Rich in culture, spirituality, and joy, the island of Bali is ideal for travelers seeking more than just a beautiful beach. But rest assured—there are plenty of beautiful beaches. Not to mention ancient holy temples, impossibly green terraced rice paddies, active volcanoes, charming people, and delicious food. Take a look into the otherworldliness that is Bali with these recommendations.

Read: Bali Daze by Cat Wheeler

Jump off the beaten tourist path with expat author Cat Wheeler as she takes you along on her journey of putting down roots in Ubud. A long-term resident, Wheeler paints a complex, beguiling, and often humorous picture of Bali that is rarely seen.

Read this if you value authentic cultural experiences.

Read: Fragrant Rice: My Continuing Love Affair with Bali by Janet De Neefe

The rich culinary experience of Bali is a main focus of this memoir of one woman’s 1974 trip to Bali that resulted in marrying a Balinese man, having four children, and running two succesful restaurants. Traditional Balinese recipes are woven throughout the book, making it fun to read before, during, or even after your trip to Bali.

Read this if culinary adventures are your favorite part of traveling.

Watch: Eat Pray Love


Starring Julia Roberts, this movie showcases Bali’s most amazing landscapes, from the pristine Padang Padang Beach to breathtaking rice terraces and the mystic monkey forest in Ubud. And if you’re interested in visiting a traditional healer while in Bali, this film gives some insight into that, too.

Watch this on the plane to Bali.

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