A tropical blend of sand, sea, temples, volcanoes, arts, food, shopping, and partying, Bali is one of the most sought after holiday destinations. Suitable for the multi-tasking tourist or the laidback backpackers, this gem on the Javanese coastal crown will leave one longing for more warm sunsets and warmer Balinese hospitality.
Groupon’s Pick: Top 5 Must Do
When thinking of catching some killer waves, one should look to Bali to provide some rough and tumble fun in the waves. Home to some world class surf spots, seasoned surfers visit Bali to meet the waves head-on. Experienced surfers may head down to Bukit Peninsular or Nusa Tenggara for a real challenge, while those new to this sport may visit the beaches in Kuta or Nusa Lembongan to test the water there.
Jump into the clear blue waters of Bali to peer into under-water fauna that thrives in Balinese coasts. Popular diving spots include Padang Bai for their coral bommies, Menjangan Island for thriving reefs, or Nusa Peninda’s more adventurous drift diving.
If an intense round of surfing, diving and sun-tanning is leaving you feeling worn, some traditional Balinese spa treatments will get you right back on your feet. With full body massages ranging for Rp 70,000 – 150,000 depending on the treatments you want, this is a luxury you do not want to miss.
If you’re looking for jewellery that is truly unique and one of a kind, you can dabble in smiting silver. Design your own ring or pendant with the help of experienced silver smiths from Chez Monique Silver Smith Class in Ubud.
Remember to bargain to get the full value of your purchase. The locals are more inclined to give a better discount if you’re buying multiples or in bulk.
Bali holds a plethora of wondrous paintings, sculptures, trinkets and clothes that demand to be purchased. There are many shopping places in Bali that is set-up like markets and packed with stalls after stalls of knick-knacks. Dried spices and coffee are also popular purchases, as Bali holds some exceptional produce partly due to the volcanoes that surround the island. The fashion conscious can patron well-known surf brands which are generally cheaper than what you will get back home. There is also an increasing amount of fashion boutiques if you’re looking for something other than beach wear.
Groupon’s Pick: Top 5 Must See
The temple of Tanah Lot is definitely a sight to behold. Draped by waves that crash against its unwavering walls, the regal architecture is a unique sight to behold. It is said to be a magical and strange place; nobody leaves Tanah Lot without being touched by its beauty and indefinable aesthetics.
Mount Agung / Mount Batur
Visiting Bali gives one the rare opportunity to visit the sites of some live volcanoes that flank the outer rim of the region. The adventurous may opt to scale up the volcanoes that still remind the villagers of their prowess by occasionally belching smoke and ash. Mount Batur is less tedious than Mount Agung, although both are doable for the relatively fit and with the help of a guide.
If partying is your thing, then jam with the locals at Jalan Legian in Kuta, party central of Bali. Rip up the dance floor with locals and other tourists, as you dance the night away in a cacophony of deep bass, good music and great company.
Take some time to appreciate Bali’s rich heritage, especially some of the stunning dances and music that are such a huge part of its culture. Some famous dances that are definitely worth looking out for is the haunting Kecak (monkey dance), the visually spectacular Barong (lion dance) or Calonarang.
On the shores of the lake lies one of the major Shivaite and water temples in Bali. With the temple standing tall and watching guard over the lake, it leaves one feeling serene and at peace. The lush greenery due to the fertile land makes the area cooler than most other parts of Bali, lending to the overall experience of the place.
Groupon’s Pick: Top 5 Must Eat
For more authentic flavours and great value, explore local restaurants or warongs that are thronged with locals.
A gastronomic icon of Bali, babi guling is suckling pig marinated in herbs and spices cooked over a fire. The skin is crunchy with a satisfying crackle, and the pork is served with rice and sides of vegetables, this is one meal you’ll be coming for again and again during your stay in Bali.
Similar to our own sate, this dish is made of minced meat with Balinese spices. However, the meat is wrapped around a twig of lemongrass instead of a stick in order to infuse the meat with more flavour.
