10 Bucket List Things to Do in Bali

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Whenever you visit a raw, tropical, and jungly place like Bali, Indonesia, there's just a ton of outdoorsy things to do. If you're an adventurer at heart, there's no doubt that Bali will blow your mind. However, for those who prefer to simply relax and, frankly, do nothing, there are equally exciting activities for your calm hearts as well. Luckily for you guys, I went on a trip with a group full of different personalities and energy levels, so I have great examples of both high-energy activities and relaxing activities. Combine these two options together and you'll get the adventure of your dreams. Are you ready?!

1. Get a Balinese massage

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You can pretty much find a 4-5 star spa that fits your budget range anywhere in Bali. From $12 hour long massages to full-blown spa sets at resorts that allow you to bath next to a flowing river, the choice is yours to take. This photo was taken at the Maya Ubud Resort & Spa, one of the more high end spas in the area. Still, it was only $108 for a 60 minute massage and a 30 minute floral milk bath with a stunning view. Still not nearly as hefty as American prices for wayyy more eye candy! If Maya Ubud is too budget-unfriendly for you, I highly suggest Jaens Spa in Ubud. For a small fraction of the price, I got just as great of a massage-- except it was 90 minutes long! It was a 5/5 experience.

2. Enjoy dinner with a sunset

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Jimbaran Bay is a well-known attraction for Balinese locals and tourists alike because of the striking sunset that occurs every evening. Because of this picturesque scene, countless restaurants have tried to capitalize on this opportunity by setting up tables on the beach. It's quite an unforgettable experience! If you come to Jimbaran, I highly recommend the restaurant, Menega Cafe

To see more photos of Jimbaran Bay and other glorious sunset locations, click here.

3. Try luwak coffee

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Luwak coffee beans come from collecting whole beans from the luwak's poop. A luwak is an Asian Palm Civet--an animal that resembles a raccoon mixed with a cat. Along with the nasty coffee, you also get to try a rich array of various teas and coffees. Everything tasted soo good... except for the luwak coffee. Well, I can't really judge because I refused to try it. But come on. Animal poop? No thanks! However, if you're more adventurous than me when it comes to exotic food choices, this is an adventure you'd definitely take on-- am I right? Even if you don't want to try the poop coffee, the entire experience is so wonderful that you'd want to go coffee tasting, anyway! Here's the tree house reserved just for us:

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These are the awesome spices they mix into the teas and coffee, and everything is grown at the small plantation. Here, we have cinnamon (I got to see a cinnamon tree for the first time!), turmeric, ginger, ginseng, pineapples, mangosteen, and a host of other exciting, home-grown ingredients.

And here, ladies and gentlemen, is the luwak coffee-- still in its poop stage:

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Just in case you're wondering, the cup of luwak coffee is in Karen's hands. According to Karen, it wasn't bad. Way to be adventurous, Karen!

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Aside from the tour, treehouse, and coffee tasting, our tour guide, Juli, was also a photographer at heart. Look at her creative angling. I'm sure it was her first time holding a Canon 70D, too!

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4. Take a dip in the Tegenungan Waterfall

The Tegenungan Waterfall was absolutely breathtaking! It was definitely an oasis for sweaty travelers. Be careful not to come during rainy seasons, though! The usually-clear waterfall turns into an enormous mudslide during the storm. Also, expect to see waves of tourists. This is definitely not a secluded spot. However, it's still worth a visit!

"Don't worry be sexy... but no naked." LOL

5. Eat traditional Balinese food

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As soon as you visit your first warung (local restaurant), you'll quickly notice the top Balinese selections: fried fish, fried pork, and fried duck. You should try them all! The restaurant featured above is Warung Mina in Ubud. The dishes and drinks here were all amazing and affordable. We spent New Years Eve in our own private gazebo, toasting to good vibes and enjoying the sound of fireworks. 

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Bebek (duck) is best experienced with sambal (hot sauce) and rice. The best bebek restaurants we tried were at Warung Dewa Malen and Bebek Bengil. So crispy, fresh, and delicious. Emphasis on fresh because these bebek restaurants have ducks freely roaming around....

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Pictured above is roasted suckling pig, or babi guling. The best babi guling restaurants that we tried were Ibu Oka and Warung Pak Malen. The latter is a must try. Pro tip: Come before noon to ensure that you get the freshest babi guling. A lot of restaurants, like Ibu Oka, run out of babi guling by noon. After all, piglets are limited! :(

To get a full list of the best restaurants that I tried, click here.

6. Try a hand at haggling

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Haggling is a must in Bali. I once saw a white couple get charged $2 for a single fruit and they paid in full. I winced. Whether you're in a store or walking around the markets, you must absolutely haggle because they will try to rip you off-- guaranteed! 

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Funny story: the man who sold these owls told me that they cost 900,000 rupiahs for one because it's handmade. That's almost $70 USD. LOL... Later, I found the same owls sold in packs of 3 for $2.50 at a wholesale market. That's Bali for you!

