Bali has become the most popular island holiday destination in Indonesia, and lately became a top romantic destination for honeymooners; because of its exotic nature and breathtaking scenery. It’s known for the marvelous attractions of temples and palaces that are set against stunning natural backdrops. My advice for those interested in traveling to Bali would be to divide their stay to Ubud, Seminyak and Kuta. Each area is special in its own way, because while Ubud greets you with its nature, Seminyak offers exciting clubbing and packed dance floors. The kind of diversity that you sure will be seeking during your trip.
From my own experience at Ubud, here is a list of places that are a must visit:
1. Ubud Monkey Forest
Ubud Monkey Forest, aka the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal, is one of Ubud’s most popular attractions; as it’s a natural forest sanctuary that is home to a horde of grey long-tailed macaques. As an animal lover myself, I have always wanted to see them in their natural habitat and not behind bars. This is exactly why I enjoyed being surrounded with my favorite animal.
Tip: If you want to take a photo with a monkey, hold your palm up with some food in it, but be ready for monkeys to jump on you at any time!
2. Tegallalang Rice Terraces
The huge rice terrace is another popular attraction, the greenery there is breathtaking especially at sunset. Another highlight to go to nearby is the quaint village of Pakudui, where you can find an extraordinary variety of ornamental woodwork and various carvings. The shops nearby also sell the nicest local clothes, so make sure you don’t miss out on them.
Tip: wear comfy shoes because you’ll be going down long steps, and it might get muddy as well.
Near by are the coffee fields, where you get to taste their variety of coffees whilst enjoying a splendid view of the fields. Don’t go cheap when it comes to coffee shopping, because for a caffeine addict, this will be your heaven on Earth, so make sure you take some home.
3. Lempuyang Temple
One of my absolute favorites, and definitely worth the trip up to the top. The temple is literally so high that your pictures there are as if you’re standing between the clouds. The best views are higher up the stairs, where you can see all the way across the green forested slopes and neighboring Mount Agung. But only hikers will enjoy reaching this high point via a steep staircase of over 1,700 steps, but don’t worry, for the not so athletic as myself, you can pay a car to drive you up to the top, but expect a bumpy ride!
4. Finnis Beach Club
Whether it is Finnis or any other club, spending a day at a beach club is a definite must! I mean can you name a better combination than the beach, good food and music? It won’t even cost you as much as you may think, because with a certain amount, you will have a nice comfy setting, access to the bathrooms, the beach and your choice for a meal and two drinks. And let me tell you, swimming in an island is a whole other experience.
5. Bali Swing
The swings there are one of the reasons many now know about Bali, but what you might not know is that there are several ones, and their prices vary. So compare between prices, ask if they have life insurance (better safe than sorry) and ask them to check the pictures taken by tourists, and happy swinging!
Bali is beautiful and is surely one of the destinations closest to my heart, and so if you’re not going there for a honeymoon, substitute the fancy villa with a cheaper one, I stayed in Puri Suksma Ubud and it was a nice little hotel with a stunning view. Of course it isn’t like staying at a fancy villa that overlooks the rice terrace or coffee fields but it will definitely do.
One thing that bothered me personally was their currency. You can spend millions there, yes literally speaking, because 100 dollars equal a million and something rupiah! So as a person who sucks at math, it was hectic for me. Especially that you have to compare the prices of trips in dollars, so you would know how to bargain. So my advice is, choose a math geek to join your group.
Other than that, the experience at Bali is a new one, and can be enjoyed at a very reasonable price if you don’t go all fancy.