Bali, otherwise known as the ‘island of the gods’ truly has everything that a ‘god’ would ever want. From magnificent mountains and beautiful coral reefs to lush green forests and white sandy beaches, Bali has it all. While it may require a lifetime to take in the whole of Bali, here is a list of the top ten things that will help you experience the best Bali has to offer.
1.Watch a Kecak dance performance
A form of Balinese dance and music drama, a Kecak performance will give you an insight into Bali’s rich cultural heritage. Try watching the performance held at Pura Luhur Ulu Watu. Held by the sea in a small amphitheatre, the performance is one of the more evocative on the island.
2.Picnic amongst Ubud‘s terraced rice fields
Plan a day trip along the lush green terraced rice fields in Ubud, with a stopover at a village restaurant for lunch. The best vantage point, for photographs and selfies are just up north from the main Ubud centre, along the road of Tegallalang.
Where to Stay: Find amazing villas amid Ubud’s lush paddy fields on HomeAway.
3.Taste a few classic Bali dishes
When in Bali, eat like the Balinese do. Local favourites include Babi Guling (spit-roasted pig), Ayam Betutu (slow-cooked spiced chicken in banana leaves) and Sate Lilit (spiced mince on lemongrass sticks). Indulge your sweet tooth in Bubu Injin (black rice pudding), Jaja Batun Bedil (glutinous rice flour dumplings in palm sugar sauce), Godoh & Pisang Rai (fried and steamed bananas), and Dadar (coconut pancakes).
4.Photograph a sunset at the Tanah Lot temple
Bali is famous for its sunsets and the best place to take in one is at the Tanah Lot temple. Considered the most important of Bali’s sea temples, Tanah Lot pays homage to the guardian spirits of the sea, and also serves as an impressive foreground to the most picturesque of sunsets.
5. Party at Kuta beach
The most popular beach in Bali, Kuta is also the hub for the Balinese party scene. Dance away the night at a choice of nightclubs, hotels and pubs- from the famous Hard Rock Café to popular local haunts like the Boshe VVIP Club or District Bali.
Where to Stay: Find accommodation close to the party scene at Kuta beach point.
6.Climb Mount Batur
The still-active volcanic Mount Batur has erupted about 24 times since 1800, but the mountain views presents such a spectacular sight that visitors do not mind setting their alarms for 2 am to make it up to the mountain in time for sunrise. The hike is relatively easy and the treks are well marked making it a viable adventure.
7.Surf at Bali’s beaches
Bali’s beautiful beaches offer surfing opportunities for surfers of every level. Pro-surfers can experience the ultimate wave at Uluwatu Beach, Suluban Beach, Impossible Beach or Padang – Padang Beach, whilst experienced surfers can try out the beaches at Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Sanur or Tanah Lot. Novices can pick up surfing skills with any one of the surfing schools in Kuta, Legian or Seminyak.
8. Visit the Pemuteran underwater temple
Ever been to an underwater temple? The Pemuteran temple in Bali was initially constructed as part of an underwater conservation programme but has now become a popular attraction for diving enthusiasts. Beneath the surface of calm blue waters lies the underwater Balinese Hindu temple with majestic statues of ‘gods’ and mythological creatures.
9.Shop at the art market in Ubud
No trip to Bali can be complete without picking up a few souvenirs, and the best place to do so is at the Ubud Art Market. Known in the local language as Pasar Seni Ubud the market is located opposite the Puri Saren Royal Ubud Palace and is open daily. Be sure to strike a bargain before you purchase any of the beautiful silk scarves, lightweight shirts, handmade woven bags, statues, kites and a range of other hand-crafted goods.
10. Go snorkeling in the beautiful reefs
Bali boasts of some of the most amazing reefs in the Asia-pacific region. Swim with schools of vibrantly colored angel fish, parrot fish, moray eels, turtles (and sometimes even manta rays) as you go snorkeling along the coasts of Nusa Dua, Nusa Lembongan, Padangbai, Menjangan Island and Pemuteran. If you are looking for more excitement, plan a snorkeling trip in the Jemeluk Bay in Amed, which boasts of spectacular coral reefs amidst the sunken US cargo shipwreck- the USAT Liberty.
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