Yes, Bali is about verdant paddy fields, spectacular beaches, vibrant parties, delicious seafood, and out-of-the-world massages. However, if you lift this veil of the typical touristy things to do, you will see a different Bali – a Bali not many visitors have seen. So, once you are done with your to-do lists and multiple visits to this Indonesian jewel, read this list of unusual, out-of-the-box things to see and do in Bali that will make you fall in love with it all over again.
Beyond beaches, amazing food and partying, there’s still so much more to see and do in Bali
1. Visit the Trunyan cemetery
This place could easily top the list of creepiest places in Bali. The locals of this ancient Bali village neither cremate nor bury the dead – they just leave the dead bodies in wooden fences to rot under a fragrant tree. Miraculously, there is no stench around the bodies. This place is not for the faint-hearted – after all, you will be welcomed by skulls and bones of the dead! Freaky stuff, this.
Tip: The boat trip to the cemetery is a picturesque one, so keep those cameras ready.
2. Create your own fragrance
If you think the perfumes available in the market are way too impersonal and common, say hello to L’Atelier Parfums et Créations. This unique place in Bali gives you an opportunity to get inspired by the scents of Indonesia and create your personalised perfume. They have various workshops, including a children’s workshop (ranging from US$80 to US$125 for adults and US$35 for kids). You get to take 30ml of your perfume home after each workshop.
Tip: If you are craving a dose of your fragrance once it’s over, don’t worry. They have your formula saved safely in their database so you can reorder!
3. Explore an underwater temple garden
Bali is a diving hub. However, some dives it offers will stay in your memory a lot longer than the others. One such dive is that near Pemuteran Beach in North-west Bali – the Taman Pura dive site. This underwater Hindu temple was created as a part of a project and is located around 15-30 meters beneath the surface. Once you reach the ‘temple’, you will view Balinese style gates, coral-covered statues of Hindu Gods and Goddess and of course, a wide variety of fish and other underwater life.
Tip: You could adopt a baby coral here and contribute to a unique coral-conservation project – Bio Rock.
4. Visit a spooky abandoned theme park
The chilling state of the massive Taman Festival Park, close to Sanur, promises to give you sleepless nights. This theme park, which never opened its doors to the public as it was abandoned in the final stages of completion in 2000, is said to be haunted now. Those who dare can visit this park with a creepy feel and structures such as a bat-infested movie theatre and buildings covered in moss and vines. Of course there are huge spiders and rumoured cannibalistic crocodiles too! The best part? There won’t be any queues.
Tip: Carry a torch, wear comfortable shoes (in case you need to run from something) and stay safe!
5. Visit the village of the deaf
Bali’s Bengkala Village is a must visit if you want to see an unusual, inspirational side of Bali. This village has high percentage of deaf population (over generations!) and has developed a sign language of its own called Kata Kolok to communicate. The large number of deaf people in the village is a result of the DFNB3 gene, which many locals carry. However, those who can hear have never made the deaf ones feel like they don’t belong. From schools to public places, they are treated equally everywhere. The village also has deaf dance and martial art style unique to itself.
Tip: The locals don’t see it as a disability too. Rather a gift from Dewa Kolok, the god of the deaf. Do note that Bengkala is accessible from Denpasar through a taxi which will take you around 2 hours.
6. Laugh your way to good health
They say laughter is the best medicine. When in Bali, you could actually live up to this adage. No equipment, special setting, or money required for laughing! Bali has multiple laughter groups that practice laughter yoga which induces positivity, happiness, and satisfaction. All you have to do is just laugh and let your body do the rest.
While this form of yoga does claim to heal many illnesses, you could try it just for relaxation and enjoyment. Many centres across Bali allow you to try this yoga – some of the prominent ones being Ambar Ashram and Happiness Ashram.