Legian is a great base for exploring other parts of Bali and virtually all of the island can comfortably be enjoyed in a day. Second only to Kuta for choice, day trip excursions from Legian can be enjoyed in the comfort and convenience of an organised tour or under your own head of steam by hiring a car or motorcycle.
There is another way to take a Legian day trip which is something of a compromise between the two and also the cheapest option. Why not take a scheduled tourist shuttle bus to one of Bali’s other major resorts and explore at leisure from there? There are literally dozens of services leaving daily to places such as Ubud, Sanur, Padang Bai and Lovina.
Whatever your interest there is a rewarding experience out there and the choice is simply phenomenal. You can spend a fruitful day touring temples and traditional markets, explore central Bali’s celebrated artisans’ villages or even a dawn climb up volcanic Mount Batur. If even more adventure and excitement is your style, then little can compare to a heart stopping day of white water rafting which can easily be combined with a visit to cultured Ubud.
Surf safaris and full day dive trips around the coastline are also highly popular. There are plenty of Legian day trips for kids too at Bali Marine and Safari Park, the Elephant safari park and the Bali Reptile Park. For all the resorts obvious charms, it is not a true reflection of ‘real’ Balinese life and a day trip excursion from Legian will really inspire and educate.
Bali Barat National Park
Comprising a large area of West Bali, this is one of the island’s last remaining wildernesses and will offer plenty of adventure for nature lovers. There are over 700 square miles of mangrove swamps and coastal flats which are home to over 200 species of bird and small mammal life. There are numerous opportunities for exploring the park from boat trips among the mangroves, hiking and even scaling Bali’s second highest peak.
The most popular area of the park is in fact the small uninhabited island of Pulau Menjangan which boasts Bali’s most spectacular coral reefs. Despite its varied and spectacular scenery, Bali Barat National Park is one of the islands least visited attractions and you can be guaranteed an adventurous day out in complete isolation.
Located in the extreme south along a bulbous and rugged peninsular is the breathtaking coastal scenery of Uluwatu. Traditionally the sole preserve of diehard surfers, the area now boasts a rash of sumptuous five star resorts including the incredible US$6,000-a-night Bulgari Resort.
The coast line comprises idyllic beaches and towering cliffs battered constantly by crashing waves which attract world champion surfers. There is no finer sight here than the remarkable cliff top temple of Uluwatu perched on a limestone cliff 200 feet above the ocean.
Other attractions here include the championship New Kuta Golf Club, which has hosted the Indonesian Open, and the Garuda Wisnu Kencana cultural park. A day trip from Legian to Uluwatu can easily be combined with a romantic sunset dinner on the sand at one of the famous Jimbaran Bay seafood restaurants.
Art and culture courses
While witnessing art and culture in action is rewarding in its own right, go one step further and take a rewarding full day course in traditional Balinese cultural life. There is plenty of scope with a trip to Ubud which has countless educational foundations and cultural schools.
Immerse yourself in dance, painting, meditation, cookery just for starters. Families with different interests should visit the Suly Resort (website: www.sulyresort.com) which offers all these and many more activities including gamelan music making and basic jewelry design.