Top things to do and see in Bali
Sunset at Uluwatu Temple
Uluwatu temple is about an hour away from Kuta. You can either take a taxi or your rented bike or car up there. Takes about an hour to get there (by bike). There is a lot of jam in the Seminyak area, so if you're travelling by Taxi or any 4 wheeler, spare an hour more or you'll miss the sunset which is definitely not a sight to miss. 4:00 pm is the best time to depart. The temple hangs from a cliff above the Uluwatu beach in Jimbarin area of Bali. See pictures. The sea gets blue on the left and golden on the right. The clouds display a vivid array of a thousand colors of autumn and the silhouette of the temple on the cliff stands upon this dreamy backdrop. Its such a wonderful sight. Beware of the menacing monkeys and take care of your belongings or they will snap it off your hands before you even know it.
Sunset at Tanah Lot Temple
Its very easy to get to Tanah Lot temple because the roads are properly marked. It was roughly 45 kms from Kuta which took about 45 mins from Kuta. The temple is very commercialized. There are about more than 150 shops in the temples vicinity. The temple looks beautiful during sunset. It lies a little away from the corner of the rocky beach and seems like a little island bearing the beautifully carved temple on itself. The landscape surrounding the temple is stunningly beautiful. Lots of Jordan like rocky structures above the turbulent sea makes this place look surreal. The waves comes smashing forcefully on the edge of the rocks with gallons of water spreading all over the place. A nice way to cool off is to stand at the edge and wait for the wave to drench you.
Mountain Biking at Ubud
Ubud lies in the center of Bali. It is here where you come in touch with pure and first hand experience of the Balinese culture. Ubud is a village area. Biking in Ubud means riding through forests, through the paddy fields, visiting village workshops, getting a chance to meet the locals, sipping and eating with them, riding up the mountains, along the rivers and waterfalls. It's a must do. Our tour guide also took us to a coffee estate where we tasted freshly roasted and grounded coffee.
SLIDESHOW Mountain Biking in UbudClick thumbnail to view full-size
Mt Batur and Lake Batur in Kintamani
Mt. Batur is the highest peak in Bali. It is an active volcano. Lake Batur lies on the foot of Mt Batur and is very serene.The climate here is pleasant. You can take a cycling and canoeing tour to Kintamini. Canoeing in lake Batur is a great experience. There is also a hot spring in the vicinity. Right before we commenced our ride, we took breakfast at a restaurant overlooking the panoramic view of the Mountain and its magnificent lake.
Bask in the Sun at Dreamland Beach
Dreamland beach is off the regular track and is down south in Jimbarin. Its a very peaceful place with no annoying hawkers. The beach has a beautiful landscape and is also a surfers paradise. So just enjoy the sun, sit back, relax, and sip your favorite mocktail and enjoy the surf show unless you are one.
Sunrise from Mt. Batur
Now this is a little bit challenging. You are picked up from your hotel, in your sleep, at about 2:30 am in night. After a 2 hour drive, you reach at the base of Mt. Batur. At about 4:30 am, in pitch black, you start your climb. Takes about one and a half to two hours to ascend through declining temperature, rough patches, bushes, loose gravel, hard rocks to the peak. 6:00 am - Wait for the sun to show itself. A little light, and you witness something that you had never seen and will never see. Theres a blanket of thick dense clouds colored in the shades of purple, blue, red, orange and yellow and the sun steadily rising up from under them. The thought of two hours of trekking in a crazy terrain suddenly vanishes forever. You could have put in lots more for something like this. Such a heavenly sight it is. You fell like walking on that bed of cloud. Close your eyes and all you can listen is a continuous clicking sounds of cameras around you. The descend was comparatively easier. Your are down by 8:00am Driving back takes another 2 hours and around 10:30 - 11:00 you reach back to your hotel.Take a little courage and do not miss this tour for nothing! Its worth everything!
Sunrise at Mt. BaturClick thumbnail to view full-size
Dive in Tulamben or Amed
Tulamben and Amed are supposedly the best dive sites Bali has to offer. The WWII American ship The Liberty's Wreck lays down here and is approachable from both sites. zzthe wreck can be beautiful and eerie at the same time. The underwater life is very rich and colorful. The visibility is very good. It takes about 3 hours to get here by road from Kuta, about 2 hours to dive and 3 hours back. So keep in mind its a full day tour. If you want short tours, you can head down to Nusa Dua but it will be just for the sake of diving. Although you can snorkel here.
You can also consider taking a PADI Instructor course in Bali to be a certified diver.
Take Surf lessons at Kuta, Legian or Double Six
While you are in Bali, consider learning to surf, a once in a lifetime opportunity. It is so mush fun. Bali is blessed with some great surf sites and is also a host to several Pro Surf Contests for eg. Padang Padang Beach, Uluwatu and Jimbarin Beach. However if you wish to learn to surf, the west coast beaches are the best. The waves are just enough for beginners and first timers. You can rent a surfboard for less than 50,000 rupiah and can have an instructor for two hours for a mere sum of 120,000 rupiah. If you want to go more pro, then there are professional surf schools like Rip Curl School of Surf and ProSurf School both on Double Six Beach. Opt any of the variety of courses of different levels they have to offer and you sure will catch a bunch of waves before the sun sets.
Take a day or two for Gilli Islands
Less than two hours sailing off the east coast, lies the famous trio "The Gili Islands". You can take a boat from Padang Bai in east coast Bali and be there in a matter of minutes. Snorkeling and Scuba Diving is excellent in Gili Islands. The islands are traffic free and the only means of transport is bicycles. Gili is also famous for its full moon psy trance parties. Consider staying there for a couple of days atleast.
Shop till you drop at Kuta Square
Kuta Square is a wonderland for shopping. Its half a mile long street lined with loads of shops. The prices are affordable and many shops offers discounts all year round. What to buy in Kuta Square? Well there are a lot of brands namely, Adidas, Nike, Levi's, RipCurl, Quicksilver, Versache, D&G, Paul Smith, etc. etc. selling their their range in very good prices unlike The Over rated Discovery Mall which is unbelievably expensive. There is a shop that sells branded replica jewelry and watches called Bagus Watch. Its a must go.
Get your hands on Kite Boarding/ Kite Surfing
Kite boarding/ surfing is an art of surfing and flying all together. I have seen people do it and have seen it on TV. Its an exhilarating sport that will raise the hair at the back of your neck. While in Bali, do get you hands on it. Kite Surfing is mostly done on the east coast, mainly on Sanur Beach. There are plenty of Kite Surfing schools like Kite & Surf Bali Proshop and Bali Kite Surfing School (both in Sanur) where you can learn the sport.
Late nights at Legian Street
Legian Street is a clubber's hub and a great place to end the day. There are several Pubs, Clubs, Bars and Discotheques throughout the street to suit every mood and music. Be it Live Rock Music, Reggae, Hip Hop, House, Metal, Classic, Karaoke, name it and Legian has it all. There is so much enthusiasm in this street. People are so full of life, the spirits are high and its so hard to realize that this is the same place where the brutal bombings of 2002 had occurred. There is a Memorial build as a tribute to the victims of Bali Bombing right outside the Paddy's club.
There are various Spas which are open till late, most of them till 1:00 am. The best way to call a day is to get yourself a nice full body massage, release all the tension build up in the body after a long day of exploring Bali then hit your favorite club and charge up for the coming day.
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