10 things to see or do on a trip to Bali

trip to Bali

What to do in Bali? When we prepare a trip there, we fantasize about its dream beaches, its postcard rice fields and its sacred temples… But on arrival, we are sometimes a little disenchanted with its traffic jams, its pollution and the excesses of poorly controlled mass tourism. To be honest, during my trip to Bali, I constantly went from exasperation to amazement. It quickly makes you dizzy and in the end, you don’t really know what to think…

In any case, Bali deserves an in-depth trip. Better to spend time there, to both visit the must-see tourist sites, but also get off the beaten track and discover little-known places. This top 10 is a kind of mix of all that… Both places that you will find in all travel guides, like Uluwatu and the monkey forest, and others that are very little known or even downright unusual, like the waterfall of Tegunungan or the Seminyak 3D Illusion Museum. I hope you can pick up some ideas to organize your trip to Bali.

1. The dream beaches of the Bukit Peninsula

It’s the fantasy when you arrive in Bali: to find a heavenly beach with white sand, turquoise water, and – preferably – not too many tourists… The favorite beach of my trip to Bali, it was Green Bowl Beach , at the very south of the Bukit Peninsula. It’s like in the postcards: you’re almost alone there and the decor is heavenly! The beach is suitable for both surfers and non-surfers, since the waves are offshore. The ideal, when, like me, you don’t like waves at all.

Among other very cool beaches on the Bukit Peninsula, I also really liked Pandawa Beach (this is the top photo of the article above). There are a few more people, but the advantage is that there are plenty of warungs (traditional Indonesian restaurants) and you can eat good grilled fish there with a view of the turquoise water.

Also worth seeing, right next to Pandawa beach: Padang Padang beach , made famous by the film Eat, Pray and Love . The atmosphere is much less peaceful there since the success of the film which attracted tourists there, but the setting remains splendid and we get caught up in the game of following in the footsteps of Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem. Otherwise, for other sublime beaches in Bali, spend a few days on the island of Nusa Lembongan , a 30-minute boat ride off Sanur.

2. Jatiluwih rice fields

I have traveled to several countries in Southeast Asia, and I must admit that the rice fields in Bali are among the most beautiful I have ever seen. You have to go and see the rice fields of Jatiluwih, located in the very center of the island, a little north of Ubud. They have also been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, both for the beauty of the landscapes and for the importance of rice cultivation in the country. Jatiluwih in Indonesian means “really wonderful” and is exactly the right term to describe the site’s rice terraces.

3. Uluwatu, its temple, its cliffs and the surf

Uluwatu is one of Bali’s best-known spots, famous for its cliff-top temple and surf spot. Regarding the Pura Luhur Ulu Watu, the temple, people come there for the view, because the panorama over the Indian Ocean is magical, but not for the temple in fact, because only the faithful can access it. However, you have to be careful of the monkeys, very numerous, and who do not hesitate to jump on tourists to steal pairs of glasses or any other shiny object…

When it comes to surfing, Uluwatu is renowned the world over for the strength of its waves. It is a place for experienced surfers. For others, the best thing is to enjoy the view in one of the many bars and cafes that line the cliff.

5. The sunset in Seminyak

Seminyak is a bit like the Asian Saint-Tropez, with its trendy bars, its fashion boutiques, its art galleries… Its beach is located in the extension of that of Kuta Beach, to the north. It is more of a beach for surfers with big waves. At the end of the afternoon, everyone gathers there to watch the sunset and it must be said that the show is sublime! There are plenty of cool bars where you can sip a good cocktail or a cold Bintang beer while enjoying the view. One of the most popular places is the very photogenic La Plancha bar with its Moorish parasols and multicolored poufs. After dark, this is the right place to party on the beach!

6. The monkey forest in Ubud

In the heart of Ubud, the cultural capital of Bali, the Monkey Forest is one of the island’s must-see attractions. This reserve is inhabited by a colony of not shy macaques which are very amusing to observe. Be careful, however, not to have food in the bags because they are very clever and are formidable pick-pockets. Ditto for glasses, hats or other objects that could arouse their desire.

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