Bali, The Paradisiacal Island

The island is full dense jungles and villages with a wonderful culture. It is located on a chain, with Java to the west and Lombok to the east. It is one of the most enriching places in the world. The island is a unique blend of exceptional culture, beautiful landscapes, tropical beaches, tropical climate and rock bottom prices.

Bali is part of the Lesser Sunda Islands. The highest point of the island is Mount Agung with 3.142 m of height, volcano inactivity, that erupted for the last time in March of 1963.

History Of Bali

Mountain tops at Bali
Mountain tops of Bali

The first reports of the existence of Bali appear from the 8th century. However, it is known that by the end of prehistory, Hindus arrived in the area through the Indonesian Peninsula, Java and Sumatra. Presence of Chinese culture in the seventh century. Bali was independent until the thirteenth century when it came to depend on the kings of Singhasari, a kingdom of Java. At the end of the 16th century, a time of instability began, with internal wars favouring the birth of various territories in Bali.

Culture

Bali is one of those paradises full of beautiful beaches, but in my opinion, the difference lies in the culture and the sympathy of the people. Balinese is characterised by humility and simplicity, with religion playing a powerful role in their daily lives.

The Balinese are mostly Hindus, approximately 95% of the population, while in the other islands of Indonesia the majority is Muslim. The Hinduism came to Bali from India. It is one of the four great religions of the world and lives very well with Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism.

Why Should You Go To Bali?

1.The Art

door art Bali

On the island of the gods, you can find almost everything related to art. Excellent naive paintings, figures in metal, also glass, excellent carvings and works with wood, good batik, hand-painted etc.

2. The Sunsets

sunset at Kuta Beach Bali
Sunset at Kuta Beach in Bali

Observe the sunset. It is a total spectacle here. Be it listening to live music from the beach of Double Six or witnessing the sun hiding behind the islet of Tanah Lot .there are many other places which are a treat to watch

3. Dance

bali dance

I would say that his movements are strange, his expression is almost ghostly and the music is challenging to interpret, however as a whole the Balinese dance is hypnotic and watching one of these traditional shows is something that every traveller should give it a chance. Every night Ubud dancers go up on stage, trying to tell stories to the public through their gestures, above all their hands and eyes. Right in front of the royal palace, there is an information point where you can pick up a sheet with all the shows, where they are, the schedules and their price. Price approx: 100,000 IDR (Indonesian currency-IDR).

4.Good FoodFood at Bali

It is a pleasure to be able to go to so many restaurants in which one can eat everything on the menu! And in Ubud, there are not only dozens of vegetarian and vegan restaurants, but many of the places offer dishes whose ingredients are mostly organic. They are everywhere, you do not need to look far to find them. I will recommend The elephant (a little away far but has a beautiful view), Herb Library and Atman Cafe. Explore the nature of the island of Bali.

Most Attractive Places To Visit In Bali

Rice Paddies

rice paddies at Bali
Rice paddies in Bali

The centre of Bali from the sky must look like a huge rice field crossed by narrow and bustling roads. Rice fields are almost everywhere, that is the landscape that accompanies one in his excursions around the island, so it is not necessary to go to any of the tourist terraces. The Tegallalang Rice Terrace (price: donation) left us quite indifferent (even with a bad taste after seeing the poor state of several civets kept in cages in some stores terracing in trying to sell coffee Luwak. However the terraces of Jatiluwih They are impressive and worth the travel time from Ubud, a massive expanse of fields with beautiful views (40000 IDR)

Beaches and Waterfalls

Panati Purnama Beach
Panati Purnama Beach

The beaches of Bali do not stand out for their beauty and are eclipsed by many spectacular places like the Gili (consider making a visit to the Gili if you are looking for a paradisiacal beach ). The waters of Bali is quite a popular spot and especially many Aussies come here to surf. Most of the activities involving the waves are at the south, especially in Uluwatu, Canggu or Kuta. If you want to see a black sand beach, get closer to Pantai Purnama, east of Bali. It is not a place where you can swim by strong currents, but it is surprising to see sand so dark and at the same time, so subtle. It is a stunning landscape. And if you want to see waterfalls, very close to Ubud is Air Terjun Tegunungan.

Temples

temple in ubud bali
Temple in Ubud Bali

The temples of the streets of Ubud are marvellous that can be found by the rest of Bali but, honestly, in this city, you never know what you are in front of a sacred place. Taking a walk one ends up stumbling with altars, offerings and temples. Saraswati is the Hindu goddess of knowledge and here also the name of a beautiful temple with a pond full of lotus flowers:  Pure Taman Saraswati Temple. In the same street but a little further away you can also visit the Pura Dalem Puri.

Monkey Forest

Ubud monkey forest
Ubud monkey forest

The Sacred Sanctuary of the Monkey Forest, or Ubud Monkey Forest, is the heart of the city of Ubud, a green space in which to flee the traffic and the burden of the centre and enjoy nature. It is incredible that at the end of one of the busiest streets there is a jungle. The monkeys that inhabit it are the real protagonists, hundreds of naughty macaques that actually behave rather better than in other places we have visited. Anyway, walk with an eye because they are still animals that go crazy when they see food. Entry price: 50,000 IDR.

Ubud Palace

Ubud palace Bali
Ubud Palace Bali

If you have come to Bali in search of the most relaxed or cultural part,  Ubud is your destination. If you avoid its two main streets, which are busy almost any time of the day, and you stay in a quiet area overlooking the rice fields. The fact is that in this town you can still find rest. Take a couple of days at least to visit your points of interest without being overwhelmed and to pamper your body with massages, yoga classes and healthy food.

