There’s a reason they call it the “Island of the Gods.” Not only is Bali picturesque and euphoric, but it will leave you wanting more of its kind. Indonesia has 17,000 islands, but Bali is one of its finest. It holds steep competition in regards to other blissful locations around the world too, with its beautiful beaches, leafy forests, iconic rice paddies and perfect climate. The culture and food alone is worth the long journey to the other side of the world (for some). So if you’re looking for a meditative and breathtakingly scenic trip with wonderful people, culture and food, Bali is for you.
Conor McCann is originally from Lake on Niagara, Canada and traveled to Bali for a month in April and May. As a photographer and videographer, you may not need to read much of this post, since his photos will do most of the convincing! Conor was based around Ubud, Bali and traveled around the island on scooter, allowing him the flexibility to visit several spots on the island. Scooter travel in Bali can be dangerous in the larger cities, but is recommended if you want to see more than a travel company or taxi has to offer! Just be prepared for any rain, since riding a scooter in a downpour is not ideal…
Bali, like any other place on this planet, has its tourist crowds and its many hidden gems. Ubud is a great base for visiting places around Bali, and allows you to explore more of the island where the crowds have thinned or don’t exist. If you have a scooter, check out Handara Golf Course (even if you’r not a golfer!) for a photo opportunity with its magnificent gate (photo below). Located in the central highlands of Bali, the golf course is situated within a crater of an extinct volcano.
Kuta (Southern Bali) is a popular spot for visitors, and can be skipped if your time is limited and you want a more secluded experience. And don’t miss out on a temple experience! Lempuyang Luhur Temple is a must see. Don’t forget to dress appropriately when visiting the temples. Looking for the perfect temple? Check out Brilio’s list here.
Conor’s Bali recommendations include staying at the beautiful Zen Hideaway, which is Instagram famous for its backyard swing overlooking rice paddies and lush forest (see photo below). You can only use the swing if you’re staying at the location, or pay a fee to use it (according to a message from the airbnb hosts). Conor’s experience at the Zen Hideaway was a memorable part of his stay in Bali, so splurge on one night and enjoy the views and amenities!
Living that foodie life? Bali doesn’t disappoint. You can’t go wrong when eating in paradise, right? Conor recommends several places. Looking for good Thai food? Check out Warung Siam in Ubud, offering an array of Thai dishes at affordable prices. A favorite restaurant of Conor’s was Who’s Who where the food is flavorful and healthy. Other food options included Umah Pizza (for those days you just want a slice), Hungry Birds (great eats and coffee!), and Tygr for Sushi (all near Ubud).
Bali has several options for any kind of traveler. Go surfing on some of the greatest beaches in the world, or scuba diving to see colorful coral reefs. Attend a yoga retreat or meditation class surrounded by the beauty of Bali. Take a balinese cooking class, be a beach bum, or hike around the volcanic forests. Conor’s favorite memory? “Going to Tegallalang Rice Terraces at sunrise with my friends. The most incredible light rays and just a really fun morning all round.”
Sometimes its the simple moments that create the most memorable experiences.
Follow Conor on Instagram to see where he’s been and where he’s off to next!