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Trip Report Top Things to do in Amazing Bali - Travel Report

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Bali is an incredible mix of Balinese culture and history, unique tradition, stunning sceneries, delicious cuisine, thrilling activities, and tranquil nature. The island actually has quite a lot of more things that I don’t think you should miss as a first-time visitor!

You are welcome to visit my blog for more travel information, tips and photos!

***De-stress in a beachfront resort or wellness retreat***

Bali has been one of the best destinations in the world of resort and spa before many other Southeast Asian cities came to play. There are countless resorts all over the island (many of them are international hotel chains), and it’s impossible to try them all, yet I am sure they all have their own unique selling point to all sorts of customers. Well, I already feel so de-stressed when I saw a picture with private outdoor hot tub in the hotel suite overlooking beautiful paddy fields in the Ubud forest!

If you are staying in Bali for a week (which I think you should), my suggestion would be staying a few days in the south of the island and then migrating to the north, like Denpasar or Ubud. It would take much time to deal with traffic and long-distance travel if you only stay in one location, and then decide to explore different parts of the island.

**Go on a shopping spree in Ubud and take a cooking class**

Many tourists, still, come to Bali for a Julia Robert’s “Eat. Pray. Love.” Experience. It has probably become a wanderlust’s quest for fulfillment. So, rent a bike, travel around Ubud – just like what Julia Roberts did. There are shops and markets alongside the main street in Ubud, leading up to the Ubud Palace, many of them are local handicrafts: home décor, soaps, homemade jam, fragrance (aromatherapy stuff), fashion, and books. If time is allowed, take a cooking class in the culinary academy where you could learn and actually make an Indonesian lunch-for-two in two hours.

Many of the cooking classes include a guided tour in a local food market, and it’s a good way to get in touch with the locals and learn a bit about their eating culture. I also took a class in Yogyakarta and wrote about it in (Cooking in Jogja, I had a pleasant one-on-one time with our cooking teacher and a nice meal at the terrace afterward!

For those who aren’t planning on getting their hands “dirty”, enjoy a dinner at the Lotus Café by the Ubud Water Palace is what I would recommend before catching the Barong Dance Performance.

**Feast your eyes on Barong Dance**

Religion is part of the Balinese culture and they express these cultures through different forms of performance. The Barong dance is a performance based on a classic Balinese mythology. It is a story about Barong, the king of spirits and a lion-like creature (represents the good), triumphs over the demon queen Rangda (represents the bad). The Barong Dance is so endearing to the local culture because it ties to their ancient beliefs that once held sway over the island before Hinduism spread; For me, I also love the traditional Balinese music that featured legong orchestra amplified with large bamboo flutes, the sound of that was quite mesmerizing (My Eyes Are Dancing) ( There are several places for Barong Dance performance but I really love the one at the Ubud Palace, the dance performance in form of a historic setting is just incredible.

**Visit the sacred places around the island**

As I mentioned before, Balinese are religious. Temple is a great part of their lives and I learned a lot of the Balinese Hindu culture as I explored these sacred sites one by one. If you really only have time for one of these places I would probably recommend the Tanah Lot Temple. Featured heavily in Bali mythologies, the photogenic temple looks mesmerizing at every angle. As I was sitting on a cliff overlooking the temple from afar, listening to the soothing waves crashing on the rocks every few seconds, I was as if got taken to another spiritual place (Temples in Bali: The Spiritual Moments More, visit the “water temple” and the “Elephant Cave”…

**Sip civet coffee in front of paddy fields**

It was a tasty experience to dive into all sorts of Indonesian cuisine during my travel in the country: Nasi Goreng, Mie Goreng, Gado-Gado, Otak-Otak, Bakso, Pisang Bakar Coksuke, Rujak, and more local dishes! most of the delicious dishes mentioned above could also be found in many local restaurants and delis in Bali. Walk along the busy streets in Kuta Beach and you may find numerous restaurants from “upscale classy” to “street style”. You may know my motto by now: looking for food, always follow your nose… and the crowd.

To my surprise (mostly because of my ignorant), the coffee plantation in Bali is prominent. Do you know that kopi luwak (or civet coffee) is the most expensive coffee in the world? This ”poop” coffee is so special mainly because of its production process.

If you are a coffee lover, don’t miss the ultimate coffee experience and have a sip of the most expensive coffee in the world!

We visited Bali Pulina Agro Tourism, a nice place in the central part of the island where we learned a lot about the production and sampled different kinds of this expensive coffee outdoor looking over the paddy fields! It’s important to mention that natural kopi luwak coffee is produced without harm to the animals. More about the civet rights -

**Admire sunrise from the summit of Mount Batur; sunset by the cliff of Uluwatu**

These are my two favorite spots on the island and please let me know if you differ. The Mount Batur is a caldera in Kintamani located in a highland in the north-eastern part of Bali. It is an active Volcano, yet many active travelers may find climbing the mountain an amazing experience. To have a good panoramic view of the caldera, there are many restaurants lining up along roads like the Jl. Raya Penelokan in the South side of Lake Batur.

The romantic sunset at Uluwatu was one of the most memorable sunsets that I saw and would always be the first come to mind when we were talking about sunsets. It was located at a southern tip of the island and the silhouette of the temples on the cliff did accentuate the beauty of my photos. Leave ample time in the afternoon because it might take more time to get there than you think, and you want to get there earlier to secure a good seat for the Kecak and Fire Dance performance. The show starts at 6:30 PM and it usually goes from twilight to darkness.

**Cuddle an elephant**

Bali is filled with Monkeys. Yet, not monkeys in every part of the island behave the same way. While the monkey babies in the sacred Monkey Forest would “politely” pry a banana out of your hands, monkeys in Uluwatu commit robberies.

Apart from the primate encounter, I visited the Elephant Safari Park and it’s a sanctuary of such wonderful creatures. There I met, greeted and treated the elephants up close and personal. I really appreciated my quality time with the elephants – each of them have their own quirks and personality treats and it was almost therapeutic to leave my stress and trouble behind.

**Surf, scuba dive, snorkel, and sun at the beach**

Being one of the most popular tropical travel destinations, there’s no way not have a dip in the ocean. To make it more fun, try any of the exciting activity that Bali has to offer in between your chilling sunbathing.

If you are looking for some peace and quiet, go to Nusa Dua Beach. You may consider staying in a resort in that area because several parts of the Nusa Dua Beach were private to those premises. There are many beachfront seafood restaurants at the Jimbaran and Kedonganan Beach like the Blue Marlin Café, Melasti Kedonganan Café, New Moon Café, Jimbaran Bay Seafood Club, and much more. Enjoy some prawns and grilled fish at a table by the ocean, and after that, you could go straight to the night stroll by the moonlit water.

The surrounding of the “famous” Hard Rock Hotel by the Kuta Beach is a busy area. This is also where beginners of surfing would go. For advanced surfers looking for a challenge, Padang Padang Beach near Uluwatu is a classic surfing spot famous for not only its top waves but also the beautiful landscape.

More, go snorkeling, go scuba diving, or even go rafting in the forest… if you managed to have energy left at the end of the day.

You are welcome to visit my blog for more travel information, tips and photos!

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