Over the Teaching Break in April, I had the awesome opportunity to travel to Bali for two weeks and explore and immerse myself into the Indonesian culture. For those of you looking for a place to visit during a vacation or time-off, be sure to check it out. Flights to Bali from Sydney are about 5-6 hours and there are tons of great deals at certain times of the year. If you do get a chance to go, here’s a comprehensive list of some of the must-see places (in my opinion):

Gili Trawangan

One of a few small islands off the main Bali island, Gili T is a beautiful spot that should be on every travellers list. Although a bit touristy, the general vibe of the island is very laid back and fun. There’s tons of stuff to do and shops and restaurants along the main roads for tourists and locals to browse. I did a scuba dive here and it was absolutely incredible, we were able to see tons of fish, coral, and even some turtles and sharks! It was an amazing experience and there are tons of dive shops on the island, so I highly recommend if you get the chance. There’s also the iconic swings, of course, where most of the travellers’ head to during sunset for some stunning views and photos.

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Ubud

Of course it wouldn’t be a proper Bali checklist if it didn’t include this tourist attraction. Ubud is one of the biggest cities on the island, full of character and very lively. Every night one of the old temples on one of the main streets (or “Jalan”) has a traditional Balinese dance show they put on for visitors and it’s an amazing way to see part of the culture. There’s also tons of rice patty fields to walk through and explore which was stunning. Finally, you have to also visit the Monkey Forest while in Ubud. You can see tons of cute little monkeys running around and jumping from tree to tree, and even feed them and take photos with them! It’s also great because unlike a zoo, they are not put on display and they can just happily live in the forest while you walk through and observe (or interact!).

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Uluwatu

Another place I highly recommend checking out is Uluwatu. Situated in the southern part of the island, it is much more spread out than most of the other tourist spots, so you’ll need to rent a scooter or get a taxi if you want to go from place to place. There’s some great beaches here, including Padang Padang beach, and they are hidden away from the roads so you feel totally separated from civilization. There’s also the famous Uluwatu Temple, which is another must-see when in Bali for travellers from across the globe. Uluwatu also has a ton of great restaurants and cafes. One of my favourites that I went to was the Cashew Tree. A lot of the places in Bali (especially Uluwatu) are vegan and vegetarian friendly, as well as gluten free, so you don’t have to worry about feeling limited while there if you have dietary restrictions.

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I could go on and on about all the great places I got to see and things I was able to experience; however, these ones were definitely worth an honourable mention. Although I did get to see a lot of the island, I would love to have the chance to go back one day and explore even more!

For more photos from my trip to Bali and photos from Australia, follow my Instagram @jesshowatt 🙂

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