7. Go sea walking

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For you high-energy adventurers out there: sea walking was the experience of a lifetime! And yes, you need to bargain for a good price with water sports, too. Once you get the price you're comfortable with, prepare to see the world in a completely different perspective. Fishes are going to flock you like you're a walking mermaid! 

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I miss sea walking a lot. It was such a relaxing and unique experience! It's one thing to see fishes from the surface (snorkeling) and swim with fishes (scuba diving), but a totally different thing to walk on solid ground underwater while fishes swim around you. It's quite magical!

8. Take surfing lessons

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I will admit that surfing was not as easy as it seemed. I thought, "If I could learn to snowboard all on my own, how hard could surfing e?" Well, just imagine you're snowboarding with unpredictable avalanches tumbling over you every 10 seconds. I ended up deserting my instructor and playing with the dogs on shore (pictured above), but it was definitely an experience. At best, I was able to kneel on the board while riding a small wave. Lol!

9. Go beach combing for treasures

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Beach combers will have a blast in Bali because the beaches are so rich in treasures! I found tons of sea pottery, coral, and shells. 

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If you're lucky, you might even find money. Check out Chris's loot below:

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If you want to beach comb, I recommend Sunday's Beach Club and Nusa Dusa.

10. Have a photoshoot at Campuhan Ridge Walk

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The beautiful scenery and easy, flat walkway definitely asks for a photoshoot! Plus, this place isn't packed like most other hiking grounds.

*BONUS* Go Airbnb hopping

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Of course, this takes some pre-booking, but Bali is so full of gorgeous, affordable Airbnbs that you'll be missing out by just settling for one! Try booking two or three places around Bali so you can experience all the different sceneries the luscious island has to offer.

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We stayed at this amazing Airbnb. I swear, it had like 5 different pools! 

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Next, we moved here:

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This one was my personal favorite because it was a private villa for just our party. 

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Well, that's all! A list full of mixed activities for all personalities :). If this list gave you a better understanding of Bali or even helped you plan your next vacation, feel free to give it a thumbs up and share it with your friends!

Have you ever been to Bali? I'd love to hear all about it below!

The 3 Most Glorious Sunset Locations in Bali

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Bali, Indonesia has long been well known for its magnificent sunsets-- and I got to witness it firsthand during my 10-day stay on this lush island. If you're thinking of visiting Bali, be sure to treat your eyes to a remarkable sunset by visiting any (or all) of these locations!

1. Sunday's Beach Club, Uluwatu

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Sunday's Beach Club is by far my favorite beach spot in southern Bali. The spectacular sunset was just the cherry on top, believe it or not. There's something for everyone here: clean towels, delicious food, bean bags, bonfire, beautiful shells and sea pottery, paddle boarding, and snorkeling. All you've got to do is pay the $22 (or 300,000 idr) entrance fee, and everything I mentioned is included! 

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I honestly can't say enough good things about this place! The water is crystal clear (you can see small fishes swimming right under you) and the population is controlled (they only allow new groups to come down during certain hours). As a result, tourists get to enjoy everything this beach club has to offer without waddling through crowds of people. While waiting for your turn to go down to the beach, you can chill at the resort and float in gorgeous infinity pools like this:

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Here's what the shoreline looks like during the daytime:

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If you're a beach comber like me, here are the awesome shells,  marbles, and sea pottery I found during low tide!

If you're looking for a beach where you can spend the entire day just chillaxing and exploring, Sunday's Beach Club is definitely the place to go. Please take me with you!

2. Jimbaran Seafood, Jimbaran

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Next is the famous Jimbaran seafood shoreline! What makes this shoreline so great is the fact that dozens of delicious seafood restaurants set up their tables on the sand so you can enjoy your seafood with a vibrant sunset. I highly recommend Menega Cafe for their superb seafood selection and prices. It's so much cheaper (and more flavorful) than Jimbaran Bay Seafood Club.

The interesting thing about Jimbaran is that tons of trash get washed up once a year (during December). The locals treat it like it's part of the scenery and don't care to pick up the pollution at all. When I asked the corn man why no one feels the need to clean this shoreline, he answered, "It only stays for one month and then goes away. No need to clean." Lol-- perhaps if they cleaned it each year, it wouldn't come back with a vengeance every time. The sunset still looked brilliant, but I couldn't seem to get past the fact that hundreds of pounds of trash was shimmering just below the horizon.

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The colors in the sky deepened by the minute! Every shot I took looked just a little more vibrant than the last.

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To end the night, local restaurants lit fireworks to elevate the atmosphere. Trash or not, this place was definitely worth a visit!

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3. Rock Bar, Jimbaran

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Rock Bar is one of the hip restaurant bars in Jimbaran (near Kuta). Located at the very bottom of the cliff, Rock Bar takes some resilience to get to... but once you're there, this is the view you'll see! 

Although, I should warn you: don't come during the daytime. This place was just too dang hot to enjoy. It lives up to its name because all the tables were made of stone. Stone + sun = fuming sauna. Also, the food and drinks were wayyy overpriced, so DON'T come hungry! Come at around 6 pm and bring a swimsuit to entertain yourself in the pool before the sun sets at around 7:30 pm.

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Ahh, Rock Bar. It's truly a love-hate relationship. Just when I thought to myself, "This place sucks," the sunset came on and it made the arduous walk all worth it.

To see actual footage of these sunsets and more, watch this video:

Have you visited any of these locations before? If so, I'd love to hear about your experience in the comments below!

The Top 6 Places to Pig Out in Seminyak, Bali

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Seminyak is a vibrant, beachy, hipster town chocked full of restaurant bars and beach clubs. It's definitely not the first place one thinks of when one pictures Bali, since everything is so westernized... but don't be fooled. The restaurants in Seminyak are absolutely delicious! I actually prefer Seminyak over Ubud overall, since it has a little bit of everything: traditional Balinese food, hipster dishes, rice paddies and gorgeous beaches. Without further ado, let's get started on the amazing restaurants I tried!

1. Wahaha

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Wahaha boasts the "best pork ribs in Bali," and it's truly hard to deny this claim. I mean, we're talking about fall-off-the-bone, ultra-soft-cartilage type of barbecue ribs. I'm drooling just thinking about it! The best part is that this entire meal was only around $10. Don't let the picture fool you-- I had to share that rib rack with two other people! It's quite a substantial meal that's not at all overpriced. An overall great place for tourists and locals.

2. Sisterfields Cafe

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Sisterfields is located right in the center of Seminyak Square, where all the tourists roam the streets in search for expensive hipster coffee. Despite my slight sarcasm, it's quite an adorable little cafe. The food is definitely westernized, but believe me when I say this: that tiny piece of crispy pork was better than the $50 Bestia pork dish I tried-- and it only cost me a fraction of the price. About $10 to be precise. Yes, still quite a hefty price for Bali, but totally worthwhile. It was SO DELICIOUS! #wouldeatagain

3. Warung Babi Guling Pak Malen

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Sorry - I forgot to bring my nice camera to this one, but I just had to take a picture with my phone, anyway. Pak Malen was neither adorable nor hipster, but completely delicious. Be prepared to sit in the heat while eating really, really spicy Balinese food. They're known for their babi guling, which basically means roasted piglets. I know, it's terrible... but traditional Balinese food basically consists of roasted piglets and fried ducks so you can't avoid it. And maybe you don't want to... because it's actually delicious! Plus, you guessed it, this place was dirt cheap. If you want a real Balinese restaurant experience, go to Pak Malen!

4. Nalu Bowls

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Nalu Bowls has delicious and healthy brunch items, like acai bowls, wraps, salads, heart-carved coconuts, and everything else your hipster heart could ever desire. Before you head off to a nice spa, take a brunch break at Nalu Bowls and try their fun dishes! Their venue was also quite charming and great for kids.

5. Ultimo

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I'm not going to lie - when I heard that we were going to an Italian restaurant in Bali, my eyes rolled so far back into my skull I thought I was going to go blind. But it was damn good. I ordered the gnocchi with dory (yes, as in the fish), and let's just say I ordered it a second time before I left Bali. They also have live music at this restaurant and an AWESOME convertible roof in case it rains. I've never seen a convertible roof at a restaurant before. It was quite impressive for my peasant eyes. Oh yeah, their prices aren't bad, either! My delicious, fancy dish was only around $12.

6. Motel Mexicola

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I know, I know what you're thinking... It's probably the same thing that I thought at first, too: "Why are you trying all of these other ethnic foods when you're in Indonesia?!" I understand, but Mexicola was just so darn fun and festive that I CANNOT leave it off this list. This extraordinarily well-designed, kitschy venue has a great little dance floor, funky old music, fun drinks, and absolutely electric vibes. If you're in Seminyak with a group of friends, drop by Mexicola at night and experience the amazingly festive night life in Bali. You'll find yourself asking, "Where am I right now?" along with everyone else who found themselves on a dance floor in a Mexican restaurant on this quirky Indonesian island. 

*BONUS* - Menega Cafe, Jimbaran

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Menega is located in Jimbaran, not Seminyak, but it's not too far away and it's most definitely worth a visit. Skip the Jimbaran Bay Seafood Club and go to Menega. The prices are cheaper, the selections wider, and the food more delicious. Oh yeah, remember to order the clams! They were absolutely mouthwatering. In the end, you won't break your wallet on fresh Balinese seafood and you'll experience an excellent sunset for free. Menega is located right on the sandy shores of Jimbaran. Here's a photo of the Jimbaran sunset:

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If you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your friends and spread the good word! To get a closer look at Bali, check out this video: