Bali Tourism Guide
Type C, Volatge 230 V, Frequency 50 Hz
Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
Free Visa if you stay less than 30 days
Cost of a beer
IDR 30,000 (avg)
Cost of a Meal
IDR 300,000 (avg)
Average Room Rate
IDR 1,064,480 per night (3* hotel)
This volcanic island off the coast of Indonesia has been idealised as the image of Paradise for years, and with very good reason. Lush greenery speckled with Frangipani, ultramarine beaches and some of the friendliest locals and richest experiences around; Bali should definitely be on your to do list. If it already is, owe at Expedia India want to make sure you get the most out of your trip, so we’ve created a Bali Tourism Guide for you.
Top Attractions in Bali
With ancient temples, underwater adventures and palm trees swaying in the breeze, Bali is an idyllic destination for anyone looking for a relaxing break or an exciting adventure (or a bit of both!).
At the top of any visitors Bali itinerary should be Uluwatu Temple. Here you’ll find romantic views and very cheeky monkeys (guards of the temple). Afterwards, you can appreciate the other wildlife that populate Bali at the Bali Safari and Marine Park. This park is home to over 60 species, including endangered animals like the Komodo Dragon and Bali Mynah.
This guide hasn’t even scratched the surface of all the wonderful things Bali has to offer its visitors. Attractions include the Bali Zoo or Atlas Pearl Farm where you see how the Pearls for jewellery are cultivated. There are a great number of trekking activities, such as visiting Blahmantung Waterfall and swimming in its waters or really getting underwater and going for a SeaWalk on the bed of the Balinese waters. Water plays a huge role in your visit to Bali, additional to all of the previously mentioned activities, you can learn to surf in Pandang Pandang or watch the dolphins in Lovina.
Things to do in Bali
Perched precariously on the edge of cliff, overlooking the crashing waves is Uluwatu Temple. The temple is considered to be one of 6 spiritual pillars in Bali, and strategically guarded by the monkeys that reside in the surrounding forest. It is one of the most popular destinations for those visiting the island, especially when the sun sets and the mood gets a lot more romantic.
Kecak performances are held just before sunset at 6-7pm, but watch out for those territorial monkeys as they are prone to swiping tourist’s possessions (these can easily be traded for treats such as nuts or bananas – no joke!). There is no public transportation to take you to the temple, so it is best to order a pre-arranged taxi to take you to and from the destination.
Address: Pecatu, South Kuta, Badung Regency, Bali, Indonesia
Image Source: Sean Hamlin
Besakih Temple has been known as Bali’s ‘Mother Temple’ for over 1000-years, and holds the title proudly on its fine sculptured features. Located up Mount Agung this temple is considered to be a special pilgrimage by the Balinese people.
Address: Besakih, Rendang, Karangasem Regency, Bali 80863, Indonesia
Tanah Lot is an incredibly important landmark for Bali; it is located on a rock formation in the middle of the water, constantly being berated by crashing waves. Visitors are unable to enter the sacred grounds, but just being able to take in the surroundings from this iconic temple is more than enough. Plus, you’re guaranteed to feel like a true free-spirit climbing around this mini island, located just off the Beraban Village.
Address: Beraban, Kediri, Tabanan Regency, Bali 8217, Indonesia
Ubud Monkey Forest
As you’ll soon learn, Bali is abundant with monkeys! Lying in the Mandala Wisata Wanara Wana is the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary inhabited by grey-haired macaques. Don’t be fooled by their big eyes and plush fur, these monkeys are greedy devils and will take your belongings before you’ve even noticed. As mentioned before, you can try and barter for your belongings with treats, but best to just keep them close. A visit to this sanctuary is as exciting as it is entertaining, however just keep an eye out for these cheeky devils, and remember they’re live animals.
Address: Jl. Monkey Forest, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Elephant Safari Park
If monkeys are not your thing, perhaps you’d rather rub shoulders with gentle giants with a visit to the Elephant Safari Park. This park is operated by Bali Adventurer tours and offers visitors a chance to explore the Balinese jungle on the backs of these magnificent animals. The park is open from 8am-6pm and is located in the village of Taro, around 30minutes north of Ubud. Furthermore the luxurious Elephant Safari Park Hotel is located right next to the park so you’re sure to be close-by to all the fun adventures.
Address: Jalan Elephant Safari Park Banjar Desa Taro Tegallalang, Taro, Tegallalang, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80561, Indonesia
Bali Safari and Marine Park
Image Source: William Cho
The Bali Safari and Marine Park is home to over 60 species, including endangered creatures such as the Orangutan, Komodo Dragon and Bali Mynah. Jump aboard a special safari bus and view exotic creatures such as Himalayan bears, wildebeest and lions (as well as many more) in vast enclosures that replicate their natural habitat. Alternatively, get personal with baby Orangutan, feed the animals and watch exciting animal shows. This is a wonderful opportunity to spend a great day out with family and friends; as well as the animals the park has a mini-theme park, great restaurants and cultural areas where you can find out more about Bali and its heritage. The park is open from 9am-7pm, and only costs start from around 3,500 rupees per person, depending what you want from your day.
Address: Jl. Bypass Prof. Dr. Ida Bagus Mantra Km. 19,8, Serongga, Kec. Gianyar, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80551, Indonesia
There are three desert islands off the coast of Bali: Gili T, Gili Air and Gili Meno. Each island offers something different for tourists, so there is something for everyone. Surrounding these islands are all manner of exotic sea creatures and swimming in the warm waters is an adventure in itself. All motorised transport is banned on the islands, so the only way to get around is by foot, bicycle or hitching a ride in one of the pony-carts (their version of a taxi!). All of the islands are accessible by boat, there are plenty of operators on the mainland (mainly leaving from Pandang Bai) and between the islands.
The largest of the three islands attracts many a tourist looking for all sorts to do. It is definitely a place where you can party, but is also a great place for those looking to dive into the waters and swim with the fishes! Other activities, besides exploring the island, include riding horses along the beach and pitching up with a BBQ to watch the sunset over Paradise. There are several bars that really liven up the evening on the island, it is definitely considered to be a party-like island once the sun goes down, so bring your dancing shoes.
This island is far more peaceful and less popular than Gili T; it really is for those looking to put their feet up, relax and bask in their surroundings. The island is so small that it is easy to trek around in approximately 2.5hrs, but make sure you pack adequate supplies as this path truly is off the beaten path. There are plenty of chances to go snorkelling and spot the turtles that call these waters home.
As with Gili Air, this island is nowhere near as bustling as Gili T and for this reason is popular with those looking to escape the real world or honeymooners looking for seclusion. There is not a lot to do on the island, besides recline in the sun, but the Bird Park is a great exposé of the over 300 species of bird that reside in Bali.
Tegallalang Rice Terraces
There are a number of rice paddies in Bali, but Tegallalang provides the most awe-inspiring view of Bali. This iconic area of Bali is owned by the friendliest of farmers who invites you to try his green coconut drink and explore his ancient lands for only a small fee. This truly is a prime photography location, and you’ll have the opportunity to explore the nearby village of Pakudui where you’re guaranteed to find a great souvenir.
Let’s face it: Singapore can be harder on the pocket as compared to its neighbours. But as you hike the southern ridges for panoramic views of the South China Sea, see the Singapore skyline dance with colours at Wonder Full, and marvel at the solar-powered supertrees at Gardens by the Bay – you realize that the best things the island nation has to offer are indeed free!”
By Shivya Nath, Founder of www.the-shooting-star.com
Shopping in Bali
In Bali there’s more than enough shopping options to go round. In fact, unless you’re either going for a particularly long trip or you intend to spend your entire holiday checking out their numerous malls and market stalls, then you’ll struggle to see it all. So here’s a select pick of some shopping destinations that we think are worth your time.
Make sure you head to Arma (Agung Rai Museum of Art) and spend an afternoon looking at some of the most colourful, fascinating and avant-garde pieces you’re likely to ever come across. Not to mention the museum itself is a set in a beautiful, dense, tropical forest.
Address: Jl. Raya Pengosekan Ubud, MAS, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Ubud Art Market
If you’re looking to taste Balinese culture in an alternative way, head down to the Ubud Art Market where you can shop for all manner of things, from silks to hand-crafted goods. Recognise the place when you get there? Well that’s because it featured in Hollywood blockbuster Eat, Pray, Love.
Address: Jalan Raya Ubud No.35, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Discovery Shopping Mall
Bali is probably best known for its bustling markets, and with good reason. You can spend days getting lost in the sensory overload that is Bali’s incredible street shopping districts. But if you’re looking for something a touch more upmarket while still keeping in touch with its cultural routes, then you should check out Discovery Shopping Mall. This is the largest shopping destination of its kind in the city. This three storey mall houses everything from the local to the international, giving you a truly complete shopping experience.
Address: Jl. Kartika, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Gorgeous temples steeped in rich Hindu culture, a playground for ocean adventures, especially surfing, kite surfing and scuba diving, action packed volcano treks, immense bargain shopping opportunities at its various local markets and a tranquil atmosphere amidst paddy fields and forests, Bali is so much more than a cliché beach and honeymoon destination!”
By Sankara, Founder of www.beontheroad.com
Fun Facts About Bali
- Bali is actually three islands: Bali is in a ‘coral triangle’: Bali’s fortuitous location, in the centre of the world’s richest waters for corals, means it is famed for its marine biodiversity, gaining the nickname the ‘Amazon of the Seas’.
- Bali has one of the highest densities of spas in the world: You’ll never get bored of the many activities and attractions of Bali, but if you do, you can take shelter in one of Bali’s 1,200 spas.
- Bali is known as the island of the gods: Visiting the many temples in Bali is a must, and in fact, Bali has over 20,000 shrines.
Food in Bali
Image Source: Everett Harper
Although part of Indonesia, the food in Bali is not exactly the same as you get on the mainland. Each Indonesian Island comes with its own culture and heritage that influences their dishes, and there are a few in Bali we wouldn’t want you to miss. We’ve compiled a quick checklist of a five dishes we thoroughly recommend you try when exploring the island; whether it be on the streets or in one of Bali’s many fine restaurants.
Ibu Oka in Ubud
Ibu Oka in Ubud is famous as the best place to find Babi guling, a much-loved dish in Bali. Babi guling is prepared by stuffing suckling pigs with basa gede, a fresh spice paste made from shallots, garlic, ginger, galangal, turmeric, bird’s eye chilli, black peppercorn, salt, and shrimp paste. The pigs are then hand turned them on a spit over an open fire and basted them with coconut water throughout the 6 hour roasting process.
Address: Jalan Tegal Sari No. 2, Ubud Tengah, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Jimbaran Bay Seafood Club
Image Source: Gunawan Kartapranata
You’ll find the best seafood in Baliaround Jimbaran Bay, and Jimbaran Bay Seafood Club is a popular local spot. The recommended dish to try is without doubt Ikan Bakar, a chargrilled fish that is
seasoned with a spice marinade then wrapped in banana leaves before being laid on the hot grill.
Address: Jl. Pantai Kedonganan, Jimbaran, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Warong Legong has a big reputation but a very cheap menu. If you want to experience some of the best Balinese cuisine (the ribs are particularly sensational) and some of the best service, Warong Legong is worth a try.
Address: Jalan Professor Doktor Ida Bagus Mantra No. 300A, Keramas, Blahbatuh, Medahan, Blahbatuh, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia
Indian Food in Bali
If you are looking for some tastes of home and want to try some Indian food in Bali, we recommend trying Chula known for serving the best Indian food in town, or Mid Point who serve large portions of Southern Indian cuisine at very reasonable prices.
Bali is famous for its offerings of vegetarian food, but these aren’t always traditional dishes. To taste the essence of Bali, don’t shy away from local eateries known as warungs. There you’ll find local foods like Bali Sate Lilit (meat skewers), Nasi Ayam (chicken rice) and Bumbu Bali (fish in Balinese sauce).
By A&Z, Founders of www.bkpk.me
Nightlife in Bali
Bali nightlife offers a different perspective to Balinese culture; they know how to throw a party in this tropical Paradise. It’s unlikely you’ll have to look hard at all to discover an exciting night out in Bali (unless you’re deep in the jungle), but here are a few of our favourites that we thought we’d share with you.
Sky Garken is probably the most well-known spot for tourists, but nonetheless an exciting experience and a great night out. This isn’t your typical club, but rather a labyrinth of different pubs, clubs and dining spots all under one roof, or on top of it!
Address: Jalan Legian No. 61, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Janja is a more uptown sort of establishment. It has a classy bar and restaurant upstairs that leads you carefully down its winding staircase into a club where you can spend the rest of your night dancing away. It serves a spectacular array of Asian dishes that have been highly-reviewed by its visitors, and staff are always on hand to give recommendations or mix up your favourite cocktail.
Address: Jl. Nakula Barat 18, Seminyak, Bali 80361, Indonesia
La Favela in Seminyak is more a bar than a nightclub, but it’s such a great spot to have drinks with friends or family and spend your evening talking and making your next travel plans! The decor of the restaurant is so soothing and ups the ambience, but if you really want to see something special, spend your evening in its beautiful garden under twinkling fairy lights.
Address: Jalan Kayu Aya No.177X, Kabupaten Badung, Bali, Indonesia
Top Travel Tips for Travelling to Bali
- Leave food on your plate: Interestingly, it is considered polite to leave a little bit of food on your plate when dining with locals.
- Use ATMs: Use ATMs as much as possible and try to avoid money-changers, as they can undercut you.
