Bali is an island rich in natural beauty, culture and history. A bewitching island that has everything from mountain villages, Temples, rice paddy fields to beautiful beaches. As the Balinese say welcome to ‘Bali the Island of Paradise’ or the ‘Island of the Gods’, it is surrounded by azure seas and edged with golden beaches.
Tanah Lot Temple is undoubtedly the most famous attraction in Bali, this Hindu Temple sits atop a large and scenic rock formation. Over the years the sea has separated the rock from the mainland and at high tide the rock is completely surrounded making this one of the most amazing sites to visit. At low tide you can easily walk across the sand to the Temple however, at sunset the Temple is a spectacle to behold.
Ubud is known as the cultural heartland on the island, it is situated amongst stunning rolling rice paddies, filled with galleries dedicated to art, jewellery, ceramics and sculpture. Ubud Palace and complex dates back to the 1800’s with beautiful gardens and ornate architectural features. In the evening the Palace comes to life with dance shows showing their culture. In the heart of Ubud you will find the Monkey Forest, this Hindu Temple Complex has over 500 monkeys and the three Temples that still stand date back to the 14th Century. The entire area is a nature reserve where you can walk around freely, take in the scenery and feed the monkeys.
The Tegallalang Rice Terraces is a valley of rice paddies, located just north of Ubud. This popular tourist attraction is one of the top things to see in the early morning. Tabanan is another area covered in lush rice paddies that sparkle with an emerald hue under the sun. Here you can enjoy the spectacular scenery and learn how rice is grown and harvested in Bali.
Sitting just outside Ubud the Tirta Empul Complex is made up of a number of pools, which are filled by fountains. The waters here are said to be sacred and Hindus from all over Bali come here to bathe. Anyone can swim in the waters or stroll through the complex to see the lovely architecture and the plethora of ornate statues. You may recognise the Tirta Empul as it was used as one of the locations in the film Eat, Pray, Love starring Julia Roberts. Also 30 minutes from Ubud is Celuk known for their silversmiths. Walk along the main street of Jalan Raya Celuk where you will find a huge array of silver studios with ornately designed silverware and a range of traditional souvenirs for sale.
Bali is famous for its many dances and one of these is the Kecak Fire Dance, which was developed in the 1930’s. The dance takes its name from the ‘Cak’ sound that is repeated throughout and is based on the story of the Hindu epic called the Ramayana, performed by 65+ human vocals acting as instruments that strengthen a story told in the form of dance.
Uluwatu Temple is another famous site in Bali, standing at 70 metres above sea level and constructed on the side of a cliff overlooking the water below. The Temple is also known for its monkey population and a range of shows with famous Balinese dances. For the surf aficionados Uluwatu Beach is the place to go, however, there is also a hidden gem beneath the beach. The Uluwatu Beach Cave, which looks like a dragon’s lair is a great stop off if you wish to spend time in a cool and serene environment after a long day spent on a hot beach.
Standing at 1700 metres above sea level Mount Batur is one of the most famous Volcanoes in Bali. There are tours to the top, starting around 04:00am, which allows you to see the breathtaking sunrise over the crater and the mountain, which are surrounded by a stunning lake.
The Ulun Danu Temple lies on the edge of the Beratan Lake in Bedugul. This lovely building is dedicated to the Goddess of the Lake and is one of the quietest and most serene places on the island. There are different shrines to visit each one dedicated to a different God. Bali is already known for its natural beauty but nearby one of the best examples is the spectacular Sekumpul Waterfall, a real jewel, which lies in a lush valley and is said to be a sacred site. Here you can swim in the pools beneath the cataract and cool off.
The village of Batubulan is where you will find some of the prettiest stone carvings in Bali. The traditional carvings are in the images of famous Balinese Gods and Goddesses as well as scenes from famous epics like the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. The stones are traditionally blue and black as they are made up of volcanic minerals. Also located in Batubulan is the Bali Bird Park, filled with a vast collection of birds from all over Indonesia including colourful parrots, birds of paradise and an array of unusual species.
Kuta is the main tourist hub on Bali and the main nightlife area. Here you will find a huge range of different night clubs, live music events and relaxed cafés. Kuta Beach is the most famous beach and draws a lively surfing crowd. The beach sits across from a sand bar with rolling surf that is free of any sharp reefs. Other areas to mention include Seminyak known for being one of the best party destinations on the island and where you will find a long strip of sandy beach that has a huge number of nightlife options, cafés and restaurants. Sanur is famous for its huge variety of water sports where you can go kiting surfing, paragliding and even standing up paddle boarding. Nusa Dua is best known for its luxury accommodation and is a great place to relax for a few days away from the crowds and spend time sunbathing or enjoying a spa treatment.
For all you dive enthusiasts Padang Bai is for you. With seven different dive sites that can easily be reached after a short boat trip from the shore. For those into white water rafting then head to the Ayung River, which is covered with white water rapids that make for a wild ride as you float down passing local villages and lush forests.
Canggu is a food lovers paradise, with Indonesian food, burgers, fusion, coffees and cakes balanced with a little surf or yoga. Canggu Beach is known for its 8kms of golden sands and is often voted one of the prettiest beaches in the world. Chocolate is not the first thing you think of when it comes to Bali however, Indonesia is one of the top producers of cocoa in the world. The Pod Chocolate Factory makes some of the most delectable chocolate on the island. Here you can see how cocoa is grown, harvested and how chocolate is made.