Answers from Our Experts (1)
1. Visit a temple -There are over 20,000 temples in Bali, which is why it is named “Island of the Gods”. The most significant temple is Besakih – known as the Mother Temple, however if you want a more low-key experience, a beautiful temple to visit is Goa Gajah –or Elephant cave in Ubud. The spacious grounds are beautiful and very peaceful. The Elephant Cave is a 9th century sanctuary and you can see many relics of menacing creatures, which serve the purpose of warding off evil spirits. Allow 2 hours.
2. Shop till you drop – If you are looking for clothes, shoes and up-market fashions then head to Seminyak where you will find beautiful shops like Biasa, Uluwatu Lace, Animale, Paul Ropp and many international brands. The cheaper prices are found at Kuta with a selection of shops on the main road and little markets set up down little laneways. In Ubud you will find more one-off individual boutiques and specialist yoga gear shops plus handicrafts, sterling silver jewellery, stone statues and woodcarving.
3. Nature on the river - Rafting and kayaking adventures will give you a day out in nature, surrounded by jungle and beautiful terraced rice fields. Take an inflatable kayak trip on the scenic Ayung River (no experience necessary). For a faster ride, the white water rafting is exhilarating and action packed. You travel on the river right through the jungle, with exotic plants and wildlife at your side and the excursion includes a beautiful lunch in the rice fields.
4. Walk in Ubud - Bali Bird Walks is a popular walk in the rice paddies seeking out ornithological treasures – birds, butterflies and more. Victor Mason, a local character and writer started the program and it is fully guided and connects you to the beautiful rural scene in Ubud.
5. Balinese Cuisine - From famous suckling pig to peanut sauce Gado Gado salad, there is something for everyone. The local dishes are packed with fresh spices, delicately flavoured and not too spicy. Favourite dishes include sate sticks (skewered grilled meat), soto ayam (tasty chicken soup), lawar (spicy vegetable and meat) and the granddaddy of them all the famous Balinese specialty babi guling (suckling pig). Be adventurous and try the local fare.