Experiences in Bali
Bali might have changed a lot with the influx of instagram influencers and digital nomads but you need to embrace change right? Here are some things you might not want to do that you definitely should when visiting Bali for the first time. Go to the temples, hike to a packed waterfall but don’t be shy to get that lust worthy flower bath while sipping on a bintang in your private villa.
If you want to have a trip you wont forget in a hurry like we did then here are 10 Must do experiences in Bali for first timers.
Must do experiences in Bali
Take a flower bath
Sometimes it seems like all people do in Bali is take flower baths. I am definitely guilty of booking one just for the gram. Thank goodness i surprised though at how romantic and relaxing it was. I would say book a massage and a flower bath combo either as a pamper session or a romantic treat for two. There are so many amazing deals for this and you definitely wont regret your decision.
We had our flower bath at a place called Calma Ubud about 2km outside Ubud centre. It was right by a rice paddie and totally secluded which made it even better.
Visit the rice paddies at sunrise
Going to some of the more popular rice paddies in Bali can be a very trying experience. Hot and humid with loads of people and locals asking for donations. It can turn out to be an awful experience. Miss all of that nonsense and head out super early for a magical sunrise mission.
We went to Tegalalang rice paddies and arrived just before six and there was not a soul in sight. It starts filling up from about 6:30 but very gradually with most tour groups only coming after nine. This means you have a good few hours to enjoy and explore before the masses arrive. The light filters though the palm trees and there is a cool haze drifting over the paddies. If you are into taking photos this is also the perfect time of day to capture those bangers!
Eat vegetarian for a few days ( or the entire time! )
As a vegetarian myself I expected Bali to be heaven for me. What I did not expect was for my boyfriend to go veggie for the entire 3 weeks we spent there. The options are plentiful and oh so delicious there is actually no need to even think about eating meat. It also means you will probably avoid the dreaded Bali belly which is always a good thing right?
If you are spending time somewhere like Canggu then be ready to try an epic amount of incredible veggie restaurants. It is cheaper to eat at a restaurant than to buy and make food which is so crazy but I am 100% there for it.
Stay in a Bali villa
If you are indecisive wether to stay in a Bali villa or a hotel I would say a villa. You can do shared villas or rent one just for your group. It works out really cheap and it gives you way more privacy than a bigger hotel. Villas in Bali are great with almost all of them cutely decorated and with swimming pools.
Barter at a market
Haggling at a Bali market is tourist attraction in itself. Don’t go there to try and get the cheapest price possible. These people really need the money. Rather barter for fun, chat to the locals at the market and have a few laughs. They will try and lure you with screams of “cheap cheap” ” lookie lookie” so you need to have a sense of humour!
Here is story of me trying to haggle for a lower priced bikini in Canggu. I asked the old lady at the stand how many for three and she gave me a really high ridiculous price on par with European prices. I tried to get her to go lower but she was not having it. So what did I do. I left and came back the next day totally sure she wont remember me. I asked again and she said with a straight face ” I told you yesterday” Needless to say I went beet red and made a quick getaway.
Drink n Bintang
Bintang or the star of Bali is really something you need to try when you go there. If you are over 18 and you want to have a very light and refreshing and let me remind you cheap alcoholic beverage it is for you. Beer is better in hot humid weather and even better on an island. The alcohol in Bali is crazy expensive but lucky for you the beer is dirt cheap. Either have the original Bintang or if you are not the biggest beer drinker try the Radler lemon or orange. The lemon one is like a shandy ( beer mixed with lemonade ) and the orange one basically tastes like Fanta so be careful!
Go to a warung
Warungs are cheap and cheerful local spots to enjoy a meal. If you are in the mood for Nasi gorgen or gado gado then its the place to have it at. Warungs are usually inexpensive hole in the wall type joints but you do get fancier ones as well. Each one will have their own take on Indonesian favorites and some are even themed.
Our favorite Warung in Bali was near Ubud. Bintang Bali Warung had live music and a BBQ theme. Luckily for us they also did vegan and vegetarian BBQ dishes. We had the best tempeh burgers of our life there for next to nothing. About $2.50 got us a lip licking, yummy burger and chips. It was so good Mike had another one for dessert.
Go to an island close by
Indonesia has 17 000 + islands so you can’t visit only one of them right. Scattered around Bali is a multitude of islands that you should definitely explore. If you are short on time even choosing one is a good idea. We are adventurers so we knew that Nusa Penida was the island for us.
You get to most of these by hopping on a fast Boa at the nearest “port” close to the island that you are visiting. You can also do a ferry but it will take longer and they are not as reliable.
Enjoy sunset from a beach bar
Bali is known for it’s epic beach bars. There are plenty of options as well. From the rustic old school ones to instagram ready hot spots. We decided to settle at a cute smaller place with bean bags right by the beach and soaked up the crazy Bali Vibe while drinking the cheapest beers ever.
Beach bar hopping is also a great way to pass the time and to check out a few in a specific area. They are usually clustered around the same beach so don’t worry about having to drive .
Have a floating breakfast
Another Bali must do with a bad rep is the floating breakfast. Nothing screams influencer than eating smashed avo in the pool right? I was meh about doing it but I am so glad I did. Spending so much time in the pool anyway it was a welcome relive to chill and eat at the same time. Yes I got the rainbow pancake stack but it was oh so worth it! It is also way easier to eat on a floating tray than I thought it would be. In my head my food would head off to the deep end splashing bits of pool water in my trembling coffee as it went. In actual fact we sat on a step in the water and the tray was weirdly stable. This is definitely a must do experience in Bali.