Bali is one of the popular beach destinations in Asia, endowed with picturesque beaches of white, golden and black sands. The Indonesian province entails more beauty that just gorgeous beaches, which cannot be defined, but only experienced. And when you plan a vacation in Bali, ensure that you explore every exquisite aspect of it beyond the beaches.
Culture and temples
Bali has some 20,000 temples within its geography that are the trademark of Balinese culture and its identity, which it has retained successfully over the centuries. And a Bali tour is not complete until you have seen at least one of temples, of which the most significant ones are:
- Pura Besakih, also called the ‘Mother Temple’, is the holiest of all temples and located at a height of 30,000-ft, aligning with the peak of Gunung Agung.
- Tirta Empul near Tampaksiring is highly revered because of the Holy spring, in which people bathe to bring good fortune.
- Pura Luhur Lempuyang in East Bali is one of the nine directional temples that guard Bali against evil spirits. To reach this temple complex, you have to climb a whopping 1,700 steps cut into a mountain.
- Tanah Lot is the most famous temple among tourists for two reasons – easy accessibility and spectacular sunsets. Perched atop a rock on the shore, it is one of most important directional temples of Bali.
- Luhur Uluwatu is a prominent Balinese temple, clinging to a cliff right above the ocean. It is renowned among travellers for glorious sunset views and the popular kecak dance performances at night.
Another astonishing aspect of Balinese culture is its dance forms like Barong, also called lion dance, Calonarang, Kecak – widely known as monkey dance – and Legong Keraton. Each dance form usually involves enacting stories from Hindu mythologies. When you are in Bali, another intriguing thing to do is maintain a day of silence. Well that happens only on Nyepi Day (New Year), when the entire province shuts down for a day.
Beaches and nightlife
From the popular golden sand stretch of Nusa Dua and Sanur beach to the party-central Kuta Beach, Bali is home to mesmeric beaches. Lazing on a picturesque beach, taking in the scenery and unwinding yourself is what holidays in Bali are all about. Some of the most inspiring beaches of Bali include Padang-Padang, Bias Tugal, Lovina, Nyang Nyang, Nusa Lembongan, Greger Beach and Balangan Beach.
Nightlife in Bali is centred largely around Kuta with Jalan Legian and Jalan Padma boasting large concentration of watering holes. Seminyak region also offers a great after dark indulgence. Besides that, rest of Bali has a cultural kind of nightlife involving traditional dance shows, however, Gili Trawangan has been a showstopper recently and is quickly gaining popularity as a party zone.
Adventure and relaxation
Adventure activities in Bali are offered collectively with gorgeous scenery. Whether you paddle a raft along the currents of Ayung River, bicycle cross the rice fields of Ubud or go on an elephant safari in the jungles around an elephant camp, the scenery is unforgettable everywhere, even though the excitement or rhythm of your heartbeat varies. Bali vacations are world-renowned for offering surfing spots like Bukit Peninsula and Nusa Lembongan, where the waves are really awesome. After a day packed with adventurous activities, get a traditional Balinese massage that refreshes you to the core. One such great place is the Maya Ubud Spa on the Petanu River. This place offers the ultimate relaxation of the traditional boreh treatment combined with sound of river gushing right outside the window.
When in Bali, trying different foods is a must. And while it seems just so convenient to order a sandwich or a burger from the hotel room-service, it makes you miss out on an incredible experience you are about to earn in its restaurants eating traditional Balinese fare. The foods you must treat your taste buds with are bakmie (rice flour noodle soup), bakso (meatball soup), lumpia (fried spring rolls with vegetables and meat), soto (a meat and vegetable broth with rice), nasi goreng (fried rice) and mie goreng (fried noodles). Whether or not, you have a sweet-tooth, try the Bubuh Injin (black rice pudding), pisang goreng (fried bananas), and jaja (coconut confectionary). The best eating experiences await you along the beaches and in the night markets, where street side vendors offer scrumptious delicacies from kaki lima (mobile stalls) and each kaki lima sells only one kind of food.
For unique experiences you can even head to Mozaic Bali in Ubud, noted as one of the best restaurants in all of Indonesia. The French degustation menu served in an idyllic garden setting is incredible. Another delightful eating experience in Ubud includes having lunch in the middle of a rice field. Open-air restaurant Sari Organic is established amidst the rice paddies serving delicious food with appealing countryside scenery.
So jet set and go on this much awaited Bali holiday package!