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10 Unique Things to Do in Bali

Bali, a tiny island in Indonesia. It is that place that you see on Instagram – pictures of pristine beaches, beautiful temples, gorgeous Balinese villas, food to die for. Bali is a place which offers something for everyone – young & adults, thrill seekers & beach bums, everyone! Here are the top 10 unique things to do in Bali that you should be on the top of your itinerary.

People always ask how many days are enough for Bali? The short answer is as many as you can spare! There is so much to do & see on this tiny island that even a week feels insufficient. I spent 2 weeks and I think I could have spent 2 more to fully explore Bali.

 

Also read – How to spend 10 days in Bali

10 Unique Things To Do in Bali

1. Visit Temples and Palaces

Hinduism is the predominant religion in Bali and it is embedded in every aspect of day–to-day lives of Balinese people. Temples are called ‘Pura’ in Balinese. No matter where you go in Bali, you will see temples in each corner of an alley, in a house or in a village. There are directional temples, there are temples for each god – Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu, water temples, the list goes on. Each Pura is different with a story of its own and some of them beautiful enough for you to spend 5-6 hours.

10 reasons why Bali should be your next travel destination
Pura Tirta Empul
10 reasons why Bali should be your next travel destination
10 reasons why Bali should be your next travel destination
Ubud palace

 


2. Relax On The Pristine Beaches

I absolutely fell in love with the Black volcanic sand beaches at Amed and Lovina! While beaches down south are more commercial or crowded, as you go towards eastern or northern side the beaches get quieter, more picturesque. But that doesn’t mean that beaches in southern Bali are any less pretty. If you want to learn surfing, head to Kuta, if you want to experience luxury & stay at an upscale resort visit Seminyak or Nusa Dua. The southeastern islands of Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida with their crystal clear waters are perfect for all ages and budgets. The sunsets and the sunrises from any corner of Bali are postcard perfect – Topmost reason if you are still thinking why Bali should be your next travel destination!

10 reasons why Bali should be your next travel destination
Lovina beach
10 reasons why Bali should be your next travel destination
Mushroom bay, Nusa Lembongan

4. Warungs, restaurants & Balinese cuisine

Well, I don’t know where to start! From a small Warung (small family run restaurant) to all you can eat buffets to fine dining restaurants at Bvlgari resort and Spa, Bali has it all. Balinese dishes have their own twist on the Indonesian staples and every family will have their own recipe. One of the Asia’s top 50 restaurant ‘Locavore’ is right here in Ubud, Bali.

Non-vegetarians must try Babi guling – Roast suckling pig. Ask any Balinese person what their favorite dish is and they will say Bali guling. This is mostly eaten in the morning for breakfast or by lunch.

Nasi Goreng and Mi Goreng – Fried rice and fried Noodles topped with fried egg. No two restaurants will have similar taste.  

10 reasons why Bali should be your next travel destination
Nothing like a cold Bintang on a sunny day

Satay Lilik – Balinese touch on the well-known satay. Have it in beef, fish or good ‘ol chicken.

10 reasons why Bali should be your next travel destination
Grilled lobster and mussels with salad, rice and sambal

Vegetarians don’t get disappointed! Almost all dishes are offered with vegetarian options such as tofu, fresh vegetables, tempeh and some of them taste even better than their non-veg variety.

10 reasons why Bali should be your next travel destination
Red rice cooked in coconut milk, can it get more appetizing?
10 reasons why Bali should be your next travel destination
Coffee tasting

5. Art & Culture

Bali’s history and culture is unique and interesting. Most of the tourists get so busy with partying, shopping  and the beach scene that they forget to explore this rich aspect of Bali. Ubud can be best described as cultural hub of Bali. It has numerous museums, art galleries and artists colonies that you can visit. Traditional dance performances can be seen throughout Bali. One should not miss the Kecak dance held at Uluwatu temple in southern Bali. It is mesmerizing, spiritual and enchanting. If you are looking for a truly immersive travel experience, Bali should be your next travel destination.

10 reasons why Bali should be your next travel destination
Kecak dance at Uluwatu temple – If immersive travel is your thing, Bali should be your next travel destination for sure!
10 reasons why Bali should be your next travel destination
Balinese dancer

6. Relaxing & beautiful accommodation

Bali is for everyone – Backpackers, flash-packers, ultra-riches, young and old. For my entire Bali trip I booked my stay via AirBnB. (New to AirBnB? Click here to sign up) The beautiful pictures that you see when you search for accommodation in Bali? Well that’s exactly what I got from each place that I selected on AirBnB. Clean, centrally located, beautiful and showcasing the best of Bali.

There are numerous high-end luxury resorts and private villas with top-class service across Bali. Some places seem straight out of story books with traditional decor and picturesque setting such as overlooking a rice terrace or on a cliff or with your private strip of beach. You are indeed spoilt for choices in Bali!

