Bali Indonesia

The mere mention of Bali evokes thoughts of a paradise. It’s more than a place; it’s a mood, an aspiration, a tropical state of mind.

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Bali Also had known as the Land of the Gods, Bali appeals through its sheer natural beauty of looming volcanoes and lush terraced rice fields that exude peace and serenity. It is also famous for surfers’ paradise! Bali enchants with its dramatic dances and colorful ceremonies, its arts, and crafts, to its luxurious beach resorts and exciting nightlife. And everywhere, you will find intricately carved temples.

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Island of the Gods

The rich and diverse culture of Bali plays out at all levels of life, from the exquisite flower-petal offerings placed everywhere, to the processions of joyfully garbed locals shutting down major roads as they march to one of the myriad temple ceremonies, to the otherworldly traditional music and dance performed island-wide. Almost everything has spiritual meaning. The middle of Bali is dominated by the dramatic volcanoes of the central mountains and hillside temples such as Pura Luhur Batukau (one of the island’s estimated 10,000 temples), whiles the tallest peak, Gunung Agung, is the island’s spiritual center.

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One Island, Many Destinations

On Bali you can lose yourself in the chaos of Kuta or sybaritic pleasures of Seminyak and Kerobokan, surf wild beaches in the south or just hang out on Nusa Lembongan. You can go family-friendly in Sanur or savour a lavish getaway on the Bukit Peninsula. Ubud is the heart of Bali, a place where the culture of the island is most accessible, and it shares the island’s most beautiful rice fields and ancient monuments with east and west Bali. North and west Bali are thinly populated but have the kind of diving and surfing that make any journey worthwhile.

Bali’s Essence

Yes, Bali has beaches, surfing, diving and resorts great and small, but it’s the essence of Bali – and the Balinese – that makes it so much more than just a fun-in-the-sun retreat. It is possible to take the cliché of the smiling Balinese too far, but in reality, the inhabitants of this small island are indeed a generous, genuinely warm people. There’s also a fun, sly sense of humor. Upon seeing a bald tourist, many locals exclaim ‘bung ujan’, which means today’s rain is cancelled – it’s their way of saying that the hairless head is like a clear sky.

Bali’s Fun

At the end of the day (which is the start of the day for some visitors), Bali’s rich culture, many amazing sights and truly lovely people are what takes Bali’s sheer delight to another level. Because Bali is fun, no matter what you want or who you are. Seminyak has shops and designers, Kerobokan has luxe beachside resorts and superb eating, Kuta and Legian have the nightlife, and Canggu wraps it all into one irresistible package. Plunge deep into Bali’s spirit while renewing your own in Ubud or catching the perfect wave in Bingin. You name it, it’s here.

Best Time to visit Bali

Bali, like the rest of Indonesia, has two seasons – dry and rainy. The dry season is typically from April till October while the rainy season begins around November and goes on till March. Temperatures stay fairly constant throughout the year so the best time to visit Bali is during the dry season.

The best months weather-wise are usually July and August, but these are also peak months. For that reason, I think the best time to go would be from April till June and September to November. The skies are clearer and the island isn’t as crowded.

APR-OCT: This is the dry season in Bali. We were there in July on our last trip and the weather was perfect. The sky was clear every day and it didn’t rain once. However, it was crowded everywhere and traffic was horrible, especially in Seminyak.

NOV-MAR: This is the rainy season. November should still be ok but December and January are the rainiest months, not to mention among the busiest. Bali gets pretty crowded over the holidays so this probably isn’t the best time to go. Hotel rates will be at their highest as well.

(Atuh Beach in Nusa Penida Bali, Indonesia)

WHERE TO STAY

There are so many great places to stay in Bali, ranging from 5-star luxury accommodations to humble but charming boutique hotels. The competition between hotels is so stiff that you can easily find beautiful hotels at very reasonable rates.

Best Areas to Stay in Bali

SEMINYAK: Casa Kayu Aya

Seminyak is one of the most popular areas on the island with plenty of hotels, restaurants, boutiques, and bars. It’s listed as an upscale area but there are plenty of mid-range hotels too.

