’s the oldest village in Bali, where the people have also kept their old pre-hindu customs. This village is a Bali Aga village (from the people who were there before the Hindu Javanese came to Bali). It’s a really charming place to visit for a day. You can walk around the village, visit a local’s home, let them weave you something using their traditional technique, or paint you something (like a traditional Aga story). They normally just ask you for a small donation on entry – which goes towards keeping the village running.
Relax in Amed
This is a place MOST people don’t even know about – we didn’t meet a single tourist while there for 7 days. It’s easy to understand why celebrities choose this place as a drug-rehab location for a few months – no one will be able to find you! If you want to relax in a place in the middle of nowhere, snorkel and enjoy some solitude, then Amed is the place to go. There is not much to do here, but just relaxing and enjoying the green nature and good swimming. WARNING: there are no shops, ATM machines or anything there, so make sure you bring enough cash before you leave Kuta – we made this mistake! :p
Shop and Surf in Kuta
If you’re into surfing and shopping – then you’ll love Kuta. The shopping here is cheap, and all the main surf brands have set up huge stores full of surf clothes- plus the beach is nice and the surfing can be awesome! You can easily hire a surfboard on the beach and go play in the water – Kuta is also the center for partying in Bali.
Bali is the greenest place I’ve ever seen. Nowhere else have I seen so many different shades of green, in such a beautiful scenery. The best way to enjoy the nature is to visit a rice field and walk through the middle of this green heaven. There are some beautiful photo moments to get there. Bali Rice Fields – When I think about Bali, the first thing which comes to mind is GREEN – everything there is such an incredible shade of green. To really experience this green-ness, make sure you head out to the Bali rice fields.
A Balinese Dance Show
A show full of colors, amazing dresses, dances and humor – the story is the same but they always change their approach depending on the audience. If you for example watch when the audience is full of teenage school classes, they will put in more childish humor and sex jokes, while for an older audience they stress other things.
Tanah Lot Temple
Tanah Lot Temple is a temple built on a rock by the sea, in the most beautiful setting. Coming here during a celebration or ceremony is a great experience. When we went there – there was a huge party where locals had traveled from long distances (many of them had walked the whole way), bringing food and other sacrifices, dressed in their special outfits. Balinese music was playing, they were singing and there was golden decorations and dragons everywhere.
Well these are some of the best things to do next time you are in Bali – also a great way to see many of these in 1 day is to hire a taxi and tour guide for the day (it’s really cheap!) – we got one guy and he took us for an 8 hr tour around Bali, which turned into 14 hrs for the same price – amazing and really great to have a local tell you about everything.