10 THINGS YOU NEED TO SEE AND DO ON YOUR FIRST VISIT TO BALI

10 THINGS YOU NEED TO SEE AND DO ON YOUR FIRST VISIT TO BALI

A few weeks back I traveled to Bali, Indonesia for the first time. I was blown away by its majestic nature, the kind people and its amazing temples.

In today’s post, I will show you where to go if you are going to Bali for the first time, as well as the things you need to see and do whilst you are on the island for the first time.

1. GOA GAJAH – ELEPHANT CAVE 

Elephant Cave Temple bali

Not too far from the capital city, Denpasar lies Goa Gajah, also known as Elephant Cave Temple. This is seen as one of the most important Buddhist sights on the island. The temple boasts some spectacular Balinese architecture, intricate carvings, and very detailed statues, along with some well-preserved ancient relics. 

Location: Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Recommended: Goa Gajah is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Advise is to go early, cause it gets very hot. 
Price: The entrance fee to the Elephant Cave is around 15,000 rupiah, or about $1.15

2.  EXPLORE THE UBUD ART MARKET 

The central market on Jalan Raya in Ubud.

For cheap or traditional clothing,  Indonesian souvenirs and local food, head to the central market on Jalan Raya in Ubud.
Be prepared to bargain, I was told by my tour guide that you should pay around 50% of the initial price. These market are a great shopping experience and it allows you to take home some amazing mementos. 

Location: Jalan Raya Ubud No.35, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571
Recommendations: Hackel, do not pay full price. 

3.  TEGALALANG RICE FIELDS 

Tegelalang Rice Fields in Bali

Get your dose of terraced and vibrant green rice field at Tegelalang Rice Fields One of the most stunning locations on the island. The Tegelaland rice fields are located in Ubud and should definitely go on your to-do list. Probably one of the best Instagram-able moments of my holiday. 

Location: Jalan Raya Tegelalang
Recommended: Go early in the morning as it gets scorching hot at noon. And wear proper shoes if you plan to venture into the paddy fields.
Price: Rp. 10,000 entrance (Which is less than $1,- AUD) They do ask for ‘Donations’ on the ricefields themselves. They are not really voluntary so the price will increase a bit, depending on what you give. 

4. WATERFALL HUNTING 

Tegenungan Waterfall in bali

Without a doubt, one of the most popular things to do in Bali is to go waterfall hunting. Underneath are just some of the waterfalls that you can visit during your stay: 

  1. Gitgit Waterfall 
  2. Kanto Lampo Waterfall
  3. Tukad Cepung Waterfall
  4. Tegenungan Waterfall (The waterfall is shown in the picture above) 
  5. Aling-Aling Waterfall
  6. Tibumana Waterfall
  7. Tukad Cepung Waterfall
  8. Blahmantung Waterfall
  9. Sekumpul Waterfall
  10. Peguyangan Waterfall Nusa Penida
  11. Banyumala Waterfall 
  12. Munduk Waterfall 
  13. Beachside waterfall at Melasti Beach
  14. Yeh Mampeh Waterfall
  15. Melanting Waterfall
  16. Sekumpul Waterfall
  17. Alingaling Waterfall
  18. Singsing Waterfall
  19. Goa Rang Reng Waterfall
  20. Blemantung Waterfall

5. UBUD MONKEY FOREST 

Ubud Monkey Forest in Bali

Ubud Monkey Forest –  Home to the Grey Macaques. The forest is one of Ubud’s most popular attractions; a natural forest sanctuary that is home to a horde of grey long-tailed macaques.

Grey Macaques –  you either love or hate em. I can tell you ‘cheeky monkey‘ is a saying for a reason. Monkeys can be nasty animals but, when you treat them with respect, they will leave you alone. This is what I found when I visited the Ubud monkey forest. These are wild monkeys that live in the forest and are free to roam wherever they want as they wish. You can take pictures with the monkeys if you like, it really all depends on your own personal comfort levels. 

