Bali when the sun is shining is the closest thing to perfection I have ever encountered. From May to September the sun shines most days, and visitors here come for the weather and outdoor attractions. You can enjoy the beaches, hikes, and rice fields, and surf on the stunning beaches. But what about when it rains? From October to April, the monsoon season kicks in and the climate is very different. It can seem like a nightmare if your holiday coincides with some bad weather, but all is not lost! Here is your complete guide to the monsoon season in Bali, and things you can do when it rains.
- Monsoon Season Facts
- What To Expect
- Things To Do
- Have a Spa Day
- Do an Escape Room
- Go Axe Throwing
- Do a Cooking Course
- Go for Afternoon Tea
- Get Crafty
- Create a custom perfume
- Shop and watch a movie
- Be Productive
While you’re here, check out these posts to get ready for your trip:
- The Best Restaurants In Seminyak, Bali
- BALI TRAVEL GUIDE
- The Cheapest Way To Fly From Europe To South East Asia
- Backpacking Essentials Checklist: Packing Guide For All The Gear You Need
Monsoon Season In Bali
Bali’s rainy season runs from October to April, with the wettest months being December and January. No matter what the season you can expect a tropical, warm and humid climate all year round. Temperatures will remain around 28°C (82°F) even during the wettest months.
Monsoon season in Bali can be very unpredictable. Some years it rains constantly for weeks at time, and others it’s sporadic. Interspersed with the days / hours of rain will be beautiful sunny weather where you can go to the beach and enjoy everything Bali has to offer. However when booking your trip during the rainy season, it will be impossible to predict the weather during your trip.
This year we have had a great rainy season, with very little rain during October and November, increasing slightly in December. January so far has been excellent but during the last few weeks it became grey, overcast and rainy. In between the rain the weather has been fantastic, similar to what it is during peak months.
What To Expect
As I said, the weather during monsoon season in Bali is unpredictable. Sometimes it rains for an hour or so and the sun comes back out, but sometimes you have days of constant rain and grey clouds. One thing I would say is that if you are coming for a week or longer, you would need to be very unlucky for it to be overcast the entire time.
When it rains during monsoon season in Bali, the rain arrives quickly and heavily. Roads can flood, rivers swell, and everyone stays indoors. There are often thunder and lightning storms, which are more enjoyable than frightening. There may also be power cuts from time to time.
Humidity is very high during the wet monsoon season, so you won’t need to pack any heavy clothes. You can buy rain jackets and cover ups in any store here so if you don’t have one, you won’t need to bring it with you.
There are many mosquitoes during rainy season, so wear a lot of insect repellent if you’re here during monsoon season. You can buy an orange spray called ‘Soffell’ in any convenience store here which is great for keeping mosquitoes away.
When the sun is out during December and January it is very, very strong so you can get burnt very easily. I understand that if you don’t have many sunny days you might want to lie out without suncream to ensure you come home with a tan. I would strongly advise against this. Even people who are living in Bali and spending a lot of time in the sun get burned during these months as the sun is so strong.
Most people in Bali get around by scooter, which is much cheaper and quicker than travelling by car. However when it rains, driving a scooter becomes a lot less comfortable. With wind and rain whipping your face, and bikes zooming past you to get home quickly, it’s a lot less safe too.
It might be best to take taxis when it is raining here, or when it’s forecast to rain. You can order these on your phone using the Grab app.
Things To Do on Rainy Days in Bali
The rain in Bali can quickly put a stop to your planned activities. Beach plans are abandoned, pool parties are called off, and hiking is not only unpleasant, but also dangerous. Here are a few rainy-day activities you can enjoy in Bali.
Have a Spa Day
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Holidays are all about relaxation and chilling out – so instead of stressing out about the rain, head to your nearest spa for some R&R!
Amo Spa in Canggu is the perfect spot to spend a day of pampering. Not only do they offer massages, facials and manipedis, here’s also a hair salon, steam room, sauna, ice plunge pool and even an indoor hot tub where you can enjoy a cocktail!
Amo Spa have a restaurant / bar on site so you can spend the entire day here if you like. Check out their website for their treatment lists and services.
Bali Botanica Spa in Ubud offers full day spa packages, with transportation to and from your hotel. Enjoy an Ayurvedic massage, facial, full body scrub, refreshing flower bath or hair treatments and you can also have lunch here. They do couple indulgence packages, or solo / friend packages too. You can find more details on the packages here.
