Alice Sullivan is an aspiring writer currently based in Prague as an English teacher. She has travelled to 25 countries and counting!
5 Fun Things to Do in Uluwatu
Uluwatu is an area of Bali with a lot of beaches, cliff-top viewpoints, and good vibes. Honestly, it was mostly the vibes of the hostel that made me fall in love with the place. I started to show people around my favourite spots and hopefully give them that experience too. Here's what I would suggest doing during your visit to Uluwatu.
1. Go Beach-Hopping
The best way to get around Uluwatu is by motorbike, which you can rent for very cheap. The drive down to Melasti Beach is beautiful. It is also my favourite beach and the first place I would recommend going. I would give anything to be on the back of a motorbike with the wind in my hair and the sun beaming down on me as I watch the waves.
Enjoy relaxing on the sand, drinking a cocktail at one of the bars and going for a swim. The water is really shallow for most of this beach, but it is less rocky than some of the others. It is perfect for paddle-boarding and kayaking. There are many places that you can rent these from.
The only fee you pay at Melasti Beach is for parking, whereas some of the more popular tourist beaches charge an entry fee. Padang Padang Beach is one of the most popular, but it only costs 80p to enter. Apparently, it features in Eat, Pray, Love but I didn't know that when I visited. It was hectic there and we struggled to find a space, so I didn't enjoy it as much. I would suggest driving around and stopping at any beach you find, although some of them are better known for surfing (which we will get to later).
2. Take in the View at Sunset Point
After a day of beach-hopping, you want to find a good spot to watch a gorgeous Bali sunset. My favourite place is a bar in the cliffside called "Sunset Point". They have a pool and even a restaurant that serves food, but it fills up quickly as the sunset approaches.
I would suggest getting there around an hour before the sunset and settle in on a beanbag near the front with a cocktail. I used to always get a Tequila Sunrise and the bartender would joke that I was getting a Tequila Sunset.
If you are travelling by motorbike and not necessarily the most confident driver, I would suggest leaving as soon as the sunset happens. The road leading to the bar is very rocky and uneven. Going back in the dark is very difficult and I was always terrified on the back of motorbikes here.
3. Check Out the Beach Clubs
The next day, I would suggest visiting one of Bali's most famous beach clubs. I was staying at a hostel called "SR Hostel" and they had a deal with Omnia. We could enter for free in a large group and receive a drink token. It only cost 100,000 IDR at the hostel, which also paid for your transport. This means for £5 you got entry to a club, which usually cost £10. You also got transport and a free drink!!
I would take hostel guests to Omnia every other day and I always had a wonderful time. There is a gorgeous infinity pool overlooking the clifftop, we usually had a reserved table if the group was big enough and they had a decent DJ.
Uluwatu has plenty of beautiful beach clubs if you are interested in experiencing some luxury. Ask at your hostel if they have any deals, because I saved a lot of money by visiting with hostels. Uluwatu Cliffhouse gave us entry and a drink with the combined ticket. Sundays is a fancy place with a private beach and very good food.
Single Fin is a club that we also arranged transport to, but the bar is extremely expensive. Don't bring your bank card with you!! One person spent £100 on a night out here by accident, because they were drunk and didn't understand the currency. They actually bought a round of shots for a lot of people and it turns out it was £8 each for a shot.
4. Try Surfing
Uluwatu is known as being a good spot for experienced surfers. You can opt to take surf lessons at Padang Padang beach, but the waves in Uluwatu are much more difficult. At least, compared to my previous experiences in Sri Lanka.
Bingin Beach was recommended to us as a decent beach for surfing, however, the waves were too strong for me and I ended up crashing into rocks. I haven't surfed again since that incident.
Another good surfing spot is Balagan Bay, but this one is really best to leave it to the professionals. We stayed at a bar on the beach and watched the surfers from the pool. It is actually a really dangerous place to surf if you don't know what you are doing.
5. Explore Uluwatu Temple
Another essential tourist spot to check out in Uluwatu is the temple. It is high up on the cliffside and costs £2 to enter. You can explore the temple grounds and enjoy the breathtaking views of the sea from the cliffs.
There are limited tickets to view a performance at the temple, but they had sold out when we arrived. I've been told that it is a very interesting fire dance. It would have been cool to see that, but I don't feel bad for missing out, as we still got to see everything else.
Be careful of the monkeys!! One monkey at Uluwatu Temple stole a lady's phone and ran away with it. There aren't staff to help you in the same way as at Ubud's Monkey Forest. Keep your belongings close and stay away from the monkeys where possible.
Uluwatu is definitely worth a visit! I would recommend staying at SR Hostel for the backpacker experience, but there is also your fair share of villas and resorts to choose from. It's close to the airport so it could be an excellent beginning or end to your Bali experience.
You could continue on to Nusa Penida or the Gili islands by boat. You could also go to Ubud or Canggu by land. It's also not all about Bali! There are Lombok, Flores and Sumatra to explore. There are so many parts of Indonesia that I haven't seen yet and I can't wait for the chance to go back.
© 2020 Alice Sullivan