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20 things to do in Bali Indonesia

20 Best Things to Do in Bali, Indonesia

Published on February 8, 2019 by Our Roving Reporter

Bali is a little patch of paradise tucked in the heart of the Indonesian archipelago. It is one of the most coveted holiday destinations in Asia, and it’s pretty easy to see why: stunning beaches, a rich tapestry of different cultures, warm and hospitable people, beautiful temples and exotic palaces, mighty volcanoes, and verdant forests. 

During the day there are a plethora of exciting activities to do, like surfing and snorkeling, or hiking. Night times in Bali, though, are a different story; as much as it teems with nature’s beauty, it also has a flair for dancing and nightlife. Suffice it to say, whatever your interests are, one could never run out of things to do in this Southeast Asian paradise.

1. Free Things to Do in Bali, Indonesia

Climbing up Mt. Batur
Climbing up Mt. Batur
Mt. Batur

Bali is famous for its paradisaical beaches, but its mountains volcanoes are also a thing of splendor. Mt. Batur, one of the county’s most active volcanoes, is a favorite hiking spot in Bali. Towering at almost 1,717 meters, climbing Mt. Batur isn’t an easy feat, but seeing the sun rise at its peak is just absolutely glorious.

It is best to start the excursion two hours before sunrise to reach the summit just in as the sun is starting to rise.  You need not worry about breakfast, too. Because Mt. Batur is an active volcano, you get to have a treat of eggs boiled on lava-heated rocks.  After the two hours of hiking up the volcano, there is a hot  spring nearby  where you can take a dip to relax your sore muscles.


2. Free Things to See in Bali, Indonesia

Monkeys at the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary
Primates at the  Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary
Going bananas over some banana

The Sacred Monkey Forest is a sacred Hindu site in Bali, but its population of primates is what attracts a lot of tourists to visit this place. The forest is home to more or less seven hundred long-tailed Macaques, and it is believed that the primates protect the area, as well as the three Hindu temples inside (Pura Dalem Agung, Pura Beji, and Pura Prajapati) from evil spirits. Bear in mind, though, that these monkeys are still in the wild so it is best to observe them from a safe distance. Nevertheless, the forest has other snap-worthy attractions like a verdant forest with over 186 tree and plant species and ancient temples.


3. Relaxing Things to See and Do in Bali, Indonesia

Tegalalang Rice Terraces
One of Indonesia’s rice terraces in Bali, though, is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It features cascading Emerald-green rice fields that are laboriously tended for by Balinese farmers.

Rice is the staple food of most, if not all, Asian countries, hence it is not totally uncommon to  see rice terraces in Asian countries like The Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia. One of Indonesia’s rice terraces in Bali, though, is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It features cascading Emerald-green rice fields that are laboriously tended for by Balinese farmers. This is best visited early in the morning or late in the afternoon when it’s not too hot. One does not need to actually do anything to appreciate this attraction; just breathe in fresh remote island air and marvel at the green beauty of the blooming rice shoots.


4. Breathtaking Things to See in Bali, Indonesia

Uluwatu Temple
Uluwatu is an ancient temple that is perched at the top of the coastal cliffs just outside Kuta on Bali’s southwest tip.
Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu is an ancient temple that is perched at the top of the coastal cliffs just outside Kuta on Bali’s southwest tip. One of Bali, Indonesia’s most significant and most popular temples, Uluwatu features Ganesha statues that greets visitors who have come to be in awe of the panoramic seaside views, see the monkeys, or enjoy watching a traditional Balinese sunset dance.

The cliff top location makes it an ideal spot even for just sunset watching. There are quite a lot of available Uluwatu Temple day trips, but there are also night tours that include a sumptuous seafood feast at Jimbaran Beach.


5. Free Things to See and Do in Bali, Indonesia

Tegenungan Waterfall
Days in Bali, Indonesia can be hot, so taking a swim or a dip in Tegenungan Watefall is a welcome idea.

Days in Bali, Indonesia can be hot, so taking a swim or a dip in Tegenungan Watefall is a welcome idea. The sight alone is impressive enough as the water cascades from black stone cliff 20 meters above and drops down into a quiet pool below.

