Should you visit Bali, Indonesia? We at Life of Doing say, “YES!”
Bali is one of our favorite places to travel in Southeast Asia. We’ve been to this magical island twice in one year and always recommend our family members and friends to travel here.
There are so many awesome reasons to visit Bali. Whether you want to spend time outdoors, relax on the beaches, take photos of beautiful landscapes, you can choose how you want to spend your vacation. It’s no wonder thousands of tourists head to Bali for a vacation.
If you’re wavering whether or not to go to Bali in the future, continue reading these 17 reasons why you should travel to Bali at least once!
Planning a trip to Bali? Check out our other Bali posts to help you with your planning:
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1. Bali is a budget-friendly destination.
After exploring much of Southeast Asia and living in Vietnam, we can say that Bali is one of the cheapest destinations to travel to. If you’re on a budget but still want a fun-filled experience, this should be a top reason to go to Bali!
Here are some of the prices that you can expect:
- Eating local foods is affordable at $2-$5 USD as long as you don’t eat along the main tourist road.
- Staying at guesthouses with a private room and an enclosed or shared bathroom is cheap at $15-$25 per night. Plus, they come with a hearty breakfast. Or, you can stay overnight in a hostel for another cheap option.
- Renting a motorbike is $5-$6 per day.
- Many of the attractions charge a small admission fee, so you’ll pay between $2-$5 each.
Read more on how to travel to Bali on a budget here.
2. It has nice tropical weather all year round.
The typical temperature in Bali is between 29-30℃ (84-87℉), so it’s warm and humid every day. Don’t forget to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen if you’ll be outdoors most of the day.
Bali has two seasons – dry and wet season. The dry season is from April to September, while the wet season is November to March.
Even if you travel during the wet season, the rain doesn’t pour all day long. It can rain for 30 minutes to one hour and then stop for the rest of the day. As long as you have an umbrella or poncho, then you’ll be fine during the rain.
3. Bali is a beautiful place to visit in Southeast Asia.
Your jaw will drop when you see the gorgeous views in Bali. Landscape lovers will enjoy the outdoors of jungles and waterfalls. It’s non-stop greenery when you’re immersed in Bali’s nature.
The ocean views are incredible with the vibrant blue along the cliffside, especially if you’re on Nusa Penida.
Lastly, you’ll encounter the beauty of the Balinese culture with the impressive architecture at the temples, colorful handicrafts, and welcoming people.
If you go off-the-beaten track where there are fewer crowds, there are plenty of hidden gems to explore in Bali.
4. Bali has jaw-dropping rice fields and terraces.
If you want to see rice fields for the first time, Bali is the perfect place to see them. There is something special about seeing young rice leaves sprouting from the ground and the layers of green rice terraces along the mountain. Rice is a staple food in Indonesian meals so it’s humbling to see the fields in person.
Depending on when you visit, the rice fields could be yellow or brown due to the rice already being harvested and farmers preparing for the burning of the remaining stalks for the new rice season.
You can easily find local rice fields when you drive around the island or even in the main areas such as Ubud’s Kajeng and Juwuk Manis Rice Fields.
For the touristy places, head to Tegalalang Rice Fields or Jatiluwih. Jatiluwih is also known for utilizing the subak water irrigation system to water its fields, which is recognized as one of Indonesia’s UNESCO World Heritage Site.
5. Relax on numerous beaches or go surfing.
Another justification to visit Bali is for the gorgeous beaches. It’s the go-to place to veg out for the afternoon, learn how to surf, or practice your surfing skills. Head to beaches in Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu, Uluwatu, Nusa Dua, and other locations along the coastline. You can also visit the beach clubs to grab food and drinks.
We don’t think the beaches in Kuta are great, but it’s convenient to access as only 10 minutes away from the Ngurah Rai (Denpasar) International Airport. We prefer the beaches on Nusa Penida, an island located south of Bali. More information about Nusa Penida is below at #17.
