Known as “The Island of the Gods”, Bali is a true tropical paradise filled with beauty and good vibes. The island offers many cultural delights from historic temples, picturesque sunsets, to white sandy beaches with turquoise waters, it’s the ideal destination for any fun-loving free spirits.
We asked fitness blogger and avid traveller, The Food Medic to put together an essential guide to Bali, covering all of her favourite things to see, do and eat whilst visiting this blissful island.
Perched atop a small rock formation offshore, Tanah Lot is only accessible at low-tide but is definitely worth a trip. Visitors are treated to breathtaking views from the temple as well as a serene and welcoming atmosphere. The most popular time to visit Tanah Lot is at sunset when the temple is silhouetted against the orange and red hues of the sky – the perfect backdrop for an Instagram photo!
The equally beautiful Uluwatu Temple, or Pura Luhur Uluwatu, is found 70-metres above the Indian Ocean, perched on top of a steep cliff. The dramatically located temple is one of nine
Directional Temples in Bali and is believed to protect followers from evil spirits. The temple is also inhabited by monkeys but visitors beware, these pesky little guys are notorious for stealing glasses, cameras or anything they can get their hands on!
Top Tip: Visitors are advised to dress modestly when visiting the temples and must cover both their legs and shoulders. This type of attire is commonplace at most religious attractions which is something to take note of when planning a trip to any of Bali’s temples.
Sunset at Blue Point
There are so many beautiful beaches to watch the sun set in Bali, but one of the most popular spots is Blue Point Beach in Uluwatu. Grab a cold bottle of Bintang at the famous cliff-side bar Single Fin and enjoy spectacular views of the sunset – make sure to get there early to grab a good seat as this place is very popular with backpackers and surfers and fills up quickly!
Climb Mount Batur
A mountain hike is the perfect way to appreciate Bali’s wonderful landscape and a climb to the top of Mount Batur is the ideal way to cap off your trip to paradise. Standing 1717 feet above sea level, Mount Batur is found in Bali’s Kintamani Region and a climb to the mountain’s summit is a worthy challenge for any visitor.
The hike starts in the early hours of the morning (3am to be exact) and normally takes about 2 hours to reach the top – just in time for sunrise. At dawn, standing among the clouds, you can watch the sun break the dark morning sky and rise over the horizon. From the peak of the mountain you can enjoy panoramic views of Lake Batur and the surrounding rolling hills, so don’t forget to pack your camera!
Once you reach the top, your tour guide will rustle up a breakfast of fried bananas and boiled eggs – all of which are prepared over hot volcanic steam.
Top Tip: Make sure to book your hike through a reputable agency. I booked online with Bali Trekking Tour and had a really enjoyable experience. My tour included transfer to and from hotel, a guided hike up the mountain, a trip to nearby hot springs and a visit to a local coffee plantation.
Bali is famous for its beautiful beaches and it’s one of the main reasons people travel halfway across the world to visit this oasis! Whether it’s the exotic black volcanic beaches of the west or the tropical white sand beaches in the south, there’s an array of beaches to choose from.
Padang Padang is a bit of a hidden gem tucked away down windy steps in Uluwatu. This beach is one of the most famous surf points in Bali and is perfect for watching surfers tackle the waves, or if you’re feeling adventurous, attempt to master the surf yourself.
If watersports aren’t your thing, the beach is also the perfect place to sit back, relax and enjoy the sun. Some other beautiful beaches nearby include; Seminyak Beach, Echo Beach and Jimbaran Beach.
Situated just off the coast of Bali, the Gilis are made up of three small islands: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air. Gili Trawangan, or Gili T, is the largest of the three and the most visited by tourists.
The islands are easy to reach via boat as several ferry to and from Bali throughout the day. The journey takes about two hours on a fast boat, so it is worth staying a night or two to make the most of what the islands have to offer.
Rent a bike
With no cars on the Island, the only way to see Gilly T is by foot, bicycle or horse and cart, known locally as Cidomos. Being only 5 miles in circumference, the island is easily navigable by bike and can be comfortably cycled around in an hour or two.
Some hotels on the island have bikes which you can borrow for free or you can rent one for about £1 an hour. Be sure to ask for a bike lock so you can stop somewhere for a refreshing cocktail along the way!
Snorkel or Scuba dive
If you want to learn to dive then the Gili Islands are one of the best, and cheapest, places to do so. Gili T has several PADI and SSI dive centres which offer diving packages for all levels of experience. If you’d rather snorkel, it’s very easy to rent equipment from dive centres or kiosks. Half day snorkeling and dive trips take you to the best parts of the islands where you can see a whole range of exotic fish, coral and – if you’re lucky – turtles!
Breakfast and brunch is the most popular time to eat out in Bali, particularly amongst tourists. Most breakfast spots offer really fresh wholesome options such as smashed avocado and poached eggs on sourdough bread, fluffy banana pancakes, and the famous Acai bowls, or ‘Nalu’ bowls.
Make sure to check out Sisterfields, Cafe Organic, and Shelter in Seminyak for some of the best brunches on the island!
If you’re keen to fully immerse yourself in the balinese culture then make sure try the delicious Indonesian cuisine that Bali has to offer. There are restaurants and street vendors offering local dishes on every corner, however the quality of the food can be quite variable so it’s good to seek out the best places in advance.
Merah Putih, in Seminyak, is the perfect option for anyone hoping to taste real Balinese cuisine. The restaurant serves classical Indonesian dishes alongside creative options that experiment with traditional spices and flavours. Their menu is split into a traditional section, including famous Balinese dishes such as Gado-Gado and Nasi Goreng, and a modern section where you can find imaginative culinary creations.
The Seminyak Beach Resort and Spa
Holiday-makers in Bali are spoilt for choice when it comes to luxury beach-front hotels, but one of my favourites in Bali is The Seminyak Beach Resort and Spa. Heaven on earth doesn’t do this hotel justice, with its infinity pool, ocean-views, gourmet restaurants and opulent interior design.
My favourite thing about this hotel was, of course, The Kahyangan Spa. Specialising in corrective and stress-relieving treatments, the spa boasts a wide-range of therapies that will ensure you’ll be completely relaxed during your stay. After your treatment, guests can also enjoy a dip in one of the hot and cold plunge pools or even just unwind in the hotel’s sauna.
About the author
My name is Hazel Wallace, I’m a final year medical student and the girl behind The Food Medic!
I started my blog as an extension of my Instagram, it was somewhere I could share my recipes and blog about subjects I’m passionate about such as health, fitness and travel. I promote a balanced lifestyle and my aim is to show people that living a healthy lifestyle is possible even with a busy schedule, a hectic social life and family life.