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To be honest, there is so much to do and see in Bali.
The nature lovers will find it a perfect place for hiking and exploring waterfalls and forests. The surfers and beach lovers will be able to spend each day at a different amazing beach. The hipsters will love Canggu, the beach clubs and great places to visit and eat. Island hopping, sports, yoga and mindfulness… Bali has it all!
So if I write you my list, of what I think is worth doing in Bali be sure that there is more to add. But let’s start:
- Bali Swing
We all saw the pictures on Instagram – bloggers swinging in the jungle of Ubud. Yes – there are several swings located in Ubud and the Jungle of Bali.
We also visited the Bali Swing and had that once in a lifetime experience. It was so much fun. If you are afraid of heights (which I am) – it is not that bad and looks higher than it is. You have to pay around 15€ in order to use the swing and can do a coffee tasting while waiting till its your turn.
We visited the Swing that is located in Ubud:
Jl. Dewi Saraswati, 80352
Bongkasa Pertiwi, Kapubaten Bandung,
Bali (Banjar Tegal Kuning)
Tel: +62 878 8828 8832 / +62 877 7708 8801
Daily: 8am – 5pm
There are three different swings to choose from, a birds nest and another pink swing for two where you can take pictures.
There are lots of waterfalls on Bali, it just depends on how far you want to travel to see one. When I was there for the first time we visited the Tenungang waterfall in Ubud. It is a very big waterfall but gets really crowded during the day. So you rather want to be there very early in the morning or go somewhere else, where it is less crowded.
This time we decided to go to a waterfall that is like a secret spot – Tukad Cepung waterfall. It is located around an hour from Ubud and a waterfall in a canyon. Just the hike there is worth the experience and gives you Indiana Jones vibes. The Waterfall itself is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. Not a huge one, but located in a cave and absolutely stunning.
I have not been able to visit Aling Aling or Gitgit yet, but I heard these waterfalls are also one of the most beautiful ones of the island.
Of course when you are in Bali you have to visit the Hindu Temples. They are so beautiful and impressive and there is quite a number of them throughout the entire island.
Tanah Lot Temple (the water temple) is one of Bali’s most important landmarks, famed for its unique offshore setting and sunset backdrops. An ancient Hindu shrine perched on top of an outcrop amidst constantly crashing waves; Tanah Lot Temple is simply among Bali’s not-to-be-missed icons. After centuries of large waves persistently crashing at its rock base, Tanah Lot faced the constant threat of erosion, reaching a significant decline in 1980. The authorities carried out preservation efforts to Tanah Lot and other historical sites island-wide with aid from the Japanese government. Fully restored, a third of the present Tanah Lot is actually artificial rock.
Uluwatu Temple, or Pura Luhur Uluwatu, one of six key temples believed to be Bali’s spiritual pillars, is renowned for its magnificent location, perched on top of a steep cliff approximately 70 metres above sea level. This temple also shares the splendid sunset backdrops as that of Tanah Lot Temple, another important sea temple located in the island’s western shores. Pura Luhur Uluwatu is definitely one of the top places on the island to go to for sunset delights, with direct views overlooking the beautiful Indian Ocean and daily Kecak dance performances. Balinese architecture, traditionally-designed gateways, and ancient sculptures add to Uluwatu Temple’s appeal.
Goa Gajah’s name is slightly misleading, lending the impression that it’s a gigantic dwelling full of elephants. Nevertheless, Goa Gajah ‘Elephant Cave’ is an archaeological site of significant historical value that makes it a special place to visit. Located on the cool western edge of Bedulu Village, six kilometres out of central Ubud, you do not need more than an hour to descend to its relic-filled courtyard and view the rock-wall carvings, a central meditational cave, bathing pools and fountains.
Bali is famous for the beautiful beaches. I have not seen all of them yet, but I am working on my list.
My favorite ones so far were Padang Padang, Bingin Beach, Balangan Beach and Echo Beach. Whilst Padang Padang, Binging and Balangan are white sand, Echo Beach has very dark sparkling sand.
- Island hopping
If you have a day or two and time to visit the surrounding islands of Bali, go for it. I wrote another blogpost about our day trips to Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida here.
I have to confess, I love keeping my inner child and going crazy on waterslides. Lucky me that Bali has a waterslide park, yay.
