First time in Bali? Figuring out what to do can feel like an impossible task. Maybe you’ve already been to Indonesia but trust us, Bali is very different. There’s just too much to choose from! From Kuta to Ubud, from the beach to the volcanoes, sacred temples and profane party spots, Bali will leave you breathless with excitement. Fear not! Here are 10 best things to do on your first trip to Bali.
1. Ubud Monkey Forest
Have a barrel of monkeys’ worth of fun! Located in the central part of the island, this nature reserve and Hindu temple complex double up as a secret jungle crawling with curious monkeys – who entertain tourists with their antics, clambering around the ancient temples and towering banyan trees. Purchase bananas on-site to feed the monkeys, but make sure to keep them (and other food!) carefully in a backpack because the monkeys will jump onto you at random for a free meal. But this is all part of the fun!
2. Tanah Lot
This amazing temple, one of the most visited and photographed in Bali, is the perfect place to watch your first Bali sunset and snap some classic vacation photos. This venerable Hindu shrine–clinging precariously to a rocky outcropping jutting perilously out over the ocean–will leave you breathless. This is a low-tide destination; the rising waves of the high tides submerge the causeways, making crossing impossible. At low tide, however, head over to enjoy the views and to catch a glimpse of the legendary sea snake guardians of the shrine grounds.
3. Balinese cooking class
Most tourists leave Bali raving about the food. Now, you can go home and cook the dishes you’ve eaten with a mouthwatering Balinese cooking class. Learn the traditional ingredients and techniques in an authentic village kitchen in Ubud, fully equipped with everything you need hosted by Paon Bali Cooking. The classes are conducted in English by local chefs, so language barriers will be no problems. They can even accommodate vegetarians.
Read more: Top 5 Dining Experiences in Seminyak
4. Uluwatu Temple
One of the top Bali attractions, this ancient Hindu temple is an amazing place for ocean views, wildlife encounters, and cultural treasures of the Balinese. One highlight is the daily Kecak dance performances, a hypnotic ode to the gods of Bali. The sense of history here is palpable, and recent digs prove that this sacred space has been venerated for over a thousand years.
If you’ve ever dreamed of learning to surf, you can’t go wrong at Kuta beach. The waves here are famous worldwide, and the surf schools lining the beaches are staffed with experienced instructors willing to show you the ropes.
Surfing in Canggu? Check out Bali Local Surf School ISA (International Surfing Association) certified instructors will take care of you and make sure you get started the best way. Use the ENTERTAINER Bali app to enjoy 1-for-1 surfing class.
6. Mount Batur
In local Hindu tradition, the majestic volcano Mt. Batur is of supreme sacred importance. Also known by its local name, Gunung Batur, this 1717 metre tall behemoth can be climbed in about 2 hours, if you’re fit and experienced. A great time to climb is in the cool misty pre-dawn, when you can watch the sun emerge from behind the ocean and rise slowly above. If you go with a trekking company, you can even enjoy a tasty breakfast cooked by the heat of the churning magma within.
7. Balinese Spa
While on the island, you definitely need to get a massage. Bali style rubdowns have a reputation around the world for being just the best, so why not treat yourself to the real thing? Authentic spa experiences abound here. #SaveWithASmile when you redeem 1-for-1 massage, facial, and treatments with ENTERTAINER Bali. Explore the ‘Beauty & Fitness’ tab on the app to see the offers.
8. La Favela
Wondering about Bali nightlife? La Favela is a funky restaurant and club hybrid contained in a colonial building surrounded by a rainforest. Here, you’ll find vintage and antique furniture, green creepers framing everywhere and even a retro Volkswagen van! You’ll be able to make friends with cute little creatures as well, like the resident ferret. At night, the enchanted garden restaurant transforms itself into Bali’s party central, something like the best Bali house party you’d ever go to. Bonus is, more often than not, it comes with a theme – so try La Favela to experience clubbing in Bali!
Read more: Your Guide to 1-for-1 Drinks in Bali
9. Bamboo House
Bali is filled with unique accommodations that impress with comfort and imagination. The Bamboo House is one of the most iconic of these. Nestled in a green valley alongside the holy Ayung River, Sharma Springs Bamboo House is both a place to stay and a work of art. Constructed entirely of bamboo, the house will enhance your peaceful mountain retreat with its jungle surroundings and river valley vistas.
10. Devdan Show
Indonesia is a land of music and dance, and the Devdan Show is a chance for tourists to witness the breathtaking scope of Indonesian culture. This show leads audiences back in time, demonstrating various dances from the islands that make up this beautiful country, and forward again, with contemporary interpretations with a bassy soundtrack. Held in the Nusa Dua Complex at the Bali Nusa Dua Theatre, the show is a must-see for anyone interested in the traditional art forms of southeast Asia, and how they are adapting and changing in the modern world.