POPULAR BALI ACTIVITIES
Water Sports: Swimming, snorkeling, banana boat rides, water ski, parasailing, etc. are arranged by most hotels and at the Beluga Marina in Tanjung Benoa. There are also small sail boats, catamarans, and boards for wind surfing for rent along Jimbaran Beach.
The most challenging of Bali’s famous surfing spots are near Ulu Watu (only for experts in top physical condition who are comfortable surfing over coral reefs on large, powerful waves that break in shallow water) and along Bali’s West coast North of Canggu; the best time is during the dry season from June to September. For details on the various locations please visit the Baliwaves web site or check Peter Neely’s "Indo Surf & Lingo" guide book.
You can also buy a day-guest ticket (telephone before as prices vary from US$45 to US$55 per person and seem to depend on their occupancy!) and enjoy all sports facilities at Nusa Dua’s CLUB MED until 17:00 in the afternoon. They offer sea kayakking, wind surfing, snorkeling, and many other sports activities such as water aerobics, archery, tennis, and ping pong tournaments, beach volleyball, bocci ball lessons, and a circus school for adults. The day-guest ticket includes a lunch buffet with a choice of Western, Indonesian, Chinese, Japanese and Korean dishes and unlimited table wine, beer and soft drinks.
A large free-form swimming pool with a life band playing during the afternoon on the center island is the main attraction of the new HARD ROCK BEACH CLUB in Kuta. There is a pool-side restaurant for various snacks, a pool bar serving exotic drinks, and you can even rent your private pool-side "Cabana" if you wish to draw the curtains for some privacy. Pool use is 100,000 Rupiah per day for non-resident guests, and for the "Cabana" they charge 140,000 Rupiah per day.
Spending an afternoon in the Aquatonic Pool at the new AYANA THALASSO & SPA is an experience not to be missed! The roofed 650 sq. meter (7,000 sq.ft.) pool contains 700 million liters (153 million gallons) of heated seawater. With a maximum depth of 1.3 meters (4 ft.) the pool includes different zones at variable temperatures with numerous strong jets providing aquatic massages to improve blood circulation, tone up the muscles and provide relaxation. There is a cross current walking corridor, cross current swimming corridor, cubicles for leg, tight and stomach massage, aqua seats and cubicles for back massage, swan necks for neck and shoulder massage, several jet pools, bubble bath areas, geysers and aqua beds providing a relaxing bubble massage and a panoramic Indian Ocean view. One-time access to the Aquatonic Pool for two hours is US$35 +20% tax & service per person (minors below 16 years are not allowed). Not cheap but well worth it!
Scuba Diving in Bali: A number of PADI certified companies offer diving tours (no spear fishing in Bali) with experienced guides and equipment from one day to several days. The best Bali diving sites (some with ship wrecks) are along Bali’s East cost near Candi Dasa, Amed and Tulamben and near Nusa Penida. The area around Menjangan Island near Gilimanuk (ferry to Java) is regarded by many experts as over-rated, and do not try diving near Nusa Dua and around the Southern peninsula — it’s a waste of time and money. About US$60 to US$140 (depending on the destination) per person for one-day tours; US$350-US$400 plus extra costs or US$450 including everything for four day courses including your PADI certificate. For bookings and diving information call 703-060.
Playing Golf in Bali: The "Bali Handara Kosaido Country Club" near Bedugul in the mountains is probably Bali’s most attractive golf course. There is also a 18-hole course at the "Bali Golf & Country Club" in Nusa Dua near the Bali Hilton, a 9-hole course at the Grand Bali Beach Hotel in Sanur, and the new "Nirwana Bali Golf Club" with a 18-hole course near Tanah Lot. If you are interested in playing golf in Bali, please call 703-060 for bookings and information.
