The world’s surfing epicentre lies in beautiful Bali, where crystal waters and pristine beaches welcome all to surf, dive, snorkel, swim and build sandcastles. Discover life beyond the beach amidst Bali’s rich Hindu heritage and culture in iconic religious sites such as Tanah Lot and Uluwatu, shop till you drop in popular tourist haunts like Ubud, Kuta and Seminyak, or if you’re looking for a gastronomical adventure, delicious cuisines such as Babi Guling and Bebek Betutu will satisfy your hunger pangs. Need an outdoor adventure? Then scale the mighty Mount Batur or take a long drive towards Lovina Bay to see if you can spot the friendly dolphins!
Best of Bali
1. Kuta Beach
Welcome to Bali’s biggest oceanfront draw. This world-renowned beach is typically jam-packed with hippie beach bums parading their surf boards, excited tourists ready to party on the beach and local peddlers selling everything from snacks to foot massages. All your ‘beachy’ pleasures are found in the form of hair braiding, quick massages, surfing lesson and lots of eye candy!
One of the best and most popular beaches in Bali, it is surrounded by exclusive hotels and great restaurants. This calm and scenic bay is also famous for its romantic sunset setting, the perfect place to enjoy a scrumptious seafood dinner on the beach.
Bali’s most famous diving site where you can do some wreck diving and night diving as well. A must-go for those who wish to take amazing underwater photographs! The dive is quite easy but you’ll be amazed by the abundance of marine life here including the Blue Spotted Stingray, Jackfish and surgeonfish swimming around the USS Liberty shipwreck that sank in 1942.
4. Uluwatu Temple
Perched on a hill overlooking the spectacular Indian Ocean, Uluwatu Temple is known as Pura Luhur Uluwatu by the locals. Best to visit here during the evening to watch the famous Kecak Dance, a Balinese performance art depicting the tales of Ramayana – with stunning sunset over the sea as your backdrop.
Surrounded by stunning greenery all around, Ubud is also known as the cultural heart of Bali. Not only can you bask in cool atmosphere,Ubud is a great place to practice yoga, enjoy a bike ride or explore the many art galleries and craft workshops around. Yes, you can buy beautiful paintings or figurines to bring home. Make sure you pay a visit to the lush green Tegallalang Rice Terraces for a tranquil lunch and photo opportunities.
6. Tanah Lot
One of the most popular and iconic attractions in Bali, tanah means land and lot means sea in Balinese language, thus it became known as Tanah Lot. This pilgrimage temple is located atop a rock formation and is separated by the ocean – the elements of both land and sea make for a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Enjoy breathtaking views complete with a full cultural experience of the Kecak Dance.
Climb the lava-laden Mount Batur, cycle along the rugged mountain trail or just breathe in the crisp cool air. Everything in Kintamani spells exciting, especially for the outdoor-loving!
Charming coastal district speckled with quaint villages including Kalibukbuk, Kaliasem and Buleleng, Lovina is best known as the place to say hello to the friendly dolphins! It’s a long drive away, but it’s worth it when you get to see the friendly mammals of the sea up close from a boat. You can also visit the Air Banjar Hot Springs, a natural hot spring with lush green surrounding.
9. Spa and massages
Bali is the ideal place to unwind and discover your inner serenity, with plenty of options from affordable (and cheap!) foot massages by the beach to full-on complete pampering packages in five-star resorts. Breathe in, relax and indulge at the many spas and massage parlours strewn all over the island.
10. Ayam / Bebek Betutu
Delicious stuffed roasted chicken or duck with loads of herbs and spices. The succulent flesh bands perfectly with the crispy skin – this is a Bali specialty that you’ll never get enough of!
11. Mount Agung
Locals consider this 3,142-meter high mountain sacred, so tread with extra care when climbing and trekking, or even during other activities such as rowing in the lake or participating in water sports.
12. Serangan Island Turtle Conservation Centre
Backed by UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme), it’s a fun trip with the family to watch cute hatchlings and to learn more about the graceful turtles.
13. Ulun Danu Temple
Floating surreally on Lake Bratan’s tranquil surface is a magnificent temple from the 17th century. Pura Bratan is a water temple used for ceremonies to the Balinese goddess Dewi Danu. A wondrous sight to behold and a favourite for the shutterbugs.
14. Taman Werdhi Budaya Art Centre
Get an overall feel of the artistic side of Bali at this art display centre, where the arts and culture forms are taught and exhibited.
15. Museum Pasifika
Eleven astounding rooms of mind-blowing art collection of all types – it’s no wonder travellers and art lovers from all nook and corners of the world pay this museum a must-deserved visit.
16. Babi Guling
Suckling pig has never tasted this good as it is marinated with heavenly spices and roasted slowly over a charcoal pit. A must-try in Bali! Some claim that the best could be found in Ibu Oka in Ubud, but there are many eateries that offer equally awesome Babi Guling.
Just short boat ride away is Bali’s quieter sister island, Lombok. Travellers love Lombok forits beautiful Gili Islands (Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air), majestic Mount Rinjani and interesting culture. Dominated by the native Sasak people, the culture and language in Lombok is closely related to the Balinese but the locals adhere to Islam instead of Hinduism. Fascinating culture interweaved with a gorgeous backdrop, it’s hard not to fall in love with the island.