Top 10 things to do in Bali


28 December 2003

Top 10 things to do in Bali

Bali is a very famous spot to go on a holiday. Most people will book a package tour including flight and hotel. These hotels will mostly be close at the beaches like Sanur or Kuta.
What does this island have to offer for tourists? Find out int his article. My top 10 sights and activities!

Rice fields

Bali is well known for the climate, warm and humid. With the little cooler mountains, rice plants can acclimate here so there are a lot of rice fields to visit. Tegallalang rice fields are one of the most visited view points. The rice field is settled against a mountain and in the right season you have the most green color of the fields.
Around Ubud you’ll find more rice fields where you just can walk to right from the village.

Everywhere in Bali you can ask a taxi driver to drive you to the most scenic rice fields. They will stop at this point.

Goa Gajah, Elephant cave

Goa Gajah is a temple at the south east of Bali. This temple is also named as the elephant cave. It is dated at the 11th century but only they discovered it in 1922.
The temple has a long cave with at the end a big statue of Ganesha, the Hindu god with the elephant head.
There is a mostly dry water basin with more statues. This temple is not colorful, only the sarongs which cover up the statues have some colors. Nevertheless, this still is a nice temple because of the statues and stone carving.

Ulun Danu Bratan temple

The Ulun Danu Bratan is a Balinese pure temple. Not only the temple itself is beautiful, the temple is settled in the most scenic area. Just offshore at the sacred mountain lake you can see the temple from a far distance. At the background you can see other mountains. The temple is at about 1200 meters above sea level a cool place to visit. Make sure your shoulders are covered. And take a sarong to create a long skirt.

Hot spring Air Panas

The hot water spring Air Panas is in the hills of Banjar. Air Panas hot spring is settled down a tropical garden. The water is 38 degrees and contains sulfate. The pool is decorated with stone carving and it has some water streams. Since the people here are religious, for the woman it is better to wear a t-shirt over your bikini, to be dressed more properly.

After the bathing, you can take a shower and change your clothing.


This lovely town settled in the middle of Bali has a nice climate due to its settlement in the mountains. The town is surrounded by rice fields which makes it great for a walk or a biking route.
You’ll find a very nice souvenir market with loads of batik fabrics to choose from, like sarongs and skirts. Negotiate to get a good price.
In the outskirts of the city you’ll find a lot of woodcarving places. The best wood carving pieces you can find here! Just take your time, enjoy the hand made carving.

In the center of the town you can visit the monkey forest. The official name is Sacred monkey forest since it is also a Hindu temple complex. The Grey macaques who live here in a colony can be a little scary. They know tourist take food and they try to grab it from you. For the safety of the monkeys, do not feed them!

Munduk waterfall

From Ubud to Lovina the road passes Munduk. Close to the village Munduk, you'll find a waterfall with the same name. Here you'll have to make a short trekking to get close to the waterfall. When you visit during raining season, the waterfall will be bigger and better. But even in dry season it is worth a quick stop!

Lovina beach

This lovely black sand beach is located in the Northern part of Bali. My home-stay Pondok Elsa 2 had cute bungalows with wood carved windows and doors. The room was basic, but clean. From here it was only minutes walking to the beach.

In Lovina there are several restaurants to choose from. Also, you can book a famous tour from the many tour agents concentrated in the town. This tour you need to be at the beach at 5 AM. You’ll get on a small, colorful boat. Then you’ll start the search of dolphins! These animals gather around this area early morning. Just a mater of luck if you actually see them and sometimes the search with the boats can be some kind of racing against each other. The animals weren’t bothered too much, they were just playing in the water and we could see them jumping out of the ocean!

Kuta beach and Legian beach

The 2 beaches are settled right next to each other. Those beaches are the 2 famous beaches by tourist. Most package tours will go here. There will be loads of restaurants, bars and other entertainment.

The beaches are big and wide, the sand is more yellow, but still nice. The sea can have a rough under stream, therefore it can be really dangerous! Pay attention to the red flags. When they are up, avoid swimming!

If you want some sport adventure you can hire surfboards. If you have no experience they are happy to teach you. And if this is too adventurous for you, just take a look at the real sport man and woman!

Sanur beach

Another highly visited beach is Sanur. This beach is at the other side of the island, about 30 minutes form Kuta and Legian. The beach itself I found more pretty, the beach has white sand. Swimming can be difficult on low tide, since the corals and rocks appear so it will be difficult to cross them without hurting yourself.
At some places here, you can snorkel. But I didn’t try. I did hire a kayak and just had fun at the waves.


Bali is well known for their celebration of ceremonies. They say not one day will pass or there will a ceremony. The ceremonies are celebrated big and there can be many reasons, for example wedding, born baby, full moon, ancestor warship.
The temples will be dressed up colorful, mostly with a lot of gold.
People will wear very beautiful clothing. To make an offer they carry flowers, fruits or cakes. Mostly those offers are very nicely decorated.
If you ask someone, mostly it is not a problem if you join in. But please, be polite and ask first. And keep yourself a bit on the background!

Pura Tanah Lot

Pura Tanah Lot is a typical Balinese temple. It is settled at the west coast. What makes this so special? The temple is actually at a rock in the sea!
When the sea is at low tide you can make it without getting wet feet. This temple is really popular to visit among tourist. Therefore, it can be really crowded.
The best is the sunset. If you stay until the sun is setting you'll get the best views!
You can easily reach this temple with a taxi or if you want, you can rent a motor bike and drive there yourself.