Aside from that, the area also has some other attractions to offer: climbable cliffs, a charming smaller waterfall, a lovely grotto, and a number of food stalls make hanging out in Tegenungan Waterfull wonderful and convenient.

Keep in mind though, that there are certain restrictions when visiting the waterfalls, as per the safety protocol and cultural prohibitions in the area.


6. Precious Things to See in Bali, Indonesia

Celuk Village
The “silver village” because of their prolific jewelry production.

Celuk Village in Ubud is also known as the “silver village” because of their prolific jewelry production. There are a lot of artisans in Celuk Village that design and manufacture their silver and gold jewelry right in their homes and workshops, as they have for centuries. Visiting Celuk Village offers tourists a chance to watch artisans at work and directly buy jewelry from them.

It is possible to tour around the village without a guide but tourists prefer a bundled tour together with the other villages in Ubud. Guided tours usually include the batik village of Tohpati, carving village of Mas, and the crafting village of Batuan.


7. Relaxing Things to Do in Bali, Indonesia

Sanur Beach
Sanur is calmer and more peaceful—perfect for relaxing and soaking up the Sun and Bali’s local traditions and cuisine.

The great island of Bali is peppered with ancient temples and ruins that seem to take you back in time, but did you know that even some of its beaches could give you that vintage feel too? How? Sanur Beach is one of Bali’s first beach resorts, and while technology and global advancements have updated the place a bit, it still has that old school laid-back vibe to it.

Visitors with families and middle-aged vacationers prefer this beach over other party-hearted beaches in Bali because Sanur is calmer and more peaceful—perfect for relaxing and soaking up the Sun and Bali’s local traditions and cuisine.


8. Beautiful Things to See in Bali, Indonesia

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan
Pura Ulun Danu is accessible by canoe and was built in the 17th century.

Situated on the shores of Lake Bratan, near the town of Bedugul, Pura Ulun Danu is Bali’s most photographed temple. Similar with Taman Ayun Temple, it is a cluster of multi-roofed shines, so the reflection they cast on the water is just spectacular.

Pura Ulun Danu is accessible by canoe and was built in the 17th century. It measures over four thousand feet above sea level, and is the focus of the foggy Bedugul high terrains on the path to north Bali. There are several Pura Ulun Danu tours available that are bundled with other Balinese water temples, like  Tanah Lot and Taman Ayun.


9. Cultural Things to Do in Bali, Indonesia

Goa Gajah
Goa Gajah is one of Bali’s holiest Hindu sites. It is a grotto with carvings of traditional Balinese mythological creatures.

Goa Gajah is one of Bali’s holiest Hindu sites. It is a grotto with carvings of traditional Balinese mythological creatures. The visitor of Goa Gajah or Elephant Cave is uncertain, but it is assumed that Balinese priests dug it out by hand to be used as their hermitage.

The Goa Gajah is still an active Hindu worship site to this day and the Goa Gajah grotto is still a popular tourist spot in Bali. Tours here starts by entering the gaping mouth of a demon-like creature, and passes through a small chamber with carvings on the walls. Outside the cave entrance features several charming bathing pools in the courtyard.



10. Exciting Things to See in Bali, Indonesia

USS Liberty Shipwreck
Several species of marine life made the USS Liberty their home and their presence along with military ruins make the shipwreck a beautifully haunting spot to take pictures.

The USS Liberty Shipwreck sits quietly in its resting place just 25 meters from shore and five to thirty meters below sea level. Its position makes the USS Liberty one of the most accessible shipwrecks in the world. It is popular to a lot of novice shipwreck divers, but it is an interesting spot for seasoned divers, too. It is so accessible, that visitors can swim from the shore and arrive at the shipwreck site.

Several species of marine life made the USS Liberty their home and their presence along with military ruins make the shipwreck a beautifully haunting spot to take pictures.


11. Wild Things to Do in Bali, Indonesia

Wild Rapids at Telaga Waja
Visitors and tourists craving from some adrenaline high can get their fix at Telaga Waja with its roaring waters and fourteen kilometers of grade three and four rapids.

