“Walking is a man’s best medicine”. It is hard to live by that quote with all the advanced transportation options available these days. The possible fact that walking solves many of your health problems, even if presented with shreds of scientific evidence, doesn’t seem enough to persuade us to manage one brisk 10-minute walk a day. Do you know a 25-minute daily walk adds seven years to your lifespan? In case health issues do not move you, then perhaps natures wonders will spur you into an action.
One of the best ways to explore this island is by foot. Whether visiting historic landmarks, going to traditional markets, discovering hidden spots or hour-long nature trails, your walks will be filled with so many characters on every turn of the street. And not to mention the limitless possibilities to see something from a new angle.
Ubud is a great place for you to discover the natural side of Bali with its trekking spots. Here, you can expect to meet villagers, farmers or craftsmen, while going deep into a dense forest or traversing the green-terraced rice paddies. Campuhan Ridge Walk is well known for offering a scenic walk. Offering a scenic paved-jungle track, the whole area provides a great retreat from the hectic southern parts of the island. This nine-kilometre hill track starts at the entrance to the Warwick Ibah Luxury Villas and Spa. You can easily see ‘Going to The Hill’ sign with an arrow pointing left. The next thing you know, the lush surroundings of the valley comes to sight. Along the track, you might meet some fellow trekkers on their way back from their jog. The track leads to the majestic Pura Gunung Lebah, a housing area complete with small art galleries. You will not see rice terraces until reaching the very end of the track. It is advisable to do this walk either early morning or late afternoon.
Down to Denpasar, a walk at Jalan Gajah Mada will take you to the best of Bali’s culture, shops and cuisines. Spoiler alert, this area may be a little daunting and chaotic but definitely worth a day trip. The entire length of the street is covered with shops selling things from woven fabrics, gold, arts, handicrafts, tourist trinkets, shoes, traditional medicines, spices and much more than you could imagine. Here, you can also discover some interesting heritage and history of Denpasar that will add to your knowledge. Puputan Square park is within a short stroll of this neighbourhood and Bali Museum is across the park to showcase prehistoric artefacts.
Still around the neighbourhood, Niti Mandala Renon offers a nice place to walk with little kids within a 2-kilometre walking square track. Surrounded by trees and well-maintained parks, this is one of the best spots for the locals to do sports. Provided with soccer and volleyball fields, basketball courts and some fitness facilities, you can also let your children loose at the playground. This is a good place for those getting off the tourist trail and blend amongst the local people being themselves in a wonderful, good-natured and stress-free way. The fact that Bajra Sandhi Museum is located in the middle of the park adds another reason to visit. We recommend coming on Sunday morning during the car-free day between 7 to 9 AM. You will be entertained with a line of people selling food, groceries, clothes, plants, pets and many more delightful things.
Going a bit to the east side of Denpasar, you can enjoy a pleasant stroll along the 7 kilometres of Sanur Beach. Offering calm and beautiful scenery, it is recommended to go for a morning walk when the air is still fresh. Sanur in the morning is really peaceful, and therefore there is a good chance for you to see people doing yoga or meditating along the coastline. Here, the walking track is flat and smooth as the surface is made of asphalt and paving stones. Later in the morning, you will see busy maritime activities of people preparing to head to Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan.
Just next to Sanur Beach, a half-kilometre walk, Jalan Matahari Terbit is a continuation of Sanur Beach. Featuring a beautiful seascape and a beach footpath bordering the waves, you can expect to see local fishermen starting their morning activities. Outlining both Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan on the far horizon, morning walkers can also catch the silhouette of Mount Agung in the distance.
Along the bypass of Sanur, on the way to Kuta, Mangrove Forest is tucked away out of sight from the main road and mainstream tourists. Offering wooden boardwalk trails and floating decks, you can walk around the area and enjoy what nature has to offer. This mangrove forest is very important for coastal ecosystems, which contains a wide number of birds and fishes. It is recommended to come with your family, as this place is one of the best places on the island to educate your children of the importance of preserving nature. If you decide to walk here by yourself, this 1,300-acre forest definitely offers a very calm setting and syncs you with nature. You can get a great panoramic view of the overall forest from the lookout towers.
Further down, Jalan Legian is one of the best walking streets with a bunch of small souvenir shops, spas, kiosks, tattoo shops, surf shops, convenience stores, made-to-order leather shops, money changers, bars and clubs all along the track. The footpaths on both sides of the street offer great walks for shoppers by day to hop from one small shop to another, and clubbers by night to experience multiple clubs in one full night. The Ground Zero memorial is the central landmark in Legian that is sure to move you.
At the end of the Legian shopping street, Jalan Raya Seminyak is dedicated to fashion lovers. There isn’t much sightseeing along this stretch of road but does offer an eclectic mix of local and international fashion boutiques to visit. You can find many brand outlets who have their flagship stores here. Besides fashion boutique, this 2-kilometre long street also offers cafés, bars and restaurants for a quick stop during your walk.
There you have it! Hopefully, by now you’ll consider walking as a new habit for yourself.