We all know that Bali is very popular, for both tourists as expats. It has a worldwide image of paradise, white sandy beaches, amazing jungles, delicious food and the most wonderful people who always smile. All these reasons make Bali one of the most visited tourist destination. Every year more than 3 million tourists are welcomed on the island. All these people enjoy everything that Bali has to offer.
Becoming a volunteer at Volunteer Programs Bali means you are also one of these visitors on the island. And for good reason! When you are not teaching you get the chance to explore and discover one of the most beautiful places in the world!
But as you are not the average tourist, and you get to be part of a local family and organization whilst volunteering, we can understand you don’t like to be surrounded by tourists all the time. Luckily for you, there are still some places that are undiscovered, hidden spots and well kept secrets. Usually these places should be kept hidden, but as we like to give you all the tips and tricks to make your volunteer placement an unforgettable experience, we decided to share some with you. But ssstt…. Don’t share it with lots of people, before you know they are not undiscovered anymore! 😉
Let us know what you think of these places once you’ve visited, were they still hidden or have other tourists found them as well?
- Beji Guwang Hidden Canyon
This hidden and undiscovered canyon is located in the village of Guwang, near Sukawati. It is about 30 minutes’ drive from Ubud. It is important to know that this place is only suitable for those seeking an adventure and aren’t afraid to get their feet wet. Inside this canyon it is all about climbing, jumping and clambering. The higher the water gets, the harder it gets to get through. For these reasons you are obliged to take a guide with you. So when you arrive you’ll have to pay entrance and arrange the local guide to go with you. The guide will help you get through, tell you where to walk, stand and hold on to. It does get slippery and some points so do be careful! The trek through is about 1-2 hours and it is definitely worth it.
- Rice field walks in Jatiluwih
The Jatiluwih rice terraces are located in the district of Tabanan, in North-West Bali. From Ubud it is about 1,5 hours’ drive to get there. The road can be challenging so we strongly suggest you to take a driver and not going on the motorbike. The rice terraces are part of UNESCO World Heritage and are protected by this so you would expect it to be very busy and touristic. But luckily this is not the case. The road to get there is very scenic and once you arrive at the view spot you won’t believe your eyes. As far as you can look, all you can see are rice terraces and it is green, so green! The best way to experience this amazing part of Bali is to take your walking shoes and get into the rice fields for a walk. Ask the locals there for a nice route and follow them to get surprised. You will understand very quickly why this place is part of UNESCO.
- Gunung Kawi water temple in Sebatu
The lush green gardens and beautiful water complex make Gunung Kawi Sebatu one of the prettiest places of worship in Bali. Nestled at the bottom of the valley along the winding backstreets of Northern Ubud, is Gunung Kawi Sebatu. It is only a short 30 minutes ride. This traditional water temple is a lot less popular and visited than others in Ubud, and is a great example of Bali away from tourists. This water temple is regularly used by the local people of the village, and has a walled fresh spring bathing area with tranquil fountains. A golden carp pond with lily pads is the perfect place to stop for a moment of peace.
- Sidemen village
If we could describe Bali as a color, it would be green, green and more lush green and the village of Sidemen is the perfect example of this! This village is truly the go-to place to experience rural Bali. Sidemen is located between the famous Besakih Temple and the city Klungkung in the Eastern part of Bali. The surroundings offer layers of rice paddies, jungles and panoramic hills underneath the mighty and amazing Mount Agung. If you are hoping to experience rural Bali away from tourists (perhaps what Ubud may have been like back in the day) then we really recommend the area of Sidemen. Sidemen is a great place to stay if you are looking for somewhere to relax and unwind in Bali. Don’t except much to do at night, there is no nightlife in this area! But after a day of hiking around the most beautiful green rice paddies you won’t be needing a bar with live music!
- Sangeh Monkey Forest
As you are staying in Ubud you have surely been to the Monkey Forest in Ubud. But did you know that at about 30 minutes away from Ubud there is another Monkey Forest? Yup, the Sangeh Monkey Forest is probably even more scenic and mystical and, more importantly, undiscovered! There is a large temple inside the forest and the impressive banyan trees makes it a great place for locals to take pre-wedding pictures. Besides the amazing nature and beautiful temple, this place is actually great for spotting monkeys. The monkeys here are much less spoiled and aggressive as they are in the Ubud Monkey Forest so you can really enjoy the monkey business here. The forest is located in the village Sangeh and it is not very easy to find so we suggest you to take a driver to get there.
Click here to read more about “must-do’s in Bali.