Bali is a special island. You could even say that the island is divine. For in almost no other place in the world are the gods as close and present as in Bali. There are thousands of temples in Bali, and hardly a day goes by without a religious ceremony taking place somewhere. It is not without reason that Bali is also called the island of the gods (and demons).
For tourists Bali has a lot to offer: beaches, sights, nature highlights, dream resorts and villas * , good restaurants and bars, cool party locations, art, culture and crafts as well as various activities such as water sports, fun sports, yoga and many others. And here are the 30 things to do in bali, see and experience on your Bali trip:
30 Things You Should Not Miss In Bali
1. Walk through the rice fields
Walking around the rice fields or cycling in Bali is a must. Everything around you is lush green. Here and there you can watch the rice farmers cultivate their fields. In hours, often very laborious work seedlings are brought into the soil, irrigated fields and knocked out the rice at harvest.
The most beautiful rice terraces in Bali are for me the rice terraces at Sidemen in the east of Bali. Here you can walk for hours through the fields and always have the Götterberg Gunung Agung in mind. Other beautiful rice terraces are located in Jatiluwih on the slopes of Gunung Batukaru or Ubud ( Tegalalang, Camphuan Ridge Walk ).
2. Visit the temple
Not for nothing Bali is called the “Island of the Thousand Temples”. There are about 20,000 temples and temples in Bali. These include, inter alia, state stamps, sea temples and village temples. You can see enough of temples in Bali. Provided, of course, that you are interested in temples and Hinduism.
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It should be noted that the Hindu temples on Bali are all very similar in construction and architecture. In larger temples there is usually a central area with several Meru and several courtyards and shrines. Compared to Buddhist temples, which are often very elaborately decorated, the Hindu temples on Bali look rather simple.
The most important and beautiful temples in Bali include Pura Besakih (Mother Temple), Pura Tanah Lot, Pura Luhur Uluwatu, Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave), Pura Taman Ayun, Pura Ulun Danu Batur, Pura Puncak Penulisan, Pura Tirta Empul , Pura Goa Lawah (bats temple) and Pura Kehen.
You should enter a Balinese temple in appropriate clothing with sarong and possibly temple scarf. Sleeveless as well as low-cut tops and shirts are a taboo in Balinese temples.
For donations a so-called donation box is available in most temples in Bali. The money is usually used for the preservation and maintenance of temples.
3. Drink sundowner in Seminyak or Legian
Granted, Seminyak and Legian are not among my favorite beaches in Bali (too full for me). But plopping down in one of the colorful beanbags at sunset and drinking a sundowner is just something. Firstly, the sunsets in Seminyak and Legian are really beautiful, secondly, the atmosphere at both beaches in the evening is incomparably good and super relaxed.
While chilling in your beanbag with your beer or cocktail in hand, you can look out over the ocean, watch the surfers and watch the sun as it sinks by the minute, turns orange-red and finally sinks into the sea.
4. Pamper you in a spa
Aroma therapy, exfoliation, flower bath, Balinese massage – in a Balinese spa, you can be pampered for hours and then feel like new again. Spas are available almost everywhere in Bali, at most of the larger resorts * and especially in Ubud. Ubud is famous for its spas. In old palaces with beautiful gardens, ponds and fountains all imaginable wellness treatments are offered in a stylish ambience.
The top spas in Ubud, however, are not cheap compared to other spas in Bali. 3 to 5 hours of pampering cost between 60 and 110 US dollars on average. But it is also more expensive.
5. Climb the volcanoes
On Bali, you can climb volcanoes and boil an egg over the volcano steam at sunrise. For example, on the Gunung Batur (1717 m) in the east of Bali. Guided tours start in the village of Toya Bungkah and can be booked at most tour offices and resorts. Let’s start already at 4 o’clock in the morning. The ascent takes just under three hours.
The ascent of Gunung Agung , at 3142 meters, is the highest mountain and volcano in Bali. For the longer southwest route, you’ll bump a full day, seven hours back and seven hours back. Start of the tours is therefore already at midnight. Meeting point is the Pura Penataran Agung above the Pura Besakih, Bali’s mother temple.
If you do not have that much stamina, you’ll go south on the south route to the bottom of the crater. The ascent takes just under four hours. The starting point for the tour is the village of Selat.
6. Living in a dream villa
Nowhere in the world have I seen such beautiful and stylish villas as in Bali. Best of all, you do not have to be a millionaire or a millionaire to spend the night in such a dream villa in Bali. In some places you are even with 60 or 70 euros per night here. Of course everything is open at the top.
On my Bali travels, I treated myself to a dream villa three times, once in Jimbaran and twice near Ubud in the middle of the rice fields. All villas had beautiful gardens, a private pool, open plan living rooms and top quality service. In our Mango Tree Villa * in Jimbaran, we just had to open the garden gate a crack in the morning, and the breakfast came. At Villa Semana * near Ubud, so-called personal assistants were available around the clock for us. Hard to beat was the service in the Samaya Villa *also at Ubud. The location on the Ayung River is unique on top of that. The villas have their price. I had to take a deep breath several times before I booked three nights at Samaya Ubud.
7. Eat seafood in Jimbaran
With its luxury hotels * , Jimbaran is one of the finest beaches in Bali, known for its excellent seafood restaurants. At most of the 50 or so fish restaurants on Jimbaran Beach, you can choose your fish and seafood at the bar itself. The choices include tuna, red snapper, sea bream, squid, crabs, tiger prawns and lobster. Fresh fish and seafood are fresh on the grill and are served with a smorgasbord of side dishes such as vegetables, salad, rice and sambal.
The prices in the fish restaurants on Jimbaran Beach are not cheap for Balinese conditions, but still affordable. For example, 100 grams of tiger prawns cost around 2.50 euros, 100 grams of tuna around 0.60 euros.
And while you’re in Jimbaran, do not miss out on a visit to the fish market in Kedonganan . Incidentally, most seafood restaurants from Jimbaran and the surrounding area also buy here. However, it does not make much sense to be on the market much later than 7 o’clock, as there is not much left of the fish.
8. Watch Balinese dances
Balinese dances are famous and difficult to learn. Every hand movement, every facial expression has to sit and has its own meaning. Even though most tourists can not interpret the gestures or facial expressions of the dancers and usually do not understand anything about the history of the dance, it is worth visiting a dance performance in Bali. Especially because of the elaborate costumes, the choreography and the often atmospheric ambience such as in the Royal Palace in Ubud or in the Pura Luhur Uluwatu against the backdrop of the setting sun.
The nightly Legong or Barong performances at the Royal Palace in Ubud and the kecak dance performances at the Uluwatu are mass events for tourists. Entire busloads are unloaded here every day for the demonstrations. Personally, I prefer to watch the dances in a restaurant or café off the beaten track, or watch a rehearsal in one of the villages near Ubud.
On Bali you can surf until you drop. Because of the strong surf, the surf spots and beaches in the south of Bali are particularly suitable. Kuta and Legian are fully prepared for surfing tourists. On both beaches you can borrow boards every few meters. There are dozens of surf schools and surf shops.
If you are not into mass tourism and mega-parties, you are z. In Canggu and Echo Beach north of Seminyak. Also on Balangan Beach on the peninsula Bukit. On all three beaches things are much more uncommercial than in Kuta and Legian.
10. Taste coffee and tea
Have you ever had ginseng coffee or cinnamon coffee? No? Then you should definitely try it. There are various coffee plantations in Bali, where you can taste Balinese coffee (Kopi) in dozens of flavored variants, eg. As well as coconut and vanilla coffee. Or the famous Kopi Luwak , which comes, so to speak, directly from the stomach of the civet cat. Do not worry, the coffee beans fermented in the stomach of the cat are thoroughly cleaned after exiting.
