The Best 5 Things to do in Bali That’s Unique to Bali

Bali is an island of Indonesia situated east of Java. It is one of the greatest tropical destinations for vacations of all kinds. It’s perfect for honeymooners, weddings, family vacations and adventurers. Bali became popular throughout the 70’s and 80s and is now a favorite vacation destination for Australians,while also growing in popularity for Europeans and Americans. Modern day Bali has everything you could want in a destination from the nightlife of Kuta to the well known cultural landmarks and peacefulness of the indigenous inhabitants. So let’s make Bali your next vacation destination.

Here are my top 5 things not to be missed in Bali:

Handara Gates - One of the top spots’s for photos in Bali

5 – Bali Handara Golf Resort and Surrounding Areas:

Coming in at number 5 is Bali Handara Golf Resort (and it’s surrounding areas) The Handara Golf Resort is the spiritual home of golf in Bali and is my personal favourite. The Handara Gates is one of the most photographed spots in the whole of Bali. The resort has many traditional room types for every traveler’s needs. Even though it’s a golf resort about 80% of Handara’s guests do not play golf.

There are plenty of Activities to do in and around Bali Handara other than golf.

  • Visit Lake Beretan – one of the most picturesque spots in Bali and located on the extinct Mount Catur Volcano.
  • Jatiluwih Rice Terrace – A UNESCO world heritage listed site that was visited by Barak Obama in 2017 on his vacation to Bali.
  • Banjar – Famous for its hot springs and considered sacred by the local Balinese people.
  • Strawberry picking – visit one of the many local farms in the area surrounding Handara and pick your own fresh strawberries.  
Shopping in the Kuta Mall.

4 – Shopping in the Kuta Markets

Kuta – known for amazingly calm beach is filled with sand and and water, malls and markets. Kuta is the place to go to shop ‘til you drop and don’t forget, you will have to become an expert negotiator as it’s barter culture in these markets and cash is king in the markets. Once you’ve finished shopping, stop in at one of the many bars and restaurants in Kuta to reset and relax after a rewarding shopping experience.

Tanah Lot
Tanah Lot

3 – Tanah Lot

A sacred site about a 90 minute drive from the Kuta area. It’s a traditional temple located in the ocean. During low tide it is possible to walk out to the monument but please do not do it without permission from your local guide or escort. It’s a great place to spend the day or a few hours taking in the remarkable views of this unique temple.

Sacred Monkey Forest Ubud Bali
The Mischief planning monkey of Ubud’s Sacred Monkey Forest

2 – Ubud: Extremely close to being at the top of my must-see list. It could very well be top on yours. 

Ubud is known for its peacefulness, amazing views of the rice terraces, mountains and probably Ubud’s most famous attraction the Monkey Forest! The Monkey Forest should be on everyone’s to-do list in Bali.If it’s not, add it on as this is not to be missed. You literally can’t get any closer to monkeys than in the Monkey Forest, but be careful to secure your phones, cameras and personal belongings because the monkeys can (and wil)l take them if given the opportunity.

After you’ve finished in the Monkey Forest be sure to try the local cuisine, or perhaps attend a cooking school to learn how to make local Balinese food.

After you’ve eaten be sure to try to local coffee of the Luwak variety – the unique process of making coffee from beans digested by the native animal is a once in a lifetime experience.

GWK Cultural Park Indonesia
GWK Cultural Park.

1 – GWK Cultural Park

One of Bali’s newest cultural attractions that opened to the public in 2018 GWK (Garuda Wisnu Kencana) is a large complex of cultural significance complete with beautiful manicured gardens and monuments. GWK main piece is a local Balinese warrior (Lord Visnu) riding the national bird the Garuda. The statue is a total of 121meters making it 30 meters taller than the Statue of Liberty. As of 2021 escorted tours are now available to the top of the statue.

I spent an entire day at GWK and I think I only saw about half of it.

This is why GWK takes out the number 1 spot on the list.

Bali is an amazing place and narrowing this list to 5 places was not an easy task and no doubt I have left some amazing places off the list. If you have any of your Bali favourites that I have left off the list please comment and get in touch with me.

Visit Bali. You won’t want to miss it.