The first time I visited Bali, I immediately understood why it is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world! The experience is completely surreal, especially when you feel you've literally cleansed your body, your mind, and your soul. This mesmerizing island, well-known for its stunning natural beauty, surrounded by azure seas and golden beaches - truly is a piece of heaven on earth! If you are planning a first-time visit to the Island of Gods here are some amazing things you should definitely do during your stay!
The first thing you need to know about Bali is that the weather is extremely hot! Forget your jeans or anything warm, pack only light clothes! I've made a rookie mistake and packed a whole bunch of fancy clothes that I didn't even want to wear since it was like a hundred degrees and all I wanted was to wear as little clothes as possible. I have traveled to Bali on several occasions and after experiencing all kinds of weather conditions, it is safe to say that the best time to visit this amazing island is May to July.
Also, if you are planning on visiting temples, which you probably are going to, you'll need to pack a sarong. Many first time travelers don't know about this but good news - you can actually hire a sarong and a sash relatively cheap when you get there. Men are not excluded from covering their legs below the knees with a sarong so pack one for your hubby as well or count it as a budget list bulletin.
Magical black sand-beaches
During our first visit, we chose private Canggu accommodation, which was actually perfect since the coastline of Canggu is filled with black-sand beaches and that is not something you can see every day!
Discover Tanah Lot Temple
We had the opportunity to discover the terraced rice paddies nearby and absolutely the best part was near distance of the famous Tanah Lot Temple. Tanah Lot Temple is one of Bali's most important landmarks that simply must be on your bucket list. The unique, scenic sea temple is located in the Beraban village of the Tabanan regency and it is about 20km northwest of Kuta. It takes about twenty minutes drive from Canggu to Tanah Lot Temple and is worth every sunburn! (Wear shirts to cover your shoulders and back while riding on a motorcycle because trust me, you will get sunburns - just ask my husband)
Discover the true culture on the streets
The culture and tradition of the natives are literally everywhere you look. If you are anything like me (a knowledge-thirsty adventure-seeker) you will learn so many amazing things about the true Bali rituals, festivals, history and ancient culture mainly on foot - by wandering around and asking a million questions.
Rent a motorcycle to get around
The Balinese carry out their religious obligations with pride so you will inevitably become a part of their world just for a moment. Make sure to visit as many temples as you can during your stay. You can do so by renting a motorcycle that will help you quickly get around and explore the landmarks that are a bit farther away from your accommodation. Also, make sure to be a part of one of the cleansing rituals in temples. You won't believe the overwhelming feelings afterward!
Visit the Tirta Empul temple
Another must-see in Bali is definitely the Tirta Empul temple! You can be a part of the traditional cleansing ritual and bathe in sacred waters. You may recognize this particular temple from the Eat, Pray, Love film, but seeing it live is the real deal, nothing like the movie. It is located just outside of Ubud, therefore if you pick accommodation nearby, make sure to take part in a spiritual awakening bath!
The temple is made up of a number of pools, which are filled by fountains each in a shape of a "monster" head that helps send away the evil spirits. From my personal experience, I may confirm that the feeling after taking part in a spiritual bath is truly amazing! You feel better, more positive, calmer, and more energized!
Play with the monkeys in Monkey Forest
During our third visit to the mesmerizing Bali, hubby and I decided to finally explore the Monkey forest, a Hindu temple complex located in Ubud. Somehow we wandered all around this place and even felt guilty that we didn't take time to truly explore it. So, the Monkey Forest is one of the Ubud's main attractions, and it is literally crawling with over 500 monkeys.
There are three temples in the complex that date from the 14th century! They are absolutely stunning! If you are a true animal-lover this will certainly be your heaven since you can spend time feeding bananas to the primates, taking photographs, watching them goof around. But beware, the little goofs like to grab your stuff, so keep your sunglasses, camera, water bottle, etc. away from them and you'll be all set.
These are just a few of the amazing things you should do upon your visit. I would love to continue talking about this magical island but then I'm afraid the story will never end. And after you come home from the Island of Gods you will understand why is that so. Once Bali gets under your skin - you will find yourself counting the days until you return! Just don't resist, let this beautiful island take your breath away and make you fall in love completely!