On many plantations, in addition to coffee, you can taste and, of course, buy flavored teas such as ginger, lemongrass and mangosteen tea. However, the price has washed itself: For 200 grams of pure organic Lemon Grass Tea, I paid around 17 euros on the coffee plantation “Subak Bali Agro” at the Jalan Mekarsari-Baturiti Bedugul.
11. Visit craftworks
In Bali, arts and crafts play a big role. The center of craftsmanship is the artists’ village on the street of artisans between Ubud and Denpasar. Teges and Mas are known for wood carving and the manufacture of furniture. Batuan is the village of painters, Batubulan the stonemason. Umbrellas and Wayang Kulit dolls for the Indonesian shadow play are produced in Sukawati, gold and silver jewelery in Celuk.
There are very special crafts in the Bali Aga village Tenganan to see: z. B. the elaborate production of Lontarschriften and the known as double ikat weaving, with the expensive Geringsing fabrics are made. In addition, Tenganan is known for its wickerwork.
Master in the production of long-written manuscripts in the Bali Aga village of Tenganan
If you visited all the craft shops in Bali, you would be busy months. Therefore, you should choose well and according to your very special interests and preferences.
Of course you can also buy arts and crafts in Bali. Usually many times cheaper than in this country. For example, paintings. My favorite gallery in Bali is the Semar Kuning Artist Cooperative at Ubud with a huge selection of images of all styles. On my Bali trips, I have already bought a whole series of pictures from the Semar Kuning Cooperative.
12. Diving at Pulau Menjangan
Up to 40 meters of visibility, deep blue water and beautiful, intact coral reefs make the small island Pulau Menjangan in the northwest of Bali one of the most popular dive spots in Bali. You will rarely find big fish here, but you dive in a crystal-clear aquarium.
Pulau Menjangan is part of Bali Barat National Park. Dive trips to Menjangan are best booked at one of the diving centers in Pemuteran, eg. At the Diving Center Werner Lau at the Pondok Sari Resort * . The drive from Pemuteran to Pulau Menjangan takes about 40 minutes by speedboat. There are no accommodations on Pulau Menjangan itself.
13. Snorkeling at Bio Rock in Pemuteran
Ever seen under water the Eiffel Tower, a Buddha statue or a steel fish? Me, at the “Bio Rock” in Pemuteran in the northwest of Bali. The Bio Rock is one of the most unusual snorkeling and diving areas in the world and a unique coral reforestation project.
On an area of about two hectares, 45 steel cages of different shapes and sizes have been lowered into the water and planted with corals. A replacement for the former, mostly by dynamite fishing destroyed reefs. The coral cages are now habitat for a variety of reef fish.
The Bio Rock is located on the beach of Pemuteran near the Pondok Sari Resort * and Taman Sari Bali Resorts * . You can snorkel and dive directly from the beach.
14. Experience a ceremony
There is always a religious ceremony going on somewhere in Bali. Either in one of the thousands of temples, by the sea, by a lake, in a village or on the street. Sometimes whole villages or village communities participate in a ceremony. It is prayed and sacrificed, danced and played music (gamelan).
The most impressive ceremonies I’ve seen so far in Bali were a mega family ceremony in the Pura Besakih, a death ceremony in Padang Bai (the dead was carried through the streets to the village cemetery accompanied by a Gemalan orchestra), a temple feast in the Pura Taman ( on the grounds of the elephant cave Goa Gajah) and a burning ceremony on the beach across the street from the Goa Lawah bats temple.
By the way, most Balinese do not mind when tourists are present at the ceremonies and also take pictures. However, out of respect, you should keep your distance from the action, never interfere with prayers in any way, be properly dressed, and keep quiet.
15. Do yoga
Bali is a yoga mecca. In Bali, you can learn yoga almost anywhere or deepen your practice in courses such as: At one of the many yoga studios and yoga retreats in Ubud, among the rice fields of Jatiluwih or Canggu Beach.
Here I have put together a selection of popular yoga retreats for you: Soulshine Bali * (Ubud), Om Ham Resort Ubud * , Prana Dewi Mountain Resort * (Jatiluwih, dream location surrounded by rice fields), Serenity Eco Guesthouse * (Canggu, near the beach).
16. Eat Nasi Campur
Assuming you eat meat and fish, you should have eaten Nasi Campur at least once in Bali. Nasi Campur consists of various small dishes and cooked rice (“nasi”) as a basis. What’s on offer is what the kitchen has to offer. Therefore, at Nasi Campur, the ingredients and the composition of the food from restaurant to restaurant and from Warung to Warung (= simple restaurant) can be very different.
Usually a Nasi Campur on Bali consists of one or more beef, lamb or pork curries, various vegetables (fried or curry), a grilled chicken leg and / or plucked chicken, grilled fish (mostly tuna), fried tofu , Tempeh, corn, grated coconut, kerupuk, a fried egg and rice. One or more sambals (chilli-based sauces) are served.
My favorite sambal is Sambal Matah, a dip made from chopped chillies, lemon grass, garlic, shallots, ginger, lime juice, salt and coconut oil. Sauscharf and very, very delicious!
17. Drive with a Jukung
Something wobbly it is already in such a jukung, the ride in any case but an experience. Jukungs are traditional Indonesian fishing boats and are also used in Bali for fishing. There are both one-man boats and larger jukungs for ten or more people. The outrigger boats are usually powered by a motor, sometimes with a rudder or sail.
For tourists, fishermen on Bali offer round trips and fishing tours with Jukungs on many beaches. In Padang Bai, Jimbaran, Lovina and Pemuteran. Jukungs can also be chartered at the volcanic lakes such as Bratan Lake.
18. Drink smoothies
Strawberry Mint Smoothie, Pineapple Passion Fruit Smoothie, Papaya Apple Smothie and, and, and. On Bali you can sip on deliciously fresh smoothies. Smoothies are everywhere in Bali: in beach bars, warungs, restaurants, cafes or markets.
Personally, I prefer to drink my smoothies at “Maha” on Monkey Forest Road in Ubud. My absolute favorite: the lime-mint smoothie, poison green and super refreshing. The “Maha” is a simple garden café with rabbits hovering around freely. In addition to smoothies, the drinks and menus also include cocktails, coffee and tea specialties, rice dishes as well as vegetarian and vegan dishes.
Ubud is a paradise for veggies anyway. Most Ubud’s wares, restaurants and cafes offer a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes.
19. Rafting on the Ayung River
In Ubud rafting on the Ayung River is an absolute must. The tours lead through the middle of the jungle and past hidden waterfalls. Of course, there are also swimming stops.
Rafting tours on the Ayung River can be booked in Ubud at all travel agencies and resorts. Two hours of rafting cost an average of 30 to 40 euros p. P. (including pick-up from the hotel, introduction and safety equipment), a full day with sightseeing program 60 to 80 euros. Rafting tours on the Ayung are offered in different levels of difficulty. The beginner packages are also suitable for children (only when accompanied by an adult).
The main party mile on Bali is Kuta. In Kuta, you can celebrate nights, for As the Pyramid Club (Jl. Dewi Sri no. 33), in the Bounty Discotheque (J. Legian), the Sky Garden (Jl. Legian no. 61), in Hypnotized Club (Jl. Pantai Kuta) or in the Hard Rock Café , which belongs to the neighboring Hard Rock Hotel * .
Other popular hotels in Kuta are the Citadines Kuta Beach Bali * and the Sun Island Hotel Kuta * . Cheap and well stay overnight at Asana Agung Putra Bali * (Poppies 1), Grand Baron Resort * (Poppies Lane 2) or Ida Hotel Kuta Bali * . You can find even more hotels in Kuta in the hotel overview * .
