3 Adventures to Have in Bali
Featured destinations: Bali
Published 30 March 2016
Bali is beautiful. There is no doubt about it; this Indonesian island has everything to entice curious explorers. Rich green scenery aside, there is also an abundance of interesting people, wildlife, shopping, eating, drinking and oodles of activities to keep you entertained. I spent 12 days there and found a different activity each day including wildlife watching, snorkelling and hiking up volcanoes. There is something here for every traveller.
My trip started in Ubud. I had heard lots about the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary on my previous travels so I headed straight there. Secreted in a dense jungle with three holy temples inside and surrounded by hundreds of long-tailed Balinese macaques it was clearly going to be an interesting way to spend the morning. You can buy bananas as you go in to feed the greedy monkeys but I’d avoid taking any food or water in with you - I had a water bottle strapped to my bag which intrigued a pair of monkeys and it took a while to shake them off! While this may sound a little chaotic, if you leave them alone then the monkeys won’t bother you, and the beautiful temples and The Dragon Bridge are truly breathtaking.
Climbing Mount Batur
One of the most unforgettable achievements of my travels was the challenge presented by Mt. Batur. An active volcano which stands at 1.717m above seawater, it was certainly an awe-inspiring sight from a distance but nothing could compare to the view from the top.
The climb to see the sunrise is the most popular and definitely beats hiking in the midday Indonesian heat. Whilst waking up at 2.30am is a shock to the system I found myself springing out of bed in anticipation of the day ahead. There was a great atmosphere of ambitious adventure in the air; everyone had wrapped up warm and the torch lights were flickering around like fireflies. We had three friendly guides for our group of 10 whom we met at the base of Mt Batur and, from there, we began our ascent together. The hike gets steep quickly - for little legs like mine it was quite a struggle at some points!
You should be able to get to the top by 6am for the sunrise with time to catch your breath at a halfway point where many of the hikers congregated to enjoy the fantastic view. I was determined to get to the very top and so one of the guides took my hand and we continued our climb which got a little trickier. Practically vertical with black volcanic sand in place of rocks on which to steady yourself, every big step you take sends you sliding down – it was a tough workout. Thanks to the encouragement from my brilliant guide however, we eventually made it triumphantly to the top.
Snorkelling the seas
Snorkelling is an ideal way to reward yourself and relax after climbing a volcano. The coral reefs just off the Menjangan Islands are some of the most pristine I have ever experienced. Grabbing some flippers, I jumped in the sparkling blue sea to have a peek at the underwater world below. Straight away you’re immersed into a whole new environment of bright coral, colourful fish and a daunting drop off with the sun shining down. I was learning to free drive at the time and deeper down the drop I discovered clown fish and lionfish swimming serenely amongst the rocks and coral.
I’m already saving up for my next trip to Bali. A tranquil, trendy, transcendent place with a plethora of unique experiences for all adventurers is more than enough of an incentive to keep me coming back.
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