Going to Bali soon ? Then you should read my 11 top things to do in Bali, I am sure it will be useful.
I have just come back from two weeks in Bali and it is fair to say I had the best holiday of my life. The island is beyond beautiful, the people are lovely, the food is amazing, the atmosphere is indescribable. I think it’s only once you have been there that you can understand why people say in Bali you just feel naturally at peace and fulfilled.
I went with two friends and although we did know which places we wanted to visit, we did not book everything until we got there. In two weeks, we have done and seen so much that I thought I should share my favourite spots in Bali so if you decide to go there, you know the “must do” and “must see”.
I need to point out that we had the chance to know a professional local guide from Bali who gave us the best advice when we met with her in Ubud. My friend who travelled to Bali a few years ago loved her trip so much that she kept contact with her guide and gave me the details. One thing that was important to us is that we did not want to only visit touristic places and trust me this is becoming difficult as Bali is such an on trend destination. We have all seen the amazing pictures of the Lempuyang temple gate or the swings on Instagram right? Well this is not Bali, there is more than this and I was keen to discover more than the pretty pictures.
We did of course see the popular spots but we have been also to places where there were not too many tourists which was great. We also met with locals and learned so much about the culture and heritage which I definitely recommend you do if you go to Bali, that’s the best way to really “travel” physically and spiritually.
1. Rice terrace
This is probably one of the most popular things to see if you go to Bali but it is an unforgettable experience. The scenery, the ambiance, the colours, it is just breath taking. Following our guide advice, we decided to visit Jatiluwih rice terrace which is actually a Unesco World heritage. There is a lovely restaurant on top of the rice terrace where you can have your lunch with a panoramic view. I really recommend it.
2. Temples & water palaces
In Bali you will find wonderful temples pretty much everywhere. The ones below are the ones you definitely need to see.
It is probably the most popular one. We actually visited that one at the end of our trip, it is by the beach so you will have amazing views.
Another temple on the beach which is bigger than Tanah Lot. Be aware there are a lot of monkeys and they can be quite aggressive. Hide your glasses, phone and earrings. Check my post about the 4 things you need to know before going to Bali to find out what you should see in this temple.
A must see, this palace is stunning and you need a shot with the fishes! Once you get there you can buy some food to give to the fishes so they come near you once you are taking your photo.
This is my favourite, not as touristic as Tirta Gangga, much bigger and by the sea so the views are amazing.
3. Ubud street market
There is one big market in Ubud which is great to get gifts but we had our best time at the Gianyiar night market which is a place where the locals go to buy their food and supply. It is 20 min away from Ubud but it is worth it if you want to be immersed in the culture and with the locals. We had some food there which was delicious. It may look very simple but is just nice to eat with the locals and have a small break from the touristic and busy restaurants in Ubud. It is also great if you are on a budget, we paid 120k for three dishes and drinks!
4. Snorkeling in Ahmed
I would say Ahmed is my favourite place in Bali, so far. It probably helped that we booked a fabulous hotel there right by the beach so it we had a fabulous stay.
The beaches are beautiful and I love the fact that it is on a hill; it reminds me back home in the Alps. There are so many great spots for scuba diving and snorkeling, we did four and it was unreal. I have never seen so many corals and fishes, I felt like in an aquarium. I even saw a sea turtle, how cool is that?
Ahmed is a great place to see the sun set too.
5. Hike the Kawah Ijen volcano and watch the Blue fire
Out of the 11 top things to do in Bali, this is my number one. It is one of the most amazing thing I have ever seen in my life and I still can’t believe I had the chance to experience that. To do this, you leave at 2am, hike to the volcano and then go down the crater to watch this natural phenomenon, the blue fire. Once you have seen it, you can go back up at the top of the volcano and see the sun rise (yes the hike does take all night but it is worth it). You can also see the acid lake, the most acid lake in the world.
If you plan to do this hike, check my 4 things you need to know before going to Bali post as there are things you need to know about Kawah Ijen. I have shared more details and information about the hike which will be very helpful if you are planning to go there.
6. Sun set in Seminyak/Kuta
Bali has the reputation to have the best sun sets, well it is not a myth. I have seen some of the best sun set whilst I was there, the colours in the sky are just amazing.
Another thing Kuta is renown for is the night life. It has many bars and night clubs. We only stayed two nights in Semynak and for us it was enough as it can be quite touristic. But again it depends what you are after 🙂
Kuta is always the perfect place to take surf lesson.
7. Waterfalls in Munduk forest
Go for a nice adventure in the Munduk forest with its four different waterfalls. It will take at a good three hours to walk around the forest and see all of the waterfalls. It is very refreshing and amazing to be in the middle of nature.
8. Bath in Mont Batur hot water
Another place which is not too touristic is the natural hot water from Mont Batur volcano. You can have a nice and relaxing time in the hot bath whilst enjoying the view of the lake Batur. Perfect after doing one of the hiking mentioned above.
You can also hike the Mont Batur Volcano, we did not do it because we did the Kawa Ijen but if you are interested, check this blog post which will show you the amazing views you will get from the Mont Batur Volcano whilst watching sun rise.
9. Infinity pool in hanging gardens
This was actually on my wish list before going to Bali. I saw so many images of amazing Infinity pools in Bali on Pinterest and when I clicked on the images the links never worked so I started to doubt they really existed. But once we got there, we looked for it and find one which was incredible, just as the photos. The views are just unbelievable. It may be a bit cliché but I personally did not want to leave Bali without going to one of them.
10. Rafting in the Hanging gardens river
This may be a touristic activity but I really recommend it. Not so much for the thrills as it is actually quite a smooth ride but the view you will get going down the river is amazing. I could not stop looking around the extraordinary handing gardens and sculptures. We were lucky to have a fun guide as well who kept making jokes and making us go under the small waterfalls which was fun.
11. Massages in Ubud
Do not leave Bali before doing at least two or three massages. This is where I had the best massages – back, head and feet. The dream!
I could go on and on about Bali but you will get bored so I will stop here 🙂
Hope this post will help you plan your trip to Bali and if you have already been to there, I would love to hear your feedback.
Chiccie Chérie x