Bali is one of those places that in order to find it on a physical map, you need a magnifying glass. Thus, you might think there is probably not that much to see but, trust me, you will be surprised. I stayed in Bali for 10 days, thinking it was more than enough, but ended up wanting to stay at least a whole month, if not more, to see it properly.
However, if you are like me, living a student life or drowning in work, you probably cannot take a few months off to wander around the island. So here is a list of the TOP 5 things to see in Bali which are definitely doable in less than 10 days (including a little bit of time to chill at the beach because you do not want to go back home from Indonesia more pale than you were before, am I right?).
But first, let me give you a couple of general tips useful to know before starting to properly plan your trip.
- Go during off season. Yes, there might be a little bit of rain and very humid but there will be less tourists around and accommodation prices are far lower than during high season.
- Find a local guide to drive you around that you can trust. As I mentioned before, Bali is very big and, especially if you have little time, it is essential to have a quick way of transportation and someone who knows the place well.
TOP 5 PLACES TO SEE IN BALI
1. Jatiluwih Rice Terrace.
If you like hiking and nature in general, you will definitely not be disappointed here. The main path takes approximately half an hour but, trust me, you will be dragged by the infinite beauty of these fields and definitely spend more time than that. Just keep in mind to wear proper shoes as the terrain can be quite slippery (yes, I fell down a couple of times myself).
2. Git Git Waterfalls.
There are tons of hidden waterfalls around Bali. For most of them, you have to pay an entrance fee. One of my favorites was Git Git Waterfalls, which is actually an area with four waterfalls and the entrance fee is based on how many you want to see.
I decided to see the the first two which were pretty amazing, I could even swim in the last one. The hike throughout the waterfalls is very relaxing and not too steep but it can be quite slippery so make sure to have proper shoes.
3. Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary Ubud
This might come to you a little bit as a cliché but I think it is worth to check it out, even for just an hour or so. You will find monkeys throughout the whole island but they are usually not approachable and can be quite aggressive if you do not know how to behave around them.
In the sanctuary, you can read the rules (very useful to keep in mind during the trips) about how to behave around monkeys and you can even feed them if you want (something they suggest you not to do outside of monkey sanctuaries or forests) with the food they provide you with inside the forest.
Remember to remove any hat, sunglasses, and food from your backpack and put your phone on silent before entering the forest.
4. Lempuyang Temple.
One thing you will notice as soon as you get to Bali, is the uncountable amount of temples throughout the whole island. Every temple is unique in its own way and is worth a visit, but it would probably take you a lifetime to see all of them.
One of my favorite temples was Lempuyang, in the eastern part of the island. It is essentially a complex of several temples together. You can hike up to the last temple at the top of the mountain, which takes approximately 4 hours’ round trip. The most famous one (see picture below), is the first temple and takes approximately 15 minutes or less to reach from the start of the hike.
5. Suluban Beach, Uluwatu
If you are not into surfing and just want to chill at the beach for a little bit, Suluban Beach is definitely a must. It is located in the southern part of Bali, in Uluwatu. It is famous for its “challenging accessing point” since you have to walk inside a cave in order to reach it. Even if you do not want to spend the day sunbathing, it is definitely a nice place to check out and different from the usual beaches that you can find pretty much anywhere else. If you are into surfing but quite a beginner, you can take lessons from local people and Suluban Beach is also known for being a nice place to get yourself started with some “easy waves”. Furthermore, there are a couple of places nearby that offer great food to enjoy while overseeing the waves from up above and a breathtaking sunset.