Going to Bali is almost a rite of passage for Aussies – here’s the Listopedia Bucket List for Bali first timers.
Beyond the Beach
Up in the hills, away from the bustle of the beach and the busy streets, Ubud is known for its peace and serenity. Check into a hotel, book into a yoga workshop or visit just for the day and check out the artist galleries, rice paddy fields and stunning scenery.
At the end of a long day sightseeing, shopping or sitting out in the sun, many would agree there’s nothing better than an icy cold Bintang beer down at one of the beach bars. You’ll see plenty of people doing just that, possibly wearing a Bintang singlet. Once you’ve quenched your thirst, grab a seat at one of the beachside restaurants for fresh grilled fish. If you’re after something a little more luxe, The Rock Bar at Ayana Resort and Spa is perched dramatically on the edge of a cliff at Jimbaran Bay. It’s an extra special spot for a proposal or just a romantic drink. Tip: you’ll have to wait in line to ride the inclinator down to the bar but the stairs through the resort which are usually a faster option.
Bali is a treasure trove for shopping. The markets at Kuta, Ubud and Sukawati are buzzing with people and stalls selling all sorts of knick knacks. Kuta’s Discovery Shopping Centre draws big crowds and there are plenty of edgy boutiques in Seminyak. Pop into Skull, where you can pick up hand printed passport holders or stop by Kody & K for a resin Buddha. Just don’t forget animal products and wooden items will need to be declared.
Waterbom Bali, a water theme park, has a reputation for being fun for kids of all ages. If you don’t want to spend the day whirling through water rides, try white water rafting (you’ll still get wet!), high ropes courses or a visit to Kintamani Volcano. More sedate activities include a cycle past rice paddy fields and temples.
There’s plenty of natural beauty in Bali and the waterfalls are a big draw card. The Gigit Waterfalls are located to the south of Singaraja, around 70km from Denpasar. Spanning 40m, the waterfalls plunge into a pool popular with tourists. Locals will tell you couples who swim together will separate, so enter at your own risk.
Make a Difference
The locals are one of the best parts about Bali – friendly and always ready to give point lost tourists in the right direction, but there are some not so fortunate. Start a collection before you leave and drop off some donations – shoes, books, toys – to one of the orphanages.
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