The sun is shining, the food is delicious, the massages are cheap, and the beaches are endless. Did someone say paradise? Yep, Bali has everything you need for the perfect getaway!
While the island of Bali, Indonesia is infamous for its nightlife and cheap booze, there’s also a lot more to see. From the gorgeous rice fields, the beaches and the unmissable Monkey Forest, right down to the Safari Park, the temples, and the very affordable parlours/salons (eight dollars for a 60 minute full body massage? Yes please!).
Here are some of the must-see sights in Bali:
Temples (Uluwatu and Pura Ulun Danu Bratan)
There are temples far and wide in Bali, each temple more amazing than the last. Unfortunately, I can’t cover them all for you, so I’ve picked two of my favourites!
The first is Uluwatu Temple. I’ve picked this temple, not only for the temple itself, but also because of the atmosphere that comes with it. The pesky monkeys that will not hesitate to yank a pair of sunglasses right off your head (or your phone/camera out of your hands for that matter, be careful) and the gorgeous sunset right beside the temple create an incredible atmosphere. Not to say that the temple in itself isn’t amazing, it’s on the edge of a cliff!
The best time to visit the temple is definitely during sunset, you can choose to watch the sunset from the temple, or you can sit in the temple amphitheatre and watch as the locals perform their nightly Kecak and Fire Dance as the sun sets behind them. Not a sight to miss!
The second is Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, a gorgeous Balinese temple sitting in the heart of the mountains. The scenery around this temple is stunning, and details of the temple itself are pretty amazing. Sitting on the water, the temple is perfectly reflected on the lake below it, the water glistens in the sun and fog softly hugs the staggering roofs of the temple. A scene fit for a postcard!
Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary
Have you ever wanted to cuddle up with, feed, or take a selfie with an adorable baby monkey? Look no further, the Monkey Forest in Ubud has got you totally covered! This huge Forest sanctuary is absolutely gorgeous, there are bridges, weaving walkways, trees galore and of course, hundreds and hundreds of monkeys! It’s great because, like I said, the forest is HUGE and these little guys get plenty of room to run around and swing across trees in their natural habitat.
They’re very adorable, but don’t let their cuteness fool you! You know the term ‘cheeky monkeys’? It exists for a reason! In the couple of hours I spent in the forest I witnessed multiple monkeys trying to steal phones and cameras. They’ll reach right into your pocket, they’ll try unzipping your bag and they’ll even try to distract you while they do it! I even saw one, particularly daring monkey, pull a woman’s earring right out of her ear and put it in his mouth. So needless to say, keep your valuables safe and avoid wearing big jewellery or sunglasses. Keep your guard up and you’ll have nothing to worry about. You can buy bananas at the park to feed the monkeys and you can take photos as they make a jungle-gym out of you. It’s all part of the fun!
Beaches (Karma Kandara Private Beach and Nusa Dua Beach)
There are plenty of beaches in Bali, but if you’re coming from Coastal Australia these beaches may seem a little disappointing (you can’t blame Bali, Australia just has incredible beaches!) unless you know exactly where to go. While some tourist beaches might be overcrowded and polluted, there are other beaches that make you feel as though you’ve just stepped into paradise. My favourite beaches were Geger Beach, and Karma Kandara Private Beach.
Geger Beach in Nusa Dua is quiet and clean. It’s away from the hustle bustle of Bali, has food and refreshment places nearby and is incredibly refreshing. It’s a beautiful big beach with plenty of areas to explore and is even great for families.
Karma Kandara Private Beach is hidden away inside a five-star luxury resort. This unreal private beach is unlike any other I’ve ever seen. It’s absolutely breathtaking, right from the first look. Unfortunately this beach isn’t open to the wider public, however it is possible to get a day-pass for a fee. Access to the beach is through a private inclinator which carries you down a cliff into the secluded beach. The views going down are incredible, a spectacular blue blanket of ocean meets the sand, a restaurant sits tucked away in the corner and plenty of deck chairs set up across the beach. It’s more amazing than anything you can picture! You’re especially in for a treat if you’re there during sunset. The sunset I experienced here was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in my life.
Bali Safari and Marine Park
The Bali Safari and Marine Park is pretty amazing. They’ve got an extensive range of animals, everything from different kinds of fish and birds, to elephants and leopards – and everything else in between. While at the Safari Park you get the chance to feed an elephant, ride an elephant and watch an incredible elephant show. You can also watch the tigers being fed and interact with the animals. While I was there I got to hold a parrot and had an Orangutan climb into my lap! And of course, you also have the opportunity to go on Safari and witness animals frolic through their fields. There are Zebras, Giraffes, Rhinos, you name it! I’d never heard of the Bali Safari and Marine Park before going to Bali, and I’m really glad I had the chance to see it. There’s even a whole different section with rides, the roller-coasters are pretty fun!
Whatever you decide to do in Bali, you’re bound to have a great time; whether you’re shopping up a storm, chilling by the beach, or chasing an actress around the island as you frantically refresh her snapchat story (well, that’s a story for another day).
Feed an elephant, visit the temples, catch some waves and kick back, you’re on island time!