Bali is more than just an island with palm trees and romantic walks on spectacular beaches; it also has its wild and adventurous side that most people did not know much about. Visitors and tourists craving from some adrenaline high can get their fix at Telaga Waja with its roaring waters and fourteen kilometers of grade three and four rapids.

Tourists can expect verdant jungle scenery and a couple of hours of paddling like crazy, but what they don’t usually expect is a heart-stopping four meter high waterfall drop, a remarkable story, and bragging rights—if they make it through—once they are back on land.


12. Breathtaking Things to See in Bali, Indonesia

Devdan Show
The Devdan Show features a bit of Balinese culture and tradition that is a hit for both young and old visitors of the island.

The Devdan Show features a bit of Balinese culture and tradition that is a hit for both young and old visitors of the island. It features one and a half hour of Indonesian theatrical culture through the story of two young kids who wandered away from a tour group and came across a treasure chest filled with several items and stuff that take them, as well as the audience, to some of Indonesia’s most coveted islands.
The show has a fusion of traditional and modern dances, acrobatics, colorful and meticulously-made costumes, and an interactive stage set-up that highlight Bali, Sumatra, Borneo, Java, and Papua islands.


13. Fascinating Things to See in Bali

Setia Darma House of Mask and Puppets
This museum houses a diverse collection of ceremonial masks and colorful puppets from all over the country and even from other countries.

Masks and puppets are an important part of Indonesian arts and cultural heritage, so much so that they have an entire museum dedicated to their collection. Setia Darma House of Mask and Puppets is a one-of-a-kind museum that features and aims to preserve this facet of Indonesia’s culture and tradition. This museum houses a diverse collection of ceremonial masks and colorful puppets from all over the country and even from other countries.

The collection of over 1200 masks and 4700 puppets is displayed in a courtyard of renovated joglo, or Javanese wooden structures. The highlights of the museum include puppets  used for Wayang Kulit, or shadow puppetry and the eye-catching Jero Luh mask, along with other masks used for topeng dances.


14. Family-friendly Things to Do in Bali, Indonesia

Bali Botanic Gardens
Bali Botanic Garden is located right smack dab in the middle of Bali’s cool highlands. It is a beautiful albeit underrated garden where plant lovers enjoy a lovely sight of orchids and endemic Balinese plants,

Bali is home to a plethora of fascinating and beautiful attractions that draw a lot of tourists annually. Nevertheless, it is also home to a few underrated attractions that could and should have made it to the list of Bali’s top destinations. One of those underrated places in Bali is situated in the heart of lakeside Bedugul. Bali Botanic Garden is located right smack dab in the middle of Bali’s cool highlands. It is a beautiful albeit underrated garden where plant lovers enjoy a lovely sight of orchids and endemic Balinese plants, as well as a number of begonias and carnivorous plants totaling to over 2400 species.

Families can also enjoy a thrill out of a zipline ride at Bali Treetop Adventure Park which is also within the garden/park.


15. Things to Do with Kids in Bali, Indonesia

Lovina
Lovina is one of the most ideal spots in Bali to spend and enjoy family time in. Lovina is a mellower and more family-centered counterpart of the other buzzing resorts in Bali.

For visitors with families, Lovina is one of the most ideal spots in Bali to spend and enjoy family time in. Lovina is a mellower and more family-centered counterpart of the other buzzing resorts in Bali. Its amenities and packages are also more affordable.

The highlight and main feature of this resort is a sunrise-dolphin watching tour. Nevertheless, guests likewise enjoy basking in the sun on Lovina’s dark sand beaches, snorkeling on the coral reef near Menjangan island which is a couple of hours west, diving, and hiking in the hills outside of town, and exploring other coastal attractions the resort offers.


16. Delicious Things to Do in Bali, Indonesia

Casa Luna Cooking School
Casa Luna Cooking School offers a glimpse of Bali’s culture, traditions, and beliefs through food and cooking.

One of the many things that set Bali apart from other Indonesian islands is their distinctive cuisine. Balinese cuisine is actually one of the most intricate in the world. Casa Luna Cooking School offers a glimpse of Bali’s culture, traditions, and beliefs through food and cooking.

