6 hidden spots in Bali worth visiting that's not Kuta, Ubud or Seminyak

PHOTO: Unsplash/ Christopher Alvarenga

It's been said that Bali is the closest place to paradise on earth, and the laid-back island is where many choose to visit for a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of city life. 

But some of the main tourist spots and beaches can feel overwhelming at times, with the streets packed full of people, cars honking at you and touting encountered at every busy corner.

Ubud is already well known for being a peaceful spot to unwind, and while you can certainly wine, dine and party till dawn at all the usual touristy hangouts (read: Kuta or Seminyak), greater Bali has so much to offer that's unexplored. 

Life is too short to just stick to the familiar, so whether you're an adventurous soul, an adrenaline junkie, or a burnt-out workaholic, here are some hidden spots to add to your itinerary the next time you're planning a trip to the Land of the Gods.

CANGGU

Laid-back Canggu has been called the "new Seminyak", drawing tourists in with its hip, vibrant atmosphere, Instagram-friendly scene and fabulous food offerings.

Increasingly popular with millennials who know what's up, the once rural farmland has undergone a complete transformation and is now packed with luxury villas, retail shops, keto-friendly cafes and beach clubs, said to give off a boho-chic vibe.

Unlike the hectic and commercialised hubs that's Kuta and Seminyak just to the south, Canggu is the perfect place for tired souls to recharge, chill out and relax.

Part of Canggu's charm though, is the notable absence of five-star resorts, according to the accounts of friends who visited last year.

So if you're looking for accommodation, be prepared to find yourself limited to home stays or renting a private villa, which according to some, is part of the true Balinese experience.

MUNDUK

Nestled among the paddy fields and coffee plantations, a relatively hidden gem from the massive crowds that swarm Bali's south is the quaint village of Munduk.

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Fascinatingly different from much of the island, Munduk is situated up in the mountains where there is no surfing, diving or nightlife. Instead, it's a peaceful place to bask in the quiet nature, good for those who need an escape from the busy, fast-paced city life and to steep in Bali's more traditional culture.

It is in Munduk that you'll find the iconic Handara Gate, near Lake Buyan, but be prepared to wait if you want a shot devoid of crowds. If you're looking to recreate the dramatic IG photos you see of the "gates of heaven", adjust expectations and don't be too disappointed to find out that it's usually a simple camera trick.

For the shutter-happy, do check out the Wanagiri Hidden Hills, a park made up of quirky structures designed and placed specifically to fulfill all your IG-needs.

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Swing in the jungle !

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Pose in a floating bird's nest, swing out with the majestic natural landscape as your background and make sure your travel companions are nearby to get the perfect shot.

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Take only memories leave only footprints👣

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CANDIDASA

If you're not a fan of sea or sand, Candidasa is your ticket out of the beach-bum life.

Once one of Bali's premier beach resorts, poor construction in the 1970s left the town with little beach of its own when its offshore reef was mined for lime to make cement and other construction materials.

However, you can still grab some killer views of the hinterland without burning a hole in your pocket. Nearby, there are traditional Balinese fishing villages, rice terraces and Tirta Gangga, a water palace that's become one of the most famous sights on the island.

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would you believe me if I said @brookejohhnson fell in

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If you're lazy to get out and explore, many of the local hotels have breathtaking beachside infinity pools with sunrise or sunset views that are hard to beat.

MENJANGAN ISLAND

Just eight kilometres out from north-west Bali's mainland lies Menjangan Island, a secluded slice of heaven that has been a well-kept secret among divers.

Showcasing the "wild side of Bali", the island has one of the best diving spots due to its calm currents and gorgeous underwater vistas that's a hit among snorkeling and diving enthusiasts.

As the name suggests, one of the main attractions on the island is deer watching, and the best time to catch the shy creatures is during the April to October dry season.

If you're the type of traveller who loves to delve deep into foreign cultures, Menjangan is a pilgrimage destination of the Hindus of Bali, and seven Hindu temples can be found on the island, each worshipping a different deity.

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Silau🌞

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ULUWATU

Although ulu (remote) is in the name, Uluwatu is actually a popular surfing spot with high limestone cliffs, white sandy beaches and pristine blue waters where you can find lots of good local restaurants without the cut-throat prices of Kuta or Seminyak.

Fun fact: ulu actually means "tip" and watu is "stone" in Balinese, which is apt because famed Uluwatu Temples are perched on top of a steep cliff approximately 70 metres above sea level.

Experience the comfort that comes with the serenity and calmness of the spiritual points, although it'll be wise to look out for playful monkeys! 

