Admittedly, I didn’t spend a lot of time at the beaches here, which is basically the main draw for people. I actually didn’t really like the beaches that much with their bazillion million people and overzealous vendors. Pass. Okay fine, the sunset was pretty nice, I’ll admit that.
Instead, my time was spent at a wildlife rescue center where I cuddled with a bear, followed fluffy rabbits around and fed baby (and some not so baby) monkeys. In my downtime I explored a bit more of the island and these are the gems I stumbled on.
MONKEY FOREST, UBUD
On my day off from monkeys I went to see different monkeys… I’m cool with it though. (Entrance: $3, Small bundle of bananas: $1.50)
BEACHES, NORTH KUTA
Not the best beach ever, or even in Bali, but it was in my proximity so that’s the beach I stuck with.
KANTO LAMPO WATERFALL, GIANYAR
Yes. 10 out of 10 recommended. I assumed that you could just, you know, walk up and see the waterfall. Nope, this bad boy requires active participation on the part of the unknowing bystander. And it was 150% worth it.
A few local guys have taken it upon themselves to be the waterfall’s keepers and help tourists (of which there are virtually none) enjoy the falls. He told me I had to get in the water and thinking it would be up to my knees I acquiesced. Then he took a step back and was submerged. Oh boy. I had about .07 seconds hesitation and then realized, why the hell not!? It’s a waterfall. I’m in Bali. It’s a Tuesday. What other reasons do I need? So, fully clothed, in I went. He led me to the waterfall and offered to take my picture and then I was instructed to climb. What? Climb where? Up the waterfall, he casually said. Up… the waterfall? Sir, I beg your pardon, but that is a 90° angle. Arguing with a determined Indonesian isn’t really a thing though because you just don’t win, so up I went. Higher, he encouraged. And higher I went. A little higher, he said. And higher still I climbed.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, gee Caitlin, if everyone jumped off a bridge would you too? Well… yes, clearly I would. And I would get an awesome picture like this.
BALI WILDLIFE RESCUE CENTER, TABANAN
You can read about my experience here here, so for the sake of brevity I will say this was an incredibly fun volunteer opportunity. People can just visit too (for free!) so there’s no excuse not to check it out.
TANAH LOT, TABANAN (ISH)
I’m iffy on recommending this one completely but if there is extra time to spare, why not? It’s a nice view for sure but the crowds are absolutely ridiculous. Like, ridiculous ridiculous. There are also snakes. Not like slithering around out to kill you, but there is a “holy snake” (aka a small snake curled up that you can touch- don’t waste your time) and I also saw two guys casually chilling for a picnic with what looked to be a mighty python. To each their own?
JATILUWIH RICE PADDIES, ANGSRI
The BWRC staff took us on a “trek” to the rice paddies, but “trek” to an Indonesian means a nice nature walk where you stop every 15 feet to take a picture together. They love pictures. Two hours and 825 pictures later we arrived at the rice paddies. Although I could have done with about 99% less of the photo ops, it was a fun day exploring with the team!
Bali has a lot more to offer than meets the eye, and far more than just beaches. There are still so many places I’d like to explore and other islands to the east calling my name (Komodo island, anyone!?) so I guess I just have to go back!