Bali - where to go, what to do - part 1
Bali - exploring the island
WHERE TO EVEN START.. HONESTLY, BALI HAS SO MUCH TO OFFER; HECTIC TRAFFIC, SPIRITUAL ADVENTURES, HEDONISTIC PHOTOGENIC FOOD PLACES, AMAZING NATURE, VARIETY OF STREET FOOD, KIND PEOPLE, SURFING SPOTS AND A GREAT NIGHT LIFE. BASICALLY EVERYTHING IN ONE PLACE.
I’ve been living here three weeks now and there is so much more to explore.
Uluwatu is known for the best views on top of the cliffs and the most clear water. It is is heaven on Earth for surfers. When you’re driving to that part of Bali, you cannot miss the huge statue arising above all the hills. I am talking about GWK cultural park - we will come to that part later on. Let me first stop at the best beach places.
Melasti beach - ungasan
best sunset place
If you are looking for a clear water, tranquil atmosphere Melasti beach is probably the best place to find. You will go through the twists and turns of windy roads before reaching the beach. So called limestone cliffs are a popular place to take photos for wedding or for the “gram” so make sure you stop at one of many view points where you can capture amazing turquoise water before reaching the bottom.
So far this place is almost untouched but I am pretty sure it will not stay like this forever.
I have stayed at that place until the sunset and climbed on that spot where the most amazing view is. Just follow the crowd and you will know exactly where to go or just ask some locals and they will be more than happy to help you (first picture on your right).
Nyang Nyang beach- uluwatu
A huge tourist attraction at Nyang Nyang Beach are the abandoned graffiti boat vessels but that’s not all Nyang Nyang offers. This place is pretty empty and untouched. You can have a long walk by the beach and enjoy the view but in case you are looking for a place to swim, this is not the best option.
If you are planning to spend a day at that beach, don’t forget sunscreen, there is nowhere to hide in the shade! On your way down to the beach you should wear sneakers because road is pretty difficult to walk. There are locals selling water, coconuts and even some traditional rice dishes if you are hungry. If you are looking for a party vibe, I have to disappoint you- there is no beach bars here.. Just a “pure” nature...
Oh and PLEASE don’t throw trash around. Unfortunately it’s very disappointing to see that a big part of the island is polluted with plastic bottles . I know it is a bit off topic - but whoever is visiting it, please don’t make it even worse, take your garbage with you.
3. Balangan beach - uluwatu- bali
Balangan beach stayed in my mind for many surfers spots and waves, it was just incredible to observe it. Water was so blue it was just “calling me” to jump into it. Up the hill there is a beautiful view point that is mostly used for wedding photography or just for the “gram” nation.
Anyways, officially explained Balangan Beach is a white sandy beach, stretching 200 meters with panoramic view to the Indian Ocean. There are many “warung” options for you to grab something to eat or just refresh yourself with a coconut.
We are still in Uluwatu. So, on the way back from Nyang Nyang beach, I stopped at Ulu CliffHouse beach bar. Amazing cliff with a view of Indian Ocean. Music, suset, great food and great energy. For those who like to chill on a sun bed or in the pool. Not to mention great and photogenic interior. Definitely a spot to be for IG lovers and bloggers.
5. GWL cultural park
In case you are exploring Uluwatu area you just cannot mis the biggest statue rising among the hills. Garuda Wisnu Kencana Statue is the Indonesian Icon of civilisation, the number one cultural icon in Bali. There are many different statues in the park and it is quite an attraction. There is entrance fee 125000 IDR, this price does not include any guided tour.
6. abandoned plane in bali
We are still basically in Uluwatu. So in case you are planing to visit any of above mentioned beaches you can stop first or later on (for the sunset maybe) to have a look at abandoned airplane BOING 737-200 PK RII. How and why did this airplane end up here is a mystery. There are rumours about the plane, but I am not quite sure what really happened here. I heard it was bought in pieces by a western owner to make a business out of it. But so far there is nothing around to be found.
The grounds are not accessible to the public. But there is a great view point to take photos with the plane. Some photos with a plane on Instagram are very creative.
How to find the exact location of Abandoned Aircraft? If you actually type ‘Abandoned Aircraft Bali’ in google it will bring up the map and just click on it (Boeing 737-200 PK RII - will be written).
7. jimbaran fish market
Driving from Seminyak to Uluwatu you will pass Jimbaran for sure. If I do stop at this part of Bali is because of the best fish market to be found around. Just type in Google maps “Fish market Jimbaran” and it will lead you directly to the spot. Like almost everywhere around Bali you will need to pay a parking fee 5k IDR and thank walk approx. 100m to the fish market. From the outside the market seems just a big shack of corrugated metal with tiny entrances and big crowds, but inside it is a lively, busy, impressive market selling all sort of fish and seafood (some of it quite exotic to European eyes) at reasonable prices. HOLD your nose when you first enter but as you walk around you will be amazed at the variety of fish even at midday. Then, you take your fresh seafood goodies to one of the adjacent BBQ shacks who charge you a flat fee based on the weight of your purchase. Once cooked (in a marinade of garlic butter) you'll be very pleased that you took the time to get here. Walk along the jetty to see the fish boats, and walk along the beach too while waiting for your food to get ready. You can eat at one of the many beachside seafood restaurants as wll, but you'll pay triple the price for a sanitised version of your own BBQ meal.
