Travellers searching for green mountains, valleys of rice patties, dead volcanoes and pristine beaches should consider a holiday in Bali. With world-class surfing and diving, a large number of cultural, historical and archaeological attractions, and an enormous range of accommodations, this is one of the world’s most popular island destinations.
Some of the most beautiful parts include Bedugul, Tababanan or Ubud, renown for its stunning mountain ranges. In Ubud, the cultural arts thrive; Buddhist temples crop up in every direction, as do galleries, museums and palaces like the Puri Saren Agung.
But many travellers visit Bali exclusively for its beaches, and over the decade’s huge resorts have developed on the island to cater to the growing demand for luxury hotels.
For a quiet coastal village, venture over to East Bali where you’ll find the active volcano, Mount Agung, and gaggle of quaint fishing villages like Candidasa, Bai and Gangga.
If you have time, catch a ferry from Batam to Java to hike around Mount Merbabu and the West Bali National Park. For exotic and nearly deserted black sand beaches, move on to Northern Bali to Lovina. There are beautiful cottages here like Angsoka, with gardens, swimming areas and plenty of activities for kids and adults alike.
Bali Travel Tips
- Lovers of hot thermal springs ought to spend a day or two in northern Bali near Lovina at Air Banjar Sacred Springs. The springs, which are open early from 8 am to 6 pm, gush from stone carved heads and are surrounded by thick jungle gardens.
- If you can take your eyes off the beach for a few hours check out the Balinese religious art in all its vibrant and religious forms at the Museum of Fine Art in Ubdud. Open landscapes and human figures are the subjects of modern Balinese art, and it’s interesting to observe the different schools of study represented in this fascinating museum.
- Tourists fly thousands of miles to reach Bali’s shores, sometimes for no other reason than to attend some of the world’s best yoga and well-being centres. Some of the best are found in Seminyak and Ubud, like The Yoga Barn, but there are also good schools throughout the island like Tri Murti Yoga Studio.
- Some of the most extraordinary beaches, blue waters and reefs can be found on and near Bali. A good way to explore the pristine waters near Lembongan Island is to consult World Diving in Bali. Explore as well the stunning beaches and glistening coves of Legain and the Bukit Peninsula.
- It’s difficult but not impossible to find toothsome and authentic Balinese food on the mainland. Most Balinese food emphasises pork, which doesn’t fly well with the growing Muslim population on the island. You have to travel to neighbouring islands for a big dose of the real deal. One good Balinese restaurant, Bumbu Bali, serves superb Balinese cuisine in the heart of Ubud.