Other things to do and where to eat in Bali

August 25, 2011 ASEAN Backpacking

I first shared this blog in 2011 after my initial visit to Bali to celebrate my sister's birthday. Recently, I returned from another Bali escape as part of our group's annual ASEAN backpacking trip, prompting me to update this existing blog post.

Where to visit:

The Elephant Cave

Goa Gajah, or Elephant Cave, is one of Bali's most historical sites, believed to have been developed in the 11th century. The entire site, as per historical records, was devastated by natural disasters and later rediscovered by a team of Dutch archaeologists in 1923. Here, devotees worship Lord Ganesha, the Hindu God of knowledge and wisdom, depicted as an entity with the face of an elephant.

The entrance fee is 15,000 rupiah, and visitors are required to wear sarongs as a mark of respect for the temple's deities. 

To reach the temple, guests descend long, curving stairs. From this point, the cave and the courtyard in front of it, with a bathing pool and various artifacts, come into view. Visitors can also descend further to observe the remnants of a Buddha statue, left after being damaged by an earthquake, though this is not visible from the main trail.

Ketur Liyer's place

As per our birthday girl's request, we made a visit to the home of Balinese spiritual guru Ketut Liyer, known for his appearance in Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling memoir and Julia Roberts' hit movie "Eat Pray Love."

For those seeking a fortune reading from the guru, it's advisable to make advanced bookings. However, we were content just to witness Ketut's charming and toothy smile.

The extended journey to Ketut's place didn't bother us at all. His attendants were accommodating and allowed us to capture some photographs of Ketut. Along the way, we also enjoyed the picturesque rice terraces and the lively tourist area of Ubud.

Sacred Monkey Forest

The sanctuary is inhabited by long-tailed Balinese Macaques, and you'll encounter many of them in this haven surrounded by towering trees.

Balinese Hinduism is a unique blend of Animism, Ancestor Worship, Buddhism, and Hinduism. The belief includes the notion that objects can possess souls that can aid humans. Ravines and forested areas are believed to harbor human and animal spirits, contributing to the sacredness of this forest.

Ulun Danu Temple

Our first stop during my most recent trip to Bali was Bedugul. Initially, it was to pass the time since we were early for check-in at our hotel in Ubud. However, due to a flight delay, we arrived just in time for lunch.

The temple is perhaps the most iconic image of Bali. It rests on a lake and is dedicated to the goddess of the lake. Ulun means heart, and danu means lake.

Tirta Empul Temple

Tirta Empul is a Hindu Temple where Balinese people go for purification due to its holy water.

During our recent visit to the temple, we were divided into two groups. One of our friends couldn't enter as she was on her period, and the others opted to tour the temple. I chose to undergo the purification ritual.

Sarongs are provided as part of the entrance fee, and there is a common locker room available.

Uluwatu Temple
South Bali

A great place to view the sunset in Bali is the Uluwatu Temple, perched on a steep hill.

Visitors to the temple have the option to view a traditional Balinese performance or climb up to the temple. I chose to do neither as I was still recovering from an accident. Nevertheless, I was already content with our beautiful sunset.

Ulu means land's end, and watu means rock.

The entrance fee is 30,000 rupiah, and sarongs and sashes are available at the entrance.

Batur Natural Hot Springs Resort

This was probably the most relaxing part of my recent trip. I finally was able to dip my leg in warm water to ease the swelling. I had an accident six months before the trip and underwent surgery afterward, and I was still recovering.

There are several pools here with varying temperatures. It is easy to tell where I stayed. The facilities are not first class, but the view makes up for it. The hot springs are built in front of Lake Batur, and we had a magnificent view of Mounts Batur and Agung on our way to the hot springs.

Kuta Beach

Bali is known for its waves, and we didn't have a set itinerary on our last day in Bali, so I decided to lounge the whole morning at the beach. Since I cannot walk without assistance, I was happy where I was seated, watching my friends try surfing.

We rented the beach chairs for 100,000 rupiah for two hours. That was enough time for me.

Where to eat

Made Warung
Kuta, Bali

We celebrated the eve of my sister's birthday by dining at Made's Warung, one of the places recommended to her by her friends. It is a large establishment, surrounded by quaint shops selling books, chocolates, souvenirs, and other items to keep diners busy while waiting for their meals. For those seeking live entertainment, there's an area with a live band.

