Bali is an extremely popular travel destination, with more than a million Australian tourists visiting last year. But far from being an island paradise, a new investigation paints a bleak picture of the conditions for captive wild animals.
The investigation found 100% of venues with captive elephants, tigers, dolphins or civet cats didn’t meet basic needs of animals in captivity. Elephant rides, dolphin swims, orangutan selfies and other attractions, such as circus-style shows, are increasingly popular tourist activities for many travellers to the island.
With the recent devastation in Bali, it’s important for us to support Balinese people through responsible sightseeing on this beautiful island.
Here are 8 must-sees without supporting animal cruelty in Bali.
Tegenungan- Surrounded by a tranquil forest, the beautiful site is best viewed after a trek to the top followed by a swim at the base of the fall. Ubud if filled with stunning scenery, and this is one not to miss.
Tukad Cepung Waterfall – Unlike other Balinese waterfalls, Tukad Cepung is surrounded by cliffs creating an almost dome like shape with natural sunlight beaming through the top.
Desa Musi, Gerokgak – Hidden among cliffs the waterfall crashes into a naturally created pool.
Nungnung Waterfall – Isolated in a small village, the waterfall crashes into a pool of 50 metres in depth. However, it’s not a small walk to reach. You’ll discover this beauty after, well, about 500 steep steps.
Sekumpul Waterfall – Being somewhat hidden, with its inaccessibility to visitors. If you’re an adventurer, you’ll travel down slippery slopes and steps and quite literally cross a river to reach the fall. Some of the most beautiful views are from the high ground, overlooking the lushest of green rainforest with the pouring waterfall.
Tibumana Waterfall – This waterfall shields a cave opening and is found through a secret gateway into Raja Besakih’s temple. With green moss cliffs and a shallow pool, you’d assume this is a popular destination, but its not as well known as it should be.
2. Ubud Bali White Water Rafting
Take it from someone that has experienced this, it’s awesome and is an underrated Bali adventure. The drive to Ubud from the bustling main streets of Bali centre to the calming rice fields and rainforest is surreal.
Bali has endless unique and peaceful temples on the island. These cultural experiences are rich in traditional Balinese art, historical value and cultural performances. Here’s a shortlist of some our favourite temple spots to visit.
Besakih Temple – Pura Besakih located on the slopes of Mount Agung, sitting 1,000 high- you can’t miss it.
Lempunyang Temple – The staircases here indicate you’re in for a trek, but it’s well worth the exercise. The main temple sits upon Mount Lempuyang is East Bali, the calming surrounding of mountain forests are inhabited with long-tailed macaques.
Batuan Temple – Only a 10km drive south from the central of Ubud, somewhere tranquil and inviting.
Uluwatu Temple – Pura Luhur Uluwatu – sitting on top a steep cliff off the ocean, this spot is perfect for sunrise and sunset visits with expectedly crazy photo opportunities. Experience direct views over the Indian Ocean and daily cultural dance performances.
4. Garuda Wisnu Kencana
One of the largest statues in the world, you’ll enjoy a breathtaking panorama of Bali. This statue overlooks the island and the ocean with must see views.
5. Rice Terraces
Tegallalang, Ubud – Surrounded by cafes and local art kiosks, this is a popular stopover for tourists heading through Ubud. This is a popular region for rice-terraced landscapes, with a breezy high roadside view.
Jatiluwih, Tabanan – This rice field encompasses over 600 hectares flowing down the slopes of the Batukaru mountain range. This is definitely one of the most picturesque rice terraces.
Mundunk Rice Fields, North Bali – The highland region features the stretch of rice field among the lush and cool atmosphere.
Soka Rice Fields, Tabanan –Soka rice fields are one of the few in close proximity to the West Bali coast and beach.
Shopping in Bali can be stressful at times if you’re not sure where the best places are. From art markets, to shopping streets, night markets, boutique designers and home wares, Bali has it all.
Threads of Life, Ubud– Over 1,000 women across the islands work together creating heirloom- quality textiles and baskets all for poverty alleviation. Sustainable clothing made with local materials, natural dyes supports all these hardworking women and weavers to express their culture. Experience the Indonesian textiles and take a class to learn the traditional textile practices
Ubud Art Market– Locally made crafts, clothing, silk scarves, and jewellery, this market is one of Bali’ s most famous. Opposite the Royal Palace, you can escape the hustle and bustle with traditional Balinese cuisine located in the market’s basement.
The Old Man’s Market, Canggu – Known for the young crowd, this market offers a contemporary take of jewellery, crafts, organic produce as well as clothing. It aims to help emerging local artists and designers, making this market a must
Poppies Lane, Legian – This is somewhere you are guaranteed to grab a bargain. Located in the busy Kuta, Poppies Lane offers everything from Balinese art, to clothing, and jewellery
7. Love yoga?
Or maybe just the relaxation it brings. Bali has an immense amount of calming studios with gorgeous natural surroundings.
The Yoga Barn, Ubud – among the beautiful Ubud mountain scenery with lush rice field, they offer a popular yoga session with an onsite café serving sophisticated raw foods.
The Power of Now Oasis, Sanur – Yogis love this space with the calming sounds of the near by ocean and inviting holistic nature the bamboo structured studio.
Seminyak Yoga Shala – Escape the bustling streets of Seminyak with an immense selection of yoga classes. After a quick session, you can enjoy the adjoining café space and retail stores.
8. Pinggan Village Kinatmani Sunrise
If you’re an early riser (or not) this is a one of a kind experience beginning at 5am. The sights of the village in mist and the backdrop of the volcano creates a majestic photo opportunity.
And if you are an animal lover like us, you can support Bali Street Dogs by donating to the important cause here. Their mission is to reduce the overpopulation of dogs and cats in Bali by offering de-sexing and improving the quality of life of these beautiful animals.
There’s endless places you can choose to visit in Bali, so make the responsible choice and choose to spend your time and money somewhere that doesn’t involve mistreating animals.