It is no secret that Bali’s south coast is beaming with activities, such as the beaches and the nightlife. It is also no secret that it could get a little bit pricey. With premium hotels, bars and restaurants, it could leave quite a dent on your wallets. Why not try to venture off the beaten path?
If you crave to be nearer to nature and experience authentic Balinese culture, then you can go to these places to stay in bungalows with undisturbed views of rice paddies, full-moon ceremonies with your Balinese hosts and many more.
Ubud’s central is swarmed with tourists but as long as you stay on the quiet side street or in the surrounding villages, you will discover more about the Balinese culture. You might even receive impromptu lessons in palm-leaf offerings while you have your morning tea in a warung or a small street shop.
You can get a Spice bath at the Ubud Bodyworks Centre. Get massaged with sandalwood oil, exfoliated with grainy mixture of herbs, rinsed and then immersed in a warm tub with frangipani flowers—so hedonistic they feel illegal.
The opulent landscape of Sideman and Trita Gangga is quintessential Bali. Filled with flowers and trees of all kinds, it makes a scenic view perfect for a postcard. On the coast, you can go snorkelling and have excursions to ancient villages and temples in Candidasa. Amed, a coastal strip of fishing villages, is also a popular place for freediving and yoga retreats.
Shopping on your way to the eastern side of Bali could also be a breeze. Passing by the main roads of Singapadu and Ubud, the roads are lined with locally produced products which are mostly made on-site.
Image credit: Lakshmi Sawitri
Ditch the neon lights and inflated prices of south Bali and head to the North. Despite the small resorts, it is peaceful and affordable. Other than the black sand beaches of Lovina, some of the other beaches can be narrow and rocky.
Other than that, you can take a boat ride from Labuan Lalang to the uninhabited Menjangan Island to snorkel. The coral reefs are packed with vibrant orange and electric blue fishes that are much more tantalizing than the neon lights.
Image credit: zakki-style
If you’re looking to catch a wave, then the west of Bali may be perfect for you. Some of the islands most beautiful beaches can be found in the west. If you’re up to surf on some big waves, Medewi is the place to go. Medewi is not only home for big waves, it also has gorgeous views with traditional boats that sail along the coast, making it an even better place to surf and relax.
While you’re there, try to catch some performances of West Balinese music. Their energetic performances of their bamboo gamelan jegog will leave you breathless and inspired.