Last year for my birthday, I stayed on the beautiful Indonesian island of Bali for the very first time. Although small you will find it to be a diverse place to visit, with volcanic mountains, lovely beaches, and rice paddies to explore. In the month that I was there, I documented my favorite experiences and I’m excited to share them with you.
Hang Out with Monkeys at the Sacred Monkey Forest
As an animal lover, I had so much fun observing the little creatures up close and personal. However, they are very smart and will steal anything from your iPhone to a shiny earring. A lot of tourists bait them with bananas to get the picture-perfect shot; I opted out of that intimate experience.
Grab a Sunset Drink at Rock Bar
Rock Bar is located at the Ayana Resort and is a spectacular place to watch a sunset. I would recommend only going for drinks, I found the food to be expensive and not that great. Reservations are encouraged and I would warn you not to sit too close to the front, as the waves can get pretty high.
Plan a Trip to Gili T to Swing in the Ocean
Gili Trawangan a short ferry ride from Bali and a must see in my opinion. The beaches are white and the roads are busy with horse-drawn buggies with no cars in sight. The island is Instagram famous for their many ocean swings, but be careful of the sharp coral hidden in the water. The bar scene was lively and a very fun place to spend my birthday.
Scuba Dive with Manta Rays by Nusa Penida Island
As a scuba diver, I enjoy exploring marine life anytime I can. I learned from a friend that the manta rays were especially popular and would often feed near the neighboring island of Nusa Penida. It was an easy day trip from the mainland and exceeded all of my expectations. Snorkel trips are also available for those not certified.
Enjoy Rice Field Views at Bebek Tebasari Resto
Ubud is home to many rice fields and famous for their terraced layout. My hired driver for the day (a very affordable option for a day trip), recommended this amazing restaurant for lunch. I sat on a colorful mat in a hut that overlooked the rice paddies. The traditional ribs and heart shaped rice were one of my favorite meals of the trip.
Climb the Steps to Tegenungan Waterfall
Tegenungan is an impressive waterfall that you can only get to by walking down many steps. At its base is a nice swimming hole for anyone wanting to take a dip. The surrounding landscape is lush and you feel like you are in the middle of the rainforest. Make sure to pack sneakers, as coming back up requires a little more work.
Order a Smoothie Bowl at Kynd Community
I happened upon Kynd Community one day as I was exploring the area around my hostel; the bright colors just drew me in. This plant-based spot serves delicious coffee, juices, and smoothies. The decor is fun and you will frequently find patrons snapping pictures in front of the festive wallpaper.
Try a Coffee and Tea Tasting in Ubud
Bali is known for making great coffee and the plantations in Ubud offer free tastings. Nestled deep in the jungle are outdoor tasting rooms that serve up many different flavors of coffee and tea. They explain the entire process of growing the products that are eventually sold in local cafes, restaurants, and their gift shop.
Visit the Beautiful Tanah Lot Temple
Tanah Lot is just one of many spectacular Hindu temples in Bali, but it’s unique because of the location. Meaning, “land in the sea” the picturesque structure sits atop a rock formation out in the ocean. I would plan your visit during low tide, as you have to cross the water to get to the temple. This is one of the busier attractions but worth a stop.