Bali is known for its forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, beaches and coral reefs. It not only captures what is special about Indonesia but also has a uniqueness of its own. There are gorgeous beaches, dirt cheap markets, innumerable temples, historical sites, and spots of natural beauty spread across eight regencies. It blends spectacular mountain scenery and beautiful beaches with warm and friendly people, a vibrant culture and out of this world resorts.
Bali’s beaches are absolutely stunning enough on land, but it is well worth your while to head under the sea and snorkel through its even more gorgeous reefs. The sea is full of wild marine life such as manta rays and turtles and is surrounded by beautiful coral reefs. For the best snorkeling experience, take a boat out to the coastline of Lembongan Island, where the reefs surrounding it are spectacular. Another exciting water based activity is white rafting down Ayung river, right down inside the Ayung gorge. It allows you to raft through the very heart of Bali, riding the wild rapids through rice paddies, people working the fields and scenic landscapes.
Embrace the historically religious land by paying a visit to some of its most stunning temples and surrounding areas including Besakih Temple, Tanah Lot and Uluwatu Temple. Besakih Temple, also known as the ‘mother temple’ of Bali, sits on the slopes of Mount Agung, at a lofty 1,000m. Besakih is the largest of all the Balinese temples and eighteen separate sanctuaries belonging to different caste groups surround the three main temples dedicated to Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu. Tanah Lot is the island’s most iconic temple and is perched on top of a huge rock, surrounded by the sea with waves constantly crashing on to its base and is home to the most spectacular sunsets. Uluwatu is among the Bali’s most important sea temples, perched on a cliff edge in the southwestern Bukit peninsula. You can catch dramatic sunsets and enjoy sunset kecak fire dances at an open amphitheatre close by. A monkey forest also borders the temple grounds.
Explore Bali’s best known grey long-tailed macaque-inhabited forests, Ubud Monkey Forest, which is home to some 115 different species of trees, some of cultural and spiritual significance, adding even more meaning to its ‘sanctuary’ title. Large trees shade most of the stone pathways, and relics and statues are all covered in moss, which give the place an eerie and ancient feel. You’ll walk amongst over three hundred grey long-tailed macaques of Padangtegal who may just attempt to ‘borrow’ your hat or sunglasses.
A visit to Bali would not be complete without strolling down its market streets or indulging in its splendid cuisine. Head to the island’s main and largest traditional market, Badung Market, which houses an extensive choice of batiks, traditional ikat weave cloths, a dedicated floor where you can source wooden carvings, key rings and traditional and contemporary art paintings for souvenirs, and a number of jewellery stores offering locally produced golden necklaces and silver bracelets. Jimbaran bay is home to some of the best seafood in Bali. You can dine on prawns, squids and fishes fresh of the sea onto your table, almost literally. Couple it by feasting over a sun setting over the horizon, and this authentic setting becomes much more atmospheric. You may even walk down along the beach and find it dotted with warungs and candle-lit tables like mushrooms after rain.
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By Travezl Team