Bali, A Beautiful Place To Visit

By Aciel White /

A large island and province in the middle of Indonesia, Bali has been popular with tourists since the 1980s. It’s a haven for surfers and beach bums alike, with an abundance of travelers, yogis, photographers, and temple-goers flocking to its shores each year. Bali has a lot of Western influence, from diverse restaurants to yoga classes, and is the most “foreigner-friendly” island in the vast archipelago.

What to Expect in Bali

Whether your idea of luxury is reclining in a hammock in a jungle bungalow or sipping cocktails in your private beachfront villa— Bali can offer it all at knock-out rates. The vibe tends to be that of beach parties or Zen-like retreats, depending on which part of the island you go to. Ubud is rich in Balinese cuisine, expansive jungles and rice fields, and local craft markets. If you’re looking for beaches and fresh seafood, head to Seminyak, Canggu or Uluwatu!

Language: The official language is Indonesian, but you’ll hear Balinese in the countryside often with a smattering of Indonesian mixed in. English is in extensive use thanks to the tourists and sizeable Australian expat population!

Currency: Bali uses the Indonesian rupiah as the local currency.

Credit Cards and Banks: Cash is king in Bali. Always carry a handful of 10,000 to 100,000 notes (valued from $0.75 to USD 7.50) for daily expenses and haggling. As of 2015, businesses are not allowed to charge in dollars, so make sure you always have some rupiah on hand. You can easily withdraw from ATMs, which are everywhere in the cities.

Climate: In general, Bali enjoys warm weather year-round—but be mindful of the rainy season, January to April and October to November!

Getting Around Bali

While Bali may seem like a small island, there is a lot to see and a lot of ground to cover! Traffic in Bali is also very congested so always plan more time to get around (and especially to get to the airport!).

Scooter: My recommendation is to avoid the traffic of Bali by renting a scooter— a fast way to zip through the streets and countryside. Renting a motorbike is the “way” of Bali and very cheap. If you don’t feel comfortable driving yourself, you can use the GO-JEK app for an Uber-type service but on the back of a motorbike.

Taxi: Taxis are the most expensive, and the monopoly on taxi service somewhat bans Uber. You can still use Uber is places like Seminyak, but you need to be very discreet about it and can’t use them to get to and from less-populated areas. You’ll also find local transport driver stands by the beaches (specifically Canggu) where you’ll be able to get rides. As always, make sure you agree on a price for the trip before getting in the car. Otherwise, the Blue Bird app is excellent for cab rentals and works the same as Uber.

Private Car: There are tons of private drivers that will offer airport drop-offs, transfers and tours for much less than taxis. I’d recommend opting for a private driver and make up your own “sightseeing tour” of all the places you want to see, in order— it will be less than an organized tour. Ask your friends, hotel, or villa owner for a driver they would personally recommend and message them via Whatsapp!

What to do in Bali

Shop the Ubud Markets

The markets at Ubud are legendary. You can find everything from silk scarves and handwoven baskets to statues, kites, and fresh produce.

Canggu Beach

Canggu is a village just north of Seminyak with great access to beautiful beaches, and lots of shops and cafes. Be sure to stop by Old Man’s Beach Bar, or The Lawn for a sunset drink.
Visit Pura Taman Saraswati Temple

Built to honor Dewi Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom and the arts, this beautiful temple is alive with lotus blossoms and water flows.

Ubud Monkey Forest

Smack-dab in the jungle, Ubud has its fair share of monkeys and you can visit for IDR 50,000. But be careful! They are super aggressive. Don’t make contact or interact with the monkeys unless you have bananas. I found them most friendly at the beginning of the forest where they probably get the most food.
Sunrise Hike at Mt. Batur

Mt. Batur is a sacred mountain in Hinduism and makes for a great early morning hike for a gorgeous sunrise. You’ll need to book a guide and driver, and climb the mountain for about one and a half to two hours.

Where to Stay
Where to Eat
What to Do
Shop the Ubud Markets

The markets at Ubud are legendary. You can find everything from silk scarves and handwoven baskets to statues, kites, and fresh produce.
Canggu Beach

Canggu is a village just north of Seminyak with great access to beautiful beaches, and lots of shops and cafes. Be sure to stop by Old Man’s Beach Bar, or The Lawn for a sunset drink.
Visit Pura Taman Saraswati Temple

Built to honor Dewi Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom and the arts, this beautiful temple is alive with lotus blossoms and water flows.
Ubud Monkey Forest

Smack-dab in the jungle, Ubud has its fair share of monkeys and you can visit for IDR 50,000. But be careful! They are super aggressive. Don’t make contact or interact with the monkeys unless you have bananas. I found them most friendly at the beginning of the forest where they probably get the most food.
Sunrise Hike at Mt. Batur

Mt. Batur is a sacred mountain in Hinduism and makes for a great early morning hike for a gorgeous sunrise. You’ll need to book a guide and driver, and climb the mountain for about one and a half to two hours.
Take a Yoga Class

Yoga is everywhere in Bali, so don’t be shy—grab a mat and join a class in Ubud.
La Plancha or Tanah Lot for a Sunset

Catch a beautiful sunset at La Plancha, a beachfront café with a hint of Spanish culture. Tanah Lot temple is partly eroded by the ocean tides but boasts eerie yet epic views bathed in majestic orange sun light.

Chase Waterfalls

Bali has stunning waterfalls! Check out Tegenungan Waterfall just south of Ubud, or Tibumana Waterfall which lies west of Ubud.

Visit the Rice Fields

The most well-known and photographed rice fields in Bali are located in Tegallalang. The rice terraces are north of Tegallalang village which is around 9km from the center of Ubud.

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Aciel White
It is our choices... that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.