Travelers from all over the world come to Bali for vacation- and with good reason.
The overlook at Uluwatu Temple
Bali is the perfect balance between a relaxation mecca and an adventurer’s wonderland. There are plenty of fun things to do in Bali, you just need to know where to go.
Bali has everything from beautiful historic temples to deep water trekking. After spending a week in this Indonesian paradise, I’ve compiled a list of my top 5 places you won’t want to miss.
Get your feet wet with this amazing trek through Bali’s beautiful Hidden Canyon. For $115,000 IND, a designated guide will take you on an adventure-packed tour through three hard-to-find canyons in northern Bali.
Wading through the Hidden Canyon
Hidden Canyon is definitely a destination for a thrill-seeking traveler because you will be alternating between scaling the sides of the canyon to wading through waist-deep blue waters.
Finishing up my awesome trek
That being said, it’s a lot of fun, just maybe not something you take your great- grandma to do. The entire trip takes around 1.5 hours and is a giant loop back to the parking lot, therefore there is no backtracking on the journey.
The stunning walk back through the rice fields
While exploring the canyon is an undeniably epic experience, the walk after is equally great. On the trek back you will be led through the local farms, which grow everything from hot peppers to eggplants. It’s so peaceful and quiet- a perfect walk on a sunny day.
Ubud Monkey Forest
At first I was skeptical of Ubud Monkey Forest because I am not a fan of overcrowded destinations, but this place is worth it.
Mother and baby monkeys in Ubud’s Monkey Forest
I’ve never seen so many monkeys in one area and it’s freaking awesome. The monkeys come almost too close for comfort. I was often only an inch or two away from a monkey and one time I was almost grabbed by one!
Monkey climbing on some tourists
My favorite part about the forest were all of the little monkey families with babies lounging out in the open. The baby monkeys are especially cute and the families are not afraid of people. Although, don’t get too close because the mothers can be protective. Nevertheless, they still allow you to get close enough for a great photo-op.
One of many monkey families in the forest
One important thing to note about the Ubud Monkey Forest is that you need to secure your belongings. Don’t feed the monkeys, or have anything loosely out in the open, or it will be stolen.
Monkey being fed papaya by the Ubud Monkey Forest’s staff
Items in pockets, glasses (even reading glasses), and small handheld things can all be easily snatched by the monkeys. I’ve personally seen bottles of hand sanitizer, packaged snacks, and reading glasses be snatched by monkeys.
I’ve never visited a place as serene as Uluwatu Temple. The temple is built on the edge of a cliff and has a breathtaking view of the sunset overlooking the Indian Ocean.
Watching the sunset at Uluwatu Temple’s gates
Uluwatu Temple is largely famous for its Kechak Fire Dance ceremony, which is hosted every evening at sundown. I originally visited Uluwatu Temple to see the fire dance, but it was sold out by the time I had arrived. Apparently you have to arrive at 3PM or earlier to reserve a seat at the ceremony.
Even if you get a spot to see the dance, it’s not guaranteed you’ll have a good seat. At first I was bummed about missing the fire dance until I peeked over the gates of the temple and realized how insanely beautiful it was.
Crowds gathering to watch the sunset
After sunset, the crowds usually disperse, which makes the temple more fun to explore. However, you won’t be completely alone because there are plenty of monkeys lounging in the area, too. Make sure to be careful about your personal belongings though because these monkeys like to steal things, too.
Uluwatu Temple monkey who stole someone’s glasses
Nevertheless, Uluwatu Temple is one place where tons of people can congregate, but you still feel like the only person there. It’s truly an amazing experience and at the top of my list for temples in Bali.
Dinner at Jimbaran
Jimbaran is a coastal area of Bali renowned for their awesome seafood by the beach. I ate at a restaurant called Blue Marlin and thoroughly enjoyed both my time there and the amenities.
The band serenading a couple by the beach at Jimbaran
At Jimbaran the seafood is freshly cooked, everyone eats on the beach directly in front of the ocean, and there are performers that will come serenade you at your table. The live music is amazing and the performers are incredibly talented. I had a stellar rendition of “Stand By Me” played for me and I was mesmerized. Of course, after a performance it’s encouraged to tip.
The awesome performers
Not only can the performers sing in English, but they know songs in many other languages such as Japanese and Indonesian. It was very impressive and really added to the entire experience of eating at Jimbaran.
A trip to Bali would be incomplete without visiting Jimbaran and having this full service dinner on the beach. I highly recommend visiting Uluwatu Temple on the same day as Jimbaran due to their close proximity to one another.
Jataluwih is one of my favorite places to see rice fields in Bali. I prefer Jataluwih over others because it is one of the few locations you can see the rice patties with little to no tourists.
Jataluwih Rice Fields
However, the vacancy of Jataluwih is dependent on the time that you go. I visited in the evening around 6PM and there were absolutely no people- not even the Jataluwih ticketing officer was present.
It does get a bit rainy in the evening, but it actually adds to the laid-back atmosphere. If it starts to rain, head up the road to Warung Bamboo Jatiluwih, a nearby restaurant with outstanding pineapple smoothies and fresh Balinese coffee.
Me enjoying a cup of Balinese coffee
There’s no better feeling than watching the rain fall over the rice fields while enjoying a warm cup of Balinese coffee. If you’re looking to get away from the crowds, be sure to visit this destination later in the day and drink some coffee and smoothies at the Warung Bamboo Jataliwuh.
Honorary Mention: Eat Es Campur
Es campur is an amazing dessert that combines fresh fruit, tasty jellies, ice, and sugar syrup into a small bowl, or cup. I ate Es campur at least once every day that I was in Bali.
Es Campur street cart
It’s so delicious and is one of the best ways to get cheap fresh fruit in Bali. Each cup of es campur is only around 7,000-15,000 IND and can be found in little stands along the road. I recommend getting the dragon fruit and jack fruit es campur because it’s the sweetest and most delicious option.
Does Bali Live Up to the Hype?
Does Bali live up to the hype? 100% yes, it’s fun, affordable, and beautiful. It’s the perfect place for a nature-lover like me because everywhere is so green.
Cheesing it up in the Ubud Rice Fields
It also has a ton of shops and nice areas for those who like to live luxuriously. Bali is truly the best of all worlds.
*If you are looking for a driver in Bali feel free to contact mine via WhatsApp at +62 877-6145-4449. He’s the best and his name is Piton and he charges around 600,000 IND (~$45 USD).