I have always been amazed with the beauty and culture of Bali when I see photos of it but being there and immersing myself in their culture was something else!
First, you should know that Bali is actually a HUGE island with a million things to do and go to! A couple of days will not be enough!
TIP: It’s quite a drive going to the different popular places to visit so you don’t want to waste your time sitting in the car. If you’re like me who travels with an itinerary, this map can help you get started in planning your trip!
Below are the things I think a first timer should do! I’m hoping this post will help you out!
1. ENJOY THE LUSH NATURE OF UBUD
I’m so amazed how Ubud was able to preserve their forest! The locals are very active in protecting and maintaining everything.
2. VISIT THE EXQUISITE TEMPLES
The temples are literally everywhere! Our friend took us to less populated but never the less as beautiful as the popular ones. This was actually a very good strategy because we were able to appreciate the temples better and there are less tourist to get in your way for photos! haha!
3. COFFEE TASTING
I’m not a big coffee drinker but it was fun comparing different coffee and tea. The plantations show you the process of harvesting / making the coffee and they actually give you a selection drinks to try… for FREE!!! However, if you want to try the famous Luwak coffee, you need to pay a minimal amount per cup.
4. STAY AT A VILLA
When in Bali, it’s best to stay away from the traditional hotels and be true to the chill tropical life by staying at a villa. My friend (@kaiiteexo) booked this cute villa for us in Canggu! This villa at Bumbak Park Villas is perfect if you’re traveling as a group!
TRADITIONAL BALINESE CUISINE should be on your list of course!! You must also look for a restaurant overlooking the rice paddies for the whole Bali experience. We asked our friend (who drove for us) to take us to the best places to eat, he took us to Warung Dewa Malen for lunch — it was my favourite! Don’t forget to try the Crispy Bebek (Duck)!!!
Also, there also lots of cute cafes serving organic and healthy food.
It’s also MANDATORY to go to Motel Mexicola and order everything!!!!!!
6. LEARN HOW TO COOK BALINESE DISHES
You sure can find recipes online but it was an interesting experience to get to know the locals and their culture.
7. SUNSET AT TANAH LOT
A perfect way to end the afternoon, sitting there by the cliff, hearing the waves and waiting for the sun to set.
The downside of Tanah Lot though is it’s so popular that there’s too much people trying to get themselves a photo with the temple and the sunset 😐 so we just decided to sit there and appreciate the view and be in the moment. Hi Kath and Aika!
8. WATCH THE KECAK FIRE DANCE
Bali is never short in culture! The Kecak dance is actually portrayal of a love story set in beautiful Uluwatu. There are also various venues where you can watch this but I think this one is the best. What can beat watching it while overlooking the sunset and the gorgeous cliffs of Uluwatu?
As you can see, the place was packed! It’s definitely a must do! Be there early to get your tickets and so you can go around the temple as well.
9. FIND YOUR ZEN
Do yoga or meditation and just feel the zen while in the middle of the woods! I went to Yoga Barn in Ubud to do the Tibetan Bowl Meditation class. I felt like it was a very personal experience yet you’re lying down beside total strangers. Haha!
It’s important to note that they only get reservations an hour before the class. Check Yoga Barn’s website for the class schedule!
10. EXPERIENCE THE BALINESE MASSAGE
I am not exaggerating when I say that this is the best massage you will ever experience in yo’ life!!!!!!!! First touch pa lang ni ate, WINNER NA! We had a massage the day we got there and another one before we left. IT. IS. THAT. GOOD. We literally want to bring one of the therapists home! haha!
We had an awesome time but I know there are still a lot of things we must experience and places to explore! That’s really is just the perfect reason to keep coming back to Bali!