Some alternative things to do in Bali
When people think of Bali there are several things that usually come to mind: the beach, the surf, the shopping and the restaurants. There are plenty of places in the world that have these four things. Why then, is Bali so popular? There are thousands of things to do on the Island of peace, love & the Gods that you might not know about. Here are some things you may not be aware of…
Art Galleries & Art Shops
Bali is a place of phenomenal natural and cultural beauty. It’s unsurprising then that is has established itself as a hotbed for art in all forms. There are a plethora of galleries – especially in Ubud – and you can purchase masterpieces at fraction of the cost you would pay back home!
Mountain Biking & Cycling
The undulating terrain and the rolling down hills are made for mountain biking! MTB is a sport that is steadily growing in popularity, both for the locals and visitors. There are a few very highly recommended companies that will guide you through all the jungle, drops, mud and berms you want. Suitable for beginners through to advanced.
If you prefer a more pleasant bike ride with less adrenaline then cycle tours are an awesome way to see the sights. Cruise through rice paddies while your guide explains all there is to know about Balinese and Indonesian culture. Stop at some incredible places off the beaten track. They’ll always provide refreshments and can usually customise the trip to your preferences.
Bali is one of the most culture rich places in the world. The festivals, both traditional and new age, are an excellent representation of this. Festivals are not always heavily advertised through travel companies and the internet but if you put in a little research the results are very rewarding. The Sanur village festival, the Kite festival, the Art Festival are just some of the few regular ones. There are also Yoga and food festivals. Take a look, get involved!
Scuba & Free Diving
Everyone is aware of Bali’s reputation as one of the world’s premier surf destinations but not so many know that it is part of the “Coral Triangle”. The area of the world with more marine biodiversity than any other place. Of course this means that the underwater world here is second to none. Manta rays, turtles, strange creatures, rainbow coloured fish and chilled out sharks all grace the Bali corals. Learn to scuba dive or ditch the gear and take a free diving course. Open your eyes to a world you cannot imagine!
As with the mountain biking, the terrain of Bali lends its self to hikers of all levels. You can wind your way through the lush greenery, scale Mt Batur or Mt Agong and witness the world’s most beautiful sunrises. You can take a leisurely afternoon hike through the paddy fields or go right off the beaten track with an experienced guide. There are all manner of companies, prices and services. Hiking in Bali is a truly rewarding activity.
Being only a stones throw from the historical Spice Islands, Bali is awash with wonderful flavours and foods that are both exciting and delicious. The food is very healthy, delicious and very addictive. It’s one of the things that people miss most about the Island once they’ve left. So… take the cooking with you. Every little holiday spot has a cooking class of one kind or another. A fantastic way to take a little piece of Indonesia home to share!
White Water Rafting
From the mountains to the sea, Bali’s landscape is decorated with rivers that support the life of the island. There are many waterfalls and swimming holes. The rivers that are larger and have just the right amount of turbulence are used for white water rafting! The most enjoyable water sport that you didn’t know existed on Bali. White water rafting will have you screaming, laughing and ultimately smiling from ear to ear! The guides are well trained and experts at creating fun.
Horses were once the standard method of transport in much in Bali, this can still be seen on the Gili Islands. Nowadays, scooters, cars and trucks have replaced the need for horses, so instead, horse riding stables have popped up in many tourist hot spots. Do your homework on which stable you choose to ensure your safety and animal welfare. There is nothing more enjoyable than a sunset ride along the beach.
Safari & Bali Zoo
Bali Zoo and Bali Safari/Marine Park have a great reputation for good practice, education and interactive activities. There is a great opportunity for photos as well as witnessing the animals in an environment they are completely comfortable in. It doesn’t matter whether you are on your own or with the family, you will have a great day out at either of these animal interaction parks. Feed the animals or ride the elephants!
Alternative water sports
If you don’t surf or dive but want to have an ocean experience then a day of watersports exactly what you need. Blast around on a jet ski, take to the skies in a parasail, balance on a banana boat or biscuit! There’s also opportunity to snorkel and do an underwater “seawalk” among the coral. The Water Sports companies operate out of many seaside parts of Bali, and can usually be booked through your host/hotel. A day you’ll never forget, have a blast!