12 Must-Do Things in Bali

June 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Attractions, Exotic South East

From water-sports to shopping, the island of Bali has it all. Pamper yourself with a chocolate spa treatment before partying the night away at one of its trendiest nightspots, all this while squeezing a gourmet meal in between. Here are some of the must-do things in the Islands of God.

Photo credit – Sean McGrath

Photo credit – Sean McGrath

Hide Away

No trip to Bali is complete without experiencing the hillside tranquility of Ubud. Fresh off winning the prestigious Conde Nast Traveler Magazine award as the World’s Best City, the small hill-side town is now abuzz with tourism and renewed popularity. However, there are still spots to relax and unwind. Head to Dirty Duck Cafe (Warung Bebek Bengil) for a tasty serving of crispy, deep fried duck with mouth-watering sambal on the side. Various trekking and cycling tours are also available for you to take through the maze of never-ending terraced paddy fields.

Photo credit – Stella Blu

Photo credit – Stella Blu

Dress Up

When it comes to shopping in Bali, there is only one place for fashionable trendsetting locals who knows not to judge a book by its cover – Seminyak. This shopping area on the southern coast of Bali is filled with fashionable treasures waiting for you to unearth. BIASA is the undisputed queen of fashion, a chapel of cool selling classics for grown ups and a few flirty styles for the younger crowd too. Other local favorites are Paul Ropp, Papillion, Innuendo and Flamingo, which you can read further in our exploration of Seminyak.

Photo credit - Metal Marna

Photo credit - Metal Marna

Arts & Crafts

The arts and crafts scene in Bali is well developed and highly sought after in the international market. Numerous artists have made Bali their home, drawing from the colorful culture and charming island life Bali has to offer as their inspiration. Balinese wood carving is popular amongst tourists, and you can find some of the best in business at Tegallalang, Pujung and Sebatu. For elegant ceramics, Jenggala Ceramics in Jimbaran is the place to go. The spacious gallery, just 10 minutes away from the airport, offers world-class, locally made crockery at reasonable prices, in a wide range of designs.

Photo credit – yummiec00kies

Photo credit – yummiec00kies

Surf’s Up

While Bali is no longer a frontier surfing destination, it still boasts some of the best surfing spots in the world. It has over 20 top quality breaks on the southwest and southeast coast of the island, and there are a wide range of breaks to cater all skill levels. Beginners can head to Kuta Beach to enroll at the various surfing schools available, while other areas, such as Uluwatu and Padang, offer world-class reef-breaks for those of higher skill level.

Photo credit - chee.hong

Photo credit - chee.hong

Dolphin Watch

Tourists can head towards Lovina, 3 hours north of Kuta, which is famed for their dolphin sight-seeing tours. These tours leave the main beaches each morning at dawn, with the price usually set at Rp75,000 per person. If you are in a group, chartering your own boat maybe a more worthwhile option.

Photo credit - ValerioVeo

Photo credit - ValerioVeo

Sip a Good Martini

For Bali’s best martini, drop into the legendary Naughty Nuri’s Warung on Jl Raya Sanggingan, a 10-minute drive west from the centre of Ubud. The classic chilled martini and margaritas are some of the best you’ll find on the island, and they also serve a mean pork ribs. The atmosphere is casual and relaxing, a perfect way to while away your afternoon after a tiring day.


Party Away

If partying is high on your list then the Kuta Beach area is where you want to go. Here, the party starts late at around midnight and goes on all night into the wee hours of the morning. Think noisy discotheques full of drunk tourists and locals, with various dance shows to draw in the crowd. Hulu Cafe prides itself as “the only real gay bar in Bali”, and has drag shows three times a week which can be quite fun. Casablance, Peanuts, Bounty Ship, M-Bar-Go and Sky Garden are a few of the numerous watering holes in the area ready to serve you whatever drinks you may want.


Pamper Yourself

As the bastion of luxury travel in South East Asia, Bali boasts some of the world’s best in the art of spa pampering. Kayumanis Private Villa & Spa offers the ultimate indulgence – a pampering of chocolate spa treatment. It combines traditional Balinese massage using chocolate oils, followed with a chocolate scrub, chocolate bath, chocolate facial and finally, a serving of chocolate ice cream to top it off at the end. Plenty other hotels and villas offers high-quality Balinese massage using special medicated oils to help you relax and unwind.

Photo credit - Metis

Photo credit - Metis

Eat Like a King

Bali is home to some of the finest restaurants in the region, offering high-end culinary treats mixed with the great island atmosphere and friendly face. Over the years, there have been a few mainstays, such as the legendary Ku De Ta, Sarong Bali, and Kafe Warisan (which is now revamped as Metis). The price is steep, but like they always said, you do get what you pay for.

Photo credit - Mr Wabu

Photo credit - Mr Wabu

Water Sports

Tanjong Benoa is Bali’s premier water-sports hub, with various activities available for you to choose from. Parasailing, snorkeling, jet-skis, wake-boarding and banana-boats are but a few of the choices available here. There are also white-water rafting operators further up north, near Ubud area, with the the Telagawajah and Ayung River being two of the most popular options.

