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They may not be the staple attraction in Bali, but paddy fields are still one of the most calming experiences you can have under the sun.
CNN Insider Guides are thoroughly checked for accuracy. Given the fluid nature of the travel industry, however, some listings may fall out of date before guides can be updated. The best practice is to confirm current information on official websites before making plans to visit any business or attraction.
(CNN)Many would argue that Bali is a paradise lost.
It isn't. It's just evolved.
If you want to know what to do in Bali, remember first that the island has transformed itself from a laid back surfer hangout into one of the world's most popular holiday destinations.
It now offers as many experiences as the varying hues of green found in a plot of terraced rice paddy.
Whether you're a hardcore partygoer determined to eat, drink and not sleep your way through Seminyak; a yoga devotee seeking peace and tranquility in Ubud's tropical rainforest setting; a die-hard surfer whose only agenda is to paddle out and catch the monster swells at Padang Padang; or a curious traveler charmed by Bali's sacred temples in Manggis -- you can do it all (or do nothing at all) in Bali.
The best of Bali has everything, the good, the downright ugly (braided, Bintang tank-top-wearing hordes in insufferable Kuta) and the sublimely beautiful.
Here's what to do in Bali.
W Retreat & Spa Bali -- Seminyak
Despite the double-glazed windows, you'll still hear the roar of the ocean.
The new rock star on the island, there's no denying the high-octane glamour that comes with this beachfront property.
It's large by Bali standards, but exudes its own sense of cool and calm.
A room in the main building gets you close to the action.
Back from the beach are the hotel's brilliant, and affordable, private villas and pools.
Very useful is the best of Bali AWAY spa, which remains open 24/7.
That's great news for late-night revelers in need of a foot massage after stumbling in from a night at Woo Bar -- Bali's newest hot spot.
Equally useful is the hidden sliding door that conceals and reveals bathroom and bedroom areas, and the three-tier main swimming pool for ample lounging and photo opportunities.
The hotel is far enough from the main array of hotels to keep the beach quiet, while further north is the even quieter Canggu beach.
The hotel can arrange a motorbike rental for US$5 a day.
While most other beach bars roll out designer cocktails and fancy finger food, La Plancha keeps it simple with laid-back reggae beats, a selection of beer, oversized beanbags and jugs of potent sangria.
It also helps that the bar has an uninterrupted view of the pink-to-red-to-orange sky.
La Plancha, Mesari Beach, between JL Double Six and Jl Dhyanapura, Seminyak, Bali Indonesia; +62 361 8900000
There's rarely any room for women in Bali Joe, except for those that get up on the bar and lip-synch to Beyoncé anthems.
The bar is popular for its energetic vibe and nightly drag shows that feature plenty of audience participation.
Performers can be persuaded to extend a few private DIY diva tips.
Bali Joe Bar, Jl. Camplung Tanduk (Ex Dhyana Pura) no. 8, Seminyak, Bali Indonesia;
Rock Bar: Now this is a drink with a view.
Rock Bar's mixologists pour creative cocktails set to the beats spun from a DJ booth carved into the stone -- although some nights are devoted to live music.
Designed by Yasuhiro Koichi of Japan's Design Studio SPIN, this is one of the best, and most crowded, places to watch the sunset in Bali.
A word of warning: wear suitable clothes.
No board shorts or sleeveless tops for guys. T
hursday to Saturday nights are extremely busy, so be prepared for a long wait.
A scooter from the main Kuta/Seminyak stretch will take 30 minutes-plus to reach the bar.
There's plenty of shopping to do in Bali, and few visitors are able to resist the urge to take home a full 24-piece set of Jenggala crockery in pale green jade or plain white.
What started in 1976 as a small, experimental cottage industry has become a global ceramic force.
The high quality, handcrafted ceramic decorated with painstaking detail is a pretty addition -- and nicer reminder of Bali -- to any home.
Jenggala, Jalan Uluwatu II, Jimbaran, Bali 80361 Indonesia; +62 361 703311
Simple Konsep Store
This store is anything but simple.
At this concept space that fuses Bali's traditional artisan skills with modern European designs, you'll find everything from origami folding leather bags, Melissa shoes, commissioned ceramics objects by Gaja Gallery, jewelry by local and European designers and unique batik print apparel.
Simple Konsep Store, 40 Jalan Lesmana-Oberoi, Seminyak; +62 361 730393
Mount Agung gets you closer to the gods.
What to do in Bali after you've seen all the beaches, sampled all the menus and hit all the bars?
Scaling the majestic Mount Agung -- at 3,142 meters the highest point on the island -- makes for a worthy challenge.
A strato-volcano that last erupted in 1963, locals believe it's a replica of Mount Meru, the central axis of the universe.
There are two routes to the top.
Both take up to four hours.
And while you can scale it without a guide -- they can be found lingering at the start of the trek -- employing one is highly recommended.