While many of the beaches have clean sands, the more popular beaches tend to be crowded and have more garbage. Please respect the beaches and oceans and bring back your trash with you so future generations can enjoy the beaches.
6. There are countless temples in Bali.
Besides the picturesque landscapes, visitors flock to numerous temples in Bali. Balinese Hindu temples are referred to as “pura.” There are over 20,000 temples to choose from.
Please be respectful when entering the sacred temple grounds. You’ll need to wear a sarong before entering the area. Many temples have sarongs available for rent.
Our favorite temple is Pura Lempuyang which has the “Gateway to Heaven” gate that overlooks Mount Agung. You may wait in a long queue for the photo spot in front of the Gateway to Heaven, but it’s worth it. Other popular temples are Besakih, Uluwatu, Tanah Lot, and Tirta Empul Water Temple.
7. Eat delicious Indonesian and Balinese food.
Bali has a variety of cuisines to enjoy from even including Italian, Japanese, and Chinese. However, when we visit we really look forward to eating Indonesian and Balinese food.
Foodie travelers will love the flavors of this cuisine. We fell in love with the spices used in the food. Sambal is Indonesia’s chili sauce and used as a condiment on everything.
A meal often includes rice, vegetables, a protein, and a side of sambal. Many restaurants make their own special homemade sambal.
We enjoyed trying the local cuisines of nasi campur (Indonesia’s cheap eats with rice, peanuts, eggs, and small portions of meat and vegetables), babi guling (suckling pig), and ikan bakar (grilled fish, usually gourami). Top off the meal with fresh coconut and it’ll be a memorable meal.
Check out our post on the delicious and affordable restaurants in Ubud.
8. Bali is also vegan and vegetarian-friendly.
Many restaurants offer vegan or vegetarian options. Yay! Since tropical fruits and vegetables are grown on the island, you have to take advantage of the fresh produce. It’s easy to stay healthy on your travels in Bali!
We loved eating tempeh and tofu products. Tempeh originated from Indonesia and is served as a side item with your meals. Although both are made with soybeans, tempeh has a heartier flavor and texture since it’s made with fermented soybeans. Sadly, we haven’t been able to find better tempeh outside of Indonesia.
9. Spend most of your days outdoors on an adventure.
There is no shortage of adventures for your Bali bucket list.
Snorkeling and scuba diving are popular choices, especially when visiting the neighboring islands. You’ll find ocean animals such as manta rays in Nusa Penida, dolphins in Lovina, fish, and more. You can also go flyboarding, underwater sea walking, or drive your own jet-ski.
If you want to test your fear of heights, visit Bukit Lemped (Houses Tree Hill Lemped) and walk across a suspension bridge between two treehouses.
One of our favorite memories was canyoning at Hidden Canyon. While you don’t get to rappel down a cliff, this is an opportunity to walk through the waters of three canyons for two hours. It may sound easy to walk through the water but does get challenging if the water gets up to the waist and shoulder high.
Check out more ideas on what adventurous activities to do in Indonesia and Bali here.
10. You can also spend your days relaxing.
On the flipside, Bali is the perfect place to relax. Many resorts, such as Ritz Carlton, offer a floating breakfast in a private pool. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy a healthy breakfast while you’re sitting in a luxurious pool?! Your resort may also have an infinity pool that overlooks the forest or ocean.
If the resorts are out of your budget, there are affordable massages and spa treatments that you can take. Feel free to pamper yourself all day long!
You’ll also notice a lot of people doing extended stays focused on yoga. Ubud is a huge healthy food and yoga retreat capital.
Read our 3 days in Ubud itinerary to learn what to do in this area.
11. Bali has amazing waterfalls.
Are you a waterfall catcher? Then, head to Bali to see numerous waterfalls on your Bali itinerary.
While there are waterfalls close to the main area of Ubud, such as Tegalalang, it’s recommended to go farther out to North Bali or East Bali to see larger waterfalls. You’ll love spending time in the middle of the jungle and relaxing in the refreshing waters. As a heads up, many of the waterfalls require a short hike to get to the falls, so prepare with proper shoes.
Sekumpul Waterfall is our favorite waterfall in Bali. It’s one of the largest waterfalls with the cascading falls at 80 meters (260 feet) and in the middle of the jungle. If you’re based in Ubud, you can easily visit this waterfall as a day trip.
Another favorite is Banyumala Twin Waterfalls. The waterfall has gentle streams that split into two sections, thus the “twin” aspect in its name.
Check out our guide of the top 13 waterfalls to visit in Bali.
12. Bali has stunning sunrises.
For the early birds, Bali has some noteworthy spots to see the sunrise. Since the sunrise is on the east side of Bali, you’ll need to stay overnight in the area. Some of the prime viewing spots are in Pinggan Village and Bukit Cinta which has Mount Batur in the backdrop. You can also see the sunrise along the Campuhan Ridge Walk in the Ubud area and Pura Ulun Danu Beratan.
One place to see the sunrise and also get your exercise done for the day is to trek up Mount Batur in the wee hours. It’s quite the experience hiking up the inactive volcano in the dark and then reaching the summit at 1,717 meters (5,633 feet) to see the sunrise. During our visit, shades of purples, oranges, and yellow glowed in the sky.
13. It also has incredible sunsets.
You can’t deny that Bali has some postcard-perfect sunsets. Schedule a late afternoon visit to a temple, such as Uluwatu or Tanah Lot to see the sunset. You can also head to one of the beach areas in Kuta, Seminyak, or Canggu for sunset.
On one of the days, we saw the sunset from the balcony of the Element by Westin Ubud Hotel. It was mesmerizing to see the sky painted with vibrant purple and pink hues.
14. See monkeys!
Love monkeys?! The island has many long-tail macaque monkeys. They live in the forests of Monkey Forest (Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary) in Ubud, Sangeh Monkey Forest in Sangeh, and Mount Batur summit area.
Although they are adorable to see and can wander around on their own, watch out for your belongings as they’ll take anything bright and shiny. We’ve also seen some people lose their sandwiches and bananas.
You can also find them in the hills of the temples but those monkeys are shyer towards people.
15. Bali is a children-friendly travel location.
If you are wondering whether Bali has activities for children, you’re in luck! Children will enjoy seeing the monkeys which we mentioned above.
There are also fun attractions such as Bali Zoo and Bali Safari and Marine Park. Bali Safari offers a nighttime safari which would be an insightful way for children to see animals. We haven’t visited these places yet but the reviews are positive.
16. Bali has the iconic Bali swings.
Bali swings are the huge craze since it’s a mix of adventure with stunning landscapes. You’ll see on social media of people swinging with the rice fields or forest in the background. While it’s a bit touristy and on the expensive side (at least $6 per person), it’s a memorable experience.
Don’t worry, it’s safe to go on on the swings as everyone must be strapped in with a harness around the waist.
Check them out at Tegalalang Rice Terraces and Bali Swings in Ubud, Hidden Hills Wanagiri, and other locations.
17. It’s easy to visit neighboring islands by boat.
If you want to escape the crowds on mainland Bali, you can easily take a boat ride to go to Nusa Islands or Gili Islands.
Nusa Islands is made up of three islands, Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan. Located south of Bali, it’ll take around 30-45 minutes by boat to get to the ports of Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan. If you’re looking to relax on more beaches with clean waters and see more then this is the place to visit.
Gili Islands is another place to visit by boat. The three islands, Gili Air, Gili Meno, and Gili Trawangan, are located north of Lombok island. You’ll have more beaches and snorkeling opportunities on these islands. It’ll take at least two hours from mainland Bali to get to Gili Islands by ferry.
We hope you enjoyed reading these reasons why you should visit Bali in the future. Hope you’re now inspired to plan a trip to Bali! It’s one place that we can return over and over again and experience something new each time.
What do you want to see when you visit Bali? Let us know if you have questions in the comment section below.
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Pin #1 photo credit from top to bottom: studio-fi via Depositphotos.com and Chiara Barrasso via Scopio Photos