The first time I visited Bali I was 28 years old. That’s quite late in life for an Australian! Since then I’ve been back nearly a dozen times. I can definitely see the big appeal it has as a holiday destination so I’d like to share with you a few of my favourite things to do in Bali. The good news is – a few of these don’t cost a thing!
See The Sunrise In Sanur
Not only is a Sanur a laid back place to stay it’s one of the best places on the island to see the sunrise. Set your alarm, grab your camera and head on over to the beach as night becomes day. The water looks like silk at this time of the morning and it’s worth the early wake up call.
Go Whitewater Rafting In Ubud
I tried whitewater rafting for the first time on a recent trip to Bali. As a newbie to the activity I picked it up pretty quickly and didn’t find it too difficult. The quicker you paddle the quicker you can get out of the raft masses to ensure you don’t get stuck or worse, flip in the conjestion. The guides provide a lot of support and I’m pretty sure work their magic to exagerate the bumps and splashes during the rafting experience. Once it’s all over, hot showers and towels are available so you can freshen up. It’s definitely a fun way to spend a day as long as you’re prepared to get wet.
Visit A Barber Shop
Ok – this isn’t one of my favourite things to do in Bali but my husband has enjoyed some ‘hipster’ pampering. He’s had his hair cut and styled plus a couple of cut throat shaves as well. The barber shop business is booming in Bali and some even offer a free Bintang with your cut.
Stay At An Instagramable Hotel
If you’re not on Instagram yet, stop reading this post and join! I love doing my travel reseach through the platform as it’s a fantastic way to get a true insight into what a place or hotel actually looks like. (You can read my Instagram travel guide here) Popping up all over Bali are hotels giving Instagram users the ability to give their cameras, and filters a great workout. I recently stayed at Tijili Hotel in Seminyak and they are leading the way in offering a unique photography experience for their guests.
Eat A Smoothie Bowl
These are one of my favourite things to eat when in Bali. Blended frozen fruit that has a soft ice cream like texture, smoothie bowls are a great way to start any morning. They’re on most cafe menus across the island so you can be sure to find one no matter where you’re staying. The flavours and toppings are endless. You can read about some of my favourite cafes in Bali here.
Have A Seafood Meal On The Beach In Jimbaran Bay
As I said in the opening paragraph my first visit to Bali was in 2011, well my first seafood meal in Jimbaran Bay wasn’t until 2015! I’m not really sure why we hadn’t gone sooner. Friends recommended Made Bagus Cafe and since then we’ve been back twice. It’s fabulous watching the sunset and the planes coming in to land as you devour delicious and fresh seafood. Recently I took a walk during the day up to the market area of Jimbaran Bay. It’s incredible, the amount of boats and fresh produce all on display. Get here just before sunset and go for a set menu so you can sample a few different dishes.
Watch The Sunset On The Beach (with beers from the Indo Mart)
Buy a couple of cold beers from the local Indo Mart or Mini Mart and head down to the beach to watch the beautiful sunset. Sure, you can sit at one of the well known bars on the beachfront (and pay the price to do so) but I much prefer this way. The stretch of beach between Seminyak and Kuta is the place to be at sunset for locals, expats and holiday makers. It’s busy, but Bali offers some of the best sunset views I’ve ever seen. Well worth it!
Head Over To the Gili Islands
This island trio is located about a two hour fast boat ride from Padang Bai harbour on the east coast of Bali. Popular with divers, each island offers visitors a different experience. If you’re still wanting a bit of atmosphere then popular Gili Trawangan is your best bet. Gili Meno is the quieter of the three with Gili Air falling somewhere in the middle. I’ve spent about three weeks in total on the islands over two visits and have to say the beachside restaurants, the snorkelling and the ability to do some serious relaxation will definitely see me going back.
Have A Night Out In Kuta With Your Friends
I’ve been lucky to have been to Bali on three ‘Girls Trips’. Each time a fun night out in Kuta, letting our hair down has been on our to do list. Yes it’s seedy, yes it’s tacky but it’s these moments you’ll laugh about in years to come. Start with some live music and finish off by dancing the night away at Bounty Bar!
Travel In A Vintage VW
I traveled in a vintage VW recenty from Kuta to Ubud thanks to Indonesia Tourism. I had no idea such a tour existed on the island. It was a refreshing and unique activity that I would highly recommend. As anything goes in Bali we were able to stand up along the way as we travelled with the tops down. It really was a lot of fun zipping through the busy Bali traffic.
Spend The Day At Waterbom Park
Waterbom Park is Asia’s #1 waterpark and it does not disappoint when it comes to fun! Exhilarating slides, a huge kids pool and loads of places to eat and drink, Waterbom Park is a must do in Bali, you can read more about it here.
Have a Sunday session in Canggu
Canggu is the place to be on a Sunday evening. I’d recommend geting to Old Man’s on the beach to watch the sunset, then head inland to Deus Ex Machina for some live music. Sunday night at Deus was really cool. Everyone sits around on woven mats on the ground waiting for the music to start. The happy hour wine is cheap, cold and your glass is filled to the brim. Cover singeres from Russia and Australia warm up the crowd before the Indonesian ska band comes on and everyone is up dancing.
So there’s a few of my favourite things to do in Bali. Although it’s a recently discovered holiday destination for me I know I’ll definitely be heading back. If you haven’t visited already make sure you get there in the near future.
What are some of your favourite things to do in Bali?