Many people complains about the surf conditions today. Too small, almost flat, wrong wind, not surf-able, etc… Rather than complaining all day, why not just go around and look for other things that you can do to fill-up and light-up your holiday in Bali? Here are some suggestions of things you can do and places you can visit when there’s no waves in Bali.
Scuba Diving and other water sports
There are quite a few scuba diving sites around Bali. Some of the popular ones are – wreck-diving at Tulamben in the east, the serene reefs around Menjangan Island, and drift diving off Nusa Penida in the south. For beginners there are also various dive centers affiliated with PADI and SSI offering introductory courses.
Tanjung Benoa is Bali’s premier water-sports hub, with various activities available for you to choose from. Parasailing, snorkeling, jet-skis, wake-boarding and banana-boats are but a few of the choices available here. There are also white-water rafting operators further up north, near Ubud area, with the the Telaga Wajah and Ayung River being two of the most popular options.
Bicycle around Ubud
No trip to Bali is complete without experiencing the hillside tranquility of Ubud. Fresh off winning the prestigious Conde Nast Traveler Magazine award as the World’s Best City, the small hill-side town is now abuzz with tourism and renewed popularity.
The streets of Ubud teem with culture. A great way to see the town, surrounding artistic villages, and working rice paddies is on bicycle. Start at Monkey Forest and visit with the infamous residents–crab-eating macaques. Mid-day, head over to Goa Gajah, one of Bali’s most unique holy places. To end your day, ride to the village of Petulu. A massive nightly Heron migration is said to be the manifestation of spirits felled in a communist cleansing back in the 1960s. The birds began showing up exactly one week after an especially brutal massacre and have roosted in Petulu every night since. The scene is holy.
However, there are still spots to relax and unwind. Various trekking and cycling tours are also available for you to take through the maze of never-ending terraced paddy fields.
Bali is the world’s leading destination for yoga & spiritual retreats. On Bali there is a link to enlightenment. The beliefs of the Balinese are a living force that pervades the island. The island sings of love. The love of making an offering of woven palm leaves and beautiful flowers, or lighting a stick of incense and by praying a Mantra. What a beautiful setting to practice Yoga!
The healing energy and the culture of Bali is renowned throughout the world. Bali has spectacular spas, tropical resorts and hotels that are perfect settings for your yoga practice.
Hunting arts & crafts
The arts and crafts scene in Bali is well developed and highly sought after in the international market. Numerous artists have made Bali their home, drawing from the colorful culture and charming island life Bali has to offer as their inspiration. Balinese wood carving is popular amongst tourists, and you can find some of the best in business at Batu Bulan, Tegal Alang, Pujung and Sebatu. The spacious gallery, just 10 minutes away from the airport, offers world-class, locally made crockery at reasonable prices, in a wide range of designs.
Climb Mount Agung
Mount Agung is the highest mountain on the island of Bali, which holds a huge spiritual significance to the people of the island and is home to the Temple of Besakih. There are three climbing routes up the mountain, and all are quite difficult and only suitable for the physically fit. The rewards however, are most definitely worth it, with some awe-inspiring views of the mountains across flat rubble plains. Getting a local guide is a must, with fees varying from USD40 to USD100 depending on how you arrange the guide, the route taken and the level of English expected of the guide.
Eat like a boss
Bali is home to some of the greatest foods and finest restaurants in the region, offering high-end culinary treats mixed with the great island atmosphere and friendly face. Over the years, there have been a few mainstays, such as the legendary Warung Made, Ku De Ta, Sarong Bali, and Kafe Warisan (which is now revamped as Metis). The price is steep, but like they always said, you do get what you pay for.
Tourists can head towards Lovina Beach in Singaraja city, 3 hours north of Kuta, which is famed for their dolphin sight-seeing tours. These tours leave the main beaches each morning at dawn, with the price usually set at Rp 75,000 per person. If you are in a group, chartering your own boat maybe a more worthwhile option.
Tradisional Balinese massage and spa
Bali is spa paradise—it must have the highest ratio of spas to population of anywhere on earth. From Kuta to Canggu, from Nusa Dua to Ubud even to the North Coast, plenty hotels and villas offers high-quality Balinese massage using special medicated oils to help you relax and unwind. Most of the spas have pick up and drop off service.
Kecak Dance at Uluwatu
In the 1930’s, a German artist taught the Balinese a peculiar performance called the Kecak. The dance has no instruments, just vocal chords, about 100 of them. They chant generously and costumed performers dance and act out the Ramayana. While the 20th century German impetus may sound slightly inauthentic, you will hardly care about details as the sun slowly sets beyond the cliffs of Uluwatu and you get lost in the chant. There is also lots of fire.
The show begins at 6:00 pm. Hire a taxi to drop you off at Uluwatu temple. Once there, follow the crowds to the performance area. It is perched on the cliffs at the southernmost tip of Bali.
Tips: Come early so you can choose the right place to watching the show while see the panoramic sunset. You’ll also be asked to wear a sarong or a sash if your clothes are too short (You can borrow it). There are many monkeys around the temple; we recommend you store sunglasses, hats, and things that can attract the attention of the monkey. Uluwatu is at Bali’s southwest end, eleven miles south of Kuta. Take the Bypass from Kuta, heading to Nusa Dua down the road Jalan Uluwatu. Your driver will undoubtedly offer to take you to a Jimbaran seafood dinner after the show. Decline this service. It is an expensive tourist trap.
Experience the nightlife
There is something to cater for everyone’s tastes in nightlife from restaurants with live music to bars and nightclubs such as Huu-Bar, Double Six and The Bounty. Considering how cheap the beer is in Bali (you can’t go past the local Bintang!), there’s no reason not to enjoy at least one night out on the town while you’re here. The nightlife in Bali doesn’t start to get busy until late but once it does, it really is quite the experience!
Tips: Beware of people offering you illegal drugs outside popular nightspots. There’s usually some people offering both ecstasy and marijuana near the beaches of Kuta – apparently these people are often police informants trying to catch out naïve tourists. Unless you want to try to make the international news, ignore their offers!