Experience the Culture of Ubud
Ubud is the cultural capital of Bali where arty festivals and shows are frequently held. The yearly Ubud Readers and Writers Festival occurs at the beginning of October and you will often find bestselling authors giving tips and advice.
Rustic art galleries and mini exhibitions can be found in abundance along with the many expat artists who reside in the area. Ubud is also the perfect place to pick up some local arts and crafts at great prices. There are many boutique stores that line the streets of Ubud selling unique gifts and artwork.
Many stylish bars, cafes and restaurants overlook the lush, green rice paddies and often specialise in vegetarian and organic dishes with vegetable patches on site.
There are many yoga and meditation schools in the area that cater to both experienced and first time students and are a great place to experience the serenity of Bali.
Visit Monkey Forest
Monkey Forest is situated in the heart of Ubud and consists of three ancient temples hidden in the forest. Within the crumbling ruins live hundreds of monkeys that you can feed bananas and nuts. Watch them playing in the old ponds, climbing the trees and relaxing in the sunshine.
Most of the monkeys are calm and friendly and will gently take food from your hand, but they are wild animals so beware of the aggressive males.
Go Dolphin Spotting in Lovina
There are many dolphins all around the coast of Bali but northern Bali is often the best place to see these friendly animals. Head to Lovina for a sunrise cruise and watch the dolphins as they follow your boat and splash around in the sea. Don’t forget your camera to snap a shot of the dolphins emerging as the sun rises in the distance.
Take a Cooking Course
Balinese food is delicious and there are many places around Bali where you can learn to cook this unique cuisine. You will begin your day by visiting the local market to purchase all your fresh ingredients and spices. You may then return to a family home to learn to cook in the traditional Balinese way.
Make sure you are familiar with Balinese cooking before your class as you will often be given the opportunity to cook your favourite dish.
Get Pampered at a Spa
There are many relaxing day spas around Bali where you can enjoy a massage or facial and a whole variety of other treatments for the ultimate holiday experience. Some spas offer a full day of treatments that include healthy meals and juices to refresh your mind and body.
Head to Tulamben where you can dive the USAT Liberty shipwreck. This majestic old ship sank extremely close to the shore which means it is a perfect, shallow dive for both experts and beginners. Witness huge shawls of fish exploring the old ship and you can even swim inside for an eerily magical experience. There are many diving schools in the Tulamben area who are PADI certified and can help you gain your qualification.
Climb Batur Volcano
Take a sunrise trip to Batur volcano and watch the sun rise from the summit. This is an early trip and a tough hike but it is well worth it to witness the sun rising over the country from such an amazing viewpoint.
Learn to Surf in Kuta
Kuta is a haven for backpackers and both experienced and first time surfers. There are many surf schools where you can learn the basics and get on your feet in no time. Different beaches have a mixture of larger of more gentle waves and with perfect sunny weather and stunning beaches, this is a fantastic place to try the new sport.
Watch Balinese Dancing
The Balinese dancing is a unique performance full of drama, splendour and style. Exquisitely made costumes, traditional music and dramatic moves make this an entertaining show. There are many all-around Bali but the best place to watch a dance is at The Grand Palace in Ubud. You will witness the show within the magical walls of a crumbling palace which gives it an amazing atmosphere and experience.
Experience the Islands
Head to Nusa Lembongan for some traditional island life. A small selection of beach bungalows line the shore and this quiet island is the perfect place to relax. Hire a scooter to explore Nusa Lembongan and you will find many deserted yet perfect white sandy beaches and some local bars and cafes along the way.