From A Hidden Beach To A Haunted Hotel: Offbeat Places In Bali

These lesser-known places in Bali offer a unique and authentic experience for those willing to venture off the beaten path on the Island of the Gods
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, Hindu temple, Bratan lake
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, Hindu temple, Bratan lakeShutterstock

Famed Indonesian island Bali is renowned for its beaches and lush landscapes. While popular tourist destinations like Ubud and Kuta attract millions of visitors, hidden gems and offbeat places are waiting to be discovered by the more adventurous traveller. These unconventional spots offer a unique perspective on Bali, away from the crowds and commercialism.

Visit These Lesser-Known Places In Bali

Tukad Cepung Waterfall

Tukad Cepung Waterfall
Tukad Cepung WaterfallShutterstock

This hidden treasure is tucked away in the highlands of Bangli. Unlike well-known waterfalls like Tegenungan, Tukad Cepung is a true offbeat marvel. Visitors must navigate through narrow canyons and wade through ankle-deep water to reach the hidden cave where the waterfall is nestled. The sunlight filtering through the canyon creates a magical ambience, making it a must-visit place in Bali.

When: 7 am–6 pm (all days)

Ghost Palace Hotel

Ghost Palace Hotel
Ghost Palace Hoteleickys / Shutterstock

For those seeking a break from the traditional beach experience, the Ghost Palace Hotel in Bedugul offers a hauntingly beautiful escape. Originally intended as a luxury resort, the abandoned project is now a decaying, eerie structure surrounded by mist-covered hills. While exploring the ghostly remnants of the hotel, visitors can see the overgrown gardens and graffiti-covered walls. One of the legends associated with the hotel suggests that things went awry due to a curse on the project's real estate developer for his immoral business practices, eventually bankrupting him.

When: The abandoned hotel is usually not open to the general public, but you can visit there and take pictures from outside.

Village of Sidemen 

Village of Sidemen
Village of Sidemen Shutterstock

Away from the hustle and bustle of the more commercialised regions, the village of Sidemen provides an authentic Balinese experience, making it a great place to visit in Bali. Nestled amidst rice terraces and surrounded by mountains, Sidemen offers a serene retreat for those looking to immerse themselves in the island's rich cultural heritage. Visitors can explore traditional weaving workshops, witness the intricate process of crafting batik (dyeing technique), and engage with the friendly locals.

When: Visit the village during the two rice-growing seasons, i.e. March-April or September-October


Amed beach, Bali
Amed beach, BaliShutterstock

For a taste of Bali's underwater wonders without the crowds, head to Amed. This coastal village is a haven for snorkelers and divers, boasting coral reefs and diverse marine life. The USS Liberty Shipwreck, a relic from World War II, lies nearby. Amed's fishing villages and culture offer a refreshing contrast to the more popular coastal destinations.

When: Visit this picturesque village during dry seasons, i.e. from April to October

Belimbing Rice Terraces

The spectacular rice terraces of Belimbing, Bali
The spectacular rice terraces of Belimbing, Bali Shutterstock

Venturing into Bali's western region, the Belimbing Rice Terraces offer a panorama that rivals the more famous Tegallalang terraces. The journey to Belimbing involves navigating winding roads, but the reward is an untouched landscape of cascading rice fields against a backdrop of lush greenery. The peaceful ambience and absence of large crowds allow visitors to appreciate the natural beauty of the terraces.

When: One should come here either early morning or late afternoon to enjoy the pleasant weather and scenic landscapes.

Banjar Hot Springs

Banjar Hot Springs
Banjar Hot SpringsShutterstock

In the heart of Bali's northern coast lies the Banjar Hot Springs, a hidden sanctuary surrounded by tropical vegetation. The natural hot springs in a beautifully landscaped garden provide a therapeutic retreat for those seeking relaxation. The sulfuric water is believed to have healing properties, making it a popular spot for locals and in-the-know travellers.

When: Opens for visitors between 8:30 am to 5:30 pm.

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