The cultural arty centre of Bali, Ubud is lined with markets, beautiful traditional buildings surrounded by rice paddies in the centre of the island. The Love part in Eat, Pray, Love, you won’t necessarily find a hunky Brazilian to fall in love with but it’s hard not to fall in love with this little place. Life here is about relaxation and well-being so take your time walking the streets. Of course it is still a big tourist destination and so you will inevitably still be pestered by vendors but it is no where near as bad as in places like Kuta. If you want to exert yourself a little more than just strolling, Ubud is a great place to take a cooking class or you can take cycle tours around the town and he rice paddies beyond.
Kuta is the party part of Bali and the most commercial with a Hard Rock Café and Bubba Gump Shrimp. Really popular with young Australian’s it is a little like their equivalent to Ibiza. However, like San Antonio Bay there is still plenty on offer in addition to it’s lively atmosphere and plenty of bars and restaurants a little more authentic. The beaches are great for surfers but they do get quite packed. For a dip in the water somewhere a little different try the Waterbom water park which is great fun and unlike the beach you won’t get people trying to get you to buy fake designer goods.
Seminyak is just a little further up the beach than Kuta and Legian. The beaches are less crowed but just as beautiful. Seminyak is a spot for flashy travellers and is the more classy, luxurious pat of the island. Popular with a lot of expats, it has plenty of shopping opportunities and nice restaurants. There isn’t quite as much to do her but it is a great place to use as a retreat.
Between the two above is Legian, More like Kuta in liveliness, it still has a thriving nightlife but it is ever so slightly less chaotic and the further you walk up the beach the quieter it gets. I suggest walking up the beach from Kuta to Legian and back via Jl. Legian road where you can stop off at lots of nice bars and restaurants along the way. That’s a day well spent.
Denpasar is the capital of Bali and will most likely be where you fly into. A frantic, intense city but a place you should visit to get the full Bali experience. Renon is the business district which has nice restaurants and will provide a small break from the chaotic buzz.