2 AM Hike You don’t Want to Miss in Bali

As one of the world’s hottest destinations, Bali represents many things to many people. Some come here to seek spiritual renewal, while others prefer to relax on the beach with a Martini in hand. Me? I figured I could use a quick break after finishing my sophomore year at UCLA. As a journalism student, I knew that my first essay in the fall semester will be writing an essay about a far-off place. Bali seemed like the type of spot me and my friends would enjoy.

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So off we went to the place often referred to as the “island of the gods”. While we expected to have quite a bit of things to see and do, I think it’s fair to say that Bali caught us off-guard with the sheer number and variety of activities you could engage in on the island. There was a little bit of something for everyone here. My friend and colleague Evelyn, who’s super into Edgar Allen Poe, wanted to visit so-called haunted places like the Ghost Palace Hotel and the remnants of the abandoned Taman Festival amusement park. Meanwhile, Carissa mostly wanted to chill on the beach all day and go eat in weird restaurants.

Since I value my sanity, and since I knew just how hard it is to fit so many activities in such a short trip from previous traveling experiences, I chose to center our vacation on one specific place that I’d heard was definitely worth it. The decision to hike up Mount Batur, which stands at over 5,600 feet above sea level, definitely wasn’t an easy one considering that all three of us are regular couch-potatoes. But overall, we just felt that having the chance to climb up an actual volcano was too good to pass up.

The hike itself took us around four hours to complete. However, it never really seemed all that difficult to us, mostly because we were distracted by all the gorgeous views of the surrounding area that we got to enjoy on our way to the top. In fact, the hardest thing about this trip may very well be the fact that tours regularly aim to reach Mount Batur’s summit just before sunrise, which means that you can expect to be out of bed and hiking by 2 AM. Needless to say, waking up early was never our forte, but whatever difficulties we may have had summoning up the energy to get out of bed were more than compensated by the feeling we experienced when we reached the summit of the mountain. As a plus, once we got there we were free to explore all the various caves and craters that make up the volcano. We capped off our trip with a brief swimming session in the hot springs of Lake Batur.

And so, with enough memories to last us a lifetime, me, Evelyn and Carissa boarded a plane back home to L.A. Mind you, Bali may seem like a fancy destination at first, but it’s actually fairly affordable destination if you know how to go about things, and it’s definitely a place that I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who wants to experience a bit more adventure in their lives.