There’s more to Bali than parties and beaches. In fact, it’s hard to look back once you’ve ventured out of Kuta in search of a more holistic and healthy experience. Bali’s inland environments are completely different from what you see on TV and are well worth spending time to explore.
Here are our top picks for when you want to venture away from Bali's beaches:
Ubud is a great place to head if you’re looking for an inland Bali holiday that promotes healthy living, clean eating and relaxation. Just being in Ubud gives your entire body and mind a feeling of revitalisation. You can find a great mix of locals and long-term travellers who hang out in cafes during the day and unwind with yoga classes in the evenings.
Throughout Bali and especially in Ubud, you can find yoga classes and courses to suit all skill levels. If you have time and are looking for a week away from the craziness of the beach, you can easily sign up for a course at one of the local yoga schools. There’s plenty of choice for yoga enthusiasts including Classical Hatha, Vinyasa Flow and Iyengar.
Many people travel from around the globe purely to see Balinese healers, who use a variety of natural herbs and holistic therapies to cure physical and mental ailments. They’re renowned for dedicating their lives to helping others and seeing a healer can be quite an emotional – and certainly spiritual – experience.
It’s hard to describe to friends and family exactly how beautiful Bali’s rice paddies are without ending up saying: ‘You just have to see them!’ Layered plains of different shades of green twist around each other, small huts jut up in the distance and local Balinese people shuffle around busily. Tegalalang rice paddies, which are around 30 minutes from Ubud, are known to be some of the most beautiful in the country.
Bali is a deeply spiritual country, which is evident as you walk the local streets and see all the offerings to the gods that are laid out daily. A trip to Bali is definitely made more memorable by visiting one of the many beautiful temples.
The holiest of all temples in Bali is called the Mother Temple, locally known as 'Pura Besakih'. It is a little more than 900 metres up Mount Agung on the eastern side of Bali. The Mother Temple consists of over 20 individual temples, which are said to be hundreds of years old and which were once used by the early Javanese conquerors.
Canoeing on Lake Batur
You may have heard of the joys of cycling and hiking around Bali’s beautiful inland areas, but canoeing is also an experience worth treasuring. Mount Batur is an active volcano located north-west of Bali’s highest mountain: Mount Agung. At the bottom of Mount Batur sits Lake Batur, the country’s largest inland lake. Numerous visitors take canoes out onto the calm water, revelling in the peaceful surrounds and a backdrop of towering mountains under bright-blue sky.
Indonesia is one of the world’s largest exporters of raw ingredients used for perfumes, so it’s fitting to try a perfume-making class while you’re in Bali. You can discover a lot about the country by immersing yourself in its fragrances. These classes also give you the opportunity to take home a priceless memento of your time spent in Bali.