While many Bali visitors head straight for the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud, any of the tourist-riddled temples, or the white sandy beaches of Kuta, there’s so much more to see and do in Bali. Rent one of the popular luxury villas sprouting up all over Bali and try this “unknown Bali” mini-guide when you want something new to do in Bali:
Visit the seaweed farms between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. It’s a small industry whose chief market is the Asian cosmetics industry. Just to say you’ve seen how seaweed is farmed…
Tour the mangrove forest along Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. This is typically done with a tour guide for the day in an outrigger boat called a “jukung”. It’s a great, different kind of nature tour that will remind people of what they think touring the Amazon or Florida Everglades is like.
Climb Mount Agung or Mount Batur. Batur is an easy two-hour hive well within the reach of the amateur, and even Mount Agung is only a two-day visit round trip. Likely as not, every mountain in Bali has an active volcano in its heart, so this is a trip worth taking. “I’ve been inside a live volcano” is something very few people can say.
Tour the Tirta Gangga Water Palace. Granted, this is yet another temple, but with sacred waters flowing from a natural spa which you can dip in. Also, it’s a fun place to explore.
Take a dolphin tour at Lovina. Boats can be chartered to go out from the black sandy beaches and visit with nature’s sea clowns, frolicking in the waves. The dolphins are naturally friendly towards the boats, so you’re bound to get some photo ops.
Explore Singaraja. This used to be the capitol city, and has a rich, diverse culture that points to Bali’s history. Sculptures and monuments are everywhere. Keep your eyes peeled for winged lions, the symbol of Buleleng Regency. South of Singaraja is the Gitgit Waterfalls, a must-see while you’re in the neighborhood.
Bali Barat National Park is the biggest feature of this area. It covers some 700 square kilometers, absolutely bursting with exotic forest and wildlife you’ve never seen before. Fantastic bird-watching opportunities abound.
Attend a buffalo race in Mekepung. This is an actual sporting event in the area, held every week. Colorful carts are hitched to water buffalo who race with them over a four-kilometer course. You can’t say you’ve attended every sporting event in the world until you’ve done this!
Dine on seafood in Jimbaran. These beach-side seafood restaurants are world-renowned for the freshest seafood dining experience, since the catches are basically brought up to shore from the water meters away and kept in live tanks ready for you to pick. We’re talking lobster, fish, prawns, crabs, clams, and squid, just to name some of them.
Visit Waterborn Park in Tuban, Kuta. It may seem odd to bother with a waterpark when you’re surrounded by ocean, but this is a whole water-slides and wave-pools park. Fun for the whole family, especially the small kids.