Are you headed to Bali soon? This is the ultimate Bali guide for first timers.
If you want to go partying, eating or shopping, Seminyak is the place to be. This area on the south/west coast of Bali offers a lot of clubs, stores and restaurants with all types of cuisines. Personally I thought Seminyak was too busy and touristic. There is a lot of traffic around the main streets. The streets are narrow so you will get stuck in traffic, even with a motorbike. Also the beaches like La Plancha are totally packed with tourists. I did enjoy the sunset at Potato Head Beach Club and eating in restaurants like Nook and The Spicy Coconut.
If you drive a little north from Seminyak, you’ll get to Canggu. This place is less crowded than Seminyak and a popular spot for surfers. The waves are incredible and I loved watching the sun go down with a cosmopolitan in my hand at Finns Beach Club or Old Man’s. North from Canggu you’ll find the famous Tanah Lot Temple.
There’s a lot to see and do in Ubud. This place is known for getting completely ‘zen’ and is surrounded by ricefields, jungle and temples. From Ubud you can make a lot of daytrips. It’s about half an hour on your motorbike to Tegalalang Rice Terrace to get an amazing view and to Tirta Empul where people bathe in holy water. I also went to a coffee plantation nearby called Teba Sari to taste Luwak (cat shit) coffee. Get relaxed in Ubud and get a massage with a view at Karsa Spa or take a yoga class at the Yoga Barn. My ultimate favorite restaurant in Ubud was Moksa, with only plant-based food. I went here for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My second favorite was Sweet Orange Warung with an amazing over the ricefields.
From Seminyak or Canggu you can easily drive to the Uluwatu cliffs and visit Pura Luhur Uluwatu cliff temple. Alongside the cliffs, you’ll find the best beach club ever, called Sundays Beach Club and cool restaurants with a view like El Kabron.
A little south of the airport you can make a stop at Jimbaran Beach and eat in one of the many little seafood restaurants. Eat seafood with your feed in the sand!
If you are looking for a white sand beach in the southern part of Bali than Nusa Dua is the place to go. To get to Nusa Dua beach, you have to drive past a lot of beach resorts before finding the beach in the end. I really enjoyed a day a Nusa Dua. First we took a swim and then we had lunch at Melia Beach Resort. Unfortunately for people who are into snorkeling like I am, there is no coral or only dead coral.
This place is known to be ‘Lloret de mar’ of Bali for mostly Australian tourists. I was in Kuta for a day and found out Kuta is good for shopping. There are a lot of branded stores and you can find original Go Pro accessories here, which are very hard to find in Bali.
Lovina is a little town at the northern coast of Bali. Lovina itself is very quiet compared to the southern coast and there is not too much to do in this town but it has beautiful black sand beaches. The drive to Lovina is a great experience itself. You can make a stop at Jatiluwih Green Land rice terraces, visit the water temple at Lake Bratan, drive over the mountain, go to the Git Git waterfall or visit Banjar Hot Springs. In Lovina they offer daytrips like dolphin tours and a dive/snorkeling trip to Menjangan Island, which is the best snorkeling experience of Bali.
Many people visit the islands around Bali for a few days. You can go to Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida or the Gili Islands in Lombok by boat.