Bali has always been one of those places that people automatically add to their travel bucket lists. Its reputation as an island paradise has made it a must-visit for all beach babies. But what some people don’t realize is just how much there is to do in Bali — it’s honestly overwhelming.
From countless waterfalls to never-ending beaches you could stay there for a week or two and still have enough leftover to see for a second, or even third, trip back. As someone who made her Bali itinerary on the fly (very uncharacteristic of a Virgo), the number of options surprised me.
So my trip had some misses, but a lot more hits on must-sees in Bali. Here are 10 things I think make the quintessential Bali trip:
10. Sunset at Seminyak Beach
A personal quest of mine was to find the best spot to watch the sunset in Bali. After 7 days and 7 sunsets in different areas, I can definitely say that Seminyak Beach had the most breathtaking one. Since the tide goes low around sunset it creates a mirror effect on the shore and extends the colors of the sky all-around.
And those colors! Seminyak Beach was the only spot that achieved the elusive blend of pinks and purples in the sky. I caught the sunset there on my first and last days so I can confirm that its beauty is consistent.
9. Beach Clubs
Bali is practically synonymous with ‘beach clubs’ by now. They’ll have any number of this same kind of establishment running up and down the shores of all the most popular beaches. What makes it great is the convenience, tbh. Spend the day in a beach club and you have easy access to a bar, restaurant, spotless bathrooms, fast wifi, a pool, and a few other extras depending on the club. All while being beachfront!
My favorites were Potato Head Beach Club in Seminyak and Finns Beach Club in Canggu.
8. Ubud Monkey Forest
Fair warning: some of their monkeys will try to steal your things and may even fight you for it (as it did with my earrings. I now have a phobia of monkeys.) Still, Ubud Monkey Forest is something worth seeing at least once in your life. The temple-turned-sanctuary for monkeys is a sight to behold and the monkeys themselves are fascinating to observe.
7. Tegalalang Rice Terraces
If you go to Bali but don’t take a photo at the giant swing overlooking its famed rice terraces, did you really go to Bali? IG-hotspot aside, the swing is a must-try because when else will you have the opportunity to soar over such a beautiful landscape. My only complaint is that I wish it were scarier… Nitpicking aside, you also get free entrance to explore the rice terraces and the different attractions scattered all over it.
6. Ubud Market
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Ubud Market, – #ubud #ubudbali #ubudmarket #ubudmarkets #ubudhood #ubudlife #ubudlove #ubudlifestyle #ubudtrip #ubudtour #ubudcommunity #bali #baliindonesia #bali🌴 #indonesia #indonesia_greatshots #indonesia_paradise #market #marketsquare #markets #marketstreet #balimarket #marketplace #streetphotography #travelphotography #travel #travelphoto #canonphoto #canonphotography #streets
One of my favorite things about traveling in Asia is cheap shopping. Bali is no different with Ubud Market, which is famous for its many, many, many stalls and haggling. The prices might not be as low as what you could find in Bangkok or Vietnam, but the quality more than makes up for it. But spoiler alert: rattan bags are still expensive in Bali.
5. Uluwatu Temple
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Sabtu, 30 November 2019 Jam 18:30 Suasana pementasan Tari Kecak di dekat Pura Uluwatu. Penonton sangat membludak dan antusias mengikuti jalannya pementasan Tari Kecak. #kecakdance #uluwatu #uluwatutemple #uluwatusunset #badunghebat @infobadung @jeg.bali @infodenpasar @igersbali #balinesedance #dji #mavicpro2 #dji_official
I am not a temple person. It took me 3 visits to Bangkok before I even saw any of the famous “Wats”. But Uluwatu Temple is one I might even go back to a second time. The view of the ocean from the cliffside temple is without rival. Plus, the sunset was my second favorite in Bali.
4. Beach Doggos
Alright, so this isn’t a place to mark in your itinerary but it honestly made my trip. The great thing about Bali (that doesn’t often show up in travel guides) is that it is incredibly dog-friendly! You’ll see tourists who brought their puppers on vacation with them and the locals’ beach doggos expertly navigating the shallow waters. And you will see them everywhere. you. go.
Maybe not a plus for cat-lovers but hey, you guys have Japan.
3. Good Food
I know you want to look good in your swimsuits but please: do not skip any meals in Bali. The food is too good to miss out on. It’s one of those places that you feel you could eat anywhere and it would not disappoint. From random street shops to trendy IG spots, I did not have one bad meal in Bali.
Also not a location-specific entry but only because there are too many to list out! Some special mentions are Warung Bu Mi in Canggu and Sisterfields in Seminyak.
2. Canggu Surfing Spots
Exiting the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali is a trip. Not only is the crowd of monster proportions, but dodging all those surfboards is an exercise in itself because yup: Bali is a surfer’s haven. I’m not a surfer myself but wading by the shore and facing down the waves at Canggu’s best surfing beaches was even more thrilling than the Bali swing. Although to be clear, actually swimming in these beaches are not allowed.
1. Seminyak Nightlife
Yet another thing Bali is famous for? Its nightlife, of course. When you’re on vacation, you don’t want the days to end so you look for ways to make them longer. What I like about the nightlife in Seminyak is that there’s something for everyone, whether you’re into the typical nightclub scene or looking for a more laid-back atmosphere.
You have to check out Motel Mexicola if only to catch a glimpse at its interiors.
Share your own recommendations for Bali with us in the comments!
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