As you’d expect with such a popular area, Seminyak can get crowded. Traffic can get pretty bad here as well, especially during peak seasons.

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KUTA BEACH

Kuta Beach is the most famous beach in Bali and one of its liveliest nightlife areas. It’s also got great surfing and plenty of budget accommodations. Its proximity to the airport makes it one of the most convenient places to stay as well.

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LEGIAN BEACH

This is the area directly south of Seminyak and north of Kuta Beach, which is fitting because it’s described as being a mix between the two. Average hotel prices fall somewhere between Seminyak and Kuta Beach, and the nightlife is fun, but not as rowdy.

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JIMBARAN BAY

This is the area to the south of the airport. It’s described as a quieter area with many international chain hotels and 5-star resorts. If you’re in Bali on your honeymoon, then this is probably a good place to be.

NUSA DUA

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Located on the eastern side of southern Bali, Nusa Dua is described as being the most exclusive beachfront area on the island and home to some of its best white sand beaches. Almost all of the hotels here are international 5-star resorts. It sounds like another great place to stay if you’re traveling to Bali on your honeymoon.

TANJUNG BENOA

If you’re into action-packed activities like jet skiing or parasailing, then you should probably stay here. Tanjung Benoa is located directly north of Nusa Dua and is described as being one of the best places on the island for watersports.

SANUR BEACH

Sanur Beach is apparently Bali’s very first tourism beach area. It’s quieter and more laid back compared to other areas like Kuta and Legian. Honeymooners may want to consider staying here as well.

DENPASAR

Denpasar is the capital city of Bali and the most urban area on this list. If you’d prefer to stay in a city rather than a touristy beach area, then Denpasar is one to consider.

CANGGU

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I first learned about this area from a fellow travel blogger. Apparently, it’s many a digital nomad’s preferred place to live when staying for many months in Bali. From what I understand, it’s a secluded area with a good balance of coastal and rice terraced environments

THINGS TO DO

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There are plenty of fun and interesting things to do in southern Bali. However, attractions are spread out and the island doesn’t have a developed public transportation system. It’s easiest to book a private car charter with driver, or go on a guided tour.

If you’d like to visit these attractions in the cheapest way possible, then it may be best to get around using the Kura Kura shuttle bus. It’s a fleet of air-conditioned minibuses that ply set routes on the island. You can get 1-day or 3-day passes on Klook

Explore Bali’s Shopping Streets

Explore Jalan Kayu Aya and Jalan Raya at Seminyak. Unlike less developed island destinations in Southeast Asia, Bali isn’t just about market-like stalls selling folksy crafts and souvenirs. There are many international fashion boutiques here, along with art galleries and plenty of interesting cafes, restaurants, and bars. Check out this article on Bali’s shopping streets for a quick overview.

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Enjoy the View at Tanah Lot Temple

This was the first stop I made on my private car charter. Tanah Lot is one of Bali’s most important Hindu temples. Built on a rock just off the shore, it’s also one of it’s most unique and visually striking, which is why I wanted to get here early before the crowds came in. Tanah Lot is a frequent stop on many sightseeing tours.

It was still high-tide when I visited so this was as close as I could get. At low tide, you can cross to the base of Tanah Lot though entrance to the temple itself is prohibited. After centuries of crashing waves, the temple’s rock base had eroded to the point that it needed restoration. About a third of the present rock is now artificial.

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Farther along the coast is Batu Bolong Temple which you can easily get to on foot from Tanah Lot. This entire area is lovely at this time of day. The temperature is relatively cool with few people around so you can sit and enjoy the sound of waves crashing onto shore.

Explore Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu Temple is perched on a sheer cliff about 70 meters above sea level. It’s a beautiful sight that’s perhaps best enjoyed at sunset.

Another reason to visit Uluwatu at sunset is to catch a Kecak fire dance which is performed every day at 6PM. Some people say it’s touristy, but fun and entertaining nonetheless. You can get tickets to Uluwatu’s Kecak fire dance on Klook. They offer a few island sightseeing tours with stops at Uluwatu as well.

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Be warned, there are plenty of monkeys patrolling the cliffs of Uluwatu. