Bali Brief Guide: What to Do, Where to Go, and Things You Need to Know

Known as the “Island of the Gods,” Bali is one of the most sought-after places by many travelers. With the unique culture, vibrant people, and natural beauty, this is not surprising at all. The long stretch of marvelous beaches, which overlaps with the Bali Sea and the Indian Ocean, is one of its main attractions. But to travel to a new destination may require some research in order to make your trip as convenient as possible. In this article, we will give you some of the must-know information to make your trip less stressful and more fun.

Top Things to do in Bali

While there are endless things to do in Bali, these activities are the ones you should not miss in your itinerary.

Relax At the Beach

While there are many beaches in Bali, some are better than the others. Kuta and Seminyak are some of the most popular, so you can also expect a lot of people there especially in the afternoon as people wait for the majestic sun to go down.  So, if you are looking for somewhere more peaceful, Gunung Payung, Bingin Beach, and Jimbaran Bay should be on your list.

Learn How to Surf

While at the beach, why don’t you try to learn one of the most popular activities on the island? Whether you’re a pro or inexperienced, Bali is an ideal place to surf. Many locals offer surfing lesson for an affordable price. Some of the popular surf spots include Kuta, Padang Padang Beach, Dreamland Beach, Medewi, and Canggu.

Explore the Countryside

You can easily find organized tours, but exploring Bali’s countryside on a motorbike is a better way to experience it. Ubud is probably one of the best places to learn authentic Balinese traditions while going to Penglipuran and Guliang Kawan would also be a great idea.

Attend a Cooking Class

Balinese cooking classes are becoming more and more popular on the island. Courses are usually packaged with morning farm and fish market shopping tours that give you more glimpse of local life. you may learn how to prepare different types of satay, fresh salad mixes, dips and sauces, and different healthy desserts.

Trek to Lush Mountains

An island of soaring volcanoes, lavish rainforests, and winding rivers, Bali is also filled with exotic and wonderful trekking opportunities, so make sure to pack your hiking gears! By exploring one of Bali’s landscapes, not only will you have an exciting physical exercise with breathtaking views and pictures to take home, but you will also have a better impression of what the island has to offer.

Some of the popular hiking trails include Mount Agung, Mount Batur, Danau Bratan, West Bali National Park, Tirtagangga, Candidasa, and Munduk.

Where to Stay in Bali

If you’ve already done initial research about Bali, then you probably know by now that the region is separated into different areas. But where should you stay? This might be a tough decision for some, so, to help you decide, here are some popular areas to stay in Bali

South Bali

Known to be the busiest and most populous area of Bali, South Bali is where you will find the largest hotels, the most active nightlife, the best surf spots, and the most number of tourists.

This is probably where you’ll land – Denpasar Airport is located here. Some of the areas you’d probably check out include Kuta which now stretches several kilometers to incorporate Seminyak and Legian. If you are looking for a place that is a bit more peaceful, then Nusa Dua and Jimbaran would be great options. Canggu and Sanur are other places that are getting more attention lately.

East Bali

Completely different from the vibe of the south, exploring East Bali feels like you’re in a different country.

This part of Bali is a big region with natural habitat which ranges from lush forests and dark sand beaches to an active volcano. In this area is also where you will find Candidasa and Padang Bai. Bali’s tallest volcano, Mount Agung, looms enormous throughout the whole of East Bali and has the holiest of temples in the island, Pura Besakih. Going further east, you will find one of the famous surf spots, Amed.

West Bali

From all parts of Bali, the western part is the most unexplored. Aside from the Tanah Lot Temple, other parts of West Bali are free from tourists and are scattered with mountains, rice paddies, and volcanoes. If you, however, want to experience the authentic Bali, then this is the place to go.

This area is dominated by the West Bali National Park and a big area of the protected reserve, and uninhibited. Beaches here offer. The southern beaches have great spots for surfing. The town of Gilimanuk located on the westernmost tip of Bali is the departure point for ferries going to the island of Java.

Central Bali

Last but not the least, is Central Bali. Known as the heartland of Bali, this region is not just a beautiful place geographically but also spiritually, culturally, and historically. This is an amazing place of amazing natural beauty, with picturesque mountain scenery, and a scenic cultural panorama characterized by ceremonies and traditional ats.

This region is mostly known for Ubud and the lakes and mountains around Bedugul. Some of the most prominent archeological sites in Bali are also located here.

With an occurrence of cultural, artistic, scenic, and historical attractions, Central Bali attracts most people who are looking for a break from a flock of tourist and the beach in South Bali.

General Tips

Before I arrive in Bali for the first time, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. There were things I wish I knew before I arrived, but it didn’t change the fact that my trip to the island is one of the best trips I had. Here are some general tips you need to know.

Download transport app before you arrive

Dishonest cab drivers are anywhere on the island, so your best options are to order a cab through your smartphone. The most popular are GrabTaxi and Bluebird. With these apps, you will know how much you’ll have to pay to get from Point A to B.

Buy a Local SIM Card

Stay connected to the internet (after all, you need that to get a taxi!) You can find them at the airport, but the rates could be higher, so, if you want to get them cheaper, you can easily find them at any mobile shops located at tourist streets.

Learn how to haggle

It’s always tempting to buy something when you’re in Bali, and this fact is something many street sellers try to take advantage of. When you ask how much something costs, expect for them not to give you the right price. So, learn how to haggle down the price! This applies to clothing, motorbike rent,  surf lessons, and island tours.

Our friend Alice is a former 9 to 5 slave who now aims to share knowledge and experiences gained from her trips to encourage others to also experience the life outside their comfort zone. Follow me on my adventures on Fortravelista in Facebook

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