Leave your hotel! Hah, yes it may sound shocking from someone who writes trip reports about their favorite hotels and resorts, but I do love getting out and exploring new places. In fact, I hate being somewhere new and not feeling like I experienced the local culture or fully explored the destination. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m just saying balance is important. I too love an amazing hotel, a beautiful beach, and a great pool. The St. Regis, W, and Sheraton (review coming soon) were great places to come home to after days “outside the gates” exploring.
Some of my favorite activities in Bali included checking out the many jungle temples, exploring and walking through the rice fields and terraces, seeing a local Balinese dance/music show, and viewing Mount Batur (an active volcano) from Kintamani and later hiking up for sunset. One of my other favorite activities was visiting Ubud. It’s the artsy town in the center of the island that was made famous in Eat, Pray, Love, filled with tons of galleries, museums, craft and antique shops, and great restaurants and bars.
One other activity that I loved was swimming in the pools at the Ubud Hanging Gardens (yes, it’s located at a hotel but the infinity pools literally have you feeling like your swimming through the jungle, see the pic below). I had both pools to myself!
Coincidentally, touring in Bali is cheap. I had a great tour guide who does 12 hour days for $50 including gas! Shoot me an email if you are interested in his details or need any advice.