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Bali is a verifiable nirvana for travelers looking to get their money’s worth on vacation. With mountainous landscapes, picturesque natural views, awesome surf and idyllic beaches, plus out of this world food and drink, Bali should never miss a bucket list. If you haven’t included this destination on your lifelong must-see list, then keep reading, you have no idea what you’d be missing.
The Culture & Traditions
Indonesia’s captivating culture is alive and well. Ubud is widely known as the arts and culture hub of Bali, and is the best place to see traditional dances put on for the public. Traditional Balinese dances are unique, stunning, and are closely akin religious rituals and are often accompanied by traditional Gamlean music, and even puppetry. In Ubud there is also numerous museums and galleries of local and heritage art of both modern and traditional character. Be sure to check the local calendar when you make your plans. Certain festivals and annual events are definitely worth seeing.
The Ancient Temples
Would you believe Bali is home to more than 20,000 pura, or temples?
While traveling the highlands and coasts of Bali, you encounter numerous ancient temples. These sacred temples have become iconic points of interest in Bali.
Balinese worshipers visit the Pura Tirta Empul, a spring that is revered as sacred by Indra for its curative properties, to bathe in the waters. First you must make an offering at the temple before you take a dip, then you allow the holy water to grant you good fortune and health.
Tanah Lot, pictured above is one of the most written-home-about views in the area. It sits along the coast of the Beraban village in the Tabanan regency. Resting on top is a Hindu shrine. Goa Gajah, the Uluwatu Temple, the Ulun Danu Beratan temple and the Besakih temple are arguably considered the top “Must-See’s” when it comes to Balinese temples.
Some temples can be seen on the same long trip, like Tirta Empul, Pura Gunung Kawi since they are so close together, but others will take some planning and a great deal of travel time.
This small Nation in Southeast Asia contains literally thousands of volcanic islands. Mount Batur, the most active volcano on the island, has had a few small eruptions over the past centuries. Trekking around the volcanoes is a great activity for tourists looking to snap some incredible photos and take in the spectacular views. Tour guides can take you across the mountains just in time to catch the sun come up, but the sights are worth the early morning.
After taking in the beauty of the local volcanoes, the next logical decisions is to take a cool dip in one of many choice beaches in the area. Great waves for surfing are made even more enchanting by breathtaking views of gorgeous landscapes. Bali is home to dozens of beaches with vibrant marine life and crystal blue waters.
Nusa Dua is known for the piercing blue water and white sandy beaches that are open to the public. Jimbaran has the killer waves without sacrificing tranquility. Kuta Beach is perfect to watch the sun go down, as on the calmer nights it’s nearly impossible to tell where the horizon meets the ocean but is known for being one of the busier beaches in the area and is pretty much best if you’re going to surf.
5. Super Affordable Luxury Resorts
Bali is often considered, the most luxurious (and for that matter expensive) of Indonesian destinations. With that being said, The Bulgari Resort Bali or the Amankila are just a few local 5 star resorts. The Four Seasons at Jimbaran Bay, and the Viceroy in Ubud, are popular choices for luxury resort as well.
The local seafood is the best you’ll ever have, with plenty of acclaimed restaurants from which to choose. If you like spicy food, you’re in for a treat. If spicy food isn’t your thing, no sweat! There are plenty of choices for a variety of palates on the average Balinese menu including seafood, suckling pig & roasted pork, stir-fried rice and more!
World’s Rarest Coffee
You can get a cup of the world’s most rare coffee in Sanur’s Garden Cafe. Just order a “Kopi Luwak,” but don’t ask how it’s made until after you’ve enjoyed (trust us). Spoiler Alert: Okay, we’ll just tell you. The Asian Palm Civet, a tree-climbing-cat native to the area seeks out only the best beans from local plantations, and once the beans make their way though the civet’s digestive tract, without getting digested, before workers collect the droppings. After that, the beans are packaged, roasted, sold, consumed & enjoyed!
The spas in Bali are world-renowned. The health spas are unmatched in their craft, masters in the art of pampering, relaxation, implementation of healing herbs and mud in unison with massages and tropical oils.
Local Attractions & Everything Else
It would be an extensive list if we attempted to detail every jaw-dropping view there is in Bali. For the more adventurous there’s plenty of opportunity for mountain biking, scuba diving, white water rafting, surfing, and more.
Eco cycling claims to be the way to experience “the real Bali.” Cycle through and visit the scenic rice fields, pay a visit to Ubud Palace and marketplace, and a explore the Ubud Monkey Forest. If you make your way to the Gigit Waterfalls, south of Singaraja, you won’t regret seeing those 40 meter long perfect plunge pool. Bali is great for shopping, and getting an impeccable value for your money. There really is something for everyone.