Bali is famous for its clean beaches, coral reefs, preserved art and culture. Even the exit of Bali International Airport shows the art and different architecture of the exotic island. The Instagram spots & tourist places like Goa Gajah Temple, Tanah Lot Temple, Tirta Gangga Water Palace, and Mount Batur active volcano are the main Bali attractions. However, there are more things to do in Bali.
4 Things to do in Bali, Indonesia
- Ubud Art Village
I know some of you might think I’m exaggerating this, but Balinese have a real talent and art that has remained hidden from the world behind nature and adventure of this beautiful island. On our second day in Bali, we went to visit Ubud Art Village. I had a pictured an art village like any other local markets, people selling herbal and handmade things at their small stores and shops by the roads. That was until we reached our first destination in the Ubud Art Village- batik print art gallery.
- Batik Print Art Gallery:
As we reached the Batik Print gallery, the first thing we saw was Balinese women working on creating and painting beautiful designs on fabrics by hands. Batik art is originated from Indonesia. No doubt they have preserved the art and has made it one of their major source of living. Batik is a resist process, in which a fabric is dyed using wax to create simple, sometimes complicated designs. Inside the gallery, they have many things made with batik art for selling like bedsheets, pillows, and coveralls, hand clutch and handbags, clothes, and even pashmina shawls. If you haven’t gotten your pashmina yet, you have a chance on your trip to Ubud Art Village in Bali!
- Silver Sterling Jewellery:
Our Next Stop was Silver Sterling Jewellery. Bali is famous for Silver and Gold artefacts & jewellery and we saw how these objects are actually made in their workshop where the artists and jewellers were busy making silver studs and silver rings. The gallery has a variety of sterling silver jewellery – earrings, necklaces, bracelets, to different animals and other showpieces on display. The salesperson at the gallery told us that the purity of the sterling silver jewellery is about 92%. So you won’t have any problem buying some silver from the famous Ubud Art Village.
- Wood Carving:
This was the highlight of our trip to Ubud Art Village apart from the paintings by the local artists. The store was filled with the animal statues, sculptures, and idols of Buddha and Hindu Gods. From a tiny dog to a life-size horse everything was beautifully carved in wood by the native artists. We also saw Barong masks at the gallery both simple and scary.
- Painting by the local Artists:
Last stop of our trip was a painting Gallery at the Ubud Art Village. We were absolutely mesmerised by each and every painting on a display. On the ground floor, the huge canvas paintings were displayed, some showing the daily routines of our life like farmers working on the farm, ladies shopping in a local food market. We also experienced close ties of the artists with the western culture through the paintings of ballroom dance and city landscapes. One creation, in particular, got my attention – the legends of the rock era, ‘The Rolling Stones’ created on canvas with minute details. If you wish to get your favourite artists painted on canvas, you just need to ask the local artists at the gallery as they also create paintings on order.
- Bali Safari and Marine Park
We spent our third day in Bali at Bali Safari and Marine Park, and boy was it fun! The weather was somewhat cloudy that day, so had more fun playing hide and seek with the sun and watching animal shows and clicking pictures with parrots and orangutan!
Bali Safari and Marine Park is a fun day and must outdoor activity in Bali especially for the families. The park offers different packages, which include various animal shows and meal plans at the restaurants located inside the park. Bali Safari and Marine Park have inhabited many animals and birds from different countries and continents including some endangered and rarest species. We saw Indonesian elephants and tigers, white tigers found in India, beavers, monkeys, and Komodo dragons. The park has a petting zoo where you can feed small domestic animals like fish, ducks, goats and rabbits.
The animal shows were the highlight of our safari journey. Through the elephant show, tiger show, and the animal education show, we were shown how the different animals living peacefully in the jungles once are now attacking the nearby cities and villages. The scene was very much familiar to us nowadays. Through these acts, they try to spread the message that these animals only harm us if we give them the reason to. And instead of killing animals for various reasons we should protect them and the jungles, which have been their only home.
We also experienced piranha feeding, tiger feeding, crocodile feeding, elephant parade throughout the park and elephant bathing show, which was mesmerising. The park also has a huge Bali Theatre where around 150 Bali artists, dancers, and musicians along with the animals perform the very famous Bali Agung Show – a tragic yet heroic story of King Sri Jaya Pangus and his beloved Chinese wife, Kang ChingWie.
If you want to make this safari more adventurous, go on a night safari at Bali Safari and Marine Park.
- Kuta Beach
Beaches and water activities are one of the famous tourist attractions in Bali. Kuta beach is famous for surfing and beach walk. If you’re planning to surf or just enjoy playing in the clean water of Kuta beach, you’ll need to reach early at the beach as due to the heavy tides the surfing is not allowed after 12 noon. Also, DO NOT forget to apply sunscreen or suntan lotion. The water at the beaches almost everywhere in Bali can be so cold you won’t even remember or experience the heat at the time but might get sunburn later. (If you by chance get a sunburn, apply a body lotion to moisturise and cool-off the skin and consult skin-specialist as soon as possible.)
Apart from surfing, there’s another thing you should try at Kuta beach, back or foot massage from the native massage experts. While we were on the beach an old lady offered massage at a cheaper rate. I was hesitant at first but once she touched my back and pressed her fingers on my back muscles to demonstrate her skills I couldn’t turn down her offer. I won’t lie here, I’ve never felt so relaxed in my life just by a massage before. I enjoyed my back massage sitting under the umbrella while watching my husband trying to surf the waves.
Luwak Coffee Plantation
For coffee lovers, Luwak Coffee Plantation could be the best spot to explore. Situated between the hills, you’ll be shown the whole process of how coffee is made from the cultivation of the coffee plant to roasting and grounding the beans to fine coffee powder. After the small tour through the coffee plantation, you will get to taste various coffee and tea flavours including the famous Bali coffee, cocoa, coconut and vanilla flavoured coffee, lemongrass tea, ginger tea, Rosella tea and much more. Whatever the flavours you like you can buy take home with you from Luwak Coffee Plantation.
Bali Weather, Food, and Tourist Shopping
Bali has decent weather all year around. Although you’ll experience humidity in Bali’s air. So pack as many shorts and midis as want also don’t forget the sunscreen and sun-tan lotion as I previously mentioned. There can be occasional rainfall but you can rent or buy an umbrella at local shops in Bali.
We didn’t have any problem with food in Bali as almost every restaurants and cafe serve eggs, chicken, fish, duck, beef, and pork. We even ate Indian food at a restaurant near Goa Gajah Temple and at Bali Safari park. If you don’t want to take a chance try Nasi Goreng and Mie Goreng which are nothing but fried rice and fried noodles with some extras like pickles and crackers. For drinks, you can enjoy the mocktails, cocktails, beer and wine, even soft drinks if you don’t drink. While you’re in Bali, don’t forget to try Bintang beer.
For shopping, I would recommend Krisna Mall in Kuta city as the prices there are much lower than the tourist market. At the mall, you’ll find souvenirs and gifts for your friends and family at a much cheaper rate from scrub bars and massage oils, handbags and hand clutch, clothes to wood carvings and paintings by the local artists (they are not as good as the art in Ubud Art village but will do as gifts to take back home).
That sums up our trip and our blissful experience in Bali. Have you ever been to Bali or planning on visiting soon? Tell me about your experiences in Bali in the comment section below. I’ll be happy to know that my post could give you at least the smaller insights you needed to plan your trip to Bali.
PS: It’s International Women’s Day. To every woman in the world: