My Favorite Things About Bali & Why You Need To Visit

Two weeks in Bali may have been just enough to scratch the surface of the island, but it was definitely enough to fall in love with it. From the natural beauty of the island to the kind and generous locals to the amazing palette of Balinese food it is hard to name just a few of my favorite things about Bali.

While I’ll have guides on what to do in Bali, where to stay and many more stories I thought the perfect way to start the journey of Traveling Nine to Fiver in Bali was to give you an idea for a feel of the island and why you’ll want to visit yourself.

Note: Some stays, tours, passes, and meals were provided at no cost to the author. As always, all opinions remain my own. You’ll find affiliate links in this post which allow me to continue to improve Traveling Nine to Fiver. I hope this article is useful for you. 

The Breathtaking Beaches

Bali is a volcanic island, that means you might not have crystal clear white sand beaches. But that doesn’t stop them from being beautiful around the island. You can put your toes in the warm waters, enjoy beautiful sunrises and sunsets and take in the sea.

I was warned that you’d come across beaches scattered with litter and poorly kept, and while I skipped some of the main beach towns I never came across this problem.

I’m a sucker for a good ocean view and whether it was in Pemuteran in the North, Legian or Jimbaran on the West Coast or Nusa Dua on the Eastern side you could enjoy a perfect place to put your toes in the sand. I especially loved enjoying so many meals with my toes in the sand whether it was dinner in Jimbaran or breakfast at the resorts in Pemuteran.

From natural beauty to kind locals to delicious food, the best things about Bali, why you should visit Bali, and all my favorite things about Bali

On the beaches I enjoyed finding everything from traditional boats, dogs running in the waves and local kids playing soccer games. This shot was in Pemuteran at the Amertha Bali Villas.

The Amazing Details In Their Buildings

Whether it is in their homes, temples or public spaces the Balinese do not skimp on the details of their structures. While in so many ways they live by very simple means compared to the Western world the pride and beauty they put into these everyday structures are inspiring.

Whether visiting some of the larger temples or just walking through neighborhoods I couldn’t help but stop and take photos of the ornate details. The entrances to homes, personal temples, and statues you’ll find along the streets are beautiful.

From natural beauty to kind locals to delicious food, the best things about Bali, why you should visit Bali, and all my favorite things about Bali

Walking the neighborhoods around Ubud was one of my favorite things to do. I definitely wore out my feet looking for more beautiful spots like this, a small temple just south of Monkey Forest.

The Flavor-Packed Food

One thing I couldn’t stop doing in Bali was eating. I loved absolutely everything. The local food, both Balinese and Indonesian, was so filled with seasoning and flavor without being too spicy. It was absolutely amazing. I barely ate Western Food just because I didn’t want any. From my favorite, the chicken satay to steamed fish in banana leaves to fried bananas everything was delicious.

From natural beauty to kind locals to delicious food, the best things about Bali, why you should visit Bali, and all my favorite things about Bali

One of my favorite activities in Bali was getting behind the scenes and seeing how all these classic dishes were made. From grinding spices to fanning the grill I got my hands dirty with my cooking class at Cafe Wayan in Ubud.

The Local People

What tops my list of favorite things in Bali was the local people in Bali. I never came across anyone who made me feel unwelcome or uncomfortable. Whether it was my taxi drivers who were happy to chat about their lives and learn about me, my hotel or guesthouse hosts, or just people I met along the way people who were excited to get to know me and share their stories.

Locals were also more than willing to go above and beyond to help you out. Whether someone offered you a scooter ride to shorten your walk, or handing you their own cold medication when the story they in work at doesn’t sell it.

The Balinese’s openness and kindness passed along to the ex-pats living in Bali and even the travelers. Making it so easy to find friendly faces to chat with during your travels.

The Lush Green Jungles & Rice Paddies

Coming from a state that spends most of its year being brown, I am always blown away by places filled with lush greenery. Bali was no exception. From driving through the mountains to hiking through rice paddies it continued to amaze me.

In the week I spent in Ubud I loved walking through the different types of greenery. From the jungle and monkey forest to trekking out on Campuhan Ridge to get a view of the city from afar and into the rice paddies. The green that surrounded me was much brighter than anything I find at home, even when we’re having a wet year.

From natural beauty to kind locals to delicious food, the best things about Bali, why you should visit Bali, and all my favorite things about Bali

How Easy It Was To Relax

Overall, the most impressive thing about Bali was how easy it was to disconnect and relax. From the locals to the expats to the travelers there was no rushing (unless they were driving) it was slowing down and enjoying life. Whether it was a good meal, spending time getting to know someone new or taking in the scenery.

Sometimes when you’re traveling it take a couple days to let go of your stresses from home before you can really begin to enjoy and relax. That wasn’t the case in Bali. When I checked into my first hotel, Padma Resort Legian, they asked me to sit down, brought me a tasty juice and got everything taken care of. From the beginning to end my time on the island was a chance to relax and catch up with myself. Even hiking up Mt. Batur, which was a strenuous physical act, was a relaxing event with an amazing guide who made it fun.

From natural beauty to kind locals to delicious food, the best things about Bali, why you should visit Bali, and all my favorite things about Bali

It didn’t hurt that you could find hammocks to grab a book and relax. I read six books during my two-week trip. This spot at the Taman Sari Resort in Pemuteran was a favorite for relaxing after my days of driving.

Time To Find Your Favorite Things About Bali 

If you’re looking for an island getaway that offers a great combination of beach and mountains, that balances relaxing with great activities and offers a beautiful culture to explore Bali is the perfect place for you. All of my favorite things about Bali are what made me fall in love with the island. While 21 hours of flying is a long way to travel for just two weeks, it was well worth the chance to explore this amazing island and culture.

Now it’s time for you to head over and find out what your own favorite things about Bali are!

If you’ve visited before let me know what your favorite things about Bali are and if you haven’t yet what are you most looking forward to. Leave a comment below and let me know. 

From natural beauty to kind locals to delicious food, the best things about Bali, why you should visit Bali, and all my favorite things about Bali

About Megan

Megan MacNee is the founder of Traveling Nine to Fiver. From nine to five she works in the non-profit world in California. She focuses on exploring the world from her own backyard to across the globe. You'll find her sharing about explorations through food, books, travel, and more.