Prices: 1kg of squids; 2kg of fresh fish (red snapper and parrot fish); 0,5 kg shrimp : 450 K IDR (approx. 25€), plus 300k IDR for 5 times rice, 5 drinks and bbq service. In TOTAL 750K IDR (approx. 47€) for 5 ppl.
bukit cinta- vulcano view
This is probably one of the spots worth waking up early for the sunrise. Why? Because the light is amazing and there is a higher chance of seeing vulcano/mount Agung in the background. Mount Agung or Gunung Agung is an active volcano in Bali and also the highest point on the island. Standing tall at over 3000 meters. Probably you have heard on the news that volcano woke up in 2017 again with five major erruptions resulting closing down the airport and hundreds of thousands of people had to evacuate their homes. Agung has since than had several smaller eruptions and is still today considered to be in an active phase.
The easiest way to find this exact location for sunrise is to head directly to BUKIT CINTA on google maps. Driving from Seminyak area can take you up to two hours with a scooter to get there but is worth it. View is really breath taking, everything is still and quite. You can take time for yourself and just enjoy.
2. ujung water palace - bali
Taman Ujung ‘water palace’, is located in the village of Seraya in Karangasem regency. It is the sister site of Tirta Gangga, both are pretty similar. Between those two I cannot decide which one is better but you can do both in very same day. What I loved about Ujung water palace is that it was pretty empty and very peaceful, comparing to Tirta Ganga. My first stop was at Bukit Cinta (mountain Agung view) and than the next stop was right here at Ujung Water Palace. It was early morning and I had tho whole place almost only for myself - that felt was amazing! The complex consists of various large pools and historic structures set against a backdrop of Mount Agung and the eastern shoreline.
There were many palaces build back in time. Karangasem in East Bali was once a powerful kingdom with captivating landscapes, fascinating history, boisterous traditional markets, and grand palaces. We can almost travel back in time when visiting those amazing buildings.
Entrance fee: 50K IDR
balinese water temple purification ceremony
Ubud is known for it’s spirituality, creativity and beautiful rice fields. When you are planning to visit Ubud I would highly recommend it to visit it for few days. There is a lot to do and explore around. I am pretty sure you’ve all watched or read Eat, Pray, Love. A lot of it was filmed right here. This is one of the reasons Ubud is very popular and packed with tourists. So far I have been in Ubud 2 times, each time for a day only. On the way from Seminyak you will pass the Tegallalang rice terrace - it is a great spot to stop by. There are varius restaurants offering local cusine, as well as art kiosks and cafés . There are locals offering all sorts of paintings and art which you can bargain for a good price.
Balinese Water Temple Purification Ceremony
Water plays a vital role in Balinese life. The Balinese call their flavor of the Hindu religion Agama Tirtha: “The Religion of the Holy Water.” The Sanskrit word Tirtha means 'holy' or to 'cleanse'. To the Balinese water is the foundation of prosperity, therefore an integral participant in all ceremonies… Bali blessing is a spiritual ceremony that is part of Balinese traditional custom consisting of purification, welcoming of good spirits and a final offering while the individual performing the ceremony chants mantras in ancient Sanskrit.
When you arrive, various offerings will be placed at the ceremony location where you will be sitting or kneeling. It is good to take a local person or hire agency to guide you through the process. In Bali this ceremony is used to cleanse our bodies and spirits. On the way you can buy and bring some offerings with you to leave it to the spirits. Various offerings are used including the sprinkling of blessed water to purify the body. Water represents the flow of energy - chi. Bali has many sacred springs and rivers. During this ceremony, you are invited to receive the water over your head and body in what is referred to as a holy shower. After the holy shower, rice is then placed on the forehead for good fortune and prosperity and prayer, the waving of hands is in memory of your ancestors and the placement of pieces of thread on the body signify strength. The ceremony is finished with eating small portions of food for a happy and prosperous future.
For a bit more fancy version of Ubud you can try to visit Wanna Jungle Pool & Bar. Vibe is very relaxed, music is not too loud and the service is great. There should be a bit more of vegetarian options which are usually easy to find in Bali, but it was worth of visit anyways!
2. the ridge walk Campuhan - ubud - bali
The Campuhan Ridge walk is for sure one of my favourite things to do in Ubud. And if possible do it in the early morning when most of the people are asleep. During the sunset place is packed with people and you will get a completely different feeling. A lot of locals are spending time over there with their friends, listening to music and just enjoying the sunset, while tourists are taking thousands and thousands of photos.
It is a beautiful walk which is filled with greenery and hills. More of a jungle or forest walk and if you wanted to only see rice fields and terraces there are other walks you can do.
So far so good. You know what they say: “and if all else fails, Bali is always a great idea”.
To be continued…
p.s. check my blog about Bali best food places #baligasm :D