A gorgeous island full of majestic waterfalls, incredible temples, scenic rice terraces and rich culture- Bali is an experience you’ll never forget.
Maybe you’re interested in deepening your spiritual practice, seeking adventure while chasing waterfalls, or just relaxing while tasting some Luwak coffee… there’s plenty of ways to soak in all the incredible experiences Bali has to offer.
We’re going to share the top things to do, a blend of everything you don’t want to miss while you’re in Bali!
1. Visit a Traditional Balinese Healer.
Traditional Balinese Healers, also called Balian, are a sacred part of Bali and something any spiritual seeker should experience here. We visited Tjokorda Gede Rai, who is known as Bali’s master spiritual healer and the son of Ubud’s last king.
He uses techniques like reflexology, Mantras and Mudras, Tantric drawings (done with pen or a small wooden stick on your skin), herbal medicine and more- the experience will vary from individual to individual.
The goal of the healing session is to treat physical and mental illness, remove spells, clear your aura, find/clear any energetic blocks in your physical and spiritual bodies and channel information from ancestors.
Visiting a Balinese healer is a beautiful and unique experience that local Balinese consider sacred and essential- it is an honor they extend this sacred space in their culture to visitors. Be mindful of this and know that you are partaking in something culturally sacred that deserves utmost respect. Keep this in mind while visiting!
Need help getting there? Contact my local friend Gede via email. For a small fee he will take you to see the Balian, Tjokorda Gede Rai, and make a day trip out of it if you so please.
I recommend visiting Tirta Empul after your healing session. It’s a great way to complete your healing session and amplify your cleanse. Gede can take you there afterwards, that’s what we did! Email Gede here: [email protected]
2. Visit Tirta Empul
Tirta Empul is an experience you definitely do not want to miss. Tirta Empul, or “holy water spring” in Balinese, was founded in 925 A.D. This sacred water temple is dedicated to Vishnu, the Hindu god of water and is visited by locals, visitors, and Hindus around the world to purify themselves in the sacred purification pools and their water spouts. It is a cleansing and calming experience you must try for yourself.
“The water in the pools is believed to have magical powers and local Balinese come here to purify themselves under the 30 water spouts that feed the pools.” –Discover Your Indonesia: Tirta Empul Complete Guide
3. Take a class to learn about Canang Sari and how they are made.
Canang Sari are one of the first things that captivated me about Balinese culture, well that and the beautiful friendly welcome from the locals.
Canang Sari are daily offerings that are used to praise, pray to and thank their gods. They use vibrant flowers and flower petals, coconut leaves, and bamboo, to make these offerings, then light an incense with them to carry their prayer up to the gods.
It is quite beautiful to witness, and you will see them all over Bali in temples, streets, shops, home entrances, and more.
Learning how to make them is a great way to understand their significance and take place in their beauty. Click the link below to find a class in Ubud!
4. Do a Waterfall Tour day
Bali has STUNNING waterfalls, and an abundance of them. This is quite possibly one of my favorite parts and definitely one experience you don’t want to miss in Bali.
There’s not much to say besides you need to go see at least a few of them for yourself. Any of them are worth your time, seriously. Check out this awesome list of 14 waterfalls to see in Bali, from http://www.honeycombers.com
My favorite was Tibumana waterfall, which is not on the list above.
This place was recommended to us by a few locals, and I’m so glad we followed their advice because it wasn’t very crowded, and most of the people there were locals.
From the entrance trail to Tibumana, you’ll see a sign pointing left for Tibumana Waterfall, and right for Tukad Campuhan Tempat Melukat. Make sure you check out both. We went left for Tibumana first, took a little swim and just sat near the waterfall for some time.
Afterwards we explored the right side of the trail and went to Tukad Campuhan Tempat Melukat, which is basically another waterfall over some rapids. There’s a nice shallow area where you can sit basically right in the water and enjoy the water flow from the rapids.
Its super peaceful and a great area for some expansive, grounding meditation. Soak in the nature and enjoy.
Need help finding suggestions for waterfalls all over Bali? Check out this super in-depth Bali Waterfalls Guide that shares a ton of different waterfalls and how to get there, plus everything else you’d wanna know!
5. Visit the Sacred Monkey Forest
Unless of course you’re terrified of monkey’s, which in that case….I’m not sure what to tell you because they’re pretty much all over Bali!
But don’t worry, just be sure not to carry your food around in plain sight.
It’s also helpful to wear a backpack instead of carrying your bags… and don’t feed or mess with them. We followed those tips and didn’t have any problems.
That being said, if you want a fun experience and to soak in the forest and wildlife- check out the Sacred Monkey Forest.
You’ll walk over some beautiful ridges, be engulfed in the lush tropical jungle, see tons of monkeys, and feel a bit like Indiana Jones on an adventure. It’s a memorable experience and you definitely don’t want to miss it.
We stayed right across the street from the Sacred Monkey Forest on Monkey Forest Road and loved it!
Should you Try the Infamous Luwak Coffee?
This experience really took us by surprise. Learning about Luwak coffee -and how the beans that are pooped out by the luwaks are responsible for this regional delicacy- was certainly interesting.
How does the Luwak coffee taste? Actually really good. Since the beans are digested by the Luwak (civet), they lose some of their acidity and make for a smoother tasting coffee.
I do have to share that I got mixed feelings from this experience.
Unlike the monkey freedom we witnessed at the sacred monkey forest- seeing these luwaks in small cages was unsettling.
I did some research after being back home and found out that they are fed a strict diet of coffee beans, which is not natural or healthy for them exclusively. Plus like I already mentioned, they are kept in these small cages which is saddening.
An interesting and unique experience, yes. But I don’t like the idea of supporting the mistreatment of these animals. I’d recommend doing your own research and making an informed decision before you head to a luwak coffee plantation.
May be better to skip out on this one!