10 Bucket List Things to Do in Bali
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
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
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
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:
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:
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!
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!
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
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.
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
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!
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
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!
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
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
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.
If you're lucky, you might even find money. Check out Chris's loot below:
If you want to beach comb, I recommend Sunday's Beach Club and Nusa Dusa.
10. Have a photoshoot at Campuhan Ridge Walk
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
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.
We stayed at this amazing Airbnb. I swear, it had like 5 different pools!
Next, we moved here:
This one was my personal favorite because it was a private villa for just our party.
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!