AWAY Spa in Seminyak is part of the W hotel and is open 24 hours. The spa features a chill bar, an oxygen lounge and an interior to match a swanky members club. Indulge in a 24 carat gold facial, an oxygen facial, a relaxing massage, or a manipedi. There is a restaurant, hair salon, plunge pool, steam room and fitness center on site for you to use also.
After you have finished your treatments, if the rain has dried up then check out their onsite bar WooBar to watch the sunset by the beach.
Do an Escape Room
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Escape rooms are a popular pastime around SE Asia, and Bali has a few of its own for you to enjoy! If you haven’t been to an escape room before, they are physical adventure games where you are locked in a room and have to solve a series of puzzles to get out. Every room has a different theme and puzzle, and you can take part with a couple, or a whole group of people. Each Escape Room location usually offers multiple adventures, so it’s possible to try a few different ones in a day.
I’ve visited many escape rooms in SE Asia, and they are such a fun way to spend a few hours. The puzzles are interesting, you get hints if you’re stuck, and don’t worry – they’re not scary at all!
There are currently four escape rooms in Bali:
- Pandora Experience Escape room – This is the most established escape room in Indonesia, with 4 locations in Jakarta, Bali, Bandung, and Surabaya. Located in Kuta, this place gets excellent reviews for it’s challenges (4.7 on Google). 1 hour and 2 hour challenges are available for groups of 2 – 8 people, with varying degrees of difficulty and ‘Fear Factor’. I’m trying out this escape room next week, so I’ll report back with my review!
- Totem Room Escape – Located near Double Six beach in Seminyak, this escape room is very popular. There are 6 different adventures to choose from, 5 for adults and 1 for kids.
- Escape Room Bali – This escape room offers 4 challenges, ranging from difficulty level 3 (an Up themed escape room for kids) to the more sinister ‘Abandoned Factory’ where you have 45 minutes to escape the room before a ‘bomb’ detonates.
- Escape Room SOS from the Deep – Located in Sanur, this is the first marine conservation themed escape room in Indonesia. As you would imagine, this is catered more for families and children. It’s a fun way to learn about the ocean while taking part in the game. I don’t know a huge amount about this escape room as I have not been, but it gets great reviews online and people say it’s educational as well as mentally challenging.
I can’t stress enough that these escape rooms are FUN and not very scary. If you’re new to escape rooms, take a look at the websites I’ve linked to read more about them!
Go Axe Throwing
Axe throwing is the new craze sweeping the globe right now. Canadian bar Mother Huckers is a recently opened axe throwing club in Batu Belig, between Seminyak and Canggu.
A session at Mother Huckers is IDR200k (around a tenner) per person, and lasts between one and two hours depending on how many are in your party. They want to ensure everyone gets a go, so if your party is large you’re allocated more time.
Closed toe shoes are required (for obvious reasons!), and while they do accept walk ins, if your group is large I would recommend booking ahead. There’s a bar onsite that serves cheap beer and cider, as well as smoothies. It might be best to visit this after your session though!
Safety-wise, you’re given a brief safety demo when you arrive, and staff are on hand to ensure nothing goes awry. Other than that it’s up to you to aim straight!
Channel your inner lumberjack, and enjoy good some music, cold beer and a new hobby!
Do a Cooking Course
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A great way to spend the afternoon, and learn about the local culture is to take part in a Balinese cooking course.
There are a large number of cooking courses on offer in Bali, but it’s best to choose one suitable for the weather. Don’t choose a course that includes a trip to the local market or a farm if it’s raining. You can often skip these parts, or choose a course without it so that you don’t get soaked.
Cooking courses allow you to try authentic Balinese food, and learn how to cook it for people back home. They often last a full day, so are a great way to spend the day when it’s raining.
BaliBible has compiled a massive list of cooking classes around Bali, so check this out to find the nearest one to you.
Go For Afternoon Tea
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I don’t know about you, but going for afternoon tea is one of my favourite ways to spend a rainy day. Or any day really! Lucky for me afternoon tea is not only very popular in Bali, but very cheap!
Folie is my favourite spot to go for afternoon tea in Bali. Based in Canguu, this ridiculously stunning and Instagrammable restaurant / patisserie is run by French Chef Stephane Simond, who has a background in Michelin-starred restaurants.
Folie offers afternoon tea from 2 pm – 5.30 pm daily, for IDR138k / £7.50 / €8.50 without bubbles and IDR199k / £10.80 / €12.40 with bubbles. If you sign up for the GuGuide App, you can get your bubbles for free! Folie also offer all day breakfast, a lunch and dinner menu which Tim loves, but I always opt for the afternoon tea!