- Expect Crowds: Bali is one of the most visited islands on earth, so expect there to be crowds at attractions.
Hotels in Bali
There are 12 main areas of Bali, each with their own particular advantages and each catering something beautiful to any traveller. The main places for tourists include: Ubud, Kuta and Legian, Seminyak and Lovina. However, don’t panic, even if you are not residing in one of those areas, it is really easy to get around, and there’s always the option to stay in different places owing to the reasonable rates of stay for hotels in Bali.
Luxury Hotels in Bali
If we could spend the rest of our life at the Viceroy in Bali, we’d definitely feel as though we’d reached heaven (average 42,658 rupees per night)! With a fully functioning spa and a divine restaurant this hotel really is the definition of luxury. It is a family-friendly destination and within 5km are many popular sights, including the Ubud Royal Palace, Ubud Market, Pura Taman Saraswati, Seniwati Gallery of Art by Women and Puri Lukisan Museum.
Other luxury hotels that our guests have reviewed highly include the Royal Pita Mahah (average 20,642 rupees per night) or the Hanging Gardens of Bali (average 6,971 rupees per night). Both of these hotels provide high-quality luxury for those wishing to get a true tropical spa experience and are located nearby to many popular sights, including the Sacred Monkey Sanctuary and the Ubud Market.
Mid-Range Hotels in Bali
If your budget is more in the middle range, there are still a huge number of hotels you can choose from to suit your budget. The Ayung Resort Ubud (average 6,971 rupees per night) is exceptional and places you right in the lap of luxury. From outdoor swimming pools, deep bathtubs, childcare services, free Wi-Fi and more, there is hardly anything you could want for at this hotel. If you do need anything though the staff are very helpful and always on hand to share any advice or guidance you could possibly need.
Buried in the hills of Bali lies the Alila Ubud (average 12,858 rupees per night); this artistic, sophisticated hotel with an infinity pool that lasts for days keeps your trip to Bali private and peaceful. Alternatively The Westin Resort – Nusa Dua Bali is an elegant and sleek hotel in Bali with many amenities that will keep guests entertained, including tennis courts and swimming pools (average 10,226 rupees per night).
Budget Hotels in Bali
Even the budget hotels in Bali are beautiful; the Green Garden Hotel in Kuta (average 4,649 rupees per night) is home to a full-service spa, its own restaurant, free Wi-Fi and many more comforting amenities to make your stay as pleasant as possible. Or you could try something different and stay in your own private guesthouse at the Pajar House Ubud (average 2,563 rupees per night). These guesthouses provide access to a pool, deep tubs to soak in and are a short distance away from many key sights such as the Botanic Garden Ubud, Ubud Market, and Ubud Royal Palace.
Whatever your budget, there are plenty of hotels in Bali so you’re bound to find the perfect place for you!
Getting Around Bali
Image Source: Celica21gtfour
Getting around Bali is simple and there are plenty of options beyond just getting a taxi. However, taxis usually are the most reliable source of transport (besides by foot), but metered taxis are not common in all areas of Bali. You can expect to find them in South Bali and Denpasar, but not in Ubud, and they are relatively cheap; a 7km journey will usually only cost around 280-300 rupees.
As with any taxi journey, watch out for those who don’t use a meter or other scammers offering to show you around Bali at a low price – it is unlikely any of this is true. One of the most reputable taxi companies in Bali, that have been well-documented by many travellers, is the Bluebird Taxi Group. Watch out though, the success of this company has led to many less honest drivers decorating their car like a Bluebird taxi and scamming tourists. The number for Bluebird Taxi Group is +62 (0) 361 701 111, they also have a handy mobile app that you can download for free and order your taxi that way.
We do still recommend jumping in a taxi rather than other public transportations such as Bemos (mini vans) or dokars (pony carts, except when unavoidable on the Gili Islands). However, if you’re willing to try something a bit different, you could pick up an Ojek – a type of motorbike – but try to avoid this experience in the main, busier towns as opposed to the open roads of the countryside.
Best Time to Visit Bali
As the weather stays warm all year round, Bali can be visited at any time. But we think the best time to visit really depends on your preferences and what you want to do whilst you’re there. July and August are Bali’s peak months, which can mean prices are a little higher for the things want to do. From March-October, excluding the peak season months, hotels offer lower prices to attract travellers to the Island and temperatures range from 30-33°C. Bali’s rainy season is from November-April where the weather is more humid and stays at around 30°C, so if you prefer milder temperatures, avoid visiting in these months. Dry Season is from May-November where the sun is always out and the ocean is inviting.