Waterbomb Bali is located in Kuta and has some pretty cool adrenaline slides and pool areas. The water park now even has a flow rider where you can practice some surfing skills and enjoy the good time under the sun.
- Beach clubs
If you are in Bali you have to spend some time at one of the numerous beach clubs. That is just what we do. Usually the beach clubs are located right on the beach, so that you can also enjoy the ocean and have a swim there. I wrote a blogpost about my favorite beach clubs in Bali, which you can find here.
- Floating breakfast
It is something that came up the last years and very Bali style (or should I say blogger style?). The floating breakfast – a floating basked on the pool which carries your food. I wrote about the floating breakfast in my blogpost here.
Ubud is located in the jungle of Bali, around one hour from the airport. Ubud is more of a spiritual location with lots of yoga places and other great things to do.
Ubud Monkey Forest, also known as the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal, is one of Ubud’s most popular attractions; a natural forest sanctuary that is home to a horde of grey long-tailed macaques. The site is well preserved thanks to a community-based management program. The forest is also conveniently positioned near Ubud Town Centre, and within easy walking distance from guesthouses and resorts along the main roads of Jalan Hanoman and the namesake Jalan Monkey Forest. Besides watching playful monkeys in their natural habitat, swinging through canopies, lazing along pathways or feeding on bananas, the site offers cool walks along paved pathways through a leafy nutmeg forest. Beautiful ancient temples with guardian statues covered in moss also feature throughout the forest. Those staying outside of Ubud and coming for a day tour usually have the Ubud Monkey Forest as a must-visit, combined with sightseeing highlights at the Ubud Royal Palace and shopping sprees through the expansive Ubud Art Market, all only a 10-minute drive away.
The Ubud Art Market, locally referred to as ‚Pasar Seni Ubud‘ is located opposite the the Puri Saren Royal Ubud Palace and is open daily. Here you can find beautiful silk scarves, lightweight shirts, handmade woven bags, baskets or hats; statues, kites and many other hand-crafted goods. Most of the goods found at the Ubud Market are made in the neighbouring villages of Pengosekan, Tegallalang, Payangan and Peliatan. The location of the Ubud Art Market which is centred among the art producing villages, and being just opposite the royal palace which is a centre point to Ubud itself, make it a strategic shopping place for Balinese handicrafts and souvenirs.
If you are into meditation and open to something new you should visit the Pyramids of Chi in Ubud. The pyramids are located in a rice terrace and are the ancient way of sound healing. You can either attend a daily session at 11am or 3pm or you can attend a new or full moon session, but places are limited. The healing session is around 1 hour and it is a great experience. I really enjoyed it.
Tegallalang Rice Terraces in Ubud is famous for its beautiful scenes of rice paddies involving the subak (traditional Balinese cooperative irrigation system), which according to history, was passed down by a revered holy man named Rsi Markandeya in the eighth century. Tegallalang forms the three most splendid terraced landscapes in Ubud’s shared region, with the others being in the villages of Pejeng and Campuhan. The Tegallalang rice terraces alone offers a scenic outlook that spreads down before you and away to the rice paddies on the slopes across the valley. The high roadside location is cool and breezy and it is a well-known spot for tourists to stop and take photos. Painters and nature lovers also enjoy visiting this spot, and there are numerous art kiosks and cafes near the ledge offering their ware.
Bali is famous for surfing. When we were there we were lucky to see the final of the ASP Surf Stop in Uluwatu
Depending on your surfing level different beaches might be interesting for you.
I surfed in Echo Beach and Bingin Beach and I had a good time.
The barrels in Balangan Beach look really nice and clean most of the time. Binging Beach is a reef break. Uluwatu is more the advanced level of surfers. Same goes for Padang Padang.
Echo Beach is a beach break and there are lots of beginners in the water and it might get crowded.
If you are a beginner, go with a surf buddy or surf school, because the currents are quite strong sometimes and surfing on a reef for a beginner is dangerous.
So I guess you now have to add a lot of stuff to your Bali bucket list. Bali is very versatile and there is a lot to see. I did not add hiking to my list, because I am not much of a big hiker. Even though I believe there are some nice hiking tracks in Bali and even considering the jungle. So don’t be surprised if you have to come back ;) – its always good to keep some plans for the next time.