10 reasons why Bali should be your next travel destination
Our beautiful villa at Kuta –
10 reasons why Bali should be your next travel destination
Beachfront accommodation at Nusa Lembongan
10 reasons why Bali should be your next travel destination
Can you believe this is the inside of our bathroom?

7. Balinese spa experience

Bali is a paradise for spa-lovers and no trip to Bali is complete without a traditional Balinese massage. From a quick 30 min foot massage to a 3 hour elaborate affair complete with aromatherapy, body scrub and flower bath. A Creambath is a soothing scalp and shoulder massage in which a thick conditioning cream is massaged throughout scalp and head.

 In Bali it’s not just the massage but the people who make it special. I will come back to that later since it’s a topic in itself.

8. Man-made structures and natural attractions

Balinese landscape ranges from mountains to beautiful beaches to waterfalls to rivers and plains. The huge Batur caldera offers a view of volcanic mount Batur and lake Batur. The cliffs in Uluwatu and Devil’s tear in Nusa Lembongan are natural miracles best for watching crashing waves.

10 reasons why Bali should be your next travel destination
Devil’s tear in Nusa Lembongan

Temples like Gunung Kawi and Goa Gajah are cave temples dating back to 13th and 9th century. If you have a good guide you can understand from him the history of Bali and origins of these temples. These structures are massive and reaching these cave temples is a good workout!

10 reasons why Bali should be your next travel destination
Gunung Kawi

Git-Git waterfalls are located in northern Bali. You have to descend by stepping down in order to reach the waterfalls. They are surrounded by tropical trees and the cold water from the waterfall makes a great natural swimming pool.

10 reasons why Bali should be your next travel destination
Git Git waterfalls

9. Adventure

Bali is a great destination for cycling, surfing, diving, free diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and for off-road adventures like ATV. The list is never-ending. Bali is famous for it world-class surfing. Surfing classes in Kuta and other beaches are always full with people like me eager to learn this classic water sport.

If swimming to Manta rays, Mola-Mola and turtles excites you, Bali is the right place. The waters are crystal clear and houses a variety of aquatic life & corals.

Cycling through the rice fields and downhill from the mountains is another popular activity in Bali. It’s a great way to explore the countryside and try some local delicacies.

10 reasons why Bali should be your next travel destination
Cycling Mt. Agung – Bali should be your next travel destination if you are looking for an active holiday

10. People

Right from the time I started booking activities or hotels, I was amazed at the hospitality and kind nature of Balinese people. This was the first trip where nobody tried to con us, overcharged us for anything but instead gave us over and above what we expected out of our money. Our guide Suki was only supposed to transfer us from the airport to Amed but we ended up arranging 2 full day trips with him. Not only did he got us acquainted with the local culture & traditions, he was kind enough to even invite us to his house. This was not the only good experience but across Bali right from the airport to any warung I was amazed at the hospitality. As I write about why Bali should be your next travel destination, I can’t stop thinking about all the beautiful people that I met on this trip!

10 reasons why Bali should be your next travel destination
With our guide Komang at Ubud

Learn

There were 3 things I wanted to learn in Bali – Balinese cuisine, Snorkeling & Surfing and yayyy I did all 3 and can’t wait to try it all out! You can learn history & culture, try your hands at Balinese style painting or crafts or even different types of Yoga.

10 reasons why Bali should be your next travel destination
I HAD to learn how to make all that delicious food – Food is another reason why Bali should be your next travel destination
10 reasons why Bali should be your next travel destination
Surfing lessons in Kuta
10 reasons why Bali should be your next travel destination
Snorkeling near Nusa Penida

If these reasons didn’t convince you why Bali should be your next travel destination, read how you can spend 10 days in Bali with this comprehensive itinerary that I have put together

https://thenomadicgourmet.com/2018/01/07/bali-travel-guide/

Bali has opened my eyes to a world not so far away that is fascinating and so culturally diverse! I write this as I plan my next trip to Indonesia and come back with more memories 🙂 Till then watch out for my next post on the island life.

Cheers

Sneha

14 comments on “10 Unique Things to Do in Bali

  1. Pingback: How to spend 10 days in Bali – The Nomadic Gourmet

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  4. I live in Bali, so I totally share your sentiment 😉 Temples, food, people, beaches…it would be hard to list reasons NOT to come to Bali! Thanks for writing about the best of Bali!

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  13. We just came back from Bali, When we return (Hopefully soon), We need to explore more of your number 8! If you were to visit Bali again, where would you go?

    • The Nomadic Gourmet

      I love Bali! Can’t wait to visit again. This time it will be West Bali for sure. It is bit unexplored but the national park looks amazing in the photos. How was your experience? How many days were you in Bali?

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