For all the hype that Bali gets as a travel destination, it’s not the easiest place. The traffic is horrendous, it’s hard to get around, and over-tourism is really intense. Still, there’s no doubting that it’s beautiful. There are lots of really cool photo locations on the island of Bali too. I’m going to try to cover as many of those locations as possible.
This is my photography guide to Bali.
Getting Around Bali
Before I get into this post too deeply, I should mention that I rented a scooter in Bali. I think it’s really the only way to get around the island quick enough on a photo trip. Traffic will cost you too many sunsets otherwise.
Uluwatu was my first travel destination in Bali. I liked it, there are monkeys – although they will definitely try to rob you – and there are some really good sea views. The cliffs up top are impressive.
Up at the temple there are some cool spots to take pictures. It’s also worth going down to Uluwatu Beach.
Another one of the temple day-trips from Kuta, Tanah Lot is a little bit over-rated. However, the landscapes and scenery around Tanah Lot is really impressive.
I personally recommend coming here for some sunset photography. The light angle isn’t ideal, but you’ll have access to areas that are closed at sunrise. You also have the added bonus of the likely opportunity to photograph some of the Balinese people.
Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest
After spending a day taking pictures in Ubud, I really regretted not staying up here instead of Kuta. The tease of a nearby beach was too much to go against, however.
The main draw for many of the tourist up at Ubud is a visit to the monkey forest. This is a pay-for-entry location and it does have opening hours 8am to 4pm. But you will definitely find some incredible images of monkeys among the temples. It’s definitely worth a visit.
Tegalalang Rice Terrace
This is the likely the best place in Bali for photos of Rice Terraces. However, be prepared for it to be extremely busy and touristy. In fact, they have gone a little bit too far with the building, in my opinion. You now have swings, restaurants, and hotels all leaning right into the below views.
Kuta and Seminyak
Obviously my least favourite place to photography in the south of Bali. But that isn’t really a result of my attitude as it is the fact that flat beaches with no big landmarks behind them don’t often make for great photos.
There are a couple places, though, that you can get onto the rocks and play with some seascape photography.
One of the funny things – to me – about Bali is that there’s a lot of waterfalls, but none of them are crazy photogenic. In fact, most of the waterfalls of Bali are pretty tame. They make for fun places to walk, explore, and even swim. However, as photography subjects, they’re only average.
Blangsinga Waterfall is probably the most photogenic of the various waterfalls on Bali. It’s a bit of a drive from the towns, but it’s worth it.
Bratan Lake Temple
This is one of the most famous photography locations in Bali. The temple is a bit of a long drive from the main towns on the island. But, it’s definitely worth the drive up here. The images can be fantastic if you’re blessed with the right light.
If you’re driving a scooter up here, dress warmly. There’s actually quite a bit of altitude and the temperatures drop a lot.
Goa Rang Reng Waterfall
This waterfall is really cool. But, for photographers you’re definitely going to have to get wet to make a good photo.
The location where I took the below photo was a slippery walk through the river where I was often well above knee deep in the water. But, for those photographers willing to get into their scene, this place has some rewarding images waiting for you.
Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal
Another one of these places that’s a little bit off the usual tourist trail in Bali, Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal is a really cool place for photography.
There are pools in which people dip in a Hindu ritual. That alone can make for some special images.
There’s also some fish ponds within the temples that offer some photography opportunities. I definitely wouldn’t miss this place.
There’s a lot of information out there regarding travel in Bali in general, but it’s still shockingly under-explored as a photography destination. I hope this guide helped give you a bit of an insight into some of the photo spots available on the island.