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Do the Balihoo!10 things to do when you’re in Bali

Here are some things that should be a must on your checklist when you visit this gorgeous island

brunch Updated: Nov 26, 2016 20:34 IST
Rick Roy
Rick Roy
Bali,Ubud,Goa Gajah Cave
The Tanah Lot Temple in Bali is guarded by the mighty ocean itself and may or may not grant you access depending on the tides. (Shutterstock)

You know how people ask, if you get stuck on an island someday, what would you do?

This actually happened to me. Due to a mistake in my visa for New Zealand, I had to change course and ended up having an unplanned holiday in Bali for a couple of weeks.

Bali is far from being a desert island. There are hundreds of things you can do. But here are some things I did that I recommend highly should you ever visit this beautiful island.

*Ubud is worth all the hype created by Julia Roberts in the movie Eat, Pray, Love. So spend a few days here at a villa overlooking lush green paddy fields, walk down the monkey forest road, popping into little art shops on the way. Watch the artists create Balinese art and sign up for an art class.

* Rent a bicycle and explore the surrounding areas. Pick any cycling trail. Friendly locals will guide you if you’re lost in the beautiful fields.

* Watch a traditional dance show. There are many to choose from: the fire dance was my favourite. The puppet show was great too. Most shops carry a schedule of the shows so you can pick and choose or go for all if you have the time.

The Balinese Kecak and Fire dance at the Uluwatu Temple (Shutterstock)

* Bali is famous for its beautiful temples. There are hundreds of them, so keep a couple of days aside to explore at least the main ones. Begin with the Goa Gajah cave temple. Take a boat ride around the Ulun Danu Bratan temple in the Beratan lake surrounded by mountains – it’s magical if the day is cloudy. Visit the Uluwatu temple at the very tip of Bali and enjoy a beautiful sunset on a cliff if you chance upon the place on an evening. End another evening at the Tanah Lot Temple that’s guarded by the mighty ocean itself and may or may not grant you access depending on the tides.

The Ulun Danu Bratan Hindu temple on the Beratan lake (Shutterstock)

* Wake up really, early and drive or trek to the sleeping volcanic mountain, Mt Batur, to see the most spectacular sunrise ever.

The Gunung Agung volcano (Shutterstock)

* If you’re a coffee enthusiast, Bali is your haven. Check out Luwak coffee, an Indonesian speciality. Once you discover how it’s made, you might see how it’s not to everyone’s liking! But do a coffee tasting: they serve you a host of flavours and for a coffee lover, it’s magical.

* Stay at a beautiful beach villa in Seminyak. It’s got beaches, beach clubs, organic cafes, little boutique stores and some great restaurants. Seminyak is fun: it’s cosmopolitan, it’s filled with foreigners and it’s essentially a little melting pot of a holiday island.

Beach side cafes in Seminyak, Bali (Shutterstock)

* Do a long brunch at Kudetah beach club and spend the day on their beach bed doing absolutely nothing. It’s a great vantage point for a sunset. Read a book, drink beer and get a massage on the beach.

* Spend an evening in Kuta, where Goa meets Bangkok. It’s where the hectic partying happens. Stay a day at the Hard Rock Hotel if you’re a hard rock fan, go club hopping and drink the night away.

* Go to Jimbaran for the most serene beach experience: beaches with velvet sand and spectacular sunsets, villas overlooking the beautiful bay, and tons of seafood restaurants. Bali has a positive and warm vibe. I came away sated and happy. This is definitely one of the best islands I have randomly been stuck on.

Rick Roy is personal stylist to Bollywood star Vidya Balan, and a travel enthusiast who enjoys writing about his escapades

From HT Brunch, November 27, 2016

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First Published: Nov 26, 2016 19:54 IST