In the heart of Ubud, right at the intersection of the two main and busiest streets of the city is the  Puri Saren Agung or Royal Palace.  There is not a single thing which you can afford to miss from this complex. Every corner, door or mouldy stone which is full of engravings and figures that entertain tourists and catch every photographer’s eye. With a bit of luck while walking around you will stumble upon a group of young dancers who practice Balinese dance, a show that can be enjoyed live every night. Free entrance.

Best Time To Visit:

The best time to visit is July and August. August can be exhausting, stressful and consumerist, but if you have patience and know-how to move on your own you will enjoy everything it has to offer.

Temples of Bali

Unlike the rest of the islands of Indonesia, Bali is Hindu since this religion came through Java. Thousands of offerings at the entrances of homes, restaurants and businesses are responsible for reminding us at every step that we give the importance of faith in the lives of the Balinese. Its temples are scattered throughout the island and they can be found in the most surprising places, mainly lakes, cliffs, at the foot of the mountain or in the jungle. Below we list the most popular and most visited temples, it is adviced that in most of them you have to cover your legs up to your knees and when you enter, they will provide you with a sarong to cover yourself with.

Pura Besakih

Pura besakih Bali
Pura Besakih Bali

At the foot of Mount Agung is the Mother Temple of Pura Besakih, the largest, most important and sacred for Balinese Hindus. It is a complex of several buildings (23 to be exact) spread over six levels and located at a thousand meters of altitude. The entrance costs 60,000 IDR and at the doors of the temple, they will offer you immediately the services of a guide, keep in mind that it is not obligatory to access.

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

How to get to Pura Ulun Danu Bratan?

It costs a few curves to climb up to the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan that seems to float on the waters of Lake Branden, but the picture-postcard is well worth the traffic there is to get here. The view of the mountain of the same name (when it is seen) makes this place the centre of the island and even more beautiful, By the way, it is somewhat cold due to the altitude it is at. 50,000 IDR (+2,000 IDR of the parking).

Tirta Empul

Tirta Empul bali
Tirta Empul

Even the stone pools of Pura Tirta Empul invite believers to purify the soul in a ritual that consists of placing themselves under the jets of water coming from the subsoil. Nowadays, due to their fame, there are many tourists who, surely convinced by their guides, rather than by faith, decide to get in and take a dip in its sacred thermal waters. Price: 15,000 IDR.

Tanah Lot

Tanah Lot temple in Bali
Tanah lot

In a small islet that can only be accessed when the tide is low and allows it is the Tanah Lot temple. As in many other places in Bali, the environment manages to eclipse the temple, although the constant flow of believers makes us always keep in mind that it is a sanctuary. It is worth observing the place from its top and if the water and waves allow it to also approach the islet. 6,000 IDR entrance and 2,000 IDR parking.

Saraswati

Saraswati temple in Bali
Saraswati temple in Bali

This beautiful temple in the centre of Ubud boasts a couple of ponds filled with floating lotus flowers and thousands of fish inside. Pura Taman Saraswati honours the goddess of knowledge, teaching and the arts, hence the name of the temple. It is located in Jalan Raya Ubud, is the perfect place to escape from the crowd that almost always occupies the main streets. Admission is free and Balinese dance shows are performed at night on the inside stage.

There are many other temples to visit –

  • Goa Gajah

  • Uluwatu Temple

  • Pura Taman Ayun

Markets and Purchases

Ubud Market

Ubud market in Bali
Ubud Market

The Ubud Market may not be a quiet place to go for a walk but if you want to buy a souvenir in this market, you will find everything: batiks, keyrings, fridge magnets, incense sticks. If you manage to cross its streets and not die in the attempt will discover dozens of posts, yes, with many things repeated and under the insistence of its inexhaustible sellers.

Guwang Art Market

Guwang art market in bali
Guwang art market

An excellent place to buy a piece of art is the Guwang Art Market, it is situated in town with many stalls where you will find paintings and sculptures by Balinese artists. To observe the paintings, masks and figures is worth the visit even if you do not have in mind to buy anything.

Pasar Seni Sukawati

Pass Seni Sukawati temple in bali
Pass Seni Sukawati temple

Very close to the previous one is the Pasar Seni Sukawati, a local market where day-to-day items are available. It is not a tourist place, but it will show you a piece of the most real island, the day to day of the Balinese. Do not be surprised if you find lingerie in the middle of the stairs or food stand on the floor.

Conclusion

Without a doubt, Bali is one of the best-known destinations in Indonesia. This small “island of the gods” is famous for its temples, rice fields and its waves but it is not usually among the favourite places of backpackers because of its reputation. It is a tourist spot and an ideal wedding destination. Bali is not a very large island and does not require many transfers. If you are clear about what you want to see or which area, you can choose a destination or two and then move calmly.

 

Share this post

5 Indian Whole Grains You Must Include in Your Diet

Even though we talk of many different diets around the world, the fact that Indian...

‘The Notoriously Versatile Roti’ Food Rant Diaries.

Welcome to #NoNonsenseRoti Hi, Guys, I'm Kush and Back with my Food Rants. These will be...

5 Must Visit Cafe’s in Manali

Manali is a famous and beautiful hill station in the Himalayas on the northern state...