What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear Bali? Honeymoon getaway? Sparkling beaches? Sacred temples? Or perhaps a combination of them all!
Bali is one of Asia’s most popular tourist destinations, located just 8 degrees south of the equator, nestled between the islands Java and Lombok. Leading airlines connect the island conveniently with major hubs throughout Asia and Australia, such as Bangkok, Seoul and Perth. A Visa-on-Arrival for just US$25 is granted to a majority of nations, including the EU, United Kingdom and the United States. The climate is throughout the year pleasant, with an average of 31 C in coastal areas and slightly lower temperatures in higher regions.
Bali boasts an incredible mix of diversity: whether it’s the lush rice paddies, mythical Hindu temples, sacred volcanoes or the exotic food – the Island of Gods makes it not easy for to decide. But before you should get overwhelmed, let’s take a closer to look to its main attractions:
Temples – visiting a temple in Bali is a must-do! With more than 20.000 temples, it’s not pretty difficult to find one either. Visit one (or all) of the nine directional temples, all located in auspicious locations from volcanoes over beaches to cliffs – the legend says that different gods and goddesses are protecting the island from evil. A perfect start would be the magical Uluwatu temple, located on a cliff at the southern tip of Bali. Insider Tip: Plan to watch a Kecak Dance performance at Uluwatu during sunset.
Rice terraces – a big contribution to Bali’s natural beauty is due to the amount of rice paddies. Go for a hike through the mesmerizing Jati-Luwih terraces, which even got nominated as UNESCO World Heritage.
Volcanoes – being part of the infamous “ring-of-fire”, Bali has a number of active volcanoes to offer. With 3031 meters, Mount Agung is not only Bali’s highest volcano, but also its most sacred one. Start a trek at midnight and you will reach the peak just before sunrise, giving you not only a spectacular view but also guaranteed goose bumps.
Beaches – the beaches in the south are the most popular ones, hence the most crowded ones. Invest the time (about 45 minutes) and drive either to Lovina in the north with its famous black volcanic beaches or to Amed, a secluded fishing town in the east.
Food – visiting Bali (or any other part of Indonesia) without trying a glimpse of the food is like missing out a huge part of the Indonesian culture. Try Indonesia’s national dish Nasi Goreng (fried rice) for just IDR 8000 (US$ 0.80) from one of the numerous food vendors on the street or Bali’s number one dish – Babi Guling (suckling pig).
Spas – indulge into a real Balinese massage. Get a 60 minutes treatment for as low as 50.000 IDR in a day spa or visit one of the luxurious boutique resorts for a multiple-hours treatment.
How would you like to spend a week in Bali? Trekking through rice paddies and on volcanoes…or just being lazy in the balmy breezes of Amed, where coconut palms list over the turquoise Indian Ocean…? Whatever you’re going for, you’ll be amazed by the beauty of Bali and the unique hospitality of the Balinese people. Travel to Bali is definitely one of the things you should do in your life.