Bali is a much visited island paradise. The Island of The Gods draws tourists who flock to experience thumping nightlife, world-class surfing, mystical temples and verdant vistas, but what do you do when you have been there and done that? After my fifth visit to Bali I thought I had seen in all, so in a quest to mix up our itinerary, I made it my mission to seek out the extra-ordinary. I uncovered 23 unexpected things to do in Bali which I know you will love. Read on for all the details …
Let’s Get Social!
Unexpected Things To Do In Bali
With only 5 days on the ground I couldn’t possibly test out everything on my list of 23 unexpected things to do in Bali. I’m not superwoman after all and I have yet to master the art of making time tick slower. They all look so impossibly fabulous but I could only try out a handful. The good news for me is that I know I will be back in Bali soon and I can start ticking the rest off my wish list …
Personally Tried & Tested …
1. Make Your Own Perfume
L’Atelier Parfums et Créations’ perfume making workshops are a fabulous way to spend an afternoon and at only USD$80 including a 30ml bottle of perfume, its great value. L’Atelier has two locations at Jimbaran and Nusa Dua so they are easily accessible from most of the island. I highly recommend this one! All the details on my visit to L’Atelier here.
2. Make A Piece Of Jewellery
Jewellery stores abound in Bali and silver is a specialty, but if you are after something a little more unique why not make your own? The hubs and I had a great morning learning the ropes at Chez Monique in Ubud and our creations are almost as good as the professionals but much more personal. Read all about our Chez Monique class here.
3. Get Your Freak On
Theater restaurants have notoriously bad reputations for horrible food and amateurish shows. Even knowing this, I still couldn’t resist Frankensteins Laboratory. The food was a bit ordinary but the atmosphere was a whole lot of fun. If you really feel like getting into the spirit, you can even get your face painted. Read my full review of Frankensteins here.
4. Amp Up You Smile
I am well aware that visiting the dentist is most people’s idea of hell so it seems like a very unlikely activity to undertake willingly but ‘destination dentistry’ really is a thing! If you are considering a mouth makeover for a fraction of the cost read my full review of BIMC Bali here.
5. Measure Me Up!
I love getting leather jackets tailor-made when I am in Bali and have had three made over the years. One of my favourites is the baby blue leather biker jacket worn below but check out the other two here and here. I always go to Joey 47 in Kuta. He doesn’t have a website (why? This is 2016!!!) but his shop is across the road from Jamie’s Italian and about 200 metres up. Jl Pantai Kuta N0 47 Little Square Kuta Bali Ph: +62 818 0568 4999
6. Make A Stand Against Animal Cruelty
I’m not a coffee drinker so this is easy for me. Even if I was I can’t think of many things more disgusting than digesting something made from animal poo. Kopi Luwak, the world’s most exclusive luxury coffee is produced from the undigested whole coffee beans found in civet cat poo. My research has led me to believe that there is extensive cruelty within the trade whereby defenseless caged animals are force-fed coffee cherries so that you can enjoy your brew. Even the brands labelled as ‘wild sourced’ are often not. If that is not enough to turn you off it can also run at up to $700 a kilo. Despite all this if you still want to try it I urge you to find a brand that truly is wild sourced.
Maybe Next Time …
7. Seal Your Love
Place an engraved padlock on Bridges love tree. You can bring your own or order one from them three days before your visit. If you have time stop in to the restaurant which gets rave reviews.
8. Turn Back Time
Growing up on a steady diet of Happy Days, I have long been fascinated with the idea of the American Diner. Watching Grease as a teenager made it all the more appealing. Cosmic Diner will satisfy for thirst for kitsch and fill your tummy with delicious burgers. Rock on Daddy-O!
9. Record A Song
Fancy yourself as the next big singing sensation? At the Hard Rock Hotel’s Boom Box Recording Studio you get a 90 minutes to record two songs and a CD to take home. Unleash you inner rock star for only IDR 550k.
10. French Cooking Class
Indonesian cooking classes are prolific, but who would have though you could learn the fine art of French cuisine in Bali? The Pearl Restaurant in Legian holds classes every Wednesday between 9am – 1pm where you can cook up a three course French feast for just IDR 990k.
