Having been to Bali three times in about a year, I thought it was about time I posted about my recommendations for anyone traveling there. Of course there are endless activities and temples to keep you busy; however, in my experience these are the most beautiful and soul-quenching. I have limited my selection to Bali mainland and skipped any attraction that I found disappointing—Tanah Lot, I’m looking at you.
1. Tegalalang Rice Terrace
My most favorite spot in Bali, the rice fields are unlike anything I have ever seen or experienced. From the lush greens to the beautiful sound of water running, it’s a stunning spot. Watch your step though as it’s definitely a climb, especially when wearing sandals. You can purchase a traditional hat from one of the market stalls nearby if, like me, you like to fully immerse yourself.
2. Uluwatu Temple
Perched on the edge of the cliff, this temple offers stunning views unlike any other. After a long hike and dodging many monkeys you can enjoy the cool rooms with ocean breezes blowing through. There are beautiful flowers and the architecture is fascinating. I love how peaceful this location is; you feel like you are on the edge of the earth.
3. Lake Bratan
Situated in the heart of Bali is Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, a beautiful and mystical temple. The misty lake and grounds offer a magical quality along with the drop in temperature. Have lunch nearby on the lake and then stroll around the grounds of the temple. There’s plenty to see and experience.
4. Ubud Monkey Forest
These cheeky monkeys will have you laughing especially if you have bananas on you. The forest reminds me of something from an Indiana Jones movie with handing vines and ancient bridges. Unlike at Uluwatu temple these monkeys are cared for by the monks who live in the forest attending the Hindu Temple. Because of this they are a lot less aggressive although just as mischievous.
5. Karsa Spa
For those who love to be pampered, Karsa Spa in Ubud is a must. Tucked away in the rice fields, this tranquil oasis feeds the mind, soul and body. Enjoy a massage followed by the famous flower bath with tea. The prices are more than reasonable and the service exquisite.
6. Sunset at Single Fin
Single Fin bar is a mecca for surfers and boasts an ocean view similar to Uluwatu temple, being in the same location. The bar is build into the cliff and has a quirky surfer style. Good music, food and drinks make this bar a must visit location, I think it may just be the coolest bar in Bali.
7. Tegenungan Waterfall
A bit of a trek but it’s definitely worth it. This stunning waterfall buried in luscious palm trees is the perfect spot to cool off. Bring your swimsuit and enjoy this natural wonder, even more enjoyable when it isn’t tourist season.
8. Lunch at Mount Batur
Mount Batur is an active volcano most recently active in 2000. Enjoy a buffet lunch at any one of the restaurants along the view point and sit in awe of this magnificent natural beauty. A very romantic setting, the foods not bad either.
9. Handara Golf Club
This place reminds me of Stephen King’s The Shining with it’s mountainous location and mysterious mist settling in, not to mention the seventies style hotel perched on top of the hill. Deserted and silent this location creates a certain feeling inside you. Nearby are several abandoned buildings, which add to the eerie ambience. Travel here early to avoid masses of tourists.
10. Luwak Coffee
Where else in the world will you drink cat-poo coffee? The answer is many places; however, be prepared to pay $100 plus for the privileged. As the coffee originates in Bali, there are plenty of plantations where you can try this crazy gimmick for only $5! On top of this you also get to learn how coffee is made. I recommend the Satri Coffee Plantation in Ubud for the accompanied stunning views.