With its well preserved culture and religion, Bali still managed to keep up with the ever changing trend, earning its spot amongst the top destinations all over the globe. The tropical weather matched with amazing beaches surrounding the island is indeed a paradise. Bali is booming with tourists as it sure has a lot to offer its guests: cultural tours, water sports and activities, high quality handmade products, beach parties/night life, nature tripping, hippy restaurants, etc.
Since Faye and I are both laid back travelers (not really into strenous activities), we opted out on water sports and activities and also parties (both socially awkward). We are contented with seeing beautiful things and people, capturing them through our cameras as well.
There are a lot of places to come visit in Bali. The key locations have different personalities on their own (Kuta, Seminyak, Ubud, South Kuta). Kuta is what we can say the most developed and highly urbanized. Seminyak is somewhat the middle ground and a really busy district. While Ubud and South Kuta are the places to go for culture/nature rich locations.
Travel Tips: Key locations in Bali are relatively far from each other and commuting is not an easy task and near impossible. You may choose to rent a bike or car for your trip. For currency conversion, Philippine Pesos is rarely available in their money changers (even in the airport). In the event that you find a money changer that accepts PHP, the conversion will be too low and you will lose a lot of money. It would be better to get USD or withdraw money from ATMs to maximize your budget.
Having said all this, here are the places we visited during our lovely stay in Bali.
Tegalalang Rice Terraces
Rice terraces are testaments of creating something beautiful when people work with nature. The lushious green landscape is worthy of a visit in Bali.
Entrance Fee: 10,000IDR
Sacred Monkey Forest
Generations of monkeys live along this peaceful place in the middle of the town. Most of them are friendly and well adapted to socialize with people. Be cautious as some of the monkeys may try to grab your bag thinking it contains the precious banana. If you want to have a really close encounter with the cute monkeys of Bali, there are bananas available for sale (10,000IDR).
Entrance Fee: 50,000IDR
Tirta Empul Temple
The name of the temple translates to “holy water spring”, it is one of the largest water temples in Bali. Best known for its sacred spring, tourist are drawn to this Hindu Balinese temple to experience its marvels and the great respect the locals put in to their religion.
Entrance Fee: 15,000IDR
Please take note:
Temples in Bali will require you to wear Sarong if you are wearing shorts (above the knee length). They provide free use of Sarongs.
Sea Circus Restaurant
Sea Circus is not an actual circus but it is probably one of the most intagrammable locations in Bali. This small place in Seminyak is generously painted with vibrant colors and designs. Not just an eye candy, they also serve really great food! It would be a sin if you don’t try their famous Acai Bowl.
Price: Approximately 100,000 per person
Double Six Beach – Seminyak
We went to Bali in search of the colorful bean bags and umbrellas. A number of bar and restaurants with live acoustic music in the evening are lined up along the beachfront. Seminyak Beach also has an amazing sunset view to cap the day off.
Goa Gajah Temple
The elephant cave doesn’t have actual elephants but it showcases the ancient carving as the temple has been built for spiritual meditation around 9th century.
A well established landmark in Bali, Tanah Lot is a prominent rock formation in the sea or as its name suggest – Land in the Sea. Pura Tanah Lot Temple sits solemnly on this offshore rock formation. It is also known for the breathtaking sunset scenery and the infamous Legend of Tanah Lot (you may search the internet if you’re in for a very interesting story).
Batu Bolong Temple and Beach
Just on the other end of Tanah Lot, Batu Bolong is a temple also built on a rock with a huge hole underneath.
Entrance Fee (Tanah Lot and Batu Bolong Temple): 60,000IDR
Kuta and Batu Belig Beach
Bali is nothing short of having a ton of amazing beaches and the waves are strong and very ideal for surfing.
Mad Pops has gained popularity to to its adorable vegan popsicles and ice cream made from fresh fruits and coconut milk. A must try for a very unique experience.
Hours: 11AM to 10PM
Motel Mexicola Bar and Restaurant
Yes, Motel Mexicola is not a Motel, but a restaurant as well. This tropical paradise will definitely feed your eyes and tummy. Motel Mexicola boasts quirky and colorfully designed interiors and their equally great Mexican food to boot.
Ubud Traditional Art Market
As the name suggests, the market is teeming with high quality traditional items – mostly handmade. Ubud Market is long and wide and you will just need patience to find the shops that offers cheaper price (usually shops not near the streets). Don’t forget to bargain as prices can go as low as half the initial price offered by the vendor. It is home to the beautiful handmade Atta bags made out of rattan.
Potato Head Beach Club
We just happened to stumble upon this enormous place with a very chill atmosphere and style.
Uluwatu Temple is one of the six key temples in whole Bali. Renowned for its beautiful sunsets and amazing location, it surely deserves a top spot on your to-do list when you visit Bali. At 6PM, they have the traditional Kecak Dance or fire dance with limited seats for viewing (probably the best location to view the sunset while being enticed by the Kecak dance).
Entrance Fee: 40,000IDR (Excluding Kecak Dance ticket)
Teba Sari (Luwak Coffee)
Luwak coffee or Civet coffee is the most expensive coffee in the world. The production of Luwak coffee is a very meticulous process as it includes defacated (by the Asian palm civet) coffee beans. Teba Sari offers FREE taste test of 15 different coffees and teas that are available in their shop – plus the freshly made chocolates! To have a taste of the Luwak Coffee, you have to order it at 50,000IDR per cup. The coffee is really strong and would best suit those hardcore coffee lovers.
Melati Jembaran Seafood Restaurant
Surrounded by the sea, lots of seafood restaurants are available in Bali for a reasonable price. This restaurant also has the perfect setting as you will enjoy your candle lit dinner with fresh seafood by the beachfront.
In conclusion, Bali probably is among the top of our list on places to visit in Asia. They found the perfect balance between culture/religion and urban living. One of the best things about Bali is their people. The locals are very accommodating and genuinely nice and we felt at home. There are still a lot of places to venture in Bali and we can say they have the best of both worlds.