How exactly to Spend weekly in Bali: Volcanoes, Diving, Temples, Cooking
For a comparatively small island, Bali can pack in plenty of activities in just weekly: volcano-climbing at dawn, scuba in coral reefs, cooking traditional Balinese cuisine, visiting Balinese Hindu temples, consuming a normal Kecak performance, hanging with monkeys, enjoying several Balinese massages, relaxing at the beach, plus much more. In the event that you only have seven days to visit in Bali, listed below are our suggestions for piecing together an itinerary filled up with some adventure, outdoor activities, culture, food, and relaxation.
Volcano Sunrise: Climbing Mt. Batur
To be perfectly honest, getting up at 3:30 AM was hellish, particularly since we visited sleep after midnight. But once we climbed in perfect darkness and the silhouettes of the encompassing cloud-swaddled volcanoes appeared, it had been clear this is all worthwhile. Only 90 minutes later, we were enjoying a volcano sunrise.
Sunrise atop Bali's Mt. Batur.
After we'd admired the view, our local trekking guide took us to the edge of 1 of the craters, buried a lot of eggs in the bottom, and allowed the hot steam of the volcano to cook them. Volcano breakfast, no stove necessary.
Breakfast view: Mt. Batur's smoldering craters.
Look out for the hungry monkeys. They could look cute, however they snatched Audrey’s breakfast from her hands.
How exactly to take action: We spent the night time in Kintamani and took a tour that included transport from our hotel, local trekking guides and breakfast for 250,000 IDR ($30). When you have low blood sugar, you might bring some snacks or Gatorade to obtain through the climb before breakfast.
Menjangan Island: SCUBA the Coral Reefs
Of our two days of diving in Bali, this is well known. Because Menjangan Island is really a nature reserve, its coral reefs are relatively well-preserved. Visual artists will get inspiration in the shapes, patterns and colors of Mother Nature’s underwater designs. The visibility is fantastic and you also don’t have to go very deep for a visually satisfying experience. Because this area is less vunerable to strong currents than other Bali dive sites, it creates for a soothing dive experience where you are able to conserve some your air and will stay down longer to take pleasure from the underwater journey.
Yes we hold hands. Even underwater. A puffer fish obliges the camera.
Cost: With Sunrise Dive shop, 500,000 IDR ($60)/person includes transport from Lovina, two dives, all equipment and lunch. In the event that you don’t dive, it is possible to choose to snorkel for 300,000 IDR ($35).
Special thanks would go to our friends Daniel and Juliet Jones for the underwater photos above.
Balinese Cooking Course
Unfortunately, there’s plenty of mediocre “Balinese” food served up in restaurants over the island, so much in order that were almost going to give up Balinese food. Then we took a cooking class in Ubud. We have been so glad we did. Our knowledge of and opinion of Balinese cuisine changed drastically.
Sticky fingers. Dan tries his hand at sate lilit, spiced minced meat on lemongrass skewers.
Our cooking class began appropriately with a tour of the Ubud market. Deep in the fruit and vegetable stands (when you can make your way at night souvenir stalls, you’ll find local produce in the trunk), our instructor explained the many ingredients found in Balinese cuisine.
Then your real fun began. Together, we prepared seven dishes, including: Bumbu Bali (Balinese spice paste), Sayur Urab (mixed vegetables), Tuna Sambal Matah (shrimp with raw sambal), Sate Lilit, Opor Ayam (chicken curry), Tempe Manis (temple in sweet-spicy sauce), and Sambal Udang (shrimp with spicy sambal).
Tuna Sambal Matah: seared tuna topped with uncooked sambal (sauce).
Cost: A Balinese cooking course with Bumi Bali restaurant in Ubud costs 250,000 IDR ($30/person) and carries a market visit, instructions on how best to prepare seven dishes, a cookbook, an apron, transport from your own hotel, and lots of eating. Initially, we were concerned whenever we discovered the teaching facilities included only 1 cooking station. However, everyone in the class had the chance to take part in preparing multiple dishes and overall, the course provided a satisfying, tasty and enlightening overview to Balinese cuisine. Recommended.
