A Bali Bride's Top 8

Famous Ulun Danu Bratan temple in Bali, Indonesia
Famous Ulun Danu Bratan temple in Bali, Indonesia

Eight years ago I backpacked around South East Asia with my now husband. We loved every minute of it and shared so many unforgettable experiences together.

Seeing as we have such happy memories there, when we decided to marry abroad, doing it in South East Asia was a no brainer. We never made it to Indonesia so Bali seemed like the perfect choice.

What made this island so appealing was that it had so much to offer. From beautiful white (and black) sand beaches, luxurious hotels, delicious food, plenty of traditional Balinese culture and the amazing scenery.

We wanted to go somewhere hot and as we went during their dry season, temperatures were hitting 30 degrees everyday with plenty of sunshine.

From the minute we landed we felt so welcome. Balinese people are so friendly and incredibly kind and will do what they can to help you.

Bali is a very spiritual place and religion plays a key role in the way of life. Driving through villages we witnessed many ceremonies involving colourful processions of people making their way to the temples.


We were lucky enough to stay in two resorts. Our first week was in Ubud - known as the cultural hub. Bali is world renowned for its sandy beaches and nightlife but the centre of the island has a completely different vibe with little villages, tranquil river valleys and endless rice terraces – there was a photo opportunity around every corner. It is more accessible than the main southern beach resorts too so provided a great base to explore the other parts of the island.

Despite Ubud centre being quite hectic with so many scooters weaving round the narrow roads, it has a very laid back feel, countless restaurants, holistic spas, a lovely market and nightly cultural performances.

After a week of sightseeing and excursions in and around Ubud, we married at sunset in our luxury resort overlooking the spectacular Ayung River valley – the most romantic and unforgettable possible way to end our week there.

We then spent a week in Nusa Dua. This is one of the quieter beach resorts known for its high class hotels and stretches of white sand beach which made it the perfect honeymoon location. Most our days here were spent relaxing on the beach, enjoying spa treatments and  trying out local cuisine but there were many watersports available too and we did snorkelling, jet skiing and para sailing.

Many boat tours also run daily to the nearby island of Nusa Lembongan which makes a nice getaway.

Here are some of my favourite photographs from our trip: 

Tegallalang Rice Terraces

 Just North of Ubud is a picturesque well maintained rice terrace, despite becoming very touristy with lots of stalls selling souvenirs the view is hard to beat.

 

Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary

You cannot go to Ubud without visiting infamous Sacred Monkey forest sanctuary. Home to around 600 cheeky monkeys living amongst the temples and forest we learnt the hard way that they will snatch any food you happen to be carrying off of you!

  

Campuhan Ridge Walk

Just a few minutes’ drive from the centre of Ubud is this lovely walk that passes along the top of the ridge with breathtaking scenery on either side. We passed a small village with several art shops and visited a nice little café overlooking the rice fields.

  

Bratan Lake

Located in the mountain area of Bedugal this lake contains Pura Ulun Danu Bratan – the “floating temple” – an image to us which represents Bali and was used on our wedding party invites.

Mount Batur

An active volcano 1717m above sea level can be trekked at sunrise in a few hours. The natural hot springs at the base is great for aching muscles.

  

Munduk Waterfall

This 246m high waterfall is only a ten minute trek from a main road accessed by a narrow pathway which we occasionally had to share with the villagers on motorbike!

 

Kuta Sunset

Following a couple days of relaxing by our beach in Nusa Dua we decided to spend an evening in Kuta despite its reputation for being full of boozy tourists. There are many beach bars where you can sip cocktails whilst watching the sunset but we decided to sit on the beach and then stayed out soaking up the more chaotic atmosphere which Bali has to offer.

  

Nusa Dua

Nusa Dua was built specifically for tourists and is isolated from everyday Bali but nevertheless was beautiful and our hotel was amazing.

  

For more on Bali check out our Insight Guide to the Bali & Lombok regions brimming with cultural highlights, stunning photography and much, much more.