A Different Travel to Bali – Things You Can Do

Those looking for a tropical location may want to consider Bali. Also referred to as the Island of the Gods, this Indonesian province is known for its stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and rich culture. While these attractions draw millions of visitors each year, there is so much more to explore beyond the typical tourist trail. If you are interested in unique activities offering a different travel to Bali, here are things you can do to experience it in a new light.

Explore lesser-known temples

While Tanah Lot and Uluwatu are famous, Bali has many lesser-known temples that are equally enchanting. Pura Lempuyang, known for its “Gates of Heaven,” offers stunning views and fewer crowds. This temple complex is one of the island’s most significant spiritual sites, with its picturesque gateway framing the majestic Mount Agung in the background. The journey to the temple involves climbing several steps offering breathtaking vistas and a sense of tranquility.

Another hidden gem is Pura Gunung Kawi. This ancient temple near Tampaksiring features rock-cut shrines and tranquil surroundings. The temple complex is nestled in a lush valley, surrounded by rice terraces and palm trees. Exploring these temples provides a deeper understanding of Bali’s spiritual heritage and offers a peaceful retreat from the busy tourist spots. The serene ambiance and historical significance of these sites make them perfect for meditation and mindfulness.

Volunteering in Bali

Volunteering is a fantastic way to give back to the community while experiencing local culture at the same time. Various organizations offer opportunities in education, environmental conservation, and community development. You can apply for teaching overseas and assist in classrooms, or help with administrative tasks, directly contributing to the development of local children.

Environmental volunteering is also popular, focusing on beach cleanups and marine conservation. These initiatives aim to protect Bali’s natural beauty and biodiversity. These programs provide a deeper connection to the community and a sense of fulfillment. These projects aim to create a sustainable future for Bali while giving you valuable experiences and lifelong memories.

Attend a traditional Balinese cooking class

Learning to cook traditional Balinese dishes offers a deep dive into the island’s rich culinary heritage. Many local chefs offer cooking classes in their homes, where they take you to local markets to buy fresh ingredients, giving you a glimpse into daily Balinese life. This immersive experience not only teaches you how to prepare delicious meals but also helps you understand the importance of fresh, local ingredients.

One popular option is the Paon Bali Cooking Class near Ubud. Here, you can learn to make dishes like Babi Guling (suckling pig) and Lawar (a traditional meat salad). The classes are hands-on, and the chefs provide detailed instructions and cultural insights, making the experience both educational and fun.

Discover the art of batik-making

Batik is a traditional Indonesian art form that involves decorating cloth using wax and dye. In Bali, you can find workshops where you can learn this from skilled artisans. For instance, the Neka Art Museum in Ubud offers classes where you are guided through creating your own batik masterpiece – from drawing the designs to applying the wax and dye.

Visiting these workshops allows you to create unique souvenirs and supports local artists. The detailed and labor-intensive process of batik-making provides a greater appreciation for the skill and patience required to produce these beautiful textiles. Furthermore, you get to take home a piece of Bali’s cultural heritage and a personal reminder of your creative experience on the island.

Explore hidden waterfalls

While many tourists visit famous spots like Tegenungan, Bali is home to numerous hidden waterfalls that offer a more tranquil experience. Tukad Cepung, for example, is a mystical waterfall enclosed by caves. It takes a short trek through the jungle with a magical view of sunlight piercing through the cave making you feel like you’re stepping into a secret paradise.

Another great spot is the Banyumala Twin Waterfalls, located in the northern part of Bali and relatively untouched by the tourist rush, offering a peaceful escape. The hike to the falls is an adventure in itself, passing through lush green landscapes and small streams. Once you reach the falls, the twin cascades tumbling down create the cool, clear pools at the base that are perfect for a refreshing swim.

Participate in a local festival

Bali is known for its vibrant festivals, many of which are rooted in Hindu tradition. Galungan and Kuningan are two of the most significant celebrations, marked by elaborate ceremonies, traditional dances, and beautifully decorated temples. During these festivals, the island comes alive with color and energy, offering a unique cultural experience for visitors.

If you visit during Nyepi, the Balinese Day of Silence, you can experience a unique cultural phenomenon where the entire island shuts down for 24 hours of quiet reflection. The day before Nyepi, known as Ogoh-Ogoh, involves parades with giant paper-mâché monsters that are carried through the streets to drive away evil spirits.


Exploring Bali beyond the usual tourist attractions reveals a rich tapestry of culture, nature, and community. Whether you’re looking to give back, learn something new, or simply escape the crowds, you will discover a side of Bali that is as rewarding as it is unforgettable.

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