8 Reasons for a Weekend Getaway in Bali
1. The bars and beach clubs
As a mecca for beach lovers and sun worshipers, Bali has many bars and beach clubs, which invariably fill up come sundown. Cocktails, locally-inspired dishes and vast pools typify these hotspots.
If you're staying in or near bustling Seminyak, consider Potato Head, one of Bali's best-known beach clubs. Many choose to enjoy a drink in the infinity pool as the sun dips below the horizon.
TT Beach Club is one of the newest additions to the sundowner scene, offering 180-degree views of Melasti Beaches glorious white sand. Aside from the infinity pool, there's a great Jacuzzi, pool-based poker and beer pong. It's also very big - with capacity for 500 revellers.
Away from the main beaches, Kuta offers a wealth of other bars, including Rock Bar, where the sea views are worth the higher prices; and Blow Bar Bali, where you can get your hair and nails done before enjoying a cocktail.
North of the madness of Seminyak is Canggu, where the likes of Sand Bar and Salty Dog's offer more laidback waterside hangouts.
2. Cafe hopping
The buzzing mass of Kuta is dotted with cafes - both of the independent and chain variety. Hope Coffee Corner offers affordable caffeine hits with live music in the evenings, while Hope Cafe is a winner with its rainbow pancakes, avocado toast and smoothie bowls - which you can enjoy alongside your favourite coffee.
Up in the yoga-and-meditation hotspot of Ubud, you can enjoy coffee and cheap eats at Paddy Point, while surrounded by pretty rice terraces.
More rice field views can be enjoyed at Pissari Bali Cafe, offering delicious Balinese dishes and even a pettable mongoose!
In Ubud you can also combine a spot of yoga with your hot joe in the Yoga Cafe, offering everything from mango juice to French toast - at good prices.
3. Yoga and wellness in Ubud
Yoga and wellness is a major reason why so many Singaporeans visit Bali each year. The capital of yoga retreats is undeniably Ubud, set amongst the rice paddy fields in the island's glorious hinterland.
The Yoga Barn offers a peaceful oasis where you can enjoy yoga and spa treatments, while Ubud House Yoga holds yoga sessions by tranquil rice fields - and where you can eat a healthy meal after your revitalising class.
Massages are also a big draw for visitors to Ubud. You can try a traditional Balinese therapy, which includes stretches, acupressure and reflexology, or a Thai-style session. Both are sure to increase your sense of wellbeing, calm and relaxation.
Dance classes are available too, where you can learn everything from salsa to bachata and kizomba!
Note that Ubud has a much more laid-back feel than busy Kuta, so if you're looking to unwind on your Bali trip, head to this unique town.
Bali is buzzing with culture - largely informed by its Hindu roots, in which life is underpinned by the belief that mother nature is influenced by spirit.
Religious rituals and celebrations take place throughout the year, so you're sure to see the real Bali - even in busy places like Kuta. However, you might want to avoid the Nyepi public holiday, where they switch off the power to "assist" people in this period of silence, fasting and meditation.
The island is blessed with numerous ornate temples, including the majestic Taman Ayan temple and incredibly detailed Pura Tirta Empul.
One of the most dramatic places of worship is that of Pura Luhur Uluwatu, a popular temple perched beside sheer cliffs. Beware this temple can become crowded with tourists - since this is close to Kuta - and don't be surprised if a locl4al monkey steals your sunglasses or handbag!
5. Romantic experiences
With this vast array of luxurious (yet affordable) hotels, Bali is the perfect place for a romantic getaway. Add the warm embrace of the tropical breeze, the silky sand between your toes and the hypnotic effect of waves crashing against the beach - plus all the dazzling natural beauty - and you have a recipe sure to inspire amorous feelings.
Ubud presents teak-wood hotels, surrounded by wonderful flora and fauna and enhanced by the many wellness treatments available. Here, The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah delivers 5-star luxury ideal for honeymoons and celebrations, while Villa Beji Indah is a tropical sanctuary with private pools and lush gardens.
Nusa Dua, meanwhile, is an exclusive destination created for couples, where you can be cocooned in luxury while being a stone’s throw from white sandy beaches and azure blue water. Stay at Awarta Nusa Dua Luxury Villas & Spa for a once-in-a-lifetime experience with its luxury villas with hot-tubs.
If you don't scuba dive, have no fear - you can still enjoy Bali's incredible underwater sights by snorkelling (no experience necessary!).
Explore dazzling corals, kaleidoscopic fish and even an underwater shrine at Pantai Jemeluk Amed, while at USAT Liberty you can explore a World War Two shipwreck and meet some of the local green turtles.
Two snorkel trips at Pantai Jemeluk Amed cost 950,000 Indonesian rupiah - or 85 SGD, while USAT Liberty diving costs $77 SGD per person (1-3 people).
7. Surfing in Uluwatu
Of all the great surf spots in Bali, Uluwatu is where you'll find the most amazing waves. June to August is when the biggest and best waves appear, but beginners should aim for the smaller waves of September to November.
Group lessons with Impossible Surf Lessons cost 500,000 Indonesian rupiah (47 SGD).
To stay near the action, pick one of the many cottages and villas located by the sea. Otherwise, Uluwatu is just a hour's drive from the population centres of Ubud and Seminyak.
Even non-surfers will enjoy a visit here, thanks to the stunning tropical scenery.
8. Follow in the footsteps of Eat, Pray, LoveSurfing in Uluwatu
Whether you're a fan of Eat, Pray, Love or not, it's had a big impact on how Bali is viewed. If you're looking to recreate the adventures of Elizabeth Gilbert (played by Julia Roberts), head to Ubud for some yoga (and possibly romance!), and the beautiful Padang-Padang beach - two key locations in the movie's Bali segment.
And more movie inspiration for your Bali trip is on the way in the form of Ticket to Paradise, set in Bali (although actually filmed in Australia due to Covid restrictions). This flick, also starring Julia Roberts - accompanied by George Clooney - is sure to get you in the mood for your Balinese escape!
Bali is open: restrictions and travel insurance
Singaporeans can now visit Bali for up to 30 days, visa-free - as long as you have two doses of an acceptable Covid-19 vaccine.
Travel insurance is not required but is highly recommended. With so many activities to enjoy, it's important to have sufficient medical cover on your policy, as well as coverage for things like cancellations, curtailments, baggage loss and theft
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