Whilst I was there, a girl got to close to one of the monkeys and it stole her mobile phone (EVERYONE’S WORST NIGHTMARE! HAHA) It grabbed the phone and took off into the trees. One of the rangers (I’m not sure what they are called) thankfully retrieved it, but just a warning – be careful with your belongings.

Location: Kabupaten Gianyar
Recommended:  Don’t bring hats, sunglasses or wear any jewelry, it might get ‘stolen’ by the monkeys 
Price: Rp. 50,000 entrance (which is almost $5 AUD)

6.  UJUNG WATER PALACE

Located in eastern Bali, this water palace is a beautiful complex of pools, fountains, delightful wildlife (plant and animals), and a lot of Balinese buildings and structures that are bound to impress. 

Location: Taman Ujung, Tumbu, Kec. Karangasem, Kabupaten Karangasem, Bali 80811, Indonesia
Opening hours: 8am – 5pm 
Price: Rp. 10,000 entrance, which is less than $1,- AUD 

7. PURA TANAH LOT 

Tanah Lot Temple is one of Bali’s most important landmarks

Tanah Lot Temple is one of Bali’s most important landmarks, famed for its unique offshore setting and sunset backdrops. An ancient Hindu shrine perched on top of an outcrop amidst constantly crashing waves; Tanah Lot Temple is simply among Bali’s not-to-be-missed icons.

Allegedly built by fishermen in the 16th century as a place to worship the 16th-century Dang Hyang Nirartha, this temple is one of 7 sea temples that are gotten across the Balinese coast. The temple also offers some of the must icon sunsets, right behind the temple, creating some of Balis most iconic picture opportunities. 

Location: Beraban, Kediri, Tabanan Regency, Bali 8217, Indonesia
Opening hours: 8am – 5pm 
Recommended:  Not the place for you if you wanna avoid crowds but don’t let that stop you, it’s still worth visiting, even if you have to brave the crowds to do so.
Price: Rp. 60,000 for adult and Rp. 30,000 for a child. ( Which is roughly $6,00 and $3,00 AUD)

8. MOUNT BATUR 

MOUNT BATUR in Bali a must see MOUNT BATUR in Balli

When planning a visit to Indonesia’s most active volcano, there is no better time to go than at sunrise or sunset. Many tour companies offer day-trip excursions that last between 6 and 10 hours for a guided hike up to the volcano’s summit, taking in the volcanic activity as you go along and then back down for a meal at the base of your towering trek.

A great site to find the perfect your is get your guide. On this site, you can book private tours for anywhere in Bali. They are pretty cheap and very reliable.  

9. KOPI LUWAT 

Try Kopi Luwak (cat poop) coffee in Bali

Try Kopi Luwak (cat poop) coffee. When people talk of specialty coffee, they often mention Kopi Luwak as being the highest of the tiers, the rarest and most expensive coffee on the market. 

The beans once passed through the civet’s digestive system, are separated from the feces and processed before being sent to coffee fanatics all over the world. Weighing in at about $400 per kg, and a cup of it costing around $15,00 it is a must try when you are in Bali. 

Location: Jl. Asah Gobleg, Gobleg, Banjar, Kabupaten Buleleng, Bali 81152, Indonesia
Recommended:  Go to the Munduk Plantation as their Luwak are wild. So the welfare if the animal is good at this plantation. 

10. BALI SWING 

The Bali Swing - A must do

If you have been thinking about going to Bali for a holiday, then I am adamant that you have seen pictures of the Bali swing. 

A swing over some of the most spectacular views is something that is ‘Insta’ approved.

There are hundreds of swings now, but the Bali swing is the original one. 

Location:  Abiansemal, Jalan Dewi Saraswati No.7, Bongkasa Pertiwi, Abiansemal, Bongkasa Pertiwi, Abiansemal, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80352, Indonesia 
Opening hours: 8am – 5pm 
Recommended:  This is the official “Bali swing’ but there are many other placed to try the swing as well. There are a few at the rice plantations. 
Price: $ 35 AUD 

See photos from my time in Bali here

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