Leisure activities in Bali for solo expats, couples and groups

leisure in Bali
Updated 2019-10-31 07:51

As a resort island, many aspects of Balinese life are centred on tourism. As such, being an expat, you could surely benefit from this, as there are lots of events, facilities, and special deals being offered on many leisurely activities.

There is a plethora of activities to do in Bali either by yourself, with family or friends, or with your loved ones. If you live and work in Bali, time may be limited to those after working hours. For this, we have prepared suggestions on some things to do during the weekdays. But if you are keen to do more exploring during your day off, below we have prepared a list of activities that you can do in this beautiful island.

Things to do alone in Bali

Bali is quite supportive of those who travel or live alone. The whole atmosphere is laid back, and people are generally quite used to see solo travellers – both male and female. There is a certain freedom that you can feel in Bali. This island provides its inhabitants with the liberty to be who they really are. Indeed, Bali is renowned for being a spiritual place to do some soul searching.

If being in solitude is your idea of relaxation, Bali has plenty of scenic beaches to do so. Beach lounging is the most favourite activity to do in Bali for a very obvious reason. There are myriad of beaches in Bali to suit every need. For a quiet walk or a comfortable reading session by the beach, you can opt for Sanur beach or Jimbaran beach that are located close to the main road for easy access. For those who like to jog, Nusa Dua beach provides a paved track for some serious running. Families or groups of friends who want to have a private picnic by the beach can opt to go to a more secluded beach like Geger Beach in Nusa Dua. For a romantic date with your loved ones, you can go to Balangan Beach in Ungasan that offers stunning sunset with quieter vibes.

For a solo expat, there are also plenty of opportunities to join a variety of interest groups and make friends along the way. It is also a good way to explore different interests or develop expertise in the area that you are interested in. Be it culture, tech, social and environmental groups; there are different kind of groups to cater to every interest in Bali.

The best way to find out about these kinds of activities is by joining a creative hub or coworking spaces. Places like Rumah Sanur in Sanur or Kembali Hub in Sunset Road, Legian, or Genesis Creative Center in Canggu operate beyond common coworking spaces to creative hubs where different communities gather together. These communities often hold workshops or seminars on certain topics. Whether your interest is to learn coding for beginners or to get your hands busy with candle-making class, you could find classes on this. Often the classes are free or on a donation basis.

If you are still unsure of where to start, it is also worth to join groups of common interests on social media like Facebook. As a melting pot, people come from all over the world to Bali. Informal classes are frequently being organised by community groups that range from a free impromptu yoga class to a trip to climb Mount Batur, exploring the waterfalls, or going to temples together. Some tourists passing by Bali would also often seek travel mates to visit certain tourist destinations. This is an excellent way to cut costs and get a travel buddy to explore other parts of Bali that you have never seen.

As a start, you can try to join FB groups of the local community where you live, for example, Canggu Community, Sanur Community, Jimbaran Community, Uluwatu Community, etc. These community groups share a lot of useful information, from activities and things to do in your area to deals and promotions, buying and sell ads on various items, including second-hand furniture and motorbikes to start your life in Bali.

Things to do in Bali with your family

Expats coming with families would have no shortage of activities to do either in Bali. Balinese are very family-oriented and have a strong fondness towards kids. When dining out with your family, often a kind Balinese waitress would offer to hold your kids so you can fully enjoy your meal. There are also plenty of activities for kids. Bali Zoo in Gianyar is one of the crowds' favourites. For more educative activities, Pondok Pekak Library and Learning Center in Ubud offers artistic activities for kids to try. In this centre, kids can learn to paint, try their hands at Balinese Dance, play Gamelan (traditional Balinese instrument), learn wood carving, fruit carving, Balinese offering making, and making silver jewellery.

Things to do in Bali with your partner

As for the lovebirds, the list of activities is endless. Adventurists can choose from countless of options from mount climbing (most favourite mountains to climbs are Batur, Agung and Abang) or doing rafting in the gushing stream of Ayung river. For both activities, there are plenty of tour operators offering attractive packages, so you don't have to worry about safety and practicality.

Another way for couples to explore while making friends is by joining a sports club like Bali Hash House Harriers. Primarily a running club, Bali Hash House Harriers meets monthly at a pre-determined location in Bali countryside for cross-country exploration through the villages, terraces, and jungle ravines of beautiful Bali. It provides a great way to stay fit while also exploring the different area of Bali where you have never been.

For more laid back options, couples can also join a cooking class together. If you love Balinese foods and would like to make it yourself at home with your partner, Bali Asli would be a place to learn the craft of traditional Balinese cooking. Located in the northeast village of Gelumpang, about 30 minutes from Amed, Bali Asli provides a culinary experience of “A day in the life of a Balinese lady” that encompass going to the market in the early morning, flower offerings preparation to a cooking session.

If doing all these activities sound so exhaustive and defy the meaning of living a relaxing life in Bali, you can always opt to make a road trip in Bali. This is the best way to explore hidden areas in Bali. Grab a scooter or car and drive along the road, basking your mind, body and soul in the scenic view of Bali countryside and the innocent charms of its people.

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