Bali is commonly referred to as the 'Island of the Gods' and with good reason. From crystal clear beaches to lush mountains ranges, the enchanting natural beauty of this island makes it seem like a slice of paradise. Swimming at Kuta Beach, shopping at Sukawati Market, dining in Seminyak and exploring the local culture in Ubud Village are all 'musts' on your trip to Bali but be sure to explore some of these memorable places as well before you leave.
Cheaper than a souvenir T-shirt
Kuta Beach might be one of the most popular beaches, but if you head a little further south you will find the spectacular and less crowded Suluban Beach in Uluwatu, which is particularly good for surfing. The name 'Suluban', means 'to pass under something' in Balinese and it refers to the fact that in order to access the beach you must pass through a cave style entrance formed by the surrounding cliffs. Nearby is the Uluwatu Monkey Temple perched high on towering cliffs in Pecatu Village. As it is a monastery, you should dress appropriately (i.e. at least wear a sarong or similar) and don't forget to pack some bananas as an offering for the locals. If you do happen to be in Kuta though, pay a visit to the mysteriously abandoned Boeing 737 plane which sits randomly wedged between suburban houses. No one is entirely sure how it came to be there (or if they do know, they're not telling!)
For about the price of a 'replica' handbag
Make your trip meaningful and memorable by releasing a baby sea turtle into the water at Pulau Serangan. The Turtle Conservation and Education Centre (TCEC) travels throughout Indonesia collecting eggs and keeps the hatched turtles in a safe environment, away from predators such as crabs, seagulls and egg-trading humans until they are strong enough to fend for themselves. For a small fee, you can adopt a turtle and travel with a group to the sea to return it to its natural habitat. Check with TCEC beforehand as this special experience depends on the time of year. You've heard the expression, 'dance like nobody's watching' and on Sunday mornings the Yoga Barn in Ubud offers an atmosphere that gets pretty close. At the free 'Sober Sundays Silent Dance Party' there is strictly no speaking. Participants escape into their own world as they groove away without disruption from other patrons. End the silence by making some new friends at the vegetarian buffet held afterwards.
Yes, you could buy McDonalds for the family in Kuta
But a great place for kids in the same price range is the open-air café and restaurant Pirates Bay which is hidden away on the Nusa Dua peninsula, south of Kuta. Have lunch in a treehouse, tent or boat at this concept restaurant which centres around a salvaged ship-wreck, reconstructed and decorated to look like a pirate ship. Hire costumes for the kids to wear as they play in the sand, climb the ship, ride the flying fox and cross the swing bridge, while you wind-down in a hanging chair with spectacular views of the peninsula. If you think you have what it takes to be a rock star, why not start your career by recording a demo tape at Bali's Hard Rock Hotel? Make your own two song tape in a 90 minute session at the Boom Box Recording Studio. The resident sound engineer will present you with a CD of your songs at the end – your friends at home are sure to be lost for words when they hear it!
Instead of just saying "I've been to Bali too…
" Say "I've been to Bali too, and I did this!!'' Since you've saved on your accommodation, splash out on an experience that you will never forget. Why not treat yourself to a guided underwater sea walk, for example? Wearing a helmet and equipped with fish food, you will be able to play with colourful fish as they swim in and around the coral reefs on Bali's Seawalker Tour. Photos of your adventure are available for purchase afterwards. Even though the activity is safe for non-swimmers, if you prefer to remain above the surface, consider frolicking with marine life of the larger variety at Bali Dolphin Interaction. On this magical encounter, you will be able to get up close and personal with the friendly mammals and experience what it would like to be a dolphin trainer! But really, who wouldn't want to be set on fire before hurtling off a 45 metre tower in the dark? It's arguably not for everyone, but this bungy jump is an experience you definitely won't forget to mention when you go back home! The so-called Fire Ball in Seminyak involves donning a leather suit and fireproof underwear before being set alight and diving head first into refreshing water, a 'mere' 45 metres below. The package includes two regular jumps beforehand to set the mood for the sizzling finale.
Of course, you'll want to see as much of the island as you can
And the best way to do this is to hire a car for your day trips. Driving from one side of Bali to the other generally takes about two hours going north to south (or vice versa) or three hours east to west. "Come on Robin, to the Bat Cave!" Visit the real thing at Goa Lawah temple on the East coast of Bali, about 35kms from Kuta. While not exactly a secret, the sizeable bat colony waiting to meet you at the entrance to this Hindu temple will surely leave a lasting impression. Visit the cave at dusk when the residents start to stir if you dare… About a thirty minute drive from Kintamani you will find Lake Batur, the widest lake on the island. Apart from taking in the beauty of the lake and surrounding mountains, look out for the abandoned half submerged house. Possibly occurring as a result of flooding, it is now known as the 'Lake House' and is quite literally, the house in the lake. And though you've probably seen a number of temples on your trip to Bali, drive to Pemuteran in North West Bali to visit one with a real difference. The impressive hidden underwater temple lies twenty-nine metres below the surface in this little fishing village and over the years has become home to an array of friendly marine life.
Spend Less, Do More
Your Cheaperthanhotels Team
Jalan Batu Belig Gang Kubu Juringan Villa no 7
Jalan Camplung Tanduk #77, Seminyak, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Jalan Kayu Aya 150
Jalan RSI Markandya II
Jalan Pantai Berawa, Gang Dewi Sri
Jalan Drupadi 2 No. 102, Seminyak, Bali.
Jalan Bumi Damai Indah
Jl. Raya Pantai Berawa No. 12, Tibubeneng
Akara Villas, Jalan Petitenget Gang Cempaka No 4
No.1-, Jl. Tegal Cupek No.5
20 Jalan Petitenget Gang Cendrawasih
Dusun Dauh Pangkung, Pekutatan, Jembrana-Bali
Jalan Drupadi 3
Pejeng Kaja Tampaksiring, Ubud, Bali