Exotic Bali in a Day: Rice Terraces, Monkeys, Temples and More

Clearly, a day in exotic and exciting Bali is not enough. Even in the rain, the island is fascinating. For us, it was a cruise port with Royal Caribbean. We docked in Benoa and hired a private driver to show us the sites. We skipped the beaches as it was raining most of the day.

Here are our highlights in photos:

Tegalalang Rice Terrace in Bali, Indonesia

Tegalalang rice terraces. They are beautiful even in the pouring rain. (Seen in the movie Eat, Pray, Love)

Stone carving in the villiage of Batubulan, Bali Indonesia

Stone carving in the village of Batubulan. Our driver explained that each village has a speciality. This town specialises in stone carving and there is shop after shop featuring similar items. Most are for export. The next village features wood carving and the next painting.

Mandala Suci Wenara Wana Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud Bali, Indonesia

Mandala Suci Wenara Wana Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud is a highlight of our day. We didn’t touch the monkeys, although many other visitors let them climb up on their shoulders.

Monkey in a water fountain in Ubud, Bali Indonesia

The reason I don’t drink out of water fountains.

Bridge in the Mandala Suci Wenara Wana Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud Bali, Indonesia

Hubby is standing on this amazing bridge in the monkey sanctuary.

A Hindu temple in the Mandala Suci Wenara Wana Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

There were several monkeys climbing in this Hindu temple (Pura Dalem Agung) in the monkey forest.

Market in Ubud, Bali

Reminding us of Marrakesh, people on scooters rode through the crowded market of Ubud.

Girl selling fans in a market in Ubud, Bali

I bought a fan from this girl. She was an excellent negotiator.

We also visited a traditional Balinese house complex that has at least four pavilions: for cooking, ceremony, sleeping and a family temple.

We also visited a traditional Balinese house complex. They have at least four pavilions: for cooking, ceremony, sleeping and a family temple. This one had more, and there were several people currently living there. It is government sponsored and from what I understood, part of their agreement is to allow visitors. We made a small donation when we left. You may also check out these top 7 Best Value Hotels to Relax in Bali by HotelsCombined to complete your Bali experience.

Tradional Balinese House

Another pavilion of the house.

Hindu statue in Bali

This huge display in the centre of a major road tells the Hindu story.

Batuan Temple in Bali, Indonesia

Before entering Batuan Temple we each had to don a sarong. This is hubby with our driver.

Batuan Temple in Bali, Indonesia

Inside the temple.

A women putting out the daily offering in Bali Indonesia

A woman putting out the daily offering. It is a Hindu tradition, that is done by nearly everyone. Even our driver had an offering in the car.

More About Bali and Indonesia:

  • There are more than 17,00o islands of Indonesia, Bali is only one of them.
  • Bali has a population of 4 million, and our driver estimates that there are 2 million scooters.
  • While most of Indonesia is Muslim, the island of Bali is predominantly Hindu.
  • Tourism is the largest industry. Bali is also known for stone and wood carvings, Batik, and silver jewellery.

We are sailing from Sydney to Perth around the top side of Australia on the Radiance of the Seas, a mid-sized ship in Royal Caribbean family. Bali was our fourth port, having already been to Brisbane, Cairns, and Darwin (all Australia ports).

What do you think of Bali?

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Mandala Suci Wenara Wana Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary was one of the many sites we photographed in our day on Bali, Indonesia

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  1. says

    Wow! It must be hard to chose what to do if you have one day in Bali. I think Ubud was a great decision. To me, that is one of the most interesting places on the entire islands. And, I cannot pass up seeing monkeys! #wkendtravelinspiration #TPThursday

  2. says

    Hi Rhonda – I’ve never been … but those rice terraces look amazing … and Ubud – obviously more traditional than elsewhere … fascinating and great you found a driver to take you around … cheers Hilary

  3. says

    What interesting pictures of Bali you shared! I’ve been dying to go to Bali ever since I saw/read Eat, Pray, Love. #Wkendtravelinspiration

  4. says

    Beautiful! I’ve been to Indonesia, but only around Jakarta on shorter stops, which didn’t inspire me to stay longer. Someday I need to get out of there, and over to Bali!