Want a million-dollar view? Lounge in one of the VIP Cabanas or take a dip in the glittering infinity pool atop a cliff at OMNIA day club, which has been shining an international light on Bali's luxury lifestyle scene since it opened in 2018.

Expect a whole new world of daytime indulgence because the day club is an extension of the famed OMNIA nightclub from Las Vegas where some of the world's most sought-after DJs have spun.

Be warned though, if you're thinking of staying in Uluwatu for a while. There's a powerful taxi 'mafia' operating in the area that prevents drivers of ride-hailing apps from picking tourists in certain spots.

If you're going in a bigger group, it's worth paying for a personal driver and sharing the cost, and if you're a lone traveller or going as a couple, you might want to consider renting a scooter to zip around the place. 

THE NUSA ISLANDS

People say that the Nusa islands were what Bali was like 30 years ago, before the onset of tourism and commercialism.

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Jungle Dreams 🌴 #bali

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A tropical trio of islands less than 30 minutes by boat from the mainland, life on the Nusa islands is all about taking a step back from the rapid pace of city life and chilling out. All well-developed with adequate facilities for visitors, Nusa Penida is the largest, followed by Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan.

As the closest island to Bali, Nusa Lembongan is the most developed and therefore, most popular among the three. The other two are so small that most people drive around and power through all the sights within a day.

On Nusa Lembongan, spots that most tourists flock to include Jungut Batu Beach and Mushroom Bay.

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Beach hangs with the monkey🐠🍸

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On Nusa Penida, the most popular activity to do is snorkelling with Manta rays at Manta point. If you're a thrill-seeker, head over to the Blue Lagoon to experience its famous cliff jumping for yourself.

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🏝🐠🏄🏻‍♂️🛵🚘🏖📸🚤🛶☕️🍻💆🏼‍♀️🏝 みなさん、バリ島に来てください! スシローツアーに頼んでください! 仲良しになればいろんなサービスできますよ👌😁😁🙏🏻 ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー はじめまして! 私はスシローです!バリ島ガイドをしています。🙏 日本人向けのバリ観光をご案内しています。バリ島へ遊びに来た時には是非ご案内したいと思いますのでよろしくお願いします! バリ島での旅行がみなさまのステキな思い出になりますように一生懸命ご案内します! たくさんステキな写真を撮ってあげます!😊🙏 ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー ➡車チャーター 一日1台車チャーターチャーター5000円〜 🌺1日1台、一人の値段ではなくて一台の値段です☺ (ドライバー、日本語ガイド、ガソリン代、駐車場代込) ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー ➡レンボンガン島& チュニガン島日帰りツアー *2人であればお一人様1日10.000円です!3人以上であれば1人8.000円です(シュノーケル、マングローブ、島観光など) *往復船のチケット代のみは4000円 ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー ➡ヌサペニダ島日帰りツアー *2人であればお一人様1日12.000円です!3人以上であれば1人11.000円です(シュノーケル、島観光など) ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー ‼️🌟スシローのパッケージツアーもあります🌟‼️ 🌺スシローバリ島ツア2日間ツアー人12500円 •1日目レンボンガン島& チュニガン島ツアー •2日目ウブド観光かクタ、スミニャツク、ヌサドゥア観光よろしくお願い致します🙏🏻😊 🌺スシローバリ島ツアー3日間ツアー人15000円 •1日目レンボンガン島& チュニガン島ツアー •2日目ウブド観光 •3日目クタ、スミニャツク、ヌサドゥア観光よろしくお願い致します🙏🏻😊 3人以上であればもっと安くなりますのでご相談下さい。🌺より多くの方とご利用いただきますと安くなります。他のパッケージもご用意しておりますので是非ご利用下さい。🌟🙏😊 ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー バリ島旅行をお考えでしたら是非一度DMして下さい。 Line ID:susilopw 皆さまがバリ島へお越しになることを心よりお待ちしております🙏😊💖 ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー . . #海外#旅行#女子旅#インドネシア#ビーチクラブ#ビキニ#水着#インスタ映え #フォトジェニック #いいね返し #マリンスポーツ #ビーチフォト #ビーチ #goproのある生活 #旅好き #バリ #バリ島 #バリ島ガイド #バリ島観光 #バリ島カーチャーター #ウブド #スミニャック #クタ #クタビーチ #ヌサドゥア #ヌサペニダ #ヌサペニダ島 #レンボガン島 #レンボンガン島 #スシロバリ

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Do you know of other places to recommend in Bali? Let us know!

joeylee@asiaone.com

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