This post is a tour of some of my favourite Bali memories. Not all the memories are mine and some belong to a very talented fellow Indian travel blogger Vipul Singhania, who blogs at http://through-dlens.blogspot.in/ While the tropical slice of heaven is on nearly every body’s wishlist, not all have an idea of the treasures Bali holds beyond Kuta/Seminyak. My top 10 things to do in Bali would definitely include-
1. Jatiluwih Rice Terraces – Green, tranquil, a World Heritage Site and a haven of peace, Jatiluwih rice terraces are not to be missed. Public transportation is difficult, so a taxi, rental car or self driven vehicle is suggested for a trip to Jatiluwih. Stay overnight at a guest house if possible, walk down the lush green ancient terraces, breathe lung fulls of freshness and capture the changing colours of Bali’s most beautiful rice fields.
2. Head for the hills – Nature lovers, golf enthusiasts, day trippers, honeymooners and intrepid travelers, be sure to not miss paying the hilly areas of Bedugul and Munduk a small visit. Its a flowers heaven and even the air smells sweet there. Couple it with cool, misty weather, the stunning Lake Ulun Danu Bratan temple and lovely hikes, and you get a very refreshing break from Bali’s beach sun.
3. East Bali solitude – If the brashness of Kuta and crowd at Ubud’s Monkey Forest Road get on your nerves, just dive into solitude at east Bali’s long stretch of isolated pristine coastline. The black sand beaches under the shadow of towering Mount Agung, the lonely coves and scattered wrecks, make Amed a must visit for solitude seekers, snorkelers and divers. Just lose yourself in the gentle blue water and say hello to one of Indonesia’s most vibrant marine life.
4. Be a beach bum – This one is a no brainer. Everybody loves Bali’s beaches and from the languid lapping water of Lovina of infamous dolphin tours, the crazy, fun Kuta to Uluwatu’s world class surf breaks, the paradise island of “Eat, Pray, Love” fame is a beach bum’s favourite destination. Candidasa is old school, Amed is for the intrepid divers and Seminyak is as swank a beach resort can get. Just go beach hopping and stun the sun.
5. Be a culture vulture – Bali is beyond Kuta. It is teeming with one of the world’s most beautiful culture and is exotic in real sense. Read stunning dance costumes, epic dance dramas, complicated musical ensembles, exorcism based art dramas, larger than life religious rituals and beautiful temples carved out of stone. While Ubud is the cultural hub of Balinese Hindu culture, the island’s famed funeral ceremony is perhaps the most elaborate and photogenic in the world.
6. Pig out – The most apt description for Bali’s food is glorious. Complex, flavourful, fresh and fragrant, the island’s Babi Guling (roasted suckling pig in spit) and Bebek Betutu (roasted, seasoned duck) are to die for. Add to that multiple exciting rice based dishes, deserts, fruit galore, salads and condiments and it is not difficult to understand as to why pigging out in Bali is in every food lover’s wishlist.
7. Pamper your senses – Bali is where beauty reaches a whole new level of experience. An all sensory explosion of pleasure, no place pampers mind, body and soul, the way Bali does. From luxurious close to nature rejuvenating accommodation, grounded earthy eco tourism, award winning spa treatments and yoga retreats, in Indonesia’s Hindu jewel in the crown, indulgence is at its best. Think jungle infinity pools, rice field spa treatments, exotic body packs and Cleopatra worthy skin softening baths, and you have Bali’s larger than indulgent offerings.
8. Learn something exciting and new – If you travel to experience life beyond your mundane routine, love to explore things out of your territory and feel alive in expanding your horizon, then Bali is a place which will titillate your senses like never before. The beautiful island offers a host of exciting things to learn and from beginner’s sample classes to mastering a new art, the list of opportunity to add a new feather to your experience hat is endless. From the exquisite traditional dances like Legong, gamelan music, Batik printing, weaving, cooking, spa treatment and massages, growing rice etc, Bali’s cooking classes are fun, cheap and a great way to dive into the island’s intriguing culture.
9. Spoilt for choice – Bali can be as luxurious as your pocket can afford and shopping nearly takes an art form there. From the exquisite Balinese musical instruments, stunning local fabric, masks, quirky art objects, paintings, stone sculptures, antique, spa and bath beauty products, Luwak coffee, cinnamon bowls and plates, mother of pearl encrusted cutlery, spices, creations of the talented local designers, intricate lace etc Bali can make even serious shopaholics its life long fans. My top pick would be the beautiful, scooped Balinese lace (Uluwatu Balinese Lace) which although a bit expensive, comes adorned in lovely parasols, jackets, dresses, furnishings etc.
10. Add some funk – Bali is one of the world’s most beautiful party spots and hosts tons of interesting, international festivals. From Hollywood A listers like Javier Bardem, Julia Roberts etc to regular hippy happy crowd, parties in Bali overflow with music, dance, fun and beautiful people. For those looking for quieter fun, the island is home to numerous cultural events too like jazz festival, holistic fair, Art festival, Yoga festival, Ubud Writers and Readers Festival etc. The island’s traditional religious festivals are breathtakingly spectacular and the most famous ones are Galungan and Nyepi (Bali’s Day of Silence).
Shop, trek, pamper, indulge, party, learn, dive, snorkel, explore and go green, just let your hair down and have an awesome time in Bali. The perfect 360 degrees travel destination, it is no wonder that Bali has been going strong for more than a decade now. Beaches, temples, food, dances, hills, flowers, volcanoes, lakes, culture, partying, Bali is here to stay.
Some photos have been taken from the internet.
RESPONSIBLE TRAVELING-BECAUSE I CARE