Note: For a deeper dive into Balinese cuisine and how it incorporates different roots, spices and chilies to generate unique flavors and delicious sambals (sauces) read aloud Bali Food Guide.
Kecak Performance and Fire Dance
We must admit our expectations because of this tourist staple were rather low. Everyone and his brother (and sister) appeared to be selling “Kecak Show” tickets across Ubud. While we can’t attest to the quality of another shows, we thoroughly enjoyed the performance at Pura Dalem (Mondays and Fridays, 7:30 PM).
Kecak Performance – Ubud, Bali
Even though you browse the show's plot description beforehand, you’ll be confused through the entire show. But that’s OK – the main point is more to take pleasure from the chanting, dancing, and different beautifully-costumed characters that appear through the entire show.
More Kecak performance in Bali.
The show concludes with a guy who runs through and dances on piles of burning coconut husks. Discuss intense. After exceptional pain of stepping on burning embers in Koh Samui, Thailand earlier this season, we have a genuine appreciation of the art.
Fire dance by the end of the Kecak performance.
Relaxing in Ubud
Ubud has turned into a popular place for travelers to relax, take yoga, and you need to be. But, don't allow the touristy areas turn you off to the area. Keep your eyes open as you walk down the streets of Ubud, Bali. Tucked among those trendy cafes and shops, you will discover wooden doorways – sometimes plain, sometimes intricately carved – included in brick and stone archway gates.
Have a peek and you will find these doorways serve as portals to other worlds of green and tranquility. Walk inside and you will find altars dotted with offerings or even a carved Ganesh adorned with flowers (the best Ganesh statues are those where his feet get together in a yoga pose).
Entering a Balinese Family Courtyard in Ubud, Bali.
Initially, you will probably find yourself wondering if you have stepped right into a Balinese Hindu temple complex.
Actually, these peaceful garden sanctuaries tend to be just family courtyards. Because the father of our homestay explained, they often include a temple for the gods (where daily offerings and prayers happen), a temple for individuals (where birth, marriage, and death ceremonies happen) and a house where multiple generations of family live.
Spirit and life, hand and hand.
Balinese Hindu Temples
Balinese Hinduism differs considerably from Hinduism practiced in India, also it plays an intrinsic role in a lot of day-to-day life in Bali, including daily offerings and rather frequent festivals.
Funeral Procession at Besakih Temple
Our stop by at the 8th century Besakih Temple at the foot of Mount Agung featured an extended walk with an area guide to the very best of the complex. On the way, we asked the questions about Balinese life and belief that we'd collected – about its various gods, ceremonies, pagodas, and caste system – and a beginner’s course in Balinese Hinduism had emerged.
Besakih Temple landscape.
Lunch at Senang Hati Foundation
Balinese Hindus have confidence in karma and rebirth, rendering it challenging for all those born with disabilities. The prevailing perception is that when one is born disabled, they need to did something in a previous life to deserve it. Groups of disabled children will go as far as to cover up them from society.
The Senang Hati Foundation attempts to breakdown this cultural discrimination by giving a supportive community environment and skills and empowerment training to people who have disabilities.
Meeting the leaders of Senang Hati Foundation
Whenever we asked about whether companies on Bali were available to hiring disabled people, the ladies at the guts told us, “Now companies hire disabled people because our folks are better been trained in English and professional skills. We might be physically disabled, but we've an advantage inside our skills.”
G Adventures supports this organization by bringing its tour groups by for lunch to meet up the people behind the business and find out about its activities.
Did we see most of Bali in weekly? Absolutely not. However in this week, our aim was to obtain an introduction to the island and also have some fun. And for the reason that, we succeeded.
Practical Details for Traveling in Bali
- Accommodation in Bali: Find hotels, guest houses or hostels in Ubud, Sanur, or Lovina. Airbnb also offers a good collection of apartments or homes to rent if you are residing in one place for some time. (Note:Get $25 off your first Airbnb rental.)
- To lessen plastic bottle waste, refill your reusable water bottle in cafes, restaurants along with other businesses for free or perhaps a small charge. The Refill Bali map shows all of the refill stations on the island. Cool.
