What I love so much about Bali is that it offers something for everyone. Whether you’re after boutique shopping, amazing wave breaks, deserted waterfalls, yoga retreats, romantic villas or Insta-worthy cafes. Bali truly has it all! There’s a reason why people keep coming back year after year, myself included. So while there’s a lot to love about Bali, hopefully this small teaser will entice you to visit this paradise known as the ‘Island of Gods’.
1. Temples on Every Corner
It can feel like there’s a temple on literally every corner in Bali, but some of my favourites that stand out are Pura Ulun Danu Bratan and its scenic lake backdrop, plus the Saraswati Water Palace conveniently located in the centre of Ubud. This one also makes for a great photo-op thanks to the beautiful lotus pond and water garden. The temple also plays host to a nightly traditional dance performance.
2. Monkey’s Doing Crazy Shit
The monkeys in Bali are as cute as they are terrifying, but if you’re a big fan of monkeys then you’ll be in heaven at the Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest. The 27 acres of protected forest are home to more than 600 banana-snatching monkeys. As cute as they may look you’ll want to make sure you secure any loose items, as these cheeky monsters are known for stealing anything they can get their sneaky little hands on. This includes sunglasses, jewellery, hats, cameras and even items from your pockets or bags. DO NOT bring any food into the forest, regardless of whether it’s in a bag or not as they’ll smell it and pounce. If you’re feeling courageous you can purchase bananas to feed the monkeys, where they’ll likely climb all over you until they’ve snatched that banana. Remember monkeys have teeth, so if you decide to taunt and tease them with food, well they might decide to bite you instead of the banana. That being said, if you’re not carrying food with you then they’ll be rather unfazed by your presence.
3. Breakfast Buffets
I mean honestly, isn’t this the whole point of going on holiday? The best part of breakfast buffet’s in Bali is that:
- You get to eat your breakfast outside and
- There’s normally some epic view to accompany said breakfast.
4. Sunrise at the Rice Terraces
Perhaps what Ubud is most well known for are their famed rice terraces. While you’re sure to see rice paddies scattered throughout Bali, it’s the Tegalalang Rice Terraces you’ve most likely seen splashed across postcards and Google. If you visit during the middle of the day like I did on my first visit, prepare to carefully balance across the thin terraced paths as rows of people try to pass each other in the opposite direction. There will always be someone who falls into a muddy rice paddy, just try to make sure that person isn’t you. On my second visit I went at sunrise to avoid the heat and the crowds and needless to say this was a much more beautiful and peaceful experience.
5. Deserted Waterfalls
Bali truly has an endless supply of waterfalls that are often only visited by a small number of people each day, so if you’re lucky you might just end up with one all to yourself. Some of my favourite waterfalls include: Banyumala Twin Waterfall, Sekumpul, Kanto Lampo and Tibumana. While some require a very steep walk down and make a swim even more rewarding, others are just a short walk from the car park.
6. Infinity Pools with Ocean Front Views
Bali understands that it’s not a real pool unless it’s an infinity pool, and here you’ll have an endless supply of options when it comes to choosing your view. Alila Seminyak has an incredible beach front location perfect for watching the waves roll in right from the edge of their infinity pools (yes there’s more than one). The property has a very modern, clean and minimalistic hotel vibe. Think clean lines, lots of white, vertical gardens, green roofs and landscaped terraces. They’ve also integrated a Balinese temple into the centre of the hotel design layout, offering a touch of the traditional in the ultra modern resort.
If you can bare to pull yourself away from the pool, the hotel is in a very central location within a 5 minute walk to a never ending supply of trendy cafes such as Sea Circus, Motel Mexicola and Café Organic. If you happen to be looking for a day party then Potatohead is right next-door. Some of my favourite meals I had in Bali were just around the corner at Bambu and Merah Putih. Two fine dining Indonesian restaurants highly recommend by the Alila staff and something not to be missed. There’s also a tonne of boutiques to check out in-between all the eating, from bright printed outfits at the Bali Boatshed right through to Balinese home décor at Kim Soo. If you want to go a tad bit further away to Seminyak Square there’s also a complimentary shuttle, which just so happens to be an orange 1980 VW. It really is the perfect location for anyone wanting to experience the trendy shopping, nightlife and restaurant scene of Seminyak.
7. Seriously Instagramable Cafes
Insta-worthy restaurants and cafes is something Bali does better than most places in the world. Truth be told, I had a list of over 30 places I wanted to eat at, but sadly there’s only so many times in a day you can eat, particularly when you spend most of the day full and questioning why you ate so much at the breakfast buffet. Some of my favourite places to eat and snap are:
Seminyak: Sea Circus, Motel Mexicola, Sisterfields, Grocer and Grind, Cafe Organic, Bambu and Merah Putih.
Canggu: The Lawn, Finns Beach Club and Crate Cafe.
Uluwatu: Nalu Bowls, Single Fin and Rock Bar.
8. Flower Baths
When you come to Bali you’ll find yourself asking why you don’t normally bathe in a tub of flowers on a daily basis.
9. Themed Villa Living: Berry Amour Villas
For those traveling to Bali in search of a romantic villa experience, Berry Amour Villas is the perfect location. Although I was visiting with a friend, we were still treated to all the romantic experiences Berry Amour offers. This included romantic love notes left at our meals and in our bedroom, bath tubs filled with flower petals, his and hers bracelets, flower crowns at check in and the option to have photos of each other on our bedside table (we of course declined that one). There are 20 private pool villas on the property with 3 different villa themes to choose from: Desire, Mystic and Temptation. Like I said, they go all out with the romance. While the layout of the villas in general is rather similar, it’s the décor that differs depending on the theme you choose. The highlight of our Desire themed villa was the floor to ceiling sliding glass doors that opened to the private pool, allowing you to jump straight in from the bedroom.
Compared to other villas, particularly in Seminyak were space is limited villas can often be quiet small and compact. Not at Berry Amour, here the villas are quiet large and spacious whilst also being very private and secure. All villas include their own pool inflatables, which is so much more convenient than having to carry your own. I have been known to carry a flamingo, pineapple and watermelon inflatables in my suitcase all at the same time. So this was much more practical. The floating breakfast is another one of their highlights and with such a long breakfast menu you won’t feel like you’re missing out on a buffet. Needless to say this really is the perfect couples or honeymoon villa, but you’ll still have a great time (and laugh) if you come with just your friends.
What do you love about Bali? Let me know in the comments below.