Classes at the Casa Luna Cooking School are held on the Second Honeymoon Guesthouse near Ubud. The relationship between food and Balinese society, culinary myths and the ceremonial and religious significance of food in Bali’s culture are among the topics that are also discussed in the classes. They also provide class notes and recipes for each participant to take home.


17. Free Things to See and Do in Bali, Indonesia

Tampak Siring
ampak Siring is a lovely town in central Bali that’s famous for its recognized archaeological sites and breathtaking ancient temples.

Tampak Siring is a lovely town in central Bali that’s famous for its recognized archaeological sites and breathtaking ancient temples. This former kingdom has been welcoming history enthusiasts and visitors to explore its majestic natural landscapes, sloping hills, verdant greeneries, and man-made architectural wonders.

Guests can also visit the iconic Tirta Empul temple and its natural pools that are built for sacred cleansing rites. Likewise, guests can explore the huge stone relics of Gunung Kawi. This town also houses one of the six presidential palaces.
This palace, though, built for the 1950’s President Soekarno is a bit on the modern side, but it nonetheless offers a panoramic view of the nearby Tampaksiring Tirta Empul Temple and the stunning Mount Agung.


18. Relaxing Things to See and Do in Bali, Indonesia

Menjangan Island
Menjangan Isand, a white-sand gem devoid of any modern day amenities and facilities beyond a simple bathroom and a handful of open-air cottages.

If you’re one of the tourists who flee to Bali to escape the stresses brought upon by technology and the hustle and bustle of their daily routine, then Menjangan should be on top of your itinerary.

A few minutes off the Bali coast in West Bali National Park lies Menjangan Isand, a white-sand gem devoid of any modern day amenities and facilities beyond a simple bathroom and a handful of open-air cottages. Snorkelers and marine life lovers are still drawn to this island because of its pure reef walls veiled in roiling sea fans and soft corals.


There are equipment and gear available on guided tours, as well as a snorkeling operator.


19. Relaxing Things to Do in Bali, Indonesia

Banjar Hot Springs
 The beautiful dragon-head fountains that supply water to pools that are surrounded by verdant tropical forests and lush palms add another layer of beauty to these hot springs.

It is an established fact that hot springs bring a string of benefits to our bodies. In the hills west of Lovina in Bali, Banjar Hot Springs brings more than that, as its structure is an attraction in its own right. The beautiful dragon-head fountains that supply water to pools that are surrounded by verdant tropical forests and lush palms add another layer of beauty to these hot springs.

There are lockers, a restaurant,, changing rooms, and a simple spa available for the convenience of its guests. Tours are not necessary, since it is fairly easy to book a private driver for the day, or you could just drive over the place from the adjacent Lovina.


20. Historical Things to See in Bali, Indonesia

Bajra Sandhi Monument
the Bajra Sandhi monument situated in front of the Governor’s office in Denpasar, is also historically and culturally significant to the people of Bali.

Bali is famous for the natural wonders it has been blessed with, but its man-made architectural beauties do not pale in comparison. One of their famous structures, the Bajra Sandhi monument situated in front of the Governor’s office in Denpasar, is also historically and culturally significant to the people of Bali. It is, a matter of fact, a cultural milestone for the local folks and a big draw for foreign visitors.
On the second floor of the building, there is a sequence of dioramas showcasing the unique history of Bali, including several wars and other tribulations that burdened the island and its people throughout the centuries. Those dioramas start from the prehistoric times through the current economic, political, and social state of Bali.


Bali, too, has had a dark past which reflects poignantly on their culture and arts. Nevertheless, throughout the centuries, Bali has shown that it was, and still is, more than its pretty beaches and ubiquitous stunning temples; it has been also scarred by past tribulations, yet those scars made Bali even more beautiful and irresistible among locals and tourists alike.

Whether you are in for a bit of an adrenaline-pumping adventure or you just want to bask under the glorious Balinese sun, you are sure to be surprised to find more things in Bali that suit your fancy.

THINGS TO DO IN BALI
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