If you’re into gamier meat, try this duck dish, roasted in banana leaves and flavoured with aromatic herbs that give it a pungent flavor. Traditionally roasted over charcoal, it possesses a deep, savoury punch.
This curry-like dish is usually made with goat instead of lamb and served with compressed steamed rice, fried shallots, lemon slices and celery.
This is a traditional vegetable dish, made with a mixture of vegetables, coconut, minced meat, herbs and spices. Commonly available in restaurants throughout Bali, it is traditionally mixed with spiced blood although it is sometimes omitted in order to cater to tourists.
Prior to arrival, check with your hotel if airport transfer is already included in your holiday package.
Fixed-fare taxis are available through ticketing booths right outside the terminal. While generally pricier, it is the most convenient and hassle-free way of arriving at your destination.
Blue-bird taxis are readily available if you walk right outside the airport gate. This is a safe and reliable line of metered taxis and should generally cost less than getting a fixed-fare taxi. They are hard to miss as they are painted sky blue.
- Bemos that look like minivans are also aplenty if you find yourself walking onto the street outside the airport. If you’re on a tight budget and travelling with minimal luggage, you can opt for this although you can expect a hot and crowded journey. It should not cost more than a few thousand rupiah but do confirm with the driver before getting into the vehicle.
Bicycling around the area may prove to be quite pleasant as it is slow paced and gives you a chance to take in the beautiful sights. It can be especially rewarding if you remove yourself from the bustling tourist or city area and pedal around the coasts.
- If you’re planning on touring, there are plenty of metered taxis at your service such as the Blue Bird taxi. While there are other reliable taxi services, always make sure they switch on the meter. Otherwise, you can bargain for a price or if you are not comfortable with that, you can always get another cab.
If you’re planning on a day trip, it is probably cheaper and more convenient to arrange for the taxi to take you around and back. Remember to negotiate and agree on a good price beforehand.
Bemo is a cheap way to travel close by, although you should always agree upon a price before getting into one lest it ends up costing just as much as a metered, air-conditioned taxi.
Shuttle busses are also available for those who are planning to travel beyond their immediate perimeters. It is great for budget travelers as it is very affordable. Look out for locally advertised services and remember to book one day in advanced.
- For the free-spirited, opt for a self-drive car or motorbike. Motorbikes can cost anywhere between Rp 50,000 – 100,000 while cars should go for Rp 150,000 – 170,000. Motorbikes are an especially exhilarating experience and a great way to see the island if you’re looking to be adventurous.
The weather in Bali generally range from 20˚C – 33˚C and is usually fine to visit year round.
Bali experiences rain all year round, so if you don’t fancy rain, arrange your visit between April to October which is usually the drier months.
February to March is a great time to visit, as there are only occasional showers and isn’t as hot as the dry season.
The heavy rain season is usually between December and February, although you can still enjoy sunny and dry days especially around Bukit Peninsula which sees a lot less rain than other parts of the island.
- For a cooler visit, try areas of higher elevation like Bedugul or Kintamani. It gets chilly, and you may want to pack a sweater or jacket as it gets significantly colder after the sun sets.
Temples are often occupied by colonies of monkeys. NEVER feed the monkeys as it often emboldens them to come nearer. They often snatch food right out of your hands or worse.
Practical Tips & Information
While Bali is a generally safe destination, it is always a good idea to be wary of pick-pockets or dishonest locals looking to scam tourists out of a quick buck. Be especially wary of monkeys, as they are notorious thieves. Keep cameras, glasses and sunglasses out of reach, and hold on tight to your bags.
Use only authorized money changers when looking to convert your currency. There have been known scams of ‘money changers’ who lure tourists in with appealing exchange rates but they then find what they actually get is nowhere near what was advertised.
- In case you run into any trouble, do call the tourist police at +62 361 75 4599 / +62 361 42 4245.