This is a guest post from Jason Lowder at Internations.org
Ever since Julia Roberts went soul-searching in Bali’s paradise and managed to snatch up Javier Bardem in “Eat, Pray, Love”, the destination has gained considerable popularity. But whether you visit Bali for a vacation or quick get-away or are staying to experience life in Bali, it is easy to get stuck in the usual routine of your holiday resort or workplace. The good news: Bali has a lot to offer for people who look to take a break and experience the island in a whole new way.
Soul-Searching in Bali
Although the mountain village of Ubud has emerged from a secret hiding spot for artists and hippies to a major tourist destination, it is a must-see destination for anyone who is bound to do some soul-searching in Bali. Why not start slowly by visiting the palace grounds in the center of the city? The buildings are quite a sight and the grounds are the perfect place for a walk. The atmosphere of the former artist’s colony is still prevalent in Ubud and there are plenty of museums and galleries which are worth a visit.
But now to the actual soul-searching: there is no better way to get in touch with your inner self than by getting in touch with nature. The rice terraces at Tegallalang are a green paradise and your opportunity to quietly soak in the beauty of the island. Alternatively, you can explore rural Bali by bike. It doesn’t matter if you join an organized tour or if you plan your own route. Either way, try to stick to back roads to avoid the unnerving traffic on main roads. If you have no fear of heights, you should get out of Ubud and visit the Bedugul botanical gardens. Here, at the Bali Treetop Adventure Park, you will literally feel like you are on top of the world.
An activity you can absolutely not miss, no matter if you are a semi-pro or a beginner, is doing yoga. As the spiritual capital of Bali, Ubud offers lots of bigger and smaller studios for a yoga lesson. If you have enough time, you can even sign up for a yoga retreat with one of the many centers in and around Ubud. For more spiritual soul-searching, you should not miss out on the Pura Taman Saraswati. Dedicated to the goddess Saraswati, it is located amidst a beautiful water garden.
Time to Get Active
But Bali is more than soul-searching and tranquility. Let’s face it, sitting still and focusing on your breathing is not for everyone. Luckily, Bali also offers lots of action to pass the time. If you want to take this opportunity to not just explore different cultures but also a completely different fauna, then you should pay the Elephant Safari Park in Taro a visit. There you can go on a safari trek with these amazing animals, and learn more about their interactions, their history, and natural habitat.
For a spectacular view, hire a guide and climb the peak of one of the many mountains of the island. The volcano Gunung Batur in Bali’s north offers a stunning view, although the hike can be somewhat exhausting and you need to leave early to watch the perfect sunrise. Or explore the Gunung Agung, which is also often considered the spiritual center of the island. From here, you have a great view of the surrounding islands and, of course, gain eternal bragging rights for tackling Bali’s most famous peak.
Divers will get their money’s worth on a journey to the wonderful Gili islands. The islands are mostly known as romantic get-aways for couples. However, they are also the perfect destination from which to explore Bali’s underwater world. Gili Trawangan has lots of dive centers and diving schools. However, the best way to swim with all kinds of exotic fish, manta stingrays, and moray eels, is by taking a boat to the shores of Mojo or Komodo where the sight is clear and sharks roam the waters.
Bali offers something for everybody and there are plenty of things to do and experience around here. Don’t despair over the crowded beaches! Bali has a secret hideaway or action-packed activity for everybody.