From the rolling hills and lush rainforest of Ubud, to the bustling beaches and markets of Kuta, Bali portrays two extremes and is just one the many islands of Indonesia, waiting for you to explore.
Each city of Bali is different to its neighbour. Each has its own personality, or possesses something unique. Sanur offers a laid back and cheap dining experience. Feel the sand between your toes and tune into the gentle crashing of waves as you indulge in a tasty meal on Baruna Beach. Kuta is known for its nightclubs, but its markets are worth a visit during the day. Filled with countless bargaining opportunities and the beach within walking distance, the Kuta Markets satisfy. The city of Seminyak is home to boutique stores, unique to this part of Bali. Potato Head Beach Club ticks all the boxes – great food, great view, great service. Complete with an infinity pool, Potato Head is a Bali hot spot, located just out of Seminyak. These Balinese cities have their own strengths, something that sets them apart from the others. It is up to you to decide which ones are worth discovering.
If you wish to trial a taste of the traditional side of Bali rather than the tourist portion, Bali Hai Bicycle Tours doesn’t disappoint. This tour includes a free Balinese tea and coffee trial in the rainforest and brunch at the foot of Mt Batur, an active volcano. Take in the scenery as you venture on a 30km downhill bike ride through rice paddy fields and villages. It is on this journey that you get a first glimpse at how the Balinese really live. As you continue on through small villages, the occasional group of Balinese children pause their games to trail behind your tour group, or plead for a quick high five. After 30km, you may think your journey has come to an end, but this is not the case. Instead, you are welcomed into an authentic Balinese home to savour some traditional Indonesian cuisine.
After a long bicycle ride through the Indonesian countryside, the word ‘massage’ may come to mind. InTan Spa will accommodate your needs. Located at Baruna Beach, Sanur, InTan Spa has a lot to offer. Many cheap but quality packages are available, but to give an idea, a two and a half hour massage, facial and pedicure will set you back only twenty Australian dollars. The service is great, the ladies are friendly and ensure your massage is as relaxing as possible.
For a truly enlightening experience, visit the Elephant Park & Lodge, Taro. Forty-one beautiful elephants inhabit the park, each one saved from Sumatra, and named and cared for by the dedicated staff. It is worth investing in an elephant ride – your visit just wouldn’t be complete without one. Your journey lasts 35 minutes and is incredibly relaxing. The elephants finish their walk with a refreshing dip in the lagoon. Elephants also jump at the chance to boast their skills at the Talent Show. Ball skills and painting are just the beginning, but be sure to watch out for the wet surprise. I won’t give too much away!
Tanah Lot Temple will satisfy the aspiring photographer. Waves crash against stubborn rocks, sending shards of sea spray into the sky. The sun sheds light over the temple on the ocean, creating the perfect silhouette. A photographer’s paradise, right? If you’re wishing to snap a sunset, arrive at Tanah Lot just before 6.30pm (this was in September – check sunset times for your visit) and set up by the café on the cliff with a cold beverage in hand. This beautiful seaside landscape can be found west of Seminyak and is very popular with tourists.
You’ll find your heart torn between the two faces of Bali – the silence of the rainforest, or the calling of the city. Why not fall in love with both?
May the travel-bug be with you….
Things to do and places to see:
Bali Hai Bicycle tour – http://www.balihaitour.com/
Elephant Safari Park & Lodge – http://www.baliadventuretours.com/index.php/en/elephant-safari-park/safari-park/about-safari-park
Tanah Lot Temple – is west of Seminyak (ask your driver and he’ll know where it is)
InTan Spa – visit Baruna Beach Markets, Sanur or call 286 413
In Bali, bargaining is just a way of life – and you’ll need to know the correct prices. This website gives these prices and will be a vital for your Bali adventure: