Top 10 Non-Touristy Things to do in Bali
I've created this list as a summary guide to all the experiences Bali offers that aren't often mentioned or talked about in relation to the country. If you're like me and enjoy getting out and about, exploring a place and culture away from all the travellers and tourist spots, below are some ideas for you.
1. Visit a Balinese village and local food market
2. Relax or swim at less well known beaches, such as Thomas Beach and Bingin Beach
3. Have fun at Banyumala Waterfall
4. Explore the Balinese jungle
5. Pick strawberries and hydrangeas in the mountains
6. Make Balinese friends
I’m still amazed at how good Balinese are at staying in touch. While in Bali I’ve met so many kind people who were so proud of their country and went out of their way to show me around, wanting to take me to all the waterfalls, rice terraces, spice plantations etc. And even now that I’m back in Melbourne, I often get messages asking how and where I am. If only everyone we ever met was as good at keeping in touch as the Balinese. We’d all have plenty of friends. ;)
7. Visit a very beautiful, less famous temple, such as Gunung Kawi Sebatu
8. Eat at Bubuh Bali
I went there with Ketut, one of my drivers, on the way from Gunung Kawi Sebatu (which I mentioned just above) to the rice terraces mentioned below. It’s in a beautiful spot, overlooking the rice fields, only ever visited by locals! I seriously don’t believe any travellers ever come here. Apart from its beautiful setting, it has some of the cheapest food I’ve come across anywhere in Bali. The menu is pretty limited (and there’s no English version from what I remember), but that makes it even more special - they only do what they do best, and you won’t suffer from indecision fatigue.
9. See the rice terraces that look like Tegalalang but aren’t as well known
After Bubuh Bali, Ketut took me to see beautiful rice terraces that look just like Tegalalang, but aren’t as well known and therefore way less busy and touristy. I can’t remember their name, it might have even been Tegalalang, just a different side of it. You’ll find them if you keep driving down the main road from Bubuh Bali/Gunung Kawi Sebatu, or just ask some of the locals around. Entry is free (though you can leave a donation), and there’s one of those famous giant swings as well.
10. Travel through the Balinese countryside with no particular goal or destination in mind
Take a day or two to just experience and explore. Soak up Balinese nature, get a feel for the people and villages, keep your eyes open and just see. Observe, explore, and experience the atmosphere of the less well known Bali.
What are your favourite non-touristy Bali experiences or spots? Let's keep the list growing - share your favourites in the comments below.