Continuing my previous post on Things to know while planning for Bali, the other four points I will be covering in this post are….
- Things to pack
- Places to Visit
- Local Transportation
- Places to Eat and Shop
Bali has diverse landscapes however the temperature is warm all year round which means no worries for carrying bulky winter wears. Bali is an ideal place not only for backpackers but also for couples and families where they can enjoy trekking to volcanoes or basking in the sun on the beach. So, while packing for Bali, here are some of the essentials which I think might be useful.
Things to Pack
Clothes you need to carry…
- Sarongs – A multipurpose sarong is very much essential to pack as it is required in most of the temples.
- Light T-shirts, Trousers
- Evening Dress (For a special day on a beach)
- Night Dress
- Loose, Light and comfortable clothing are much preferred for a humid temperature like in Bali.
Other things to pack…
- Hiking Boots (Might need for climbing the mountains or volcanoes)
- Sports Shoes
- Umbrella/Raincoat (Yes, it can rain anytime)
- Dry Bag
- Snorkel and Mask
- Extra bags (to carry dirty clothes, shoes etc)
- Sunscreen lotions (You need to have stronger one as the Bali sun can be harsh)
- Shampoo and Conditioner
- Toothbrush, Toothpaste
- Eye Mask
- Hand Sanitizer
- Hand Napkins
- Shaving items
- Mosquito Spray
- Travel Adaptor
- Camera and/or GoPro for some water activity
- Extra Memory Card
- Sim cards (can be purchased in any supermarkets in Bali)
- Power bank
- Mini First-Aid Kit
- Sea Sickness tablet
Packing Tip: Always travel light and make sure to respect the nature and culture of the other country by adopting sustainable travel items. Sad to see Bali is one the most vulnerable place in the world for plastic pollution. I usually carry Metal straw, reusable bags, boxes and water bottles. Do try and promote the local food places (known as warungs). Purchase from locals and encourage others too! Avoid single-use plastic as it destroys the marine life and I am sure together we can make the difference. Let Bali or rather any country in the world be the way it is so that locals and tourists can enjoy in the years to come.
Places to visit/Things to Do
Bali is quite extensive and each area has its own beauty. Read about must know before travel to Bali.
1. Visit Ancient Temples: Bali is full of culture and one can see a number of ancient Hindu temples with intricate carvings and centuries-old magnificent architecture. Each has its own history and story. Experience the magical sunset at Tanah Lot or the ruins of Goa Gajah near Ubud or the temple on a cliff in Uluwatu or the picturesque temple Ulun Darun Beratan temple against the hazy, dreamy mountain background. Drive on any route and one can see magnificent temples.
2. Explore Beaches or Waterfalls: Bali beaches are some of the most scenic beaches. South of Island has white sand coasts like Kuta, Nusa Dua and Sanur while the cliff guarded shores of Uluwatu, Padang Padang, Dreamland are worth visiting. The striking black sand beaches on the North and West shorelines with sleepy untouched coves in between is a must visit. Waterfalls are quite common. Ride on any unknown roads and be surprised with the nature.
3. Spa or Massages: When in Bali the whole travel activities can be quite exhausting and let me tell you, Bali has the best of scenic spas to vitalise the body or calm the mind. With all traditional treatments using local healing oils and herbs, Balinese Spa offers an unforgettable rejuvenating experience. Some of my favourites include Riverside by Maya, Five Elements Puri Ahimsa, Karma Spa at Ungasan.
4. See the Balinese Dance: There can’t be a better way to soak in the culture of Bali than to introduce yourself to the Live dance shows performed against the backdrop of gorgeous ancient temples or modern amphitheatres with the dramatic light and sound effects. The most popular and legendary dance performance is the one-hour Kecak Fire Dance at the Uluwatu Temple which starts around sunset. Barong and Kris Dance are also quite interesting which intrigues the audiences with the mythological stories. The performances are held daily and one can get the ticket before a day or the same day in the morning. Ubud Palace or the Lotus Temple are the prominent places in Ubud to watch the shows. The prices range from 70k to 100K IDR depending upon the tourist season.
5. Adventure Activities: Being an island, Bali is also known for adventure activities like Snorkelling, Scuba Diving or Surfing. We did not explore much of that side but you can anyways try out in Nusa Dua (Sanur Beach), Nusa Lembongan, Pemutaran. Ask local people or your hotel or tour operators for references.
6. Learn local cooking: The best way to explore the foodie in you is to attend a guided culinary tour. From hands-on cooking experience to the walking tour, Bali has it all. One can register for such classes or tours on the recommendations by the locals or check them online. From family-run affordable warungs to fine dine restaurants, one can get to try the different cuisines.
Bali is relatively easy to explore. For a convenient tour covering the sights and making most of your time, planned tours or chartered taxi is quite popular. There are no set rates for hiring a car, negotiation is the key. You can ask for hotels or resorts you staying for planned tours or bike rental. Fun loving explorers with some time in hand can rent a motorbike. But be sure to hold an International Licence, Insurance covered and that wearing the helmet is compulsory. Those who are solo and do not wish to ride a bike but still want to enjoy can take the option for motorized rickshaw (bemo in local language). Go-Jek is certainly a helpful app for such motorbike rides and ordering food at your convenience.
I found taxis a bit expensive. However, renting a car for the whole tour is easier and hassle-free. We preferred self-drive motorbikes and the rents were also economically ranging from somewhere 50K IDR to 150K IDR per day excluding petrol.
Places to Eat and Shop:
Bali island has a wide range of local and international cuisine suiting every palate and budget. There are different varieties from street food to local food (warungs) to fine dines presenting fusion and an international menu including vegan. We would suggest trying some local food. Also, when in Ubud, do try the Zest Ubud, Yellow Flower Cafe for some scrumptious healthy meal. Cafes are quite popular too. One meal ranges from around 300K IDR for a medium range restaurant.
Bali has some amazing handicrafts, local boutiques, international labels, art galleries, antique furniture, colorful dream-catchers, delicate jewellery, masks, fabrics to name a few. You need to carry some cash as not all places accept cards. If you want to grab some souvenirs do read our experience at the top Ubud Market Souvenirs.