Touching down at Denpasar Airport is like crossing the threshold into a new and exciting world of discovery. As the ultimate Asian destination for those who thrive on both adventure and relaxation as well as jaw-dropping encounters. We’ve put together seven things you must eat, do and see on your first experience when on the island of the gods also known as Bali.
Your First Dive
People journey from all over to learn to dive in Bali. Not only because it is recognised as one of the best locations for underwater exploration in the world, but because obtaining a PADI licence here will set you back much less than it would back home. The crystal waters surrounding Bali are not only rich with colourful marine life, but with the remnants of history. Many venture here to discover the hidden treasures, unusual critters and majestic creatures of the sea before exploring the World War II shipwreck that remains sunken on the east coast, clad with coral and an abundance of sea life.
Your First Black Sand Beach
As humans we’ve come to expect our broadband fast, our drinks iced and our beaches white, sandy and soft to the touch- just the way we like them. With expectations like this, it’s clear that over time we’ve been reading too many glossy travel brochures, because some of Bali’s best beaches are in fact formed of black sand. Back in 1963 when the almighty Mount Agung erupted, the lava trickled across the land. These days, the remnants can be seen in the form of black volcanic sand lining the east coast. Head to the beaches of Jasri or Yeh Gangga for your first black sand beach experience.
Your First Surf Lesson
The water conditions here are flawless, meaning surf’s always up in Bali. The island has been a mecca for surfers since the late 60s. Keen Aussies flock here for the sun, sea and surf year on year. Spend five minutes walking along the Kuta Beach and you’ll be approached by a handful of surf schools. For beginners, this patrolled beach is the ideal place to learn, as the waves here are consistent and kind. A day-long surfing lesson should set you up for the rest for your trip, when you can then progress onto beaches like Echo Beach. With far-reaching ocean vistas at your side and the beautiful Balinese coastline in your peripheral, why learn anywhere else?
Your First Pisang Goreng
You’re probably thinking, ‘what’s so special about this?’, having tried a similar looking dish back home. These tasty treats knock the likes of the common banana fritter out the park. Deep fried slivers of banana are coated in a thin, crispy batter and served with accompaniments that range from chocolate to condensed milk. Readily available from street vendors, restaurants will also serve fancy versions of this sweet treat. Careful you don’t bite into a surprise though, as sometimes vendors will be selling plantain in the same format- a popular breakfast time snack.
Your First Volcanic Hike
Bali is home to three volcanoes, and not just any volcanoes- active volcanoes. These remarkable masses dominate the landscape in all their grandeur, luring travellers in from all corners of the island. A sunrise hike to the summit of Mount Agung’s 3,142m high peak is the only way to see the island of the gods in all its glory. You’ll be treated to sweeping views of neighbouring Lombok island as well as glimpses of Bali’s very own Mount Batur. There are two recognised trails to the peak. One takes 4-5 hours, whilst the other is substantially more gruelling, clocking in at 6-7 hours. A must do when on the island, Mount Agung holds the key to adventure, beauty and personal triumph all rolled into one.
Your First (and Hopefully Last) Wedding
Bali is fast becoming a hot spot for destination weddings. If saying ‘I do’ to the tune of gently swaying palm trees, the lull of the ocean and the patter of feet on the pristine sand sounds ideal – this is where you too should tie the knot. Despite the fact Bali encompasses everything you could ever dream of, the cost of a destination wedding usually works out at a lesser cost than what you’d pay back home. There are no worries of rain on your wedding day as the weather here is almost always sunny. You can also treat your guests to the full Balinese experience with warm service and exotic cuisine. It needn’t be complicated, as there are a host of luxury hotels in Bali offering tailored wedding package to help make the dream happen.
Your First Luwak Coffee
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept. This isn’t your usual coffee denoted by nutty undertones, full-bodied flavours and hints of caramel. The Luwak coffee is instead produced in a novel way that goes a little something like this. Civet cat selects best berry, then digests berry but cannot digest the seeds. The Cat ejects the seed where humans use seed/bean to make coffee. The result is said to give the coffee a highly unique taste, which has earnt it the title of most expensive coffee in the world. The luwak coffee sounds like some kind of mild form of torture rather than a holiday treat, but head to one of Bali’s coffee plantations and all will be revealed when you try it for just $5.
Bali doesn’t half sound like an amazing place, Have you been to Bali before? Tried Luwak Coffee or Pisang Goreng?