I won’t pretend to be a perfect traveller with perfect tips, but here it is, in all honesty, my 5 experiences ‘coup de coeur’ in Bali! You know, the ones I recall with satisfaction, amazement and a bloody smile on my silly face.
TAKING A STROLL IN THE RICE TERRASSES
Those rice fields, you were used to stare at them in your geographic teaching books since high school, remember? When you were studying agriculture and irrigation. Beholding those in real life, and taking a stroll through the paddies, it’s something completely different. A quiet and contemplative experience. I highly reccommend the end of the afternoon (my favorite moment in the day, ever), when the sun shines with its particular light on the rice basins creating a surreal glowing on the fields. Seems like the rice terraces are turning me into a bloody poet.
WATCHING A DANCE PERFORMANCE IN UBUD
If there’s one cultural experience you shouldn’t miss in Bali, that would be this one. Watching a traditionnal show of balinese dance. The Legong dance is highly hypnotic, while the Gamelan music makes your toes move within the rythm. Whether you understand the story or not, you just have to lose yourself into the music and into the smirk of the beautiful dancers to spend a wonderful time.
SNORKELLING IN THE GILI ISLANDS
Ok, technically the Gili Islands are not part of Bali but they’re part of Lombok. But since you get there from Bali in less than two hours, they’re completely part of the Balinese experience! The water on Gili Islands is so cristal clear that you’re craving to get your mask and fins and have a look on what’s going on underwater. You won’t be disappointed, especially at the end of the afternoon when the sea turtles are coming back closer to the shore. Yes baby, you can actually swim with them… How awesome is that?!
CONTEMPLATING THE HINDU TEMPLES
If there’s one picture to bring back from Bali, that would definitely be one with a balinese temple on it. After all, Bali is called the Island of the Gods. Which means that you’ll find flowery and scented offerings everywhere you’ll walk, in the streets, in the restaurant, in your room, in your taxi… and naturally in the temples. Also called ‘Pura‘ in balinese, they are also magnificent remains of balinese architecture, most of the time located in enchanted sceneries such as mountains, lakes or by the sea.
SCUBA DIVING IN AMED
On the east side of Bali, you’ll find Amed, a fishermen village which is also THE scuba diving spot on the island. Over here, besides the red corals, the multicolored fish and the blue sea stars, there’s two shipwrecks to explore, the Japanese Shipwreck and the USS Liberty. It doesn’t matter if you’re an scuba diving expert or just a begginner, you will most certainly find some happiness in the Amed’s underwater world.
[BONUS!] HIKING MOUNT BATUR AT DAWN
Even if this excursion is way too busy for a hike, it’s still an amazing memory to have. Imagine. Climbing a volcano at night time so you can see the sun rising on Mount Agung, the sacred mountain. It’s well worth the effort (and if you’re lucky, you’ll get an hard boiled egg for breakkie!)
Besides the crowd of tourists, Bali has a lot to offer and will satisfy every kind of traveller. If you’re into nature and wilderness, or if you thrive into cultural chock, or even if you’re looking for extreme sports thrills, it’s up to you to find and explore the Bali you will enjoy… (As long as you stay away from Kuta!)
Let’s go to Bali, baby!