There are of course more than 10 things to do in Bali but for the sake of this post I have trimmed the list to 10. Bali, Indonesia is a relatively small island located in the very south of Indonesia. One of the few spots in the country dominated by a brand of Hinduism and almost entirely void of Islam. The island offers an incredible party scene, holiday package deals that will blow your mind, boatloads of shopping , culture and of course, plenty of spiritualism. Since the infamous terrorist bombings of 2002, the island, people and reputation has recovered in fine scale and it’s hard to leave disappointed. Think Eat Pray Love!
Top Ten Things to do in Bali.
- Party at Kuta Beach. Located close to the airport this is party central. The streets are lined with good restaurants, lively bars and clubs that stay open until daylight. The party scene is dominated by overindulgent Aussies but they sure are fun to be around.
- Visit bombing memorial. Located in the heart of Kuta Beach is the memorial for the 2002 bombings which claimed the lives of 202 people from all nationalities. It is a relatively small memorial and will not require a long visit but still very worth seeing.
- Go to the village of Ubud. A village dripping in charm, Ubud, is a must see in Bali. The streets are lined with quaint shops selling every form of arts and crafts imaginable. The restaurants are top tier and the nightlife is slow and peaceful which is a nice change of pace after the craziness of Kuta Beach.
- Shopping, shopping, shopping. The island of Bali is essentially a series of villages connected together by roads. Over the years the once desolate connecting roads have become increasingly more populated blurring the lines of where one village begins and another ends. In between the villages along the roads are shopping districts divided up by the various products for sale. Each district offers an amazing inventory of handmade crafts. Whether you are in the silversmith district or the furniture district you will be awed by the care the Balinese take in their crafts.
- Take a Batik class. Traveling around Bali you will find Batik for sale everywhere. Batik is a process the Balinese use to make colored designs on textiles. For a few dollars you can take a class and create your own Batik. The process involves hot wax, hand painting and a dye job leaving you a great souvenir to take home. Being an artist is not necessary to participate in the entertaining and enlightening experience. Don’t forget to buy some Balinese Batik so you can show folks back home what it is supposed to look like.
- Go to the Monkey Park In Ubud. If you like monkeys this is the place to see them. The park is located in the center of Ubud and with a small admission fee open to all. Purchase bananas from the vendors out front for a true up close and personal experience. The park is loaded with incredibly friendly monkeys who have a keen sense for mischief. Guard your bananas with gusto or they will be stolen in mere seconds. Other items to take care of are sunglasses on your head and keys in your pocket as these mischievous monkeys are notorious pickpockets.
- Watch a traditional Balinese dance performance. These shows are pretty commonplace and can be found throughout the island but are well worth the stop. Always elaborate, these shows involve an intricate storyline, over the top costumes, and a sprinkle of Balinese humor. Make sure you hang onto your program as it will give you a guide to following the storyline which otherwise can be difficult to do.
- Have lunch overlooking Batur volcano. Batur volcano is still active and makes for an amazing view. Any driver can get you to the top where a variety of restaurants preside overlooking the vista. This vantage point affords you a view of the stunning lake at the volcanoes base as well as a comprehensive view of this volcano that is known to erupt every few years. Don’t forget your sunglasses because it can be very bright at this high elevation.
- Visit Pura Tirta Empul. No visit to Bali would be complete without stopping at a few temples. The islands is said to have over 1,000 temples in total. Pura Tirta Empul is a true original with spring water running through its dozens of fountains. The spring water is said to have healing powers and you will find it often packed with locals and tourists alike wading in the water. Don’t be shy about joining the group and getting wet.
- Visit the Elephant Cave. This temple is actually named Goa Gajah but everyone knows its famous nickname as The Elephant Cave. Quickly upon your arrival you will discover why Goa Gajah earned its nickname but don’t stop your exploration at the top. Venture down the steep staircase and you will find the remains of a giant Buddha sculpture that collapsed and fell off the above cliff. A friendly local with no English skills positioned at the base of the now destroyed Buddha will gladly point out the various parts of the destroyed statue for a small tip.