Our Bali month is over, but my Bali stay is only half way through. These 4 weeks however have been a great start, and an opportunity to get some valuable insight into how this island ticks – and I’ve done my best to see as much as possible and to get a real feel for this beautiful piece of land. Back in 2016, Annika wrote a pretty great guide for the top 10 things to do when in Bali, and I think it’s only fair to share 10 more which you really shouldn’t miss when you come here. Let’s go!
1. Hire a driver
This is my top tip for a reason, because the most memorable days I spent were the ones where a driver took me around to see village life, holy temples and stunning beaches. No one knows Bali better than the Balinese and at about 500.000 Rupiahs for a full day of exploring there really is no excuse not to take advantage of this. I recommend 2 ways to find a driver: 1) If you ever find a driver you like from using apps like Uber or GoJek (a must-have when in Bali), or simply by recommendation (most people here will be able to share the details of a driver or 2 they like hiring) keep their number and Whatsapp them when you want to go somewhere. By the way – a local sim card is available in a lot of shops and should only cost you 19.000 rupiahs for 7GB (data only).
2. Explore the thriving restaurant scene
Another absolute must do is to try as many cafes and restaurants as possible, because you’ll never eat so well again at such low cost. The average meal at one of these uber hip cafes and restaurants will set you back no more than €5 and look glorious on your Instagram feed. The hotspots for amazing food are Canggu, Seminyak and Ubud. Snap that smoothie bowl and enjoy.
3. Stay at a Pool Villa
This of course is probably best if you share with friends, but renting our gorgeous villa was the best thing I could have done. While it’s possible to go through Airbnb for this one, the real deals are best found looking in the Canggu Community Facebook page or through word of mouth. I pay €65 for a gorgeous 4 bedroom villa with a large pool and 2 staff who cook and clean and feel like absolute royalty. Not to mention the beauty of being able to skinny dip at nighttime, gin tonic in hand.
4. Get pampered
Just like Thailand, Bali has a spa and massage salon at every corner. However, they do come of varying quality and in my experience Google or Tripadvisor don’t always have realistic reviews. What has helped me dig out the good ones was asking friends and reading blogposts. I have tried a number of spots but have yet to find the one I can wholeheartedly recommend. That said, I can’t wait to try
5. Take a cooking Class
Indonesian cuisine is diverse and often flavorful, and I guarantee you will have great fun learning how to make some local staples such as Sambal (a spicy dip), Bami Goreng (fried noodles) or Pepes Ikan (grilled fish in banana leaves) – and even more fun eating it all! I found a good deal via Tripadvisor and can recommend doing the same.
6. Enjoy a fresh Seafood dinner at the beach
Is there any better way to enjoy a meal than during sunset, with the ocean in front of you and your feet in the sand? I think not. Unlike most Thai islands, casual beach shacks with plastic chairs and fresh seafood BBQ are not a super common thing but the beaches in Jimbaran and Sanur provided a good selection. These were among my favorite and cheapest meals in 2 months in Bali, so clearly I had to put them on this list!
7. Go in a bike tour through the rice fields
Do you love to bike? So do I! Needless to say the thought of cycling through a stunning landscape of rice terraces had me sign up for this adventure in the blink of an eye. There are a few spots on Bali where you can do this, but I opted for Jatiluwih, undoubtedly the greatest rice terrace attraction of the island, although possibly not the most visited one (due to distance). Tour operators usually can provide a child seat for your bike, if you’re traveling with little ones!
8. Take a quad bike tour through the jungle
There really are few things quite as fun without being scary as riding quad bikes. I’m not really the thrill-seeking type but I love an adventure and riding quad bikes offers just that. I tried
9. Spend a day at Waterbom
Haven’t we all loved waterparks in our childhood? Well, it is time to relive just that and then some! Waterbom in Bali is one of Asia’s best waterparks and they don’t take that label lightly. All rides are modern and new, all facilities are remarkably clean and in great condition. Even the food here is excellent! The cost for a day pass might be relatively high for Bali standards but I promise it will be worth it. Order your ticket
10. Go rafting
I have rafted many rivers all around the world and as far as breathtaking nature is concerned, my rafting experience on the Ayung river in in Bali just might take the cake. Picture yourself boating along a stunningly green valley with plenty of bamboo and palm trees lining your path. Add in some awesome class 3 and 4 rapids and your whitewater adventure is one fabulous memory in the making. I was super happy with the awesome value of
Have you been to Bali? What would you add to this list?
Disclaimer: We were kindly flown from Germany to Bali by