So many people have said to me that although Bali is a stunning and beautiful island with lots to do, it costs money all the time. Rightly so, if you want to get around town in a lazy way or go up country, get into entertainment places or shop-till-you-drop, or even prop up a bar filling your belly with warm beer on a hot day.
If you use your initiative then there are lots to do in the tourist strip that won’t cost you a cent. Ha, ha, ha…you say. Don’t laugh too soon because there is plenty that you can do and, activities where you can enjoy yourself, be amazed and get fit at the same time. If you are travelling on a budget as a lot of travellers to Bali are, then you will find this list of things to do quite useful.
‘Hang on’, you might say…that involves money and spending it. On the contrary, visiting anyone of the major department store complexes located in the tourist strip and just window shopping, people-watching or meeting new friends or old ones is an enjoyable experience. The two major complexes in the Kuta area excellent for the aforementioned are the Centro Discovery Mall located on Jalan Kartika Plaza in Tuban and the Matahari Mall in Kuta, each interesting in their own right.
So often I have seen a procession of traditionally-dressed Balinese walking down the road single-file carrying offerings above their heads. Even down at Kuta Beach I have come across a ceremony in progress. These were by pure coincidence, however, asking at your hotel about upcoming ceremonies is one way of finding where they are or, ask the locals. It is always important to be respectful at these ceremonies and never get in the way of the Balinese during the ceremony.
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Take a Walk
Go explore, go discover and the wonders you will find. A motto I have always travelled by. It’s easy. Walk out the entrance of where you are staying and start walking and I don’t mean just down the main street. Walk down the gangs (alleyways) and see where they go to. If this is not your cup-of-tea then go down to the beach, pick a direction and walk. Best time for this is early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
Probably my favourite free activity and one that I enjoy immensely. Walking around any traditional market will yield a host of colourful surprises and aromas, especially the food section. Not only that, it is a colourful experience! If you can cadge a ride to Denpasar then I would recommend Pasar Badung and the clothes market, Pasar Kumbusari. If you can’t get into the big city then walk down to Kuta Market in Tuban, always interesting any time of the day. Even closer to home is the morning market on Jalan Buni Sari opposite Bemo Corner. As with any visit to the market getting there early in the morning is best.
Watch the Bungy Jump
Not everybody’s idea of fun but, if you enjoy watching people jumping off a tower into thin air with only a long piece of rubber tied to their feet screaming in fear and or pleasure then head on down to the beach end of Jalan Double Six in Seminyak. The tall AJ. Hackett Tower can be seen for miles wherever you are along the beach and close up it is even more ominous. Probably the best time to watch these adventurers plunge into the abyss is around sunset.
Without a doubt, the most popular free activity for all tourists to the island. Although a tad polluted now compared to it once was a decade ago, the renowned Kuta sunset still draws hundreds of tourists every evening come cloud or rain to witness the golden orb being swallowed up by the inky-blue ocean. Of course getting there about a half hour before the event is recommended as it can be very busy and especially on a day when there are no clouds. My favourite place to witness this wonder of nature is along the beach between the Centro discovery Mall and the airport in Tuban. It’s less crowded and if the tide is low, then the photographic opportunities will amaze you.
Photo Credit: Bungy Jump – www.allposters.co.uk