Bali Dreaming with The Travel Club
Peacefully nestled in the middle of Lombok to the East and Java to the West, Bali, which is fondly referred to as the “Island of the Gods” has long attracted travelers with varied agendas for their pilgrimage to this breathtaking destination. Be it for surfing, spirituality, or simply to enjoy basking under the sun in this paradise, a trip to Bali is guaranteed to leave you with so much more than just a great tan!
From the spectacular beaches of Southern Ungasan and Uluwatu to the cultural Mecca that is Ubud, there’s really something for everyone in Bali. But with the plethora of must-sees and must-tries in these lush parts, the challenge lies in deciding where to go and what to do. With that being said, the list below serves as a guide for Bali first timers.
Surf’s up in Bali
Blessed with nearly year-round surf, it is no question that Bali is a surfer’s paradise. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time. Just get your hands on a board (find an instructor, if you’re a beginner) and you’re good to go. Choose from the array of surf spots in Kuta, Uluwatu, or Canggu. But if you still find surfing too intimidating, feel free to rent a stand-up paddle board instead!
Tegalalang Rice Terraces
Located north of Ubud, Tegalalang Rice Terraces is a valley of rice paddies that boasts of views taken straight out of a postcard. Try visiting early in the morning to avoid the crowds and enjoy the awe-inspiring sights.
While there are numerous waterfalls around Bali, Sekumpul is said to be the crème de la crème. Cut off from other tourist spots, there’s even a 40-minute hike to reach the foot of the waterfall. The long haul is going to be worth it as the formidable fall greets you with its majesty. If you’re lucky, when the sun shines bright, a rainbow appears at the foot.
At this point, it’s becoming apparent that Bali is not for the faint-hearted. With tons of adventure points, it’s best to load up on healthy and energizing meals. Be sure to drop by at Nalu Bowls for a serving of a smoothie bowl that’s equal parts IG-worthy, refreshingly delicious, and nourishing.
When in Bali, save one of your afternoon for a trip to Uluwatu Cliff. Also known as the Karan Boma Cliff, this limestone wonder has a 70-meter drop that goes all the way down into the ocean. The sunset views from this spot is priceless!
Kecak Fire Dance
Bali is home to a rich cultural heritage, both traditional and contemporary. And one of its beguiling cultural traditions is the Kecak Fire Dance where a group of over 65 human vocals act as instruments to tell a story in the form of a captivating dance. Catch one of these performances on a picturesque cliff-top amphitheater at Uluwatu Temple or at the town center of Ubud.
Surrounded by pristine waters and golden stretches of sand, there’s tons of beautiful beaches all around Bali. But Diamond Beach in Nusa Penida Island is arguably one of the best!
If you’re a nature freak, an animal lover, or both, then you’re sure to appreciate a trip to the Monkey Forest where these feral creatures run wild and free. The forest in itself offers a relaxing respite, making it worth a visit just for the experience!
If a little boheme is more of your theme, then be sure not miss the dreamy beachside village of Canggu where graffiti-covered walls contrast the greenness of the rice paddies. Dotted with the coolest spots, health food cafés, day spas, tattoo parlors, surf + skate + motor shops, yoga and other fitness studios, you can easily spend days immersing in this hip oasis.
A must-try foodie activity, Bumbu Bali combines a trip to the local markets with a cooking class where visitors will get to learn the key components of Indonesian cuisine such as curry pastes, fiery sauces, grilled meats in banana leaf, and traditional Balinese desserts!