What is there to see and do in Bali you ask? Whether you have a set itinerary or just want to wander around freely you will not be disappointed. If you have a map of Bali and you point blindly to it you can’t go wrong.
There are many things to see and do there. From beaches, night clubs, volcanoes, temples to wild life.
Whether you have ultra expensive hotel tastes or are a budget minded traveler, there are always places to fit your bill. For example, my hotel was in Legian. It was basically just a room with a bed and bathroom. I paid $8 US a day for my room. Granted, I was two blocks away from the beach and didn’t have an ocean view but I wasn’t there to stay in the room except to sleep and shower.
My stay in Bali was more of a budget minded traveler and I wanted to do most of my time going off the beaten path. You will find it more exciting finding things on your own and not tied down to the time constraints of a tour package. In doing so, I found many local places that catered to tourists as well and while the language barrier was sometimes a problem, the locals were always friendly and willing to help.
Even if you decide to go on your own without a tour package, there are tour agencies all over and some of the smaller agencies will gladly negotiate prices. One fun thing to do is rent a scooter which is fairly inexpensive. You can rent hourly or weekly, and again, the smaller the business, the more likely you will be able to negotiate prices.
If renting a vehicle, be aware that the gas stations will be crowded and expect to wait in line for a while to get gas. The traffic can sometimes be a nightmare but the further away from the towns the traffic is virtually nonexistent.
Be prepared to stop without notice. On one occasion, the police stopped all traffic so that a funeral procession could pass. Usually the whole town takes part and the procession could take up to an hour or more. The ceremony is performed sort of like a parade and stretches for miles.
Funeral procession in Mengwi (Below)
Bali is known for it’s beaches. Some of the nicer beaches are Legian and Kuta. Both offer 5 star or budget hotels. Legian is more for the surfer type while Kuta has surfers as well, is more for the lounging type. Either one will be fine for whatever you choose. But the surf was a little rougher at Legian.
Kuta Beach (Below)
Kuta Beach. Where did I park my bike? (Below)
Sky Garden Bar, Kuta (Below)
Memorial site of 2002 Kuta bombing (Below)
There are plenty of restaurants and shops in town (both Kuta and Legian) and of course the street vendors. You will find that the street vendors are always willing to make a deal. Don’t be afraid to haggle with them.
Balinese beaches boast some of the best sunsets and there are many beach side bars/restaurants you can relax at while enjoying the view. One especially nice sunset is at Tanah Lot. It is a temple on a rock surrounded by the water. If you go at the right time you will also see the Balinese sacred mask dance. The dance is done for many different reasons like offerings to God or for harvesting. The face paint makeup and masks are very colorful. It surely is a sight to see.
Performers preparing for the sacred mask dance (Below)
Sunset at Tanah Lot (Below)
If you need a break from the beach you can always head further inland to places like Mengwi, Ubud and Bedugul. There you will see wild monkeys (Ubud) which you can hand feed. Make sure all your items are carefully packed as the monkeys will steal whatever they can get hold of.
Monkey Forest, Ubud (Below)
Trail through Monkey Forest, Ubud (Below)
Foot bridge at Ubud (Below)
Statues at Ubud (Below)
You will also see rice paddies (Mengwi), rice terraces (Tegallalang), temples (Ubud and Bedugul) and volcanoes (Kintamani Volcano and Batur Lake).
Rice paddy on the way to Mengwi (Below)
Rice harvest on the way to Mengwi (Below)
Pura Taman Ayu, Mengwi (Below)
Rice terraces at Tegallalang (Below)
Fruit bat on the way to Kintamani volcano (Below)
Lizard on the way to Kintamani volcano (Below)
Kintamani Volcano (Below)
Temple at Batur Lake (Below)
Temples at Ubud (Below)
The Balinese cuisine is very tasty and colorful. If going to the usual touristy restaurants you will see the more fanciful meals. If going local, the meals aren’t as fanciful but still tasty and worth a try. Most of my meals were from the local eateries and were just as good as any 5 star restaurant.
Local cuisine. This was breakfast (Below)
Some things to note before hand:
Do not drink the local water. Drink only bottled water/drinks. When traveling/sightseeing around Bali/Indonesia bring your own toilet paper.Don’t let these deter you from going there. Every country has their own customs that world travelers have to get accustomed to.
Overall, Bali should be on the top of your list of places to see.