Contributor: Lisa Johannsen, Bali-based Event Manager of DMSS Conference

Bali is the land of explorers. With its endless rice paddies, secret beaches and (still) magical corners, it’s the land of freedom. Since the 1930s it has attracted artists, agents of free love, adventures and those you are seeking answers.

With increasing buzz and publicity, more and more “bules” (Balinese word for foreigners) are exploring the island and (some even) make it their home. Through this growth comes more and more development – shopping malls, big hotels and investment projects are popping out of the Earth everywhere.

However, there are still some secret, magical places. In this article we’ll talk about corners you should explore on your next Bali trip, places that feel like the authentic spirit of Bali and where to go to feel a little less “bule”.

Here’s our top list of things to do:

Get a scooter and explore

There is no country in this world where it’s easier to jump on a scooter and explore places off the beaten track.

No matter if you go south or north, just make sure you’re escaping the traffic of Denpasar city. Once out of hectic area you’ll soon discover vast rice paddies, temples, beaches and local life.

Just get a little lost and follow the path! But always make sure you wear a helmet and watch out for some stray dogs crossing the streets.

One of my favourite areas to explore is the area North West of Ubud. Here you will see children who meet you with a big grin on their faces and old folks who stare at you as if you’re the first Westerner they’ve ever seen in their lives!

Sunday’s sunset at Pererenan Beach

Every Sunday at Pererenan Beach in Canggu, locals from the surrounding area gather to see off the week at the beach with a beautiful sunset.

There are some small warungs (food stalls with local food) and stands with cold coconuts for sale. Kids are flying their kits, Indonesian families bathing in the sea,

and dozens of dogs playing in the sand.

Sunday sunset here is simply something to behold: You can experience a taste of the local way of life up close.

Explore Nusa Penida

A secret spot par excellence: The island of Nusa Penida! Even though its only a 30-minute boat ride away – it feels like traveling back in time. Tourism here is still in its infancy.

Currently you can count the number of accommodations and restaurants on a couple of hands, that is why only a few travelers actually stay here overnight. However, if you are one of those adventurers that are fine with a local guesthouse you can truly experience the authentic spirit of Indonesia here!

One of the island’s many highlights: The over 200-meter-high cliffs. Guaranteed: One of the most beautiful views on the planet.

Visit a coworking space

It is no coincidence that the two of the most famous coworking spaces globally are based in Bali. The island offers the ideal infrastructure for digital nomads, online entrepreneurs and remote workers.

If you find it hard to connect with others, join Dojo Bali or HUBUD in Ubud; guaranteed you’ll make friends right away! They also have an amazing team of locals and are normally not shy to invite you for the next party or nomad meet up.

They also offer Bahasa Indonesia classes – a great way to learn some basic sentences. Let me tell you – Balinese love it if you can say a few words in their language!

Join a professional event such as DMSS Conference

And should you only have a limited amount of time to stay – make sure to plan your trip for November so you can join DMSS Conference . Rated the most popular digital marketing event in the area, DMSS has lots to offer for marketers, digital nomads, entrepreneurs, and those who want to become one.

DMSS is a unique four-day experience that brings together digital thought-leaders that push the edges of Digital Marketing through inspiration, creativity and joy. The event offers next to professional networking and hands-on marketing workshops lots of cool “Bali experiences”: Yoga, Wim Hof breathing and cold-plunge, group Meditation and a talk by a monk that turned into a serial entrepreneur are only a few to mention.

4 days, 4 stages, 40 speakers and 400 attendees. A great way to learn digital marketing and meet fellow entrepreneurs. And also a great starting point for your online career – so you never have to stop exploring and can stay in Bali for as loooooong as you like 🙂

Have fun exploring!