Not everyone is as into diving as I am. I don’t know why, it’s clearly the most fun ever. But for those of you that don’t want to venture beneath the waves, I thought I’d mention a few things to do on the island.
A lot of you will do research before your trip and see beautiful rice terraces with no one in them. Bold emerald greens with solo palm trees scattered on the horizons. I want to assure you, these places do exist, but with anything worth having, it takes some work. If you are staying in the resort area be prepared for a few hour ride to Ubud. If your goal is to be near the rice terraces, there are a few hotels in Ubud but I’d recommend getting an airbnb. If you have a guide, simply telling them you want to see rice terraces will not result how you are thinking. There are several tourist traps that drop off people by the bus loads to go view rice terraces and be photographed in swings. My driver first went to one of these locations after I specifically said I wanted to go somewhere with more locals than tourists. I went inside and saw girls standing inline with their hair and make up done in flowing maxi’s, sweating it out waiting for their number to be called. I was in a fishing shirt and shorts. You ever see that picture of the ballerinas and then that one girl dressed as batman? This was like that, except I’m not as cool as batman. So, what do you do? Drive away from the tourist areas and you will see rice terraces. It is easy enough to pull off the side of the road for a quick snap. For a more professional photo, try to go early in the morning and use the soft light.
In addition to rice terraces, many people look forward to visiting temples. There are temples everywhere. I stopped at one, the name I easily forgot, and also went to a more popular one, Uluwatu. Some of you will be excited to know tour companies offer “instagram tours” to all the famous spots so you can get that exact same photo everyone else is getting. While all those temples are beautiful I do recommend visiting a less popular one and learning a bit about the culture. If you do not have a sarong, temples will provide them to you. You can always visit a local vendor and they will have dozens of beautiful, locally made ones, that you can choose from. This goes for the men too. Cover your legs or else you will have to double up on whatever you’re wearing and believe me it gets hot! If you do choose to go to Uluwatu, I recommend going for sunset. Yes, it will be packed but for good reason. This also brings up another good point. Don’t pay to see the sacred monkey forest, there are monkey’s everywhere. And I mean everywhere. So don’t wear glasses/sunglasses or carry around food. The monkey’s will find you and take your $300 sunglasses and not think twice about showing you how fabulous they look on them
Another thing worth mentioning is the waterfalls. There are several to choose from and again, they offer tours. If you want to get a shot of ANY of the waterfalls without people, you must go early. Don’t just go to the main fall and leave, wander around. Often times there are several smaller falls that are just as beautiful with no one around them.