You're in luck! There's loads to do in Bali apart from the "Kuta party scene". I've been a number of times and never even ventured in to a loud backpacker bar or nightclub. Here's a few of the things I love to do:
Hire a car and driver and pick a few key places to visit - Lake Bratan (temple on the lake), Tirta Ganga (water palace), Git-Git Waterfalls, any number of temples....or if you're confident hire a car and drive yourself and just cruise around....see where you end up!
Get up early and walk around the quiet streets as the locals wake up and start their day. Or head out in to the rice fields and find someone to shimmy up a coconut tree to get you a drink!
Find a nice cafe or restaurant to sit in for an afternoon. Read, drink iced tea, watch the world go by, talk to the staff.
Go to a cooking class and learn how to make Balinese dishes, meet new people and then have a fabulous self-made lunch!
Get a massage.
Visit any number of great restaurants and eat REALLY well for not a lot of cash. www.balieats.com is a great resource.
Do something active (to burn off the calories from the night before at said restaurant). Climb a volcano, do a bike tour through the villages, go on a snorkeling day trip, horse riding, trekking through the jungle, white water rafting....there's loads of options.
Pretty much, whatever you like to do to relax and have fun can be done in Bali and at far more reasonable price then in Australia, in a balmy climate and surrounded by the gentle-natured Balinese who are hospitable and friendly. You will be moved by their spirit and generosity of spirit.
When I first thought of going to Bali I was put off by the so called party scene, and sure it's there but you can easily avoid it. Don't stay in Kuta. Choose Legian, Seminyak when down south and then head for the hills (Ubud) or to a quiet seaside village (Amed). Go - you will love it! over 8 years ago
There is loads to do. Here are a few of my favourites:
- rent a bike and ride and ride and ride, the further off the normal tourist trail the better. Incredibly, many of the small back roads even just a kilometer or two out of the crowded Ubud scene see hardly anyone. If you are lucky, which is pot luck but there are loads on all the time, you'll stumble across a traditional ceremony and procession which is phenomenal.
- Another great area to explore by bike or by taxi is the whole eastern circuit that follows the lower edge of the volcano - stunning scenery.
- Head to Ubud and checkout a traditional Kechak dance. They start at night usually about 7:30pm and vary in quality but there is one in particular that is always fantastic. See my journal/blog for details.
- Explore the many, many temples across the island. Stunning.
- Explore the many craft villages; the stone carving villages between Kuta and Ubud are usually full of excellent work as well as the general tourist things. They make many or all of the carvings in the temples here and we picked up a huge granite Buddha head that we shipped back home from here.
- Take the ferry to Lombok and/or Gili islands; very different to Bali
A simply wonderful island and wonderful people :-)
simon about 8 years ago
It's been a while since I've been to Bali, but I had a wonderful time there - just remember to bring some bug spray - the mosquitos can be harsh.
I second the recommendation so seeing a Kechak dance. Also, if you go to the mountains of Kintamani you can view Mount Batur an active volcano, and see the caldera lake.
I also took a ship over to one of the small neighboring islands and did some snorkeling - it was beautiful! And the water was very clear.
Hope you have fun. about 8 years ago