Bali is an extremely beautiful island and possibly the most famous holiday spot in Indonesia. It is also the only Hindu island in Indonesia. In recent times it has been made famous by the Book/Movie – Eat, Pray, Love and has been attracting an increasing number of tourists every year.
As part of the “UnPackaged” series, in our previous post we had written about the distinctive adventures that you could experience in Thailand. In this post, we explore 7 experiences in Bali that will surely put the heavenly island of Bali in your Bucket List. If you are planning a vacation sometime soon and want a break from the routine packaged tours, check out VEHO to discover the PickYourTrail way of traveling.
1. Learn Surfing on Kuta Beach
If your wish was to learn surfing, Kuta is the place to be! There are a number of local schools as well as freelance surfers who will take you on surfing lessons. The sea and breakers here is conducive to beginner surfers, as well as for slightly advanced ones. In addition, Kuta has a glitzy nightlife with loads of expat clubs and bars. So you can indulge in a little well-earned R&R after a day spent on the surf.
2. Golfing and Tanah Lot Temple
The Tanah Lot temple is located literally on the sea, and is a beautiful sight at sunset. There is an additional air of mystery as the waters around the temple are teeming with banded sea kraits, which are said to protect this holy place. And after visiting the temple, you can head on to your 18-rounds on a beautiful golf course situated not too far away.
3. Do a Midnight Trek up a live Volcano
Bali is probably one of the few places in the world where you can climb up the face of a live volcano, to reach the top up to the lip of the crater. But what makes it even more special is that you can actually trek the terrain in the cover of darkness, to arrive at the summit at daybreak. The sunrise from the peak of Mount Batur looks absolutely breathtaking, with mists shrouding the lush green landscape and lake Batur visible as a blue mirror to the sky.
4. River Rafting on the Ayung
Bali not only has the ocean surrounding it, but also lots of options for river rafting within the island. The course of the river takes you through paddy fields, small villages and also passes local Balinese temples, with carved cliff faces on either side. It is really an experience worth remembering, due to the sheer diversity of the terrain you can pass through.
5. Deep Sea Diving at the Liberty wreck
Tulamben is a divers’ paradise because of the sheer variety of marine life available there. As an added thrill, there is the wreck of the cargo ship, the USAT Liberty, which lies between the depths of 3 metres to 35 metres. Due to this range of depth, the site is particularly suitable for novice as well as experienced divers. There are a number of local diving schools which will certify you after a 3-day course. You are likely to come across a variety of sea-life like colourful corals, sponges, parrot fish, moray eel, turtles, barracudas and the occasional black tip reef shark.
6. Kecak Dance at Ulu Watu:
The Kecak Dance is a unique and traditional dance of Bali, where no music is used. Instead, the dancers dance to the beat and chant provided by a hundred voices. This dance is a reenactment of the Ramayana, and is enacted at the temple of Ulu Watu every evening at 6pm. It is truly a one of a kind experience. However, avoid the dinner following the dance as it is mainly a tourist trap.
Take some time off from touring with an itinerary and just head off on a leisurly tour of Ubud and its surrounding areas on a bicycle. Multi-day bicycle tours are organized by a number of locals in Bali. The must-see places to visit on this beat are Monkey Forest of Bali, and the Goa Gajah holy cave, which is set in a stunning surrounding.
8. BONUS – Chill Out on Amed Beach:
While most of the beaches on Bali have white to yellow sand, Amed Beach is the only one with coarse black volcanic sand. The surroundings look much more natural and rugged and are not touristy at all. In fact, if you want to head into the ocean, you’ll have to strike a deal with the local fishing boats. However, this beach is a very good diving site as a number of wrecks are found off this coast. It is also a great snorkelling site due to the presence of a multitude of coral and underwater life.
So go ahead, try your hand at something different during your next vacation in Bali. Try out PickYourTrail’s awesom vacation planner – VEHO. And most of all, remember to eat at the local coffee shops or warungs, that dot almost all beaches. Do try out the local dishes, the most famous of them being Babi-Guling (spit roasted pig), Ayan Betutu (slow-cooked spiced chicken in banana leaves) or Sate Lilit (spiced mince on lemongrass sticks). Vegetarians rejoice too, you will also find a number of coconut based local delicacies and a variety of fruits to choose from!
Sampai jumpa lagi!