Not sure why we don’t do this more often, but taking cooking classes in a foreign country is a great way to learn about their culture and meet fellow tourists. We fell in love with Indonesian food during our stay in Bali, so I’m glad we got a chance to prepare some common dishes. Prior to the trip, we booked a morning class at Paon Cooking Class, which lasted from 8:30AM to around 1:30PM. I recommend the morning class because it includes a market tour (afternoon one doesn’t), so you see where the ingredients come from and taste some locally grown fruit.
Towards northern Bali, there are several waterfalls you can check out, including the more accessible Gigit Waterfalls. But we read somewhere that Sekumpul’s were much more beautiful and decided to do the hike there instead. We paid for a guide to get to the waterfalls (150,000 IDR); some people say it’s not necessary, but I certainly felt more secure having someone who knows his way around to hang onto. Plus, our guide explained some of the fruit-bearing trees to us along the way and even picked a mangosteen. We politely turned it down as it was covered with bugs, but he simply brushed away all the ants and ate it.
I don’t know what it is about monkeys that make them so photogenic. Maybe it’s because they’re so humanlike, without being self conscious in front of the camera. If you want to get up close and personal with them, the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud is a good place to go. For 40,000IDR you can monkey-watch to your heart’s content. You can also buy bananas to feed them if you want to get really close. Some precautions, however – they do smell, and they will hop all over you. So maybe white shirts are not a good idea, and for the females – there has been a history of monkeys pulling down anything strapless. The forest itself is incredible, and in the morning you can see a faint ray of light streaming through the trees. Very good for photos.
Bali, which is 90% Hindu despite the rest of Indonesia being mostly Muslim, has a ton of temples. Families in a village would share one, but there are some in particular that are especially beautiful and visited by many tourists. Here’s a quick list of the ones we visited. If you plan to go inside the temple instead of walking the perimeters, you will need a sarong (rental usually covered by the admission price). Our driver did inform us that Besakih Temple, however, overcharges you for admission, sarong rental, and a mandatory but unnecessary guide. So we decided not to go (and have read similar negative reviews about it). There are plenty of others anyway, as you will see, and the admission fees are generally quite cheap. Do note women on their menstrual cycle are not allowed inside the temples (though..how will they know?).