Am I still allowed to call myself Australian if I haven’t been to Bali? Thankfully that is no longer in question as I finally booked myself on a trip over Christmas and New Years with my other half and boy, did I love it. I’ve always had these preconceived notions that Bali was the place where Aussies would escape for a boozy holiday week. Days spent under the sun with a beer in hand, questionable massage joints offering honey covered body slides, annoying cab drivers that beep at you every second and tattoo parlors on every corner. Whilst Bali is still all of these things – I’ve discovered that there is so much more to this island then what I imagined.
Instead of spending our mornings nursing hangovers with more beer, we chose to go alcohol free except for the one glass of bubbly we enjoyed on NYE in the comforts of our villa. There is just so much to see and do in Bali that we didn’t even get through a quarter of my list of things to see. For those who have never been to Bali and want to see a snapshot of what it has to offer then here is my list of top 5 places we saw during our trip.
5 Must See Places in Bali for First Timers
1. Tibumana Waterfall
As I trolled the dreamy accounts of @doyoutravel and @gypsealust for inspiration, I came across this waterfall that I knew I had to see for myself. Ten minutes of googling later I found it and we were a 90-minute scooter ride (30 minutes from Ubud) from this small paradise. This is probably one of the only waterfalls we saw where we were the only ones there for almost half an hour before anyone else joined. You’ll find that mainly locals will visit this place which is a bonus when it comes to having the place to yourself.
2. Kanto Lampo Waterfall
Only a five-minute drive from Tibumana this place definitely pulls a larger crowd than the last. You’re able to climb the cascading waterfalls (surprisingly easy despite what it might look like from the photos) and take some stunning shots whilst enjoying a break from the humidity and heat. The waterfall is surrounded by lush greenery and you can walk through the canals on either side should you wish to explore. (Entrance fee of 5,000 IDR)
3. Suluban Beach
A secluded little haven down south of Bali towards Uluwatu. This isn’t a swimming beach but what you’ll get from the picture perfect limestone cliffs and caves will make it worth the 90 minute drive down to it from Seminyak. The beach is canopied by a cliff face which is beautiful to wander out to during low tide. The walk down from the parking lot is a short 10 minutes and through a small little village where you’ll find rentals for surfboards and cafes for a fresh Bintang. Suluban Beach is approximately 34 kilometres from Denpasar. (No entrance fees but parking is 5,000 IDR for motorbikes and 15,000 IDR for cars)
4. Pandawa Beach
Less populated and incredibly clean compared to some of the other beaches in the main areas of Bali. Located in the Bali’s southern Bukit Peninsula, this beach is still quite secluded but won’t remain so for very long once the golf resort currently under construction is complete. The road winding down towards the beach has been impressively cut from cliffs and there are beautiful stone statues within caved arches as you arrive at the beach. You can almost find your own private beach during low tide as you’ll be able to walk along the sand past rock formations which reveal small sand banks to set up for the day.
5. Tegenungan Waterfall
Located in Gianyar (north of Bali and close to Ubud) and more touristy compared to all the places above but still worth a trip. My suggestion would always be to get to the locations early so you can still enjoy the uninterrupted beauty of it. There’s a short walk down a few steep stairs but shouldn’t take longer than 5 minutes.
There are still many more waterfalls that we have yet to discover and will share with you as we head back to Bali every few months or so.
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