Tennis & Squash: There are Clark Hatch Sports Clubs at the Sheraton Laguna and Nusa Indah Resort, Kartika Plaza Hotel, and Nikko Hotel each of which has several outdoor tennis courts, indoor squash courts, and complete fitness facilities. Playing partners as well as lessons are available. Most other 5-star hotels have at least some tennis courts which can also be booked by outside guests. For bookings and information call 703-060.
Paragliding: Located on the Bukit (the hill South of the airport), a well-trained instructor accompanies you on a 20 minute tandem flight over the most spectacular strip of Bali’s coastline. For bookings and information call 703-060. Note: Available only in the afternoon, confirmation can be made one hour prior to the activity.
White Water Rafting: Several companies offer exciting white water rafting tours (grade 2 to grade 4 rapids) on the Ayung river North-West of Ubud and — during certain times of the year — also on the Unda river North of Klungkung. You pass waterfalls and volcanic cliffs, deep sided gorges, tranquil rice terraces and remote villages. From morning to afternoon, US$76 per person including transfers from and to your hotel and lunch. For bookings and information call 703-060.
Other Organized Adventures: Lake and Sea Kayakking, Jungle Trekking, and Mountain Cycling are arranged by the companies listed above. For bookings and information call 703-060.
Bungy Jumping: A. J. Hackett in adjacent to Double Six, Legian, is the island’s only beach bungy tower with a lift. US$62. With the "Sling Shot" at the "Adrenalin Park" in Kuta you can get shot 52 metres into the air in just over one second, and they have an overhanging climbing wall, too. For bookings and information call 703-060.
Horseback Riding: Experience Bali on horse back, ride through rice fields and along deserted beaches. Tours can be organized mornings and afternoons. For bookings and information call 703-060.
Paintball War Games: The newly operated “Paintball Bali” is located on Jimbaran Hill and occupies about 3 hectares of exciting playing fields. Facilities include a large parking area, lobby with audio-video facilities, individual changing rooms and lockers as well as a staging area. For bookings and information call 703-060.
Nature Tours: Visit the Bali Barat National Park in the West of the island, the Butterfly Park "Taman Kupu Kupu" in Wanasari, Tabanan, or the Botanical Gardens in Bedugul. Guided bird watching tours are offered starting from Ubud (in the village of Petulu a few miles north of Ubud you can also watch between 5:30 and 7:00 p.m. every day the arrival of thousands of white herons who are nesting here), and you can visit the bull races in Negara. If you stay near Lovina in the North, get up early one morning and hire a boat to watch hundreds of dolphins. For bookings and information call 703-060.
The Botanical Garden, Ubud: This covers an area of five hectares and accommodates a natural ravine. There are an Orchid Garden, a vast collection of ferns, palms, bamboos and tropical trees, as well as Bali’s first maze. For bookings and information call 703-060.
Bali Safari and Marine Park: This newly opened safari park is set in 40 hectares of land and located near Gianyar; there are safari vehicles to cruise the park and interact with 400 animals from Asia including Indonesia, India, and Africa. Introductory entrance fee is US$25 per person. For bookings and information call 703-060.
Bali Zoo: “Nature’s Education Center” is home of more than 350 animals and located in Singapadu near Ubud. Daily programs include animal feeding (lions, crocodiles, tigers etc.) as well as animal petting e.g. you can touch and hold various birds and baby monkeys. Entrance fee is US$18 per adult. For bookings and information call 703-060.
Harley Davidson Rental: For real bikers who want to explore Bali in a different way, Harley Davidson bikes are available for rent. Various families of Sportster (883cc), Dyna Low Rider (1,450cc), Fat Boy (1,450cc) or Heritage Softail Classic (1,450cc) are available at US$70 to US$150 per day. Additional US$30 if you need a guide for tandem riding. For bookings and information call 703-060.
ATV Quad & Buggy Tour: An adventurous journey off-the-beaten track on 250-350cc ATV’s through lush forests and mountain streams to enjoy some of the best views of Bali’s rice terraces. Rates start at US$69 per person. For bookings and information call 703-060.
