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Bali, a lush tropical paradise, in the heart of Indonesia

Bali, the kingdom of heaven, a beautiful island, lies in the center of the Indonesian archipelago. Located between the islands of Java and Lombok (the two famous islands of Indonesia), Bali evokes thoughts of a paradise.

Indonesia is the world’s largest island country with more than 17000 islands. It’s a country in Southeast Asia which lies betwixt the Indian and Pacific Ocean. And Bali, a lush tropical paradise, lies in its heart.

The island is popularly known as ‘the island of Gods’.

Lush terraced rice fields in the uplands of Bali, stunning beaches with endless coastlines, the world’s best coral reefs, scenic waterfalls, intricately carved ancient temples, and rich and colorful ceremonies; this beautiful island makes you travel the world of fairyland.

Bali unites leisure and adventure, spiritual awakening, and hard-partying all in one island.

Some of the popular tourist activities: surfing, scuba diving, or to take a casual boat ride to watch Dolphins riding on the waves; or a silent yoga retreat to rejuvenate oneself; the island has so much to offer you.

The Balinese (the people of Bali) practise the philosophy of ‘Tri Hita Karana’ (Literal: three causes of wellbeing). The principle believes in creating and maintaining a harmonious relationship among humans, nature, and God. This encourages conserving nature while maintaining sustainability.

Living in this philosophy might have helped this paradise to save its natural beauty and resources in this era of high-rising. This truly makes Bali more than just a physical destination, but a complete state of mind in the lap of nature.  

With 4 million people, the island is the home to Indonesia’s Hindu population (In a Muslim majority country).

The best places to visit in Bali, Indonesia

Mount Batur

Mount-Batur-BaliMount Batur, Bali

1717 meter above the sea level, Mount Batur is an active volcano located at the center of two concentric calderas in the Kintamani District of Bali’s central highland.

To the south east side of the larger caldera (10×13 km), there is the caldera lake, popularly known as the Lake Batur; a crescent shape waterway in the shadow of an active volcano. This water body is the valley’s main source of irrigation.

Every day, when the dawn is still dark, hundreds of visitors trek up the rocks of Mount Batur to reach the peak to gaze the sun rising above the mist-shrouded mountains.

People usually start at midnight to reach on time before sunrise. It’s a two to three hours hiking guided by professionals. Following a long trail of people, the journey is relatively easy. The guides provide you yummy breakfast with eggs cooked by the steam coming out of the active volcano.

Trekking the volcano and reaching the top for sunrise is one of the popular choices for the tourists visiting Bali. Overnight camping on Mount Batur is also feasible. There are many local tours and trekking companies which arrange everything for you at a reasonable price.

Mount-Batur-Bali-IndonesiaSunrise from Mount Batur.

To use your time wisely and consume the most, here you can combine with your trip a visit to one of the ancient temples of Bali: Pura Ulun Danu Batur. This temple is located at the edge of Lake Batur. Or, try a therapeutic soak in natural hot springs in the beautiful village Toya Bungkah (famous for its natural hot springs), situated at the bank of Lake Batur.

Pura Tanah Lot, Bali

Pura-tanah-lotPura Tanah Lot, Bali.

‘Pura’ means temple in Balinese (language).

Surrounded by crashing waves, this is Bali’s most iconic temple placed on a rocky islet. With a spectacular seaside view, every evening, when the sun sets behind the temple, a throng of tourists from different parts of the island gather here to enjoy the charming beauty of this place.

For centuries, this temple is a part of Balinese mythology. It’s located in Tabanan, about 20 kilometer northwest of Denpasar (the capital of Bali). 

Pura Tanah Lot is the most sacred of all temples in Bali Island.

You can visit the temple only during low tide. At high tide, waves flood the crossways and there’s no way to reach the temple. At the base of the rocky island, there are venomous sea snakes which lie in the crevices. People believe these snakes are protecting the temple since centuries from evil spirits and invaders.

The god of sea, ‘Varuna’ (in Hindu mythology), is worshipped inside the temple.

Tegallalang and Jatiluwih Rice Terraces in Bali

Tebanan, Rice Paddies-BaliTebanan, Rice Paddies Bali

Bali’s uplands are filled with verdant rice terraces. These scenic and extensive terraced rice fields amidst the lush greenery are beauty added to the landscape of Bali.