If you’re in Seminyak, The W Retreat hosts a daily Mad T-Party at the W Lounge, based on the Alice in Wonderland ‘Mad Hatter Tea Party’. The cakes are designed by MasterChef Australia’s Adriano Zumbo, and served in an actual bird cage. Afternoon tea runs from 2:30 – 5pm and costs IDR165k / £8.90 / €10.20 without bubbles.
Other afternoon teas that are highly rated on the island and indoors are:
Let the locals teach you a new skill while you’re in Bali, and come home with a handmade souvenir instead of something from a market. Bali is so rich in culture and there are a variety of classes and workshops you can take to learn some new skills.
Batik, silver jewelry making, wood carving and mask carving are all popular workshops here, and allow you to learn from masters of the craft. If you’re in any way crafty, artsy, or interested in the history of craftsmanship in Bali I would highly recommend taking a class or workshop.
As the cultural capital of Bali, Ubud is where you will find most of the workshops and classes. It’s possible to find them in other popular areas, but you need to ask around as I can’t find much info online. Here are some good places in Ubud to go:
- Bali Culture Centre, located in Ubud, offers a whole range of classes and workshops for visitors. Learn about what’s on offer here.
- Try out this 3 hour mask carving workshop and have something beautiful to take home with you.
- Craft Workshop Bali offer batik, carving, silver jewelry and traditional painting classes. They also have Balinese dance classes.
- Katamama offers an 8 hour wood carving class from a third-generation master carver specialising in ornate wooden Garuda statues and traditional panelling. While you’re here, you can master your skills at Mepantigan: Balinese mud martial art. Or just watch if you don’t feel like getting dirty!
- Here are 5 silver jewelry workshops you can do in Ubud.
The best thing about these classes and workshops is creating a handmade souvenir that is one-of-a-kind.
Create A Custom Perfume
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L’Atelier Parfums et Creations offer luxury perfume making workshops at their locations in Nusa Dua, Jimabaran, and Seminyak.
These workshops teach you about Indonesia through scents, and take you through the different herbs and plants that are used to create perfumes and essential oils here. Fill out a detailed questionnaire and a custom scent will be created for you, to suit your individual character and personality.
This would be an interesting thing to do with your girlfriends, and as it takes place in the Ritz Carton hotel, you can stop at the bar for some champagne after.
You can chose from 90 minute or three hour workshops, and there is also a workshop for kids. Prices start at €70 for the workshop and the price includes a 30ml bottle of your custom scent. You can choose to buy a body lotion of the same scent too.
Go Shopping & Watch A Movie at Beachwalk
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Usually I recommend avoiding Kuta, but Beachwalk shopping center is a glowing beacon of joy in the midst of the chaos and tackiness of Kuta. With a huge variety of international stores such as Zara, H&M, M.A.C, Seafolly, and Michael Kors, as well as local Balinese shops, nail salons and restaurants, there is plenty to keep you busy at Beachwalk.
Once you have indulged in retail therapy, some pampering and some lunch, head to the Beachwalk cinema and book into a VIP showing of a movie. You could happily spend most of a day here, although your bank account might suffer.
As the name suggests, Beachwalk is close to Kuta beach so if the sun does come out you’re just a hop, skip and jump away from being on the sand with a coconut.
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If you work online, or are self employed then use your rainy day to get some work done. There are lots of co-working spaces around Bali where you can meet other people and drink good coffee. Many of them have social activities in the evening like networking events, talks and parties where you can get to know each other. These co-working spaces also offer Skype booths, air conditioned rooms, printing, storage lockers and even a postal address.
Here are the most well known co-working spaces in Bali:
- Canggu: Dojo Bali and Outpost are two popular co-working spaces here that are a little more expensive, but have many events on. The newly-opened Tropical Nomad is much cheaper, but with fewer facilities.
- Ubud: Hubud is a popular one – it also runs events and is well reviewed by digital nomads.
- Nusa Dua: Check out Hub Bali, where you can get a free trial of the space on your first visit.
- Kuta: Lineup Hub is close to the beaches and surf spots, so if the sun does make an appearance you can be on the beach in minutes.
- Seminyak: Kembali charges IDR30k per hour, or 150k for the day.
That’s everything you need to know about monsoon season in Bali. I hope this helps to make your holiday a great one, no matter what the weather.