- Recommended travel cover: Don’t happen to be Bali without travel cover. You won't ever know if you'll end up getting some bug or sprain your ankle when climbing a volcano, or your phone gets stolen, or some illness or injury means you will need to cancel all or portions of one's trip. With many of these scenarios, travel insurance will undoubtedly be there to assist you and make sure that you don't end up getting a huge bill by the end. We recommend and useful for years World Nomads as travel cover for trips throughout Southeast Asia (along with the remaining world).
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About Audrey Scott
26 applying for grants “How exactly to Spend weekly in Bali: Volcanoes, Diving, Temples, Cooking”
I really like the idea of going for a cooking class while on the highway. I’ve never done it, nonetheless it sounds like lots of fun and you also probably learn a lot concerning the food and culture all at one time. Hopefully I could work something similar to this in another of my next trips. Unfortunatly, I probably won’t stay long enough in a single place to do it any time in the future. Nice pics!!
@Sabrina: Fortunately, going for a cooking class really only takes 1/2 each day so hopefully it is possible to fit it into among your trips soon. We love them because they help us breakdown the cuisine of the united states and usually provides some insight in to the culture aswell. We’ve taken courses in Thailand (Chiang Mai), Cambodia (Battambang), Vietnam (Hoi An), plus some impromptu classes on the way.
@Stutapa: Many thanks for the kind words about our photos!
Love, love, love your photos! I'm always impressed by them!! Bali is spectacular!
That is clearly a great article! Loved the picture of you two under water! I am hoping I will have to be able to go to Bali aswell 🙂
It appears that it had been rather foggy )
Thanks!! Wonderful. Are you currently guys in Italy now?
@Agne: Among the wonderful reasons for having being in Southeast Asia is that stuff is relatively close and flights could be cheap. You can find Air Asia flights from Phuket to Bali directly – go directly to the website now because they are having a large sale this week. Or, it is possible to head to Kuala Lumpur and fly from there (our last flight was $45 a proven way!!). I believe you’d enjoy Bali 🙂
@Alex: Your day before we climbed Mt. Batur, it had been raining all day and you also couldn’t visit a thing. Now that’s foggy! Whenever we climbed Mt. Batur, we climbed through the clouds to obtain above them at the very top – this gave us nice views to Mt. Agung on the way.
@Sutapa: Glad you enjoyed another Bali photos! Not in Italy at this time. We prefer to mix things up with this Panorama of the Week sometimes and show panoramas from different places all over the world instead of where we have been at that time.
Naughty monkey! I enjoyed the volcano breakfast too when I was there after some duration ago.
The kecak dance was, yeah, confusing, even with reading through to the story beforehand. I tried to check out the storyline but I believe got lost with all the current movements and chanting, haha.
Cooking class eh? How interesting. Never considered that. Noted for my next holiday. Thanks!
@Alfee: We’ve done cooking classes in a number of countries during our travels and also have really loved them. There’s no better solution to find out about a cuisine than to cook it yourself!
Yes, the storyline of the Kecak dance was confusing nonetheless it almost didn’t matter with the chanting and various characters.
Love that GAP Adventures actively works together with orgs like Senang Hati Foundation. When I travelled using them to Peru, we stopped in a little village called Ccaccaccollo where they support the neighborhood weavers.
That Tuna Sambal Matah looks delish! Appears like you guys recuperated through the Bali break?
We recently watched a foodie show located in Turkey and today the hubby and I are stoked on culinary trips. Will add cooking classes to the itinerary now whenever we travel.
@Lola: We just completed another GAP tour in Tanzania and I was pleased to see that in addition, it included two NGO/community tourism activities. It’s important for tourism money to return to the neighborhood community and help organizations such as this grow.
Definitely recommend adding cooking classes to as much trips as possible! By the end of our walking tour having an NGO in a town near Lake Manyara, we were treated to an excellent Tanzanian feast. We were attempting to convince the NGO that what will be a straight better end to the tour is always to go in to the kitchen and learn to cook a few of these dishes. Really enables you to appreciate the neighborhood cuisine.
