Best things to do in Bali, exploring and discovering the Balinese culture
November 03rd, 2017 by Luiza
Breath, relax and cherish every moment! This is Bali all about.
Whenever someone mentions Bali your mind goes directly to an exotic destination: ocean, long sandy beaches, tropical flowers and many sunny days.
Named also Island of God, this wonderful place has plenty of beaches, surf and diving areas, luxury resorts or spa centers. However, Bali offers more than that, something special: the Balinese people.
We believe that the essence of Bali is reflected in the simplicity of their existence, allowing themselves to see the wonderful things in their lives, showing gratitude and appreciation to everything that surrounds them. I think they are the happiest and kindest people we’ve ever met and we are more than happy for having this opportunity.
Now we fully understand why Bali is so popular. Backpackers, spiritual yogis, luxury travelers and so on, they all come here for the variety of things that Bali has to offer.
To convince yourself that these are not just myths and tales you can start looking for some flight tickets. It is worth it.
Meanwhile, feel free to read our recommendation list with best things to do in Bali, this incredible paradise we had fall in love with but unfortunately not experienced enough. However, this can be a perfect excuse to return there, one day. 😀
Visit some Balinese Hindu Temples
Even though it is an exotic island in a far located ocean doesn’t mean that the history of Bali is less important. Started in Paleolithic it is mainly marked by migration of different people from other parts of Asia or from other continents.
Being influenced by so many distinct cultures during the years, it is a miracle how Bali managed to preserve its temples and rituals inherited for hundreds of years. Due to strong faith this island remained the only part of Indonesia predominantly Hindu.
Tanah Lot Temple, Bali
This temple surrounded by the sea offers stunning sunsets. It is also a sacred place where the monks come to pray, therefore it can not be visited by tourists. Nonetheless, there is plenty of space to walk around, contemplating with the nature, relaxing and enjoying its wonders (if you are not bothered by the mass of visitors).
There is a legend of a snake that guards the temple against the evil things. This holy snake, colored in black and white, can be seen sometimes crossing the path from its hiding place, a cave, to the temple.
For a minimal donation you have the chance to take a picture to this unique warder.
Uluwatu Temple – Pura Luhur Uluwatu, Bali
Located on top of the cliffs, 250 feet above Indian ocean, this temple also shares astonishing sunset views over the ocean.
There is a path that goes along the cost and offers you several points to savor the beautiful panorama.
Balinese people believe that the temple protects Bali from evil sea spirits, being the place where three divine powers of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva become into one.
Nearby there is the realm of monkeys, a place where you can observe them living freely. Be aware of your belongings. Most of the time they are friendly but there are moments when they become expert thieves. 😀
Ulum Danu Bratan Temple, Bali
Known as temple of Lake Bratan located in Bedugul, this point of interest is considered one of the favorite spots for retreats, both for locals or tourists. It is a place mainly for prayers. Bratan Temple contrasts with gorgeous surroundings: the lake covered by lilies, the picturesque mountains, the spectacular architecture and it’s unique floating impression.
Enjoy good food on some beaches with great view
Wallpaper beaches, commercial beaches, surfer beaches, white sandy beaches or perfect sunset beaches. Bali has plenty of them, you just have to decide which one fits for you. We include here 3 of them but certainly enough to cover almost all the activities.
Kuta Beach, Bali
It is located in the most famous touristic area, on the western side of the island. Kuta Beach combines sun, sand, water sports and magnificent sunsets at low tide. There are plenty of restaurants that animate the area where you can enjoy the local cuisine and the variety of colors displayed by the sky especially during the sunset. Be a Balinese, just enjoy the moment!
Seminyak Beach, Bali
Seminyak is well known for its luxury resorts and shopping boutiques. But even so, it offers a much more quite ambiance than Kuta during the day. Yes, only during the day because after sunset the nightlife begins and this tranquil place becomes packed with tourists looking for entertainment.
Jimbaran Beach, Bali
White sandy beach, calm water, peaceful and secluded places make Jimbaran Beach to be one of the best beaches in Bali. We also add a tasty dinner and an amazing sunset and we rank this beach on the 1st place. Best beach with spectacular view and great place to eat.
Enjoy Putra Barong & Kris Dance in Bali
This is a live show that presents the battle between good and evil, Rangda and Barong in their religion. Music, dance, drama, comedy and costumes were the perfect elements to transform this spectacle into a real play.
Visit to a traditional Balinese home
We felt a bit uncomfortable at the beginning by entering into someone else home. But this experience gave us an inside of the fantastic Balinese way of living even though we thought we went too far into their privacy.
With doors or without, windows or curtains, not really important how the house looks like. What is mandatory is to have a temple in the courtyard. Tradition says that no household should be without its own temple. And this is perhaps the reason why you can see one at every 100 meters.
Visit Ubud and its traditional art market
The cultural capital of the island is an amazing town that embraces countryside views, green rice fields, forests as well as art galleries. It is also known as hearth of traditional crafts, being the land of handmade jewelries, paintings or wood and stone sculptures.
Stroll on the green rice fields
Bali has plenty of terraced green rice fields, find one, explore a bit and take some photos.
Stop by Batur volcano
It is an active volcano on which trekking tours are organized very early in the morning to catch the sunrise. Close to this natural vent in the earth’s crust there is a restaurant which has an excellent mountain sight. We were more than happy to enjoy the volcano view during our lunch time.
Taste Kopi Luwak (civet coffee)
The process of making Kopi Luwak, perhaps the most expensive coffee in the world, doesn’t involve machines.
The coffee beans are swallowed by the Asian palm civet, a nice and small animal also known as luwak in Indonesia. During the fermentation process the civet coffee acquires a special flavor. After the coffee beans are eliminated by civet’s digestive system, they are washed, dried, pounded for skin removal, sorted and finally roasted.
Now that you know all this process, are you ready to enjoy your coffee!? 😛
Enjoy the Balinese massage
There are plenty activities in Bali that can make your holiday special. I honestly say that having a day at a SPA is a must 😍 . And I recommend you to try at least once the Balinese massage. I bet you are going to try it again. 😉
As we always say, explore as much as you can. Surfing, hiking the volcano, renting bike tours, practice yoga, just give them a try.
It is good to know that all these activities can be booked by yourself. There are plenty of tourist points with different options to choose from.
But having a local guide makes everything easier and perhaps safer.
Our local travel guide is a nice and warm guy that will make you understand and love the Balinese culture. He is patient and friendly, not enough words to recommend him.
If you want to contact Sammy you can find him here. Sammy, thanks again and hope to see you soon.
Balinese people have a very interesting and fascinating culture. The more you get to know about it the more you want to explore.
So, are you ready to pack for your next trip? 🙂 Happy travels!