Paint A Pot: Jenggala is pleased to offer handpainting of ceramics – raw glazed of ceramics range from US$5 to US$21 each. A course in ceramic hand building is also available. This includes slabwork, pinch and coil techoniques, drop moulds and handthrowing. Rate starts from US$10 (2hrs per session – course completed within 1 week.)
Not Only for Children: Take a stroll through Denpasar’s bird market near the northern end of Jalan Veteran where you see not only a large variety of tropical birds but also tropical fish, cats and dogs, monkeys etc. You can visit the Taman Burung bird park with 1,000 different species of birds (and even a small Komodo dragon in the adjacent Reptile Park) in Singapadu about 20 minutes north of Denpasar, the Waterbom Park with four slides and a flowing river in tropical surroundings in Tuban, or enjoy jungle treks on top of Sumatran elephants starting from the Elephant Safari Park in Taro, a village about 50 kilometers north of Denpasar. Camel rides on the beach are offered at the Hotel Nikko Bali in Nusa Dua.
Balinese Dance & Music Classes: The YAYASAN POLOS SENI (Foundation for Pure Art) in Banjar Teges Kanginan, Peliatan, Ubud, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, offers Balinese dance and music classes for students who wish to become fully involved with the dance & music culture of Bali. Enrolling in one of these classes (one-to-one tuition and participation in group rehearsals and performances) means becoming a member of the family of students and teachers and an in-depth experience of the world of performers and performances in the Ubud area. There are also 2-week courses to learn playing the Gamelan at the MUSEUM SENI KLASSIK in Klungkung (e-mail email@example.com) which are open for all levels of experience. Beginners as well as "non-musicians" are welcome.
Meditation Classes: Free Raya Yoga Meditation classes and regular sessions in Ubud and Denpasar, tel. 976-206. There are also free lessons every Monday 19.00 at the Denpasar Meditation Shop, tel. 237-260. Information on daily meetings, classes, books, tapes and videos from Bali Osho Information Centre, telephone 423-595.
Balinese Cooking Classes: Discover the secrets of Balinese cuisine by joining one of the 1-Day Cooking Classes held by Heinz von Holzen, the author of the book "The Food Of Bali" and former food guru of the Grand Hyatt and Ritz Carlton (now Ayana Resort & Spa) hotels in Bali. You can visit Heinz in his beautiful BUMBU BALI restaurant in Tanjung Benoa next to Nusa Dua and enjoy their fabulous dishes at any time. If you wish to enrol in one of his popular classes.
Balinese cooking classes are also held in Ubud at the BUMBU Restaurant (tel. 974-217), at CASA LUNA (tel. 96-283), and at the nearby Sua Bali Culture and Information Centre (tel. 941-050).
Culinary Events: Aimed more at the local community than at tourists are the “Wine & Cigars” and other special dinners at the AMANUSA and AYANA as well as the BVLGARI Resort (900,000 Rupiah to 2,800,000 Rupiah per person).
The monthly lunch meetings of the “Bali Wine Club” and the “Chaîne des Rôtisseurs” Black-Tie dinners are for members and their guests only.
Hash House Harriers: There are three groups of Hash House Harriers holding regular runs on every Monday, Thursday and Saturday at 4.30 p.m. You can find up-to-date information at the GLORY restaurant in Legian, LIPS Country & Western Bar and BALI BAKERY in Kuta, ALAS ARUM supermarket, ARRI’S CAFE and ARENA Sports Bar in Sanur, and at NAUGHTY NURI’S bar in Ubud. For more details please visit their web site.
Social Clubs: Rotarians, Lions, Scal Club members, etc. hold regular meetings in various parts of Bali. Schedules are published in the local newspapers.
For more suggestions what to see and do during your stay on the island of Bali, please visit also the following pages:
- The Most Popular Bali Tours
- Balinese Dances, Dramas
- Bali Museums & Art Exhibitions
- Popular Bali Activities
- Shopping in Bali