@Tania: For the first visit, we'd recommend Mt. Batur. It’s plenty beautiful and in addition available in terms of approach and hiking. For a comparatively short hike, you obtain a fairly vast sunrise view. Make sure to spend some time around the volcanic fumaroles. I’m uncertain of one's accommodation budget, but we stayed at Lakeview Hotel in Kintamani. Nice view, pretty nice breakfast (plenty of thin, crepe-like pancakes). Regarding ways to get there, it is possible to probably get yourself a van/bus transfer from Seminyak (or wherever you will be). I am hoping that helps. Tell us if you have any longer questions about Bali!
That is our first-time to bali and we've booked a villa for 5 nights in seminyak and planning to review “another side”to volcanoes. Uncertain where you can stay or ways to get there. Would it not be Mt. Batur or will there be another more special place we have to visit.
It appears like you actually had an enjoyable experience in Bali. I've resided in Indonesia, (Sumatra), but never made on the market to Bali. All those food names good unfamiliar, but they certain do look great.
I have already been to the Borobadur, but Besakih Temple complex furthermore looks extremely inviting.
@Jim: I believe the meals across Indonesia possibly knows endless variation. In case you are serious in greater detail regarding Balinese Foods, have a look at our Bali Food write-up. When you go to Bali, one suggestion that I’m certain resonates with what your location is: go deep and from the trail, as elements of Bali are seriously created for tourism.
I’m going to Bali on Sunday from Kuala Lumpur and I’m really looking towards a slower speed of lifestyle. But after scanning this, probably it won’t be considered a slow speed at all! So significantly to accomplish in so little period…
@Simon: That’s the best thing about Bali – that can be done as little or just as much as you’d like. Plenty of options on the market, but it’s also achievable to simply chill at the seaside or in Ubud by the rice areas. Enjoy your journey!
Bali will will have a location in my heart. I could recommend to lease a residence out in the rice areas outside Ubud if you want to possess it a little more quiet. This is the only drawback, that it's very noisy with all the current motorbikes.
To find in even more depth I totally recommend to go to and study from organisations like Senang Hati, I visited them some years back as a pal of mine proved helpful there, also it was great! That they had a wonderful artwork exhibition on the coastline that year, excellent musicians!
I furthermore recommend to aid an organisation like BAWA – Bali Pet Welfare Association – who execute a terrific function for all of the street canines that not have a straightforward life. I assistance them myself with my freshly launched eBook “The Canines in Bali.”
I am hoping you appreciate your time in wonderful Bali!
@Anna: Thanks a lot for all your terrific Bali travel recommendations and viewpoint. Your comment about residing in the rice areas seems i'm all over this – a lovely space, but motorbikes will be the choice transportation to obtain around everywhere.
Pleased to hear you know of and will recommend Senang Hati. For stray canines, their plight is really a universal one. Happy to hear there’s a business on Bali assisting to manage the problem.
Tanah lot very first around 1999 appears nothing like that, it is possible to fine road linking it to the advantage of the temple property, all may have been destroyed due to the huge waves are always popular
@arthur: Good to learn. Remarkable how much items have transformed on Bali.
Going to Bali in just a few days and cannot wait 🙂 From your own post and pictures it appears like a location where is worth to avoid and recharge! Enjoy Africa, men 🙂
Ivana, wish you've got a great visit to Bali and revel in the recharging there! Make sure to have a cooking course when you can 🙂
We'd definitely like to perform one! We went currently for Kecak Dancing and climb Mt. Batur. Ohh, the sights were just magnificent!!
Hi! Thanks a lot for the ideas 🙂
I'm currently traveling to Bali with a pal, and we are wishing to climb Mt Batur and in addition go diving!
Do you climb Mt Batur before diving? Just how many days break among each activity?
Desire to hear from you shortly! 🙂
Gina, we do climb Mt. Batur before diving and I really believe we'd about 3-4 times in-between. It wasn’t a concern at all. So long as you don’t try to do both activities back again to back you ought to be Alright. Enjoy your vacation!
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