11. Mix With The Locals
Enjoy a very special home cooked meal in a small Balinese village with your hosts to get a real appreciation of how the locals live through Traveling Spoon. With multiple host families dotted around the island you are almost sure to find one near you. I would love to visit Kedak and Putu and experience their traditional way of life. Experiences start at $25 and options are available to include transportation, a market visit, a rural farmhouse or a cooking experience with a professional Chef.
12. Tie The Knot
I love a destination wedding and if you do too why not tie the knot or renew your vows in style at The Diamond Bali. The spectacular diamond-shaped venue is amazing and has hosted the odd celebrity couple of two. One thing for sure, your photos will be amazing! I’m hoping to renew my vows here in 2018 for my 25th anniversary but I haven’t told The Hubs yet … Sssshhhh!
13. Steam Your Vagina
Yep you heard me right, steam your vagina. This ancient practice promises to renew your vagina and for Balinese women it is as common a part of their beauty regime as having a hair cut or a leg wax. Even more promising, it is said to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and make everything ‘tighter’ down there. I skipped the Queen V Steam during my visit to Cleopatra Luxury Day Spa & Salon but I am intrigued enough to consider it next time. What about you? I promise to share all the gory details if I do take the plunge!
14. Visit The Greenest School In The World
The aptly named Green School is located midway between Ubud and Seminyak and is touted as being the “Greenest School in the World”. Made largely out of bamboo and based on eco-friendly principles students come from the world over to attend. As with any private school the fees are steep which is out of reach of most local families. The school’s aim is to have 20% Balinese enrollments and your fee from the tour goes towards these scholarships. The best bit? You get to frolic around in the mud pit as part of your visit so don’t wear your best clothes. Book tours here or contact the school direct.
15. Stay In A Tree House
Just look at this place! I so want to stay here next time. The Pererepan villa at Villa Awangaawang in Ubud looks like the a perfect haven for relaxation and the infinity pool ain’t half bad either! From $190pn.
16. Adopt A Turtle
The Turtle Conversation and Education Center on Serengan Island is dedicated to eradicating the trade of illegal turtle products through education. You can ‘adopt’ a turtle’ to release back into the sea. Do something good!
17. Visit A Vineyard
I love a cellar door but surely it’s too hot to make wine in Bali right? Apparently not because Hatten Wines has worked out a way and they are winning awards doing it. Located on the North Shore it’s a little off the beaten track but if you can’t get to the vines you could always visit their state of the art cellar door in Sanur where you can also sample a variety of Two Islands wines as well. I really like the look of the Pino de Bali. The bottle is just so damn pretty that I am won over before I have even tasted a drop!
18. Harvest The Local Grain
Since Bali is famous for its rice terraces it makes sense that you can experience a farmer’s life first hand in this unusual 1 hour workshop. Be prepared to get dirty! USD$51
19. Drive Through A Tree
If you find yourself near Denpasar you may want to snap a quick pic at the Bunut Bolong Tree since it’s only about 11k’s north of the capital. Bunut Bolong literally means ‘tree with a hole’ and the local tradition says that the hole is so large any car can drive through it regardless of size.
20. Climb A Mountain.
Mount Agung is Bali’s highest and holiest peak so this is not for the faint hearted. I cannot see myself doing the 12 hour trek but If you are braver check out Bali Volcano Trekking.
21. Farm Seaweed.
With all the nori rolls consumed on planet Earth I guess seaweed farming was inevitable. If you want to find out more and see a beautiful island at the same time why not take a tour with Voyagin.
22. Go All Dr Doolittle
If you are keen to try an ‘African Wilderness’ experience, the Mara River Safari Lodge offers accommodation among exotic animals such as zebras and lions. Word Of Warning: I cannot vouch for the treatment and care of the animals and have had no luck trying to find any reliable information online. If animal welfare is a concern for you (and it should be!), I urge you to make sure you have the facts before visiting.
23. Buy Modern Art
I adore modern stainless steel sculptures and last trip I spied something fabulous whizz by my taxi window. We were tight on time and couldn’t really double back but I WILL make it to Chenergy Highend Handmade Sculpture soon … I will just need to figure out how to get any rather large purchases home … hmmm
Phew that’s a long list! So which one’s take your fancy? I would love to hear your thoughts on your favourite unexpected things to do in Bali.
Until Next Time …
Disclaimer: I was a guest of L’Atelier and Cleopatra for my visits and received a reduced price at Chez Monique but as always, all opinions are my own.
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