Travel: Best of Bali, Indonesia

At one point or another, every travel blog seems to do a post about the most famous island in Indonesia: Bali.

The thriving nightlife, diverse culture and stunning white beaches makes it a location that truly has something for everyone.

Now, I recognize there is already a lot of content out there that highlights the best of bali, so I wanted to take it a little further. Here is my list of the best places to visit…and the most overrated!

In the spirit of positivity, let’s start off with the best:

1. Uluwatu Beach

During high-tide, this beach is barely noticeable as its tucked away under hanging cliffs. But give the waves time to recede (by grabbing a fresh lemon juice from the overlooking bar) and this isolated haven becames an ideal spot to catch some rays in peace.

This beach is popular with surfers and provides a unique location with some incredible views and places to explore.

2. Uluwatu Temple

If you go in the morning to avoid the swarms of tourists, this cliff-side temple is stunning. Although it doesn’t take long to walk around the grounds, due to its location, the views are incomparable and definitely worth a visit.

Alongside the temple is a lovely path, providing a short walk along the coast; giving great views of the structure, ocean and resident monkeys.

3. Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) cultural park

When researching Bali, I had never stumbled across this place. But on route to Uluwatu, it’s impossible to miss. The staggering statues can be seen from miles around.

GWK is a large park with multiple statues, shows and activities going on. It is a great way to spend a few hours getting familiar with Indonesian culture.

Although the park is still in development, it is 100% worth a visit.

4. Tegallalang rice terrace

This is one of the few plays in the world that is more beautiful in real life than it is on Instagram. The maze of rice terraces and plethora of swings makes visiting here a really pleasant experience.

Just make sure you don’t get tricked into giving a local, in a high-vis jacket, money at the “entrance”…

5. Ubud monkey forest

I mean, monkeys. Lots of them. What more could you want.

They’re just so damn cute!

6. Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Mino

My favourite experience of Bali has to be snorkeling around the Gili islands. I know everyone does it, but that’s because it’s just so good!

Any half-day tour that is purchased from a stall along the beachfront of Gili T (as the cool kids say), does the same route around the islands. With this, you get to observe underwater statues, turtles and a variety of tropical fish as you spend time swimming around the open ocean.

Now, this is by no means all the places I liked in Bali, but these are my personal favorites.

That being said, there was a fair few disappointments- or rather, places that just weren’t as awesome as others had made out.

1. Kuta

Although Kuta beach is beautiful, it is just too damn touristy for me. Personally, I go on holiday to get away from British people and enjoy the culture of new and exciting places. Kuta, for me, was like a bigger version of Ibiza.

2. Blue lagoon beach

DO NOT GO HERE. The beach is tiny and covered in rubbish, to the extent that there is no place to lie down. Instead, you have to rent a lounger at the grubbiest restaurant in Bali. Yes the water is clear and beautiful, but there are a lot better places to snorkel.

I don’t even take a photo of the place. It was a disaster.

3. Goa Gajah temple

The “elephant” temple is massively overrated. If you are wanting to see a temple, or experience Balinese culture, there are so many better places to visit. There is little to see on the grounds and the temple itself is pretty underwhelming.

4. The gates of heaven

Okay. So this is arguably one of the most famous landmarks in Bali, made popular due to its incredible beauty and positioning in the clouds.

Most tourists see this temple as a photo opportunity more than anything, which is very disappointing. Thus when you arrive, there is a 3 and a half hour queue to get your photo taken in the middle of these structure. It is difficult to just appreciate the view due to sheer amount of visitors.

I hope this helps to guide you when you plan your Bali adventure.

This is just one expression of a woman.

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