10 things you cannot miss in Bali
Spend all day lazing at a beach club
Did you really go to Bali if you didn't spend the day chillaxing at one of their Insta-famous beach clubs. There's a number of popular beach clubs in Bali from Potato Head and Ku De Ta in Seminyak to Jungle Fish, Ubud. Luckily I arrived in Bali just a few weeks after the opening of Canggu's hottest new sunset spot, La Brisa. The mesmerising gypsy-like decor, tasty cocktails and idyllic sunset views will have you relaxed for an entire day and you'll want to get there before everybody else discovers it! You can check out my full review of La Brisa here.
Watch the sunrise and sunset
Arrive early to Seminyak Beach and secure your spot on the colourful comfy bean bags, and equally colourful umbrellas. A cute and romantic spot with gorgeous lanterns to grab a bite and a cocktail as you watch the sun go down. There's even a little band that comes out and sings acoustic which really sets the scene, they also ask for requests!
After taking in the gorgeous sunset in the West, head to the East to catch the sunrise at Sanur beach. You'll have to wake up super early for this one. Named as the “Sunrise Beach” and one of the best on the island for catching the sunrise, Maya Sanur is the perfect hotel located just steps from the beachfront. You can read my review of the hotel here.
Sample some of the local food
Bali is home to some delicious food spots and amazing fine-dining restaurants. Eat Street in Seminyak was one of my favourite places to find the best places to dine, that were fine-dining worthy with amazing menus but don't break the bank. Chandi, Batik and Sea Circus on Eat Street along with Black Orchid in Sanur and Ubud and Moon Rabbit in Badung were my favourite dining spots. For more in depth info check out my Bali Guide!
Immerse yourself in the jungle scenery and rice fields
Ubud is like something out of a jungle fairytale, there's so much greenery and jungle to see, the perfect location for those Instagram worthy moments, I even made a little video you can view here. If you've ever seen pictures of Bali on Instagram, it's more than likely the layers greenery in the Ubud rice fields have popped up somewhere. One of the top attractions in Bali and a "see it to believe it" type of place, the trek down the steep steps is well worth experiencing the luscious palm tree overhead and you can stop off on the way down for picture opportunities. It does get quite busy and hot from all of the walking so the best time to visit would be early morning. Tegallalang is also famous for the Love Bali sign, this is just on the side of the road, to the right of the fields. There is a small charge to take a photo here and to enter the rice fields.
The Bali Swing
This place is famous for its swing that is hanging between coconut trees, high atop a hill, which offers you spectacular experience. The view of Ayung River, a mini waterfall, rice fields and Mount Agung makes your swing ride thrilling yet addictive. Zen Hideaway is a perfect place if you are looking for serenity and peace, as the rooms here are semi-open, enabling you to enjoy the fresh air and view of Ubud.
Climb a mountain at sunrise
Climbing a sacred active volcano during sunrise is a bucket list thing to do whilst in Bali. You will see it advertised on all of the tour guides that you walk past in the towns, due to the volcanic scares that were happening with Mount Agung whilst I was in Bali it was out of bounds. As well as the lack of time (no, two weeks is nowhere near enough in Bali) I didn’t get to hike up Mt Batur either, which is right now the safe and only option in terms of a volcanic mountain hike.. The trip starts very early, like 2am and there’s a tricky hike to the top in time for the sunrise. It looks like an unforgettable experience.
Shop the markets of Ubud
There are so many markets in and around Bali which sell food, clothes, souvenirs, bags, you name it. My favourites were the markets in Ubud, there’s just so much to look at. Be weary, majority of the shops pretty much sell similar or the same things and make up prices on the spot so be prepared to haggle. My driver said they usually start at a price 75% higher than what they are willing to accept!
Visit a Waterfall
The idyllic waterfalls in Bali are a beautiful location to spend a couple of hours. I went to the Tegenungan waterfall, which is in Ubud, but I have to say it was a little disappointing, quite muddy and dirty. I’ve seen a number of other waterfalls in Bali along with secret waterfalls which look a lot more striking, particularly the Nungnung Waterfall and Git Git Waterfall.
Get with the culture and visit some temples
Visiting temples in Bali is something you’re not going to want to miss. There’s a strong sense of culture and an air of calm at the temples and the different locations and architectures are each so unique. You have to wear a sarong to visit most of the temples; you can either bring your own or rent one on arrival.
The Pura Ulun Danu Beratan Temple is one of the most famous and significant temples in all of Bali, as well as being one of the most photographed. Located in the centre of the island, it sits on a calming lake up a winding mountainous road against a dreamy mountainous back drop, I visited on quite a cloudy day so unfortunately the fog up there was really thick.
You may have spotted Lempuyang Temple on travel pages on Instagram, one of Bali’s oldest temples and a highlight due to being place 1,175m above sea level with 1,700 steps to climb to get up to the peak.
I also visited the Tirta Empul Holy Spring Water Temple which is close to Ubud. The energy at this sacred temple is remarkable; the spring water is used as holy water for various religious ceremonies.
Go and visit a spiritual healer
As such a spiritual place, there are many spiritual healers in Bali, some real and of course there are always some fakes out there. After Eat, Pray, Love a lot of people had become quite sceptical as well as a lot of comments and reviews floating around online on the authenticity of these healers, I think when it comes to visiting a spiritual healer, I think the best recommendations come from the locals.
I visited Agus Sihman who is an intuitive healer and spent just over 2 hours with him cleansing my energy with a flower bath, a ton beautiful flowers involved in the session, incense and even a little gift afterwards. I strongly believe these experiences are what you make of them, I don’t take every single word literally that I’m told but it definitely makes you think about your energy and attitude and Agus gives you tips and rituals which can improve your life if you act on and continuously work on there. Be prepared to pay a price, my session cost around $100, which I think is a little high, but an unforgettable and refreshing experience nonetheless.