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5 amazing cultural experiences in Bali

Home » Travel » 5 amazing cultural experiences in Bali

If you’re planning a visit to sunnier climes once it’s safe to do so, Bali is a fascinating holiday destination on many a bucket list. There is no denying that Bali’s beautiful beaches are a huge attraction. But as a tourist destination it is much more its year round sunshine, tropical seas and stretches of white sand. If you’re planning to enjoy some culture and heritage on your holiday too, here are five amazing cultural experiences in Bali to get you started:

Learn to Cook Balinese-Style

If you enjoy sampling different cuisines, no doubt you’ve tasted authentic Indonesian foods like satay, betutu and urab. Nothing beats savouring these flavours in their home surroundings. But learning the skills to recreate the dishes at home is one of the best gifts you can share on your return.

There are plenty of traditional cooking classes you can take on the island, where you’ll learn to cook an array of delicious dishes, Balinese-style.

Balinese food
Balinese food. Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash

Do Some Volunteering Work

One way to soak up Bali’s culture and the atmosphere is to engage in some volunteer work on the island. Each year, thousands of Brits travel to Bali to donate their time and skills to improve others’ lives.

Jalan Monkey Forest, Ubud, Kabupaten de Gianyar, Bali.
Jalan Monkey Forest, Ubud, Kabupaten de Gianyar, Bali. Photo by Khamkéo Vilaysing on Unsplash

You could get involved with a conservation project, for example, or offer English language tuition. Contacting the top volunteer organisations in Bali will give you an idea of the different projects available. Plus, as well as a memorable experience by working alongside others you’ll likely make plenty of amazing new friends for life!


Watch a Gamelan Show

Gamelan is a type of traditional Balinese music orchestra that plays an integral role in Bali’s culture and history. Gamelan music typically accompanies religious ceremonies and rituals, dancing, festivals, and traditional theatre.

You won’t find it hard to come across a gamelan show as music is at the heart of Balinese life and found in virtually all villages. These percussion orchestras are an integral part of daily life and their sounds are a great way to immerse yourself in the local atmosphere.

Take Part in Mepantigan Mud Games

Think martial arts in the mud? Mepantigan is a form of Balinese martial arts – with an emphasis on fun by extending the self-defence tradition to include elements of Balinese dance and Gamelan music, fusing fighting with performing arts to create a new cultural experience.

Mepantigan activities include mud wrestling, playing tug-of-war, dancing, and much more. Don’t worry because you’ll have the chance to shower afterwards!


Visit Ancient Temples
Lastly, if you’ve done some research on Bali, you’ve probably discovered that temples are virtually everywhere on the island. Balinese temples are beautiful, inspirational and spiritual places that are both vibrant and emit a strong sense of community.

Singaraja, Bali, Indonesia
Singaraja, Bali, Indonesia Photo by Ines Álvarez Fdez on Unsplash

Bali’s ancient temples play an integral role in the island’s culture, and locals are happy for visitors to share in the experience with them. These five cultural ideas for Bali will make your holiday the trip of a lifetime!

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Written by
Carmel Thomason
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Written by Carmel Thomason