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!

Visit Tenganan

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.

Rice Fields

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.

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.

17 Responses to Things To Do In Bali, Indonesia

  1. GlobalButterfly September 7, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    WOW!!! As if I didn’t already want to visit Bali enough. I’m DYING to do a yoga/surf camp there.

    • Nathan September 7, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

      a yoga/surf camp? then Bali would be perfect – yeah we forgot to add the Ubud is also the center for yoga, natural health and living. Bali is a place we would love to live :)

  2. Joyceee September 7, 2010 at 5:47 pm #

    wow, makes me itching to go visit bali soon! :)

    • Sofia September 8, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

      We had a blast there, you’ll love it!

  3. Mary R September 8, 2010 at 1:20 am #

    I hope I can make it to Bali soon. Did you think it seemed to get more tourists now with the hype from the EPL book and movie? The Tanah Lot Temple looks amazing and how lucky you were to witness an event.

    So for reference, I’m wondering what a good price would be for hiring a driver for the day?

    • Nathan September 9, 2010 at 9:10 am #

      Hey Mary, haven’t seen the EPL movie yet :p – but when we were in Bali last year there weren’t many tourists, due to the government warnings about terrorist threats, of which we saw NOTHING… such a safe and friendly place!

      About hiring a driver, it all depends on how many people you are – the normal is that you pay around 35-40US for a driver, a guide and car and they take you for the whole day (8+ hours). Our driver took us for 14 hrs, which was crazy, and so worth the money!

  4. Jaime September 8, 2010 at 2:04 am #

    I had not added Bali to my itinerary until yesterday I saw Sam Brown episode on it and loved it and now today I came across this so it is MEANT TO BE for me to go here. I am so going here it looks amazing thanks for the info!! The pics are amazing too!!!

    Oh about how much did you spend per day here?

    • Nathan September 9, 2010 at 9:25 am #

      Hey Jaime – sounds like it’s meant to be ;) Bali is the perfect place I think, such friendly people, and amazing weather, beaches, surfing etc.

      You always eat out in Bali, since everything is so cheap, and I think we spent about 22-33US a day including accommodation – breakfast (often included in the hostel price), lunch, dinner etc. also once you leave Kuta and Ubud everything is so much cheaper as well.

      Have a great time there! :)

  5. a wandering sole September 8, 2010 at 3:28 am #

    This is a really nice compilation. I’m heading to Bali next month for two weeks and am looking to get away from the Kuta scene. Amed sounds great! I might spend one week on a neighboring island to do some volcano trekking, but you’ve definitely given me a lot to think about. Thanks!

    • Nathan September 9, 2010 at 9:04 am #

      Her Laura – oh so jealous, Bali is one of my fav. places – we were there about a year ago. Amed is heaven, if you like to relax, and be away from everything – i could retire there :p hope you enjoy your time there!

  6. Shenandoah Bed and Breakfast September 8, 2010 at 8:14 am #

    Bali is well-known among all ages’ group, families, kids, youngster and newly couple for vacationing.
    Bali just doesn’t have the beaches but also has beautiful Jungle that has some rare bird and monkey species, rich culture, events, festivals, foods and much more.

    IMO when visiting Bali don’t just limited to some specific places/beaches or activities. Explore it and dig it, every time you’ll find something new and new look of this marvelous place.

    • Nathan September 9, 2010 at 9:05 am #

      thanks for sharing, you are right – Bali has so many things to offer, and its not just at the beach!

  7. Soan September 8, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    You missed trekking to top of Mt. Batur to catch sunrise.. It was one of the high points of our trip to Bali..

    • Sofia September 8, 2010 at 2:26 pm #

      Hey Soan! Unfortunately we didn’t do the trek, will definitely make sure to include that next time we go!

  8. ivee05 September 19, 2010 at 7:45 am #

    Hi Nathan, we are planning to go Bali for our 1st wedding anniversary. We just want to do lil sightseeing, shopping and relaxing. By relaxing I mean a good body pampering :) Do u have any suggestion as to which area to stay? How do we find the day trip driver/guide? In airport or town? I’m also looking forward to try their local cuisine esp babi guling :)

  9. Valerie October 31, 2010 at 6:06 am #

    Hi Nathan,
    I am from Goa, India and very keen in travelling to Bali. was looking at going towards the end of March 2011. Which places would you recommend for me to see and stay considering I am looking for a local Balinese experience.

  10. Academyofhealingarts November 1, 2010 at 6:49 am #

    Come experience magic in Lodtunduh, Ubud, Bali
    http://www.facebook.com/baliacademy