The menu offers a wide selection of dishes, including Indonesian, European, Japanese, and more. We let the birthday girl order for us, and we all enjoyed the meals, particularly the Chicken Cashew Nut and the Sate Chicken. The total amount paid for a group of 7 was only 295,000 rupiah. Not bad at all.


For an amazing view of Mt. Batur, cool weather, and a variety of delicious Balinese cuisine, consider having lunch at Kintamani.

There are plenty of restaurants to choose from in this area. We opted for Batur Sari. 

When we visited, we arrived quite late and found the restaurant packed, so we began our lunch inside. However, we were still able to enjoy hot tea with a breathtaking view of Mt. Batur and the lake. They initially charged 70,000 rupiah per person for the buffet, but we managed to negotiate it down to 60,000 rupiah.

JI Pantai Kedonganan

During our last night in Bali, we experienced a full moon, a significant occasion in Bali marked by festivities throughout the island. It was an opportune time to dine outdoors, by the beach, under the enchanting full moon. We chose to dine at New Moon Cafe.

This restaurant follows a "dampa" style of dining, allowing you to choose your fresh seafood and specify how you want it cooked. The meal includes complimentary rice, vegetables, sauce, and fruit salad.

Despite being surrounded by the sea, I observed that Bali didn't have a plethora of cheap and fresh seafood, unlike many places in the Philippines. Either we didn't visit the right locations or seafood wasn't as abundant as expected. We paid 354,000 rupiah for a dinner consisting of fish, squid, and prawns. 

Since it was a full moon, traditional Balinese dance performances added to the ambiance. However, the highlight of my meal was a purchase from a peddler—the best-grilled corn ever, priced at 10,000 rupiah. It might have been expensive, but it was a delightful taste of Bali.


Before exploring the temple, we opted to indulge in a buffet lunch within the temple complex. Having skipped breakfast due to an early morning flight, I was particularly hungry upon arrival.

The standout dish for me was their satay—it was truly delicious. While the other offerings were enjoyable, the satay stood out as my favorite.
Babi Guling

One of Bali's renowned dishes is Babi Guling, or suckling pig. Before moving from Ubud to Kuta, we made sure to savor our first taste of Babi Guling.

We opted for Bu Oka House, and it did not disappoint. The Babi Guling was truly exceptional.

Where to Stay

Teba House

Nestled in the heart of Ubud, Teba House is an excellent place to stay. It is just a short distance from the Ubud shopping area and the Monkey Forest. Despite its central location, the place is very quiet, making it perfect for vacationers.

We appreciated the traditional Balinese interiors, and the owners were welcoming. Teba House offers great value for your stay.

Tanaya House
Legian Road

Situated right in the heart of the action, this hotel is located on the main road, surrounded by shops and restaurants.

The rooms are well-maintained and clean, with spacious bathrooms. There's really nothing to complain about here.

The breakfast provided is also of good quality.

Bali Kuta Resort

This resort is relatively more expensive compared to the other two, but it offers a buffet breakfast, spacious rooms, and a bar situated in the middle of the pool. During our first visit to Bali, we chose to stay here and had a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The rooms were very comfortable, contributing to our overall satisfaction with the stay.

Where to Shop
Bedugul Market

The allure of fresh strawberries drew us to explore the market. 

There were great finds such as spices, incense, and other souvenirs and bargaining was necessary as the initial prices were inflated. I managed to purchase fresh strawberries, along with some souvenirs for my friends, including refrigerator magnets, incense, and a decorative plate.

Ubud Market

I enjoyed this market more and wish I had more time. I skipped the visit to the Monkey Forest the second time I visited Bali in favor of exploring this market.

I didn't learn much from my Bedugul experience and started buying, only to find out I could get the items much cheaper elsewhere. Well, at least I was able to purchase a lot of sarongs for 20,000 rupiah.

Sukuwatu Market


I completed the rest of my shopping here. We stopped by this market while transferring hotels from Ubud to Kuta. Here, I found my Bali beer shirts and some additional souvenirs. Bargaining was easier, and we all left satisfied.

Please also explore my other posts about Bali:The Mt. Batur climb was my most thrilling Bali adventure, while the cycling tour was my favorite Bali tour.

Other Good Travels


  1. Oh thanks a lot,this information is actually good to me..Bali is without doubt one of the most popular destinations in world, attracting a whopping 60 million visitors every year...