There is a tropical paradise stuffed with beaches, entertainment and art called Bali. No wonder the island is so beautiful: it’s called the Island of Gods, created by the Gods so the people could worship them.
Bali is mostly famous for the beaches in the south which are absolutely gorgeous and tourists usually head there for many different attractions such as surfing, shopping, nightlife. Bali has also become a very popular destination for organic and fresh food. The ‘classic’ method of staying in Bali is renting a villa, specifically when you come in a small group. You can rent one with private pools and sometimes your very own kitchen staff which will cook you delicious meals. You can book a villa via agoda.com or booking.com. The locals are also very friendly which is always a big plus and they will specially enjoy if you will try to speak a few words in Balinese.
Beach clubs and restaurants
Potato Head is a very famous Indonesian restaurant & bar which started off as a simple idea which gained popularity and is very hard to miss. It is surely a must see in the Island of Gods with it’s fine cuisine. Make sure to check out their website before you go.
Ku De Ta is another famous beach bar since its arrival back in 2000, and it’s one of the top locations in Asia ever since and continues to blossom every year. The place has a unique architecture which catches everyone’s eye, and was initially meant to be a meeting place for the community.
Also, like any good destination Bali has a few Gay Bars, the most popular being Mixwell.
Seminyak is a luxury location filled with art galleries, shops, restaurants and bars. It’s also the boutique shopping of Bali. The starting location for any avid shopper is Jalan Laksmana. When you’re done shopping make sure to drop by any of the restaurants, they might be expensive for Bali standards but not on an international scale. And also even if they are hard to find there are a few budget stores which are worthy of checking in Seminyak.
Ayana Resort enjoys a majestic view and unique location over 35 meters above Jimbaran Bay. It also just 10 kilometers from the airport so that if you wish to stay there it is not too troublesome of a ride. They also have the famous Thermes Marins Spa and award-winning Spa on the rocks which you should surely enjoy. You don’t have to book a whole holiday there as you can go as a day visitor and enjoy the luxury it has to offer.
If you are a surfer then Bukit area which is further south is your choice of destination. Also check out Padang Padang Surf School which is a marvelous place to stay for surfing holidays. Also another popular yet less crowded location for surfing is Canggu, which has more chilled beachside living.
If you want to plan a great beach escape then head over to this island. You can catch the Perama slow boat from Sanur. It will roughly take one hour and it leaves every day at 10.30 (www.peramatours.com). Speedboats are also available which will get you there in much less time. The island is a place for diving, snorkeling, surfing, SUP and just having fun in general by yourself or with others. Ketut’s Place is the ideal spot to stay over on the main beach. If you want to surf or SUP the person to call is Chris at Monkey Surfing (http://www.monkeysurfing.com/).
Divers flock here to see the rare mola mola and the beautiful manta rays, which are far more regular. The best place to eat ‘local-style’ at Nusa Lembongan is Ibu Nyoman’s warung, on the road heading out to the east towards the mangroves. This island offers just the right balance of peace and quiet and businesses and facilities, away from the nonstop lifestyle of southern Bali.
Ubud is the cultural heart of Bali. It’s located 1 hour from Kuta and it’s surely an ideal base for exploring a less touristic Bali. You can not only find good Balinese food here, but also quality organic food too! A few good restaurants are Kafe, Ibu Oka’s and Atman Cafe. But if you truly want a taste of local food you need to head over to the local market before 7.30 am, downstairs where all the locals will be eating and shopping.
After 8 am it will change and become an art and craft market for visitors, and thus lose the traditional charm. It is also a good yoga destination, the Yoga Barn being the biggest with its large amount of daily classes.
For art lovers, the best museums are: Neka Museum, Puri Lukissan Museum, ARMA and Antonio Blanco Museum, dedicated to the eccentric Spanish painter who was married to a Balinese woman.
Before leaving Ubud, make sure you treat yourself to a massage and a visit to a spa. The choice is nearly endless, but some local recommendations are Cantika 2 and Nur Salon for spas, and Restu and Bodyworks for a good old massage.
If you want to trade the tourists, the noise and all things western for a great health and fitness experience filled with authentic Balinese food and accommodation, Sharing Bali is the place for you. The usual program goes on for 6 days, but you can also stay on a nightly basis and still take part in the daily activities (including boot-camp, cross-fit, Amazing Races, fitness adventures, Pilates and yoga).
The guests’ favorite activities are trekking & tubing (a trek through rice paddies then 90 minutes canyon tubing on the river, closing with lunch in the jungle before trekking back home), climbing the Mt. Batur volcano at sunrise (with a view of the lake and Mt. Agung, then relaxing at the hot springs for a few hours on the way back), a volcano crater rim trek (with an unrestricted 360 degree view of Bali, a stop at a village and a boat trip, closing with hot springs to rest and recover) and Balinese cooking classes (an unique chance to learn the secrets of local cuisine while drinking lemongrass tea - at the end of it, you’ll receive an email with the staff’s favorite recipes so you can taste a little bit of Bali back home).
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