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The top 10 Bali travel experiences you must have

Published November 18th, 2013

Bali is synonymous with beaches, breaks and bargains, but there’s many more quintessential holiday experiences to be had in this Indonesian island province. Whether you’re a newbie, or been holidaying here with the fam since you were a cheeky (macaque) monkey yourself, here’s our top 10 must-have Bali travel experiences, in no particular order, with travel inspo from Infinity Indonesia Holidays. How many of these things have you done? And what’s on your Bali bucket list?

 

 

Watch the sunset at Legian Beach
While there’s no shortage of idyllic locations in Bali to Instagram an ombre sky, Legian Beach is a particular fave. Fringed by coconut palms and lined with white sands and rolling surf, toast the sinking sun with a cocktail or icy cold bevvy at a beachside bar.

 

See the kecak fire dance at Uluwatu Temple
Once you’ve checked out the sunset over the famous 11th century cliff-hanging sea temple, stay to watch the mesmerising moves and hypnotic chants of the swaying men. The kecak fire and trance dance tells a tale from the Hindu Ramayana and ends with a giant fiery finale.

 


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Surf at Dreamland
Smack-bang between Jimbaran and Uluwatu in southern Bali is the aptly named and laidback beach of Dreamland (now sadly known as New Kuta Beach). Think turquoise waters, white sand and a great surf break with consistent, powerful waves over a white coral beach.

 

See the macaques at Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary of Pandangtegal
They’re cute, they’re cuddly…and they want your money/sunnies/food. Make no mistake, the light-fingered macaques that reside at the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary run this jungle temple site in Ubud. If you’re packing snacks, you may find yourself wearing a monkey. You have been warned.

 

 

Go snorkelling in the Blue Lagoon near Padangbai village
South of the resort area of Candidasa in East Bali, you’ll find a hidden nook in the village of Padangbai known as the Blue Lagoon. A fave dive spot, the bluest of blue water yields plenty of nudibranches, seahorses and colourful tropical fish for snorkellers and scuba divers.

 

Buy a gamelan in Ubud
You’ve heard the gamelan gongs ringing out all over Bali and the cultural centre of Ubud is the place to buy this musical instrument and other local handicrafts direct from the artisans. No room in the backpack? Head to Celuk for some delicate pieces of silver jewellery.

 

 

Tickle your toes at a fish foot spa in Kuta or South Kuta
Schlepping around in thongs is great for avoiding laces and buckles (too restricting on holiday!) but a little rough on your exposed tootsies. Treat your feet to a fish pedicure where dozens of tiny garra rufa fish or ‘doctor fish’ will nibble your soles to baby-smooth perfection.

 

Eat seafood in Jimbaran
Fresh from the fishing boats and into your belly, sample a seafood smorgasbord at a family-run warung on the sandy shores of Jimbaran. Choose your marine main and your desired method of cooking, and then settle in and watch the sunset over the horizon to some live tunes. Ah bliss…

 

 

 

See Gitgit Waterfall at Lovina
On Bali’s northern coast, head inland to spy the gorgeous twin falls of Gitgit. Cascading 40 metres through tropical rainforest, this natural sight ends in a deep pool for a refreshing splash around. Sadly, the dual falls are no good for couples; legend has it those who bathe together here will split - soz!

 

Party on the beach at Gili Trawangan off Lombok
A bit of a cheat this one as its near Bali’s sister isle of Lombok, head to Gili Trawangan in the Gili Islands for a car-free, scooter-free break. The shores are powdery white, the water clear and blue, but it’s the thrice-weekly Ibiza-style parties and beach bars that’ll really float your boat.

Cassandra Laffey

Consumed with unrequited wanderlust, I get my fix in 24/7 cities and hippie retreats. I'm still looking for the ultimate combo of secluded beach and major metropolis, and my happy place is a 5-star hotel room all to myself - sigh.