There is so much to do in Bali.. The 17 days I spent there weren’tnearly enough. That being said you can easily pass days or weeks just heading off to yoga, eating at an abundance of amazing cafés and restaurants (see my Bali Part 1 guide), browsing local craft shops, and walking, cycling or hiring a motorised scooter and admiring your beautiful surrounds. I was quite content to spend many days like this and still enjoy some touristy action which I will share with you below.
Baring in mind I was based in Ubud so everything shared here is from that area!
Ubud is yogi packed and having previously lived in NY where it was so affordable and accessible to practice regularly compared to Dubai or Ireland, so I was eager to get back into the downward dog swing of things! On my second day I visited the Yoga Barn and bought a 20 class card which works out at the same cost as 10 classes – major saving. I’d really recommend this as it can be used anytime within six months whereas other studios only offer an unlimited weekly or monthly package which isn’t ideal if you plan on travelling around quite a bit during your time in Bali.
The Yoga Barn, Ubud
The facilities and instructors are excellent. There’s accomodation available on site as well as detox programmes, a healthy café, a spa and a colonic therapy clinic. I particularly loved the classes with Bex.
A beautiful piece of art I picked up on the short walk to the waterfall. Bali, and particularly Ubud, is an artist hub!
Banjar Hot Spring
These two attractions are only a short drive apart so can be enjoyed in the same day. I would recommend if visiting from Ubud just to take a day trip to do these sights.
I stayed for two nights, one in Lovina and one in Singaraja. Lovina is pretty nice, I had a quaint hotel with excellent staff and a pool next to their well-known black sand beach but it is a quiet area with only a handful of tourists.
Singaraja is very off the beaten track with very little to do and no other visible tourists to be seen outside of my small hotel. Most people stay here if planning on going dolphin watching in Lovina early the next morning.
Be careful!! That’s all I can say. I had a great time (see picture below) but many people do get bitten and again, as can be seen, the monkeys will jump and climb all over you. Sometimes at random or if they feel threatened by your picture-taking but most definitely if you have food, drinks or even a plastic bag which they know may contain food!
The forest is really beautiful to stroll around so perfect after a cooking lesson like I did after one of my Casa Luna lessons (see further down).
Campuhan Ridge & Rice Paddy Fields
A beautiful sunrise or sunset walk through the rice paddy fields and Campuhan ridge for a look at traditional life and for great scenic views and pictures.
En route you will meet a few cute Warung’s (restaurants) and art shops
25K Eco Cycle Tour
This I think would be better called a bike tour rather than a cycle tour. You will use your brakes more than your pedals but it is really enjoyable and really good value for money! You can choose a more challenging 7km finish to the tour, ending at the restaurant for lunch, like I did if you wish or you can continue your downhill descent taking in the views at leisure!
Staff are very fun, friendly and well-informed & the tour includes pick-up and drop-off to your accommodation. Included in the tour is a visit to a tea, coffee, chocolate and herb garden with tea and coffee tasting.
Traditional breakfast buffet with stunning views of Mount Batur and local musicians on arrival.
Pictured are gluten-free pumpkin waffles with fresh mint and lemongrass tea, pineapple and Burbur Injin – a traditional Balinese black rice porridge made with coconut milk.
A visit to a traditional Balinese home seeing their everyday life, rituals and work.
A visit to a rice paddy field and finally an epic buffet lunch to finish off a great day!
I took part in a number of lessons/culinary experiences during my time in Ubud. Three of which were with the Casa Luna Cooking School and I would highly recommend. Each day is a different class or tour and make sure to book in advance as they are very popular. I did a two market tours – one in the morning including a cooking lesson, one in the evening in the neighboring town of Gianyar which doesn’t include a lesson & a vegetarian/vegan lesson.
The food is traditional and truly amazing!
I also splurged a bit and did a fine dining lesson in Mozaic hotel and restaurant. I would only recommend this for serious foodies. I was lucky that given my dietary requirements I had a private lesson with Chef Rey.
The lesson included two different homemade welcome drinks, a personalised menu for me, a Mozaic apron and recipe/information folder, a tour of the restaurants garden, hands-on preparation of the food and then enjoyment of the three prepared courses, plated by Chef Rey and served with a complimentary glass of vino!
5 star, state of the art, kitchen and dining room for our lesson
Welcome drinks and my menu guide
Fresh vanilla pods from the garden & my 3 course meal below featuring confit salmon starter, rack of lamb main course and a ginger flower sorbet.
Bali has so much to offer – Don’t forget about my 4-day visit to the Gili Islands also while I was there! Additionally, I didn’t visit the busy tourist areas of Kuta or Seminyak in the south so there is still plenty more exploring to do within this country or to the neighboring islands of Lombok and Java. One thing is for sure, whatever trip you take to this island is sure to be memorable and I am sure to be back!