21. Learn to cook Balinese
Learn how to make a delicious Mie goreng, make a spicy sambal or wrap fish in banana leaves. There are plenty of cooking schools in Bali. Some of the best coocking schools are the Casa Luna Coocking School in Ubud, the Ketut’s Bali Cooking Class and the Bumbu Bali Cooking School in Tanjung Benoa (Jl Pratama).
22. Visit art museums in Ubud
If you are interested in art and painting, you should definitely visit the Puri Lukisan (Palace of Arts) , the Blanco Renaissance Museum and the Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA) in Ubud .
23. In the sacred water, clean your body, mind and soul
Bali has many sacred springs. The Balinese attribute healing powers to the holy water and a purifying effect on the body, mind and soul. Therefore, Balinese often undergo ritual ablutions.
Tourists are also welcome in the baths and baths. For example, in the Pura Tirta Empul (15 km from Ubud), in the swimming pool of the Tirta Gangga Water Palace in the east of Bali or in the Air Panas Komala Tirta , the hot springs near Lovina.
24. Driving Bemo
If you want to get in touch with locals in Bali and gain insights into Balinese everyday life, you should let yourself be carried away by a ride in one of the most overcrowded Bemos. Bemos are minivans converted to minibuses and travel almost everywhere in Bali. Not only for locals, but also for tourists, they are the cheapest means of transport in Bali.
25. Monkeys look
Monkeys (Longtail macaques) can be experienced up close on Bali. For example, in the monkey forest Mandala Wisata Wanara Wana in Ubud or in Obyek Wisata Sangeh a few kilometers northwest of Ubud. I personally like the Sangeh monkey forest better, as it is not quite as crowded as the Monkey Forest in Ubud.
Monkeys are considered sacred in Bali. Therefore, the monkey forests with their temples are sacred places for the Balinese.
26. Nothing for veggies: eat Babi Guling
Assuming that you like to eat meat and have nothing against pork, you should definitely try Babi Guling (grilled suckling pig) in Bali.
The most famous warung for suckling pig roast on Bali is the Warung Ibu Oka in Ubud opposite the Royal Palace. Although I found the suckling pig quite delicious, the warung is usually overcrowded and fully geared towards mass-feeding tourists.
My best Babi Guling I ate in a Warung in northern Bali on the coastal road between Singaraja and Pemuteran. But you do not have to drive to the north of Bali to eat good suckling pig roast. Babi Guling-Warungs is everywhere in Bali.
27. Hiking in the Bali Barat National Park
Savannahs, monsoon forests, rainforests and rivers – if you are into jungle trekking, you should definitely go on a tour of the Taman Nasional Bali Barat. The national park is located in the extreme northwest of Bali and is best reached from Pemuteran and the ferry terminal Gilimanauk. Visiting the Bali Barat National Park is only possible if accompanied by a Park Ranger. With a bit of luck, on your trek, you can spot one of the rare and endangered balistars in the treetops.
28. Visit waterfalls
Admittedly, in the dry season, the waterfalls in Bali are not exactly intoxicating. Nevertheless, a visit is worth it just because of the location in the middle of the jungle. Most tourists visit the Gitgit waterfall in the north of Bali. A good alternative for me is the Munduk waterfall near the twin lakes Danau Buyan and Danau Tamblingan.
Numerous clove trees grow in the forest at Munduk Waterfall. On the way to the waterfall you can watch the harvest and also buy cloves. They were the tastiest and most aromatic cloves I have ever eaten.
29. Only for Smokers: Try Kreteks
Kretek cigarettes are clove cigarettes and consist of tobacco from finely cut cloves. I think the taste is pretty interesting. Of course, Kretek cigarettes are as harmful as any other cigarettes.
30. Meet the Holy Sea Serpents
Two sacred sea snakes can be seen in the cave Ular Suci opposite the Pura Tanah Lot . The black-and-white-ringed serpents act as temple guards and are overseen by priests.
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