Stephanie Brookes

Correspondent

  • Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Stephanie Brookes is a correspondent who lives in Bali and covers the area for Forbes Travel Guide. Her travels have taken her from Montana to Moscow and extensively through Asia. A blogger and travel writer for numerous international publications, Brookes always searches out the best places to go in Bali. Whether it’s taking a precarious drop off of a cliff (in an inclinator) to the famous Rock Bar or hiking to the top of a steaming active volcano, nothing stops this travel addict from finding the most interesting things to do, experience and write about.

  • On July 2, 2014
  • On June 2, 2013
    Stephanie Brookes answered the question: Stephanie Brookes

    What are the best things to do in Bali?

    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.

    http://tourspackages.net/kayaking-ayung-river.html
    http://bali-river-rafting.com

    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. 

    http://www.balibirdwalk.com

    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.
  • On June 2, 2013
    Stephanie Brookes answered the question: Stephanie Brookes

    What are the best attractions in Bali?

    Here is a list of top five attractions that will connect you with the culture, the beautiful landscapes and the people of Bali. 

    1. The Devdan Show is a music and dance spectacular showcasing Indonesian music and dance. It is a cultural expose and takes you on a journey through Bali, Java, Sumatra, Borneo and Papua entertaining you with a well polished, high-end dance show including theatrical human flying acts. Well worth it.
    http://www.devdanshow.com

    2. Temples celebrations and elaborate ceremonies are a part of daily life in Bali. The famous Uluwatu Temple is positioned on the high cliff tops with crashing waves and is a must see at sunset.  It is very busy with tourists, but don’t let this deter you – it is still a very peaceful place. Its one of the most beautiful spots in Bali. Take in the Kecak Fire and Trance Dance performed nightly at the temple.

    3. Beaches abound in Bali and many resorts and hotels hug the coast allowing you to surf and relax and take in the many spectacular dramatic ocean vistas. Seminyak is a great beach with lovely white sand and low-moderate waves plus there are good shops nearby. For big surf, head to Padang-Padang beach.  If you want to swim with dolphins then take a trip to the North of Bali and visit Lovina.

    4. Bali Bird Park is a retreat into nature set in beautiful, tropical gardens with over 2,000 tropical plants and home to the magnificent Indonesian hornbill and elaborate bird of paradise, many of which roam freely. Allow 2-3 hours here.
    http://www.bali-bird-park.com

    5. Ubud is a mountain town and attracts many artists and writers and now boasts over 250 excellent local and international restaurants. Spas and pampering plus shopping and visits to silversmiths and wood-carvers makes this a worthwhile day trip. Have lunch at The Hanging Gardens.
    http://www.ubudhanginggardens.com
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  • On April 3, 2013

    Best attractions: 1. Bali Bird Park is a retreat into nature set in beautiful, tropical gardens with over 2,000 tropical plants and home to the magnificent Indonesian hornbill and elaborate bird of paradise, many of which roam freely. 2. Beaches abound in Bali and many resorts and hotels hug the coast allowing you to surf and relax and take in the many spectacular cliff top vistas. Seminyak is a great beach with good shops nearby. The beaches in the North of Bali allow you the opportunity to swim with the dolphins. 3. Devdan Show is a music and dance spectacular showcasing Indonesian culture and dance. Journeying through Bali, Java, Sumatra, Borneo and Papua you are entertained with a well polished high-end performance including theatrical human flying acts. 4. Temples and elaborate ceremonies are a part of life in Bali. The famous Tanah Lot Sea Temple is positioned above the ocean, on a rocky outcrop, which has been shaped by the crashing sea. A perfect sunset spot. 5. Ubud is a mountain town and attracts many artists and writers and now boasts over 250 excellent restaurants. Spa’s and pampering plus shopping and visits to silversmiths makes this a worthwhile day trip.

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