Bali is a surprising time consuming island to get around, mainly due to its relatively poor road infrastructure and insane traffic. So if you are heading somewhere for a day trip, make sure you see at least a few things to make your trip there and back worth the long drive.
Here are some of my day trip ideas for 4 main popular regions (Ubud, Seminyak, Uluwatu and Nusa Dua) in Bali.
Ubud is my favourite area in Bali. It’s lush and verdant, and filled with amazing architecture. It’s also cooler than the rest of bali. I recommend the follow places in ubud on a day trip.
- Monkey forest: a large park and rainforest area that is cordoned off from the outside. Where hundreds if not thousands of monkeys live and play. The monkeys are fun and sometimes scary, (Definitely don’t look them in the eyes), but the best parts are the amazing giant trees in the park, absolutely jaw dropping.
- Tanggalan Rice Terrace: Most of bali has rice paddies, but the Tanggalan is the most dramatic I’ve seen. The terrace steps are awe-inspiring, and you can go on these giant swing that throw you over the valley, (some people have actually died from falling down the hill). We had lunch at D alas restaurant, which had dramatic views over the valley.
- Ubud town: the town is compact and crowded. I would mainly walk around the palace, and Sarawati temple(the Starbucks has a great view), and check out Dewisita and Gootama roads for some pretty fancy arts and crafts, as well as nice restaurants and cafe.
- Eat a nice meal: I strongly recommend Lovacore, but you have to book at least 2 weeks ahead, it’s worth it. I would also definitely go to Kubu at the Ritz Carlton, which is an experience just seeing the hotel and the restaurant. Also consider Blanco par mandif, and Mosaic for high end and interesting dining. I also really enjoyed Bebek Bengil, which is a surprisingly large restaurant that is famous for crispy duck. I really enjoyed eating here. The food was pricy for Bali, but cheap for me, and the duck was so yummy!! The restaurant itself is surrounded by a lush garden and rice paddy.
I liked Seminyak to an extend. It’s exciting, very vibrant, and lots of things to do. But it’s also very crowded, traffic-ridden, dirty and falling apart in some parts.
- Potatohead: It’s a beach club with great vibe. At night time and sunset, it’s more a young people party scene, but during the day, the music is quieter, there are lots of places to sit and definitely family friendly. The food here is amazing, especially the indonesian restaurant Kaum, absolutely delicious.
- Brunch: there are lots of brunch places in seminyak, in fact there are a few just next to each other: Seacirus, Neon palms and colony hotel. There are lots of other great brunch places, Google will tell you.
- Stay or visit some fancy hotels: if you can’t afford to stay, then at least come and have a drink at one of these beach side hotels. ALILA is a minimalistic beautiful, W is wild and wonderful, the Legian is upmarket and stylish.
- Dinner: so many good eating places in seminayak. We really Merah putih, Sarong, Motel Mexicola, Kajin Japanese.
The bottom of the island is filled with dramatic cliffs and even more dramatic hotels and bars.
- Uluwatu temple: super dramatic temple on a cliff top, and lots of very naughty and scary monkeys. These are much worse than the Monkey Forest monkeys in ubud, they will take your glasses and break them. The temple also have nightly kecak dancing shows at sunset, which is quite dramatic.
- Dramatic bars and clubs: There are some very dramatic bars in the area, the most famous is the Rock bar, which is beautiful in pictures, but very crowded and too hot in reality. Also check out Il Bar at Bvlgari Resort, Splash at Antara Resort and El Kabron Cliff Club.
- Jimbaran bay seafood restaurants: not technically in Uluwatu, but close enough. The Jimbaran beach is packed with sea food restaurants on the breach. A great setting for sure, but also pricy for what you get.
- Beaches: Check out Thomas, Green bowl and Karma beaches in uluwatu, Some of the best on the island.
This part of bali is essentially packed with giant resorts, one after the next.
- Resort crawl: there are lots and lots of resorts to visit, especially if you’re bored with your own. The most luxurious are the St Regis, Ritz Carlton and Mulia. The view from Ritz Carlton is one of the most dramatic on the island. Sofitel has a new beach club, which has 2 pools and yummy cocktails, worth a try.
- Bali collection: a collection of little stores and restaurants in one place. I personally find it pretty boring, but there really is nothing else in this part of Bali.
There are lots of things to do in Bali and lots of other regions to explore. But if you’re a first timer, this give you a rough idea on how to plan your day trips.
Please comment with your suggestions and recommendations.