1. Wander through Rice fields in Ubud
Ubud is not quite the quiet jungle oasis you may or may not have been picturing but it is still a beautiful place full of culture and delicious food. Not to mention it is wonderfully inexpensive. One of the best things you can do in Ubud is explore some rice fields. If you’re not up for spending money (not that these tours are expensive), you can do the ridge walk for free in Ubud which quickly takes you out of the busy city and into a quiet jungle rice field area.
2. Have a smoothie Bowl in Canggu
I love Indonesian food, but after weeks of eating fried foods in Asia I was really missing some fresh fruits and veggies. Bali has an amazing vegan/earthy food scene which isn’t very expensive either. You can get a huge & delicious smoothie bowl for just $5. Wash it down with some kombucha and your body will be thanking you.
3. Eat at Warungs
If you’re going to Indonesia you still need to eat Indonesia food!! Warungs are scattered everywhere and offer local dishes. I loved Indonesia food (and I loved how cheap it was). Depending on the waung, you could get food for just $2.5-$3 a meal. In Indonesia I ate a lot of curries, cap cay (spicy soup), mie goreng (fried noodles and veggies) and nasi goreng (fried rice and egg on top).
4. Relax in a flower bath
Bali’s spas are phenomenal (and did I mention cheap?). The one I went to, Bali Green Spa, offers pick ups and drop offs from your location in either Kuta, Seminyak or Canggu and has 3 hour spa packages all ending with decadent flower baths for just $35. I got a full body massage, a body scrub and polish, flower bath and a nice cup of tea at the end to finish it off.
5. Explore the Nusa Islands
The Nusa Islands are just a quick 1 hour ferry ride from mainland Bali. While it is possible to do day tours to these islands (Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan) I would highly recommend spending a few nights here to appreciate their charm and enjoy a quiet escape from busy Bali. The beaches here are beautiful and quiet, there’s lots of hiking, good snorkelling, yummy food and even daily movie nights!
6. Swim with manta rays
Not many places in the world can you see these amazing ocean butterflies year round. Well head to the Nusa Islands and you can do a snorkel tour to see these cuties close up. I paid about $20 to do a snorkel tour in the morning from Nusa Lembongan. We stopped at 4 different snorkel spots and not only saw Mantas, but saw sea turtles and some phenomenal coral. This snorkel experience was a little insane though – it included swimming in some of the roughest waters I have ever seen and getting hypothermic by the end. I don’t think the waters are that rough year round and that it had to do with the specific day/time of year I went (beginning of June).
7. Do yoga on the Gili Islands
Although the Gili Islands technically belong to Lombok, you can’t miss out on them when you travel to Bali! By fast boat they are only a 2 hour ferry ride from mainland Bali. There are 3 islands that make up the Gili Islands – Gili T aka the party island, Gili Meno aka the quiet little one in the middle and Gili Air aka the relaxing yet still entertaining island. I spent time on both Gili Air and Gili T and would highly recommend Gili Air. Now, you can’t not do yoga when you go to Indonesia so why not do it on a relaxing island getaway? H20 Yoga on Gili Air has some awesome classes, reasonable prices and a very relaxing studio (with a coffee shop and accommodation).
8. Spend time in Amed
Amed was my favourite place in Bali and I can guarantee you would love it too. After spending a few nights in busy Canggu and Ubud, a getaway to northern Bali is exactly what you need. Amed is on the northeast coast of Bali and offers stunning views of Mt. Agung in the distance. Because of how close it is to Mt. Agung, it’s beaches are all black from volcanic sand. There’s not a lot happening here and that’s part of it’s charm. There’s essentially just one road you go down along the coast that has warungs, restaurants and the odd (but delicious) coffee shop. Snorkelling and diving here is one of the best in the world. It’s also only a 30 minute drive away from Pura Lempuyang so waking up to see the temple for sunrise is a lot easier than doing that from Ubud. I spent my days laying on this gorgeous beach and almost having it entirely to myself, and scootering around visiting the nearby villages and temples. If I went back to Bali, I would make sure to include Amed in my itinerary.
9. Visit Temple Pura Lempuyang
Speaking of Amed, this temple is only a 25 minute drive away and is by far one of the most magical places I have ever been to. I had seen pictures of this temple on instagram and wasn’t sure if it would live up to its reputation as being a hidden gem of Bali but I wanted to see for myself. I hired a driver to pick me up early in the morning so that I could be there for sunrise. It was the best sunrise I have ever seen, and it was only shared between myself and 5 other people. We took turns taking pictures with some monks at temple and just sat on the steps in awe of the colours coming up behind Mt. Agung.
10. Hike Mt. Batur
Mt. Batur is a moderate hike you can do in Bali that will give you the most amazing sunrise view with Mt. Agung and Mt. Rinjani in the background. It’s also not that expensive to do a tour of this and you can hike Mt. Batur from almost anywhere in Bali – although I would recommend doing it while staying in Ubud to cut down on that early morning drive.