From walking through lush rice paddies to dolphin watching at sunrise, Bali has it all. Read all about our latest adventures.
After travelling the world for almost eight months, we have found a place that can only be described as pure magic. There is something about Bali that draws you in like nowhere else. Its beauty is simply intoxicating. Surrounded by lush green landscapes, temples at every corner, yoga retreats, beautiful rice paddies, the smell of incense in the air, it is peaceful and charming in abundance. So many people come here in search of healing and spirituality and it’s easy to see why. It’s a place of adventure and a place of sanctuary, it truly has it all.
Here’s some of the amazing things we got up to in Bali, most of them around Ubud which is the quintessential Bali experience.
- Scooting about town
There really is no other way to explore Bali than to jump on a scooter and get lost in the beautiful towns and countryside’s. We discovered so many wonderful places and amazing cafés and restaurants just zooming around.
- Saraswati Temple Ubud
Set in the heart of Ubud town, this beautiful temple sits beyond a water pond filled with hundreds of lotus flowers and lily pads. We came here in the evening as they were setting up for the daily traditional dance show which was lucky as Ava got a chance to dance about on stage and play with the instruments.
- Tegalalang Rice Fields
We drove up to these beautiful rice fields on the scooter which was only 20 minutes out of Ubud town. I was surprised to see so many tourists there, the place was buzzing with people of all ages walking and climbing the paddies.
The fields are absolutely stunning to look at, the elegant curves of the paddies, the rich green grass and the surrounding palm trees. We decided to take a walk through the paddies and had no idea how tough it can be especially in the heat. Some levels are steeper than others, at times it’s hard to even get up or it’s too muddy, but it was great fun having a go and a wonderful place to explore and get a sense of the real Bali.
- Traditional Balinese Dance Show
On our first night in Ubud we went to see a traditional Balinese fire dance. The story was set on an ancient Hindu tale but it was hard to really understand what was happening. It begins with 100 men coming out of the temple, sitting in circles chanting and humming in a rhythm as other elaborating dressed characters appear. The costumes are beautiful and the chanting simply puts you in a trance. The highlight of the show comes at the end when one actor walks over fire and kicks away burning wood with his bare feet!
- Monkey Temple
This place is just so much fun. There are hundreds of monkeys everywhere in this enchanting forest, full of towering trees and huge tree roots structures that remind me of the temples in Angkor Wat. Ava was so excited to see the monkeys and to chase them around but feeding them was another story altogether especially as they like to get very cosy with you. Even if you’re not interested in monkeys though, the forest is an absolutely beautiful place to walk around.
- Yoga, yoga, yoga galore
One of the things we absolutely loved about Bali was the choice of yoga centres everywhere. We went to the Swasti Eco Cottages in Ubud where the yoga shala is set overlooking a beautiful organic garden and a small farm on site. It’s easy to lose yourself here and get immersed in the medication when all you can hear is the sound of birds singing, cows grazing and your eyes are filled with beautiful shades of green.
- Pura Besakih temple
We did a day trip to visit Pura Besakih temple, also known as the mother temple, the holiest site in all of Bali. There are several levels to this temple and as you climb higher and higher you are rewarded with spectacular views of Bali and the mountains in the distance. We had an excellent guide taking us around and telling us all about the rituals and festivals that take place in this temple.
- Dolphin Watching in Lovina
The 3am wake up call to go dolphin watching in Lovina was pretty rough. Half asleep, Ava wrapped up in a blanket and we were off on our two hour ride up to the north of Bali.
We got into a small boat along with four other people and headed off into the ocean just as the sun was beginning to rise. Watching the orange thread of the morning sun cut through the horizon is unforgettable.
At first it seemed we were the only ones in the ocean but after a while we saw hordes of boats appear out of nowhere and within moments we were all speeding along trying to spot dolphins.
Seeing the dolphins leap out of the water for the first time was just amazing and so much fun, they just looked so happy springing up and down with their friends. At one point we got to see five or six leap out of the water together several times, in perfect synchrony and then disappear into the ocean. An incredible start to the day and well worth the sleepless night.
- Ecstatic Dance – Yoga Barn
Yoga barn is an interesting place and if you’re in Ubud you must go, it’s an experience! There’s an array of classes, from different styles of yoga to meditation, dance and talks on health and healing. We heard a lot about this ‘ecstatic dance’ from local people so we decided to give it a go. I had no idea what to expect which is probably a good thing. I can only describe it as one big hippy rave on a Sunday morning. There’s great chill out music and there are no rules or conventions, you just do what your body feels. I saw people swaying, others jumping, rocking cool dance moves, doing yoga poses and one woman just sat on the floor the whole time. It felt quite bizarre at times but it was so much fun and if you can get into (I think I need more time!) the freedom of movement I’m sure can be liberating.
We spent our last few nights of Bali in Seminyak, a lively beach town in the south. This place is the total the opposite of Ubud, it is not quite as party heavy as Kuta but getting there. The beach is lovely and we spend a lot of time watching the sunsets here.