Photo credit - Ilse Rejis and Jan-Noud Hutten

Photo credit - Ilse Rejis and Jan-Noud Hutten

Scuba Diving

There are quite a few scuba diving sites around Bali. Some of the popular ones are – wreck-divingat Tulamben in the east, the serene reefs around Menjangan Island, and drift diving off Nusa Penida in the south. For beginners there are also various dive centres affiliated with PADI and SSI offering introductory courses.

Photo credit - Flashpacking Life

Photo credit - Flashpacking Life

Climb Mount Agung

Mount Agung is the highest mountain on the island of Bali, which holds a huge spiritual significance to the people of the island and is home to the Temple of Besakih. There are three climbing routes up the mountain, and all are quite difficult and only suitable for the physically fit. The rewards however, are most definitely worth it, with some awe-inspiring views of the mountains across flat rubble plains. Getting a local guide is a must, with fees varying from USD40 to USD100 depending on how you arrange the guide, the route taken and the level of English expected of the guide.

Travel smarter! If your looking for the best deals on Bali hotel prices, head on to SmartHotelComparison.com for a one-stop portal which allows you to compare prices from over 500 booking websites!

Unearthing Asia is a travel zine focusing on Lifestyle, Culture and Attractions all over Asia. Don’t miss out on the best last minutes holidays ideas and inspirations in the region of Asia, such as this list of top attractions in Ho Chi Minh City.

Tweaks and Twitter-rific @UnearthingAsia

February 4, 2009 by  
Filed under News

Hello again! First off, a very big thank you for the people to the right of this screen. Yes, you! Thank you so much for having joined us! As you can see, there has been tweaks and changes in the site layout. The recent week has been a steep learning curve in the art of social media and web promotion, and I’m trying my best to make this site better, so every comment countsdo comment!

This week, my personal highlights to share with you starts with this tale of Riverland Relaxation – which reminds me a lot of my past New Zealand trip. There is a certain charm to traveling in a campervan, you’re free to tweak as much of your itinerary as possible! There is also this list of savory delights you’ll find in India, and the fashionistas’ guide to shopping in Seminyak, Bali’s little cousin.

Outside UnearthingAsia, I’m delighted to have found some like-minded travel-cum-tech geek, Jeff, who hosted his own travel blog on Have Pack. Jeff shares with you tips and tricks for the independent traveler, and I’m hoping to do some guest-posting and vice-versa on his site. We’ll see how that goes.

Bargains to Unearth at Seminyak Fashion Street

February 3, 2009 by  
Filed under Exotic South East

Los Angeles has the Rodeo Drive, New York has Madison Avenue and Milan has Via Montenopoleone. When it comes to shopping in Bali however, there is only one place for fashionable trendsetting locals who knows not to judge a book by its cover – Seminyak.

If you can get past the gaping holes in the sidewalk, and there really is no alternative, you can unearth some fashionable treasures along this street.

Many of the designers sell their wares for much higher prices in fashionable cities around the world. In between, along the disabled footpaths, you may also find some rough diamonds that may just be the perfect gift you’ve been looking for that special someone. All part of the fun and games here in Seminyak.

Here are but a taste of the few highlights you can find along Seminyak:

Across is Biasa, a chapel of cool in floaty Indian cottons, the emporium sells classics for grown ups and a few flirty styles for the younger crowd too. A beautiful collection of sarongs and carefully chosen accessories complete the picture.

Switching from Indian to Italian styling, this little retailer has some of the best Italian shoes on the island – Bruno Magli, Bally, Marc Jacobs and more. Limited sizes but if you can find something you like, expect to pay a fraction of the recommended retail price.

Keep going and you will find Innuendo, their beautifully crafted designs are among the best you will find in Bali. The locally-based French designer uses the best fabrics and impeccable tailoring to create designs that are wearable and hang perfectly.

The Best of the Rest
Papillion – this designer has been making shoes in Bali for over ten years and has some great styles. In this strip you will also find Kerry Grima and Funky Princess who stock their own labels as well as some of the leading Australian designers like Bettina Liano and lots more. Beware not to overspend on those plastics!

Flamingo in this strip is very popular with the young and hip things who shop here. Expect to find designer t-shirts, flirty dresses and pants and shirts for the boys. It’s a little bit surf mixed with a little rock and roll. They have another shop further up the strip just past Dhyanna Pura.

Body and Soul Boutique
One of the biggest retailers on this strip,, fashionable with girls and women, from three months old to whatever, provided you don’t need more than about size ten. The skinny jeans here are a must have and the girl’s fashion from tots to teens is fashionable and fun. Body and Soul outlet, across the street, is a good place to search for bargains.

Paul Ropp
A little further after Bintang Supermarket you will come across the Paul Ropp shop beside the Biasa 50% store. Paul is one of Bali’s most flamboyant designers, and boys, don’t let the loud colours put you off. Plenty of fashionable men are wearing Paul.

About the Author. Nikolas Tjhin. Nikolas Tjhin is the editor for Unearthing Asia, a travel zine focusing on Lifestyle, Culture and Attractions all over Asia. Check out our latest offering, a travel magazine that visitors can browse online and even download.