While traveling to the countryside you’ll see rice fields everywhere, but there are only two places where you can visit the rice fields officially: Tegallalang and Jatiluwih.

Jatiluwih is extensively large, covering an area of over 600 hectares (1, 480 acres).

The entire area is grown following the Balinese Subak irrigation system.  Subak: a traditional water management method (Of 9th Century) to grow rice fields in Bali. Subak is awarded by UNESCO as World Heritage Cultural Landscape.

The Jatiluwih rice fields are located in West Bali, 48 km away from Denpasar (the capital of Bali), and 40 km from Ubud (the cultural city of Bali).

Compared to this, Tegallalang is smaller in area and touristy. This is around 15 km away from Ubud (the cultural city of Bali). The place is beautiful, offering visitors a rich green panorama across the valley.

Explore Ubud (the cultural and spiritual heart of Bali)

Balinese-dance-UbudBalinese Dance Performance in the Royal Palace of Ubud

Settled amongst emerald rice fields and steep ravines in the foothills of the Gianyar regency, Ubud is a place for spiritual awakening.

It’s a small highland town on the Indonesian island of Bali in Ubud district.

Ubud is loved by the people seeking mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. Visiting Ubud, you can easily join the valley’s one of the many yoga retreats or healers offering reiki and holistic massage.

It’s a perfect place for relaxation and rejuvenation.

In the center of the town, there is the Puri Saren Royal Palace, a must-visit destination in Ubud.

Puri Saren Agung, the Royal Palace of Ubud

Royal-palace-ubud-baliThe Royal Palace, Ubud

The palace is one of the most prominent landmarks in Ubud. It was built during the lordship of Tjokorda Putu Kandel (Between 1800-1823). This royal palace with ancient architecture is the center for Bali’s culture, arts, dance, and literature.

There is an open-air venue in the palace complex. Every evening, the traditional dance-dramas of Bali are performed by Balinese artists. The dancers explain stories through every small gesture of eyes, face, hands, and fingers coordinating with Gamelan (the traditional music of Indonesia).

To the opposite of the palace, there’s Ubud’s most attractive art and crafts market.

Ubud Art Market, Bali

Ubud-Art-MarketMasks made of wood. Art market in Ubud

It’s a great place to shop for Bali’s indigenous products. Local shops brimming with sculptures, carvings, sarongs, paintings, and craftworks attract you more towards Balinese beauty and culture. Beautiful silk scarves, handmade bags, baskets and hats, kites and traditional jewelry are available at affordable price.

This traditional market is locally known as Pasar Seni Ubud. It opens daily.

In the end, a trip to Bali is incomplete without visiting Bali’s gorgeous sandy beaches.

Kuta Beach, Bali

Kuta-Beach-BaliKuta Beach, Bali

Located on the island’s South-western coast, Kuta is a 2.5 Km long sea beach highly popular among foreign tourists, mainly the young bag-packers.

The Kuta beach is renowned for surfing and Bali’s awesome sunset.

This place is famous for surfing, swimming, sunbathing, and beach soccer. Kuta’s main beach roads have big hotels, resorts, shops, restaurants, and bars.

This beach was once a lonely little village where locals used to surf. But today, it is extremely crowded and highly commercialized. With its glowing nightlife, the place offers more inclination to those wishing to party hard.

Nusa Dua 

Nusa Dua, BaliNusa Dua, Bali

Nusa Dua is a range of beaches located in the Southern part of Bali.

Beaches here are extremely clean and water is bluer than the sky. The majestic deep sea with waves breaking on the shore, the beaches in Nusa Dua are calm and peaceful.

A warm breeze swirls around you while soft and white sand melts under your feet.

Exploring Nusa Dua beaches is a must in Bali.

The top 5 sea beaches in Nusa Dua are Pandawa, Nusa Dua, Geger, Samuh, and Sawangan beach.

These calm beaches of Nusa Dua often have gentler waves. This makes them feasible for swimming and surfing for beginners.

You can enjoy here all beach activities like sunbathing, water sports like jet skiing, boating, and parasailing. Or taste Balinese food from beach shacks.

A complete trip

The journey through Bali is endless with countless beautiful places left unlisted to explore and admire. However, the beauty of Bali is unexplainable to write in words. To realize it, you have to land on this piece of Paradise. Bon voyage!

Also Read: A cultural trip to Mandalay, the Royal Town of Myanmar

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