The island of Bali is one of those places that we all dream of visiting once in our lifetime. It has become a very popular tourist destination not only for those practising yoga or people who come to surf, but also families, couples and groups of friends.
If your idea is to travel to Bali and explore all its natural beauty, here are my top 10 attractions to see and know about:
1) RICE TERRACES
The rice fields are perhaps the most typical image of Bali. And personally I think it is the most beautiful landscape that your eyes can see on this island.
These famous rice terraces are built on the slopes of the mountains and are an example of a careful and perfect work. A system of channels transports the water to keep the terraces waterlogged for the necessary time and thus produce rice, the basis of the Balinese diet.
Get away from the bustling streets of Ubud and stroll through these rice fields. Get lost on the terraces and you will find Balinese farming families with whom you can talk and learn a lot from.
2) ATTEND A YOGA CLASS
One of the most popular activities, especially in Ubud, after the success of the film Eat, Pray, Love featuring Julia Roberts.
There are many places to practice and you can choose from an individual class, to a 5 or 10-classes pass, unlimited-classes passes and even multi-week all-included retreats.
I choose Radiantly Alive Yoga because it was near my homestay and I liked the atmosphere. You can choose different levels from beginner to professional. The classes are magical and you end up leaving with a lot of positive energy.
3) MONKEY FOREST SANCTUARY
In the heart of Ubud is the Monkey Forest, a place where you can relax and enjoy the natural environment.
One of the main attractions are the Balinese monkeys, although you have to be careful with these animals. You will not have a problem as long as you follow the recommend instructions. In addition, this place is a natural laboratory for educational institutions where research and conservation programs for special plants and for rituals whic are carried out.
Here we witness a very sad scene that broke our hearts. A baby monkey had died. The parents were crying, they craddled their baby and did not allow themselves to be separated from the body. It is with great sadness that cannot be described or appreciated in the photo.
4) VISIT ONE OF THE MANY SWINGS
Swings are located in different areas throughout the Island, they have been popularized through social media and many influencers.
Due to my fear of heights, I had not planned to visit these swings. Once there I debated for several minutes and finally decided to try it and it is quite an amazing experience (one I will not forget). After removing my fear and still shaking, I was able to taste Balinese teas and coffees and from all of them, the coconut coffee is the one I loved the most.
Located in the center of Bali, this small town has become a very important tourist center. Perhaps it has became too small for the amount of tourists that visit the town and for that reason it can be stressful and exhausting to walk through its streets. But if you move away from the center you can enjoy authentic Balinese traditional life.
We stayed in a homestay near the center, but at the same time far away to enjoy abit of quiet and peace. A traditional Balinese house with a huge garden, which had fruit plants and we could get dragon fruit every morning. We were living with the family for 3 weeks and we shared very good moments with them, especially with the little baby boy called Shiva.
6) MT BATUR VOLCANO
Bali is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of great volcanic activity. On the island there are several volcanoes, the best known and the highest is the Batur with 1,717 meters.
One of the trips that I liked the most in Bali was hiking to the crater and watching the sunrise over Lake Batur. In this post I tell you how to plan your visit and what you will need.
7) TIRTA EMPUL TEMPLE (HOLY WATER TEMPLE)
This temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, also known as the God of Water. It is a half hour drive north of Ubud and is quite easy to find as it has a sign and a large parking lot.
The entrance to the temple costs 15,000 IND and you can rent a sarong for a donation.
The most important part of the temple is Jaba Tengah where there are 2 purification pools. It is believed that the water in these pools is sacred and the Balinese come here to purify themselves and make offerings.
8) REFRESH YOURSELF IN ONE OF THE WATERFALLS
There are several waterfalls to visit on the island. One of them is Tegenungan Waterfall, relatively close to Ubud. The entrance fee is 10,000 IND and although I read online that there are people who paid to go down and to go up, we only paid once.
Once the entrance is paid, you only have to go down the stairs and after a couple of small shops you will see the falls. At the time we arrived, around 3 pm, there were many people and we could not enjoy the natural environment where it is. But we went inside the water to cool off from the heat. You have to be careful with the currents because the water is quite strong.
9) TASTE THE BALINESE CAFES
Bali is well known for its coffee. If you are a coffee lover, then Bali is the place for you and you have to try it.
There are many places to have a good coffee, although one of them is Seniman Coffee, in Ubud. Here you can choose from a wide variety of organic coffees, and how you want to roast the beans. They also use filters and measure the temperature until it is at the perfect point. The same staff of the cafeteria will approach you and if you are interested they will explain how they prepare coffee, their different techniques and they will even give you to try different types.
10) RELAX AND ENJOY DOLCE FAR NIENTE
Being on vacation is also enjoying those moments without having to do absolutely nothing. Leave the stress and the tours organized with tight schedules for another time and enjoy the walks through the rice fields or a coffee with a good book and without rushing.