  5. says

    I must be one of the few Australians that haven’t been to Bali. It usually brings to mind beaches full of drunk Australians, so it was nice to see a different side. The terraces always look so magical, plus that bridge photo is wonderful. Would definitely like to see this side of Bali when I do eventually go.

  6. says

    I’ve been to Bali twice but not for about 30 years! Wow that makes me feel old! It was the first place I travelled solo and also my first experience of south east Asia. For both those reasons and that it is so beautiful I will always remember it and it really doesn’t feel like 30 years. I dare say it’s changed a lot but your photos show it is still stunning. #wkendtravelinspiration

    • says

      LOL – I know that old feeling, it happens to me frequently, especially when I am scrolling down a list to find my the year of my birth. I have no idea what it was like then, but now it is a paradise.

  7. says

    Bali looks exotic for sure. I’d love to visit it more in depth, but I believe a day gave you a pretty good idea about this part of the world. I am not particularly fond of monkeys, although I find them very interesting creatures. It’s a good idea not to touch them, or any other wild animal by this token. As cute as they may look, they may bite and transmit a lot of diseases.

  8. says

    Beautiful photos Rhonda – and it looks like you had a good day exploring. The monkeys are always a highlight and I think everyone that visits Bali remembers the Hindu sculpture in the middle of the road too!

  9. says

    Wow! You really made the most of your time in Bali – glad you skipped the beach and hired a car for the day. Those rice terraces look simply gorgeous 🙂 I’ve been dying to go to Indonesia, but haven’t quite made it yet! I definitely have to see the rice terraces and monkey sanctuary. Very helpful post – thanks! Have a great cruise 🙂

  10. says

    Such beautiful photos Rhonda – I’ve been back and forth about whether or not I think I would enjoy Bali – on one hand there’s so much beauty and rich history and culture, though on the other we try to avoid the mass touristy destinations. That said it seems like there are places in Bali where it’s possible to escape the crowds and still achieve an authentic experience so I think we’ll give it a go – maybe 2017 🙂

  11. says

    It looks like you really made the most out of your day Rhonda. Hiring a private driver was a great idea, and very affordable in Bali. Bali is one of my favorite Asian destinations especially when you can get away from the crowds. #wkendtravelinspiration

  12. says

    You certainly managed to see and do a lot in your day! I agree that hiring a car and driver is such a great way to get around, especially if you are pressed for time. And how cute are those monkeys?! Hope you’re enjoying your cruise!

  13. says

    Bail looks like an incredible place to visit, even in the rain! The rice terraces are so picturesque. Hiring a driver for the day seems like to perfect way to see the island in a short period of time, and you don’t have to share with all the other hoards of cruise ship passengers 🙂
    I hope to visit Indonesia someday in the future.

  14. says

    We’ve been to Bali twice and really love it. I think you chose well. The beaches are lovely, but they’re still beaches. The monkeys and rice paddies and temples and the town of Ubud are really unique and worth spending time on.

  15. says

    I love Bali in the rain! that stone carving is fantastic and the photo you’ve taken of the bridge is the Monkey Forest is wonderful. I’d love to return to Bali some day.

  16. says

    These photos are awesome! I am loving these rice terraces. I am going to Bali myself in March and can’t wait to experience it all. It just looks spectacular!

  17. says

    Great photos, love the shot of the dragon bridge at the monkey sanctuary and that baby monkey is super cute. We have never been to Bali it looks like an awesome place for a photographer. We look forward to visiting such a beautiful place.

  18. says

    I spent 10 days traveling around Bali and absolutely loved it! It’s so beautiful and everyone is so nice. Yes, some places can be touristy, but I never found it to really be an issue. I’d love to go back one day and explore some of the other islands in Indonesia.

  19. says

    The only time that I’ve been to Bali, it was at the end of a whirlwind trip around SE Asia almost 20 years ago. We were so exhausted from our travels, that all we saw of Bali was the beach in front of our hotel. I’d love to return, but hubby (who also visited as a child) says twice was enough for him. You were very wise to hire a private driver instead of joining the group tour that I’m sure the cruise offered as a port excursion. Those rice terraces and that photo of the bridge in the monkey forest make me want to return some day and explore Bali further.

  20. says

    Love this! Shows many of the reasons Bali is near the top of our Travel Bucket List. This is the one place where I would be tempted to test the Captain’s threat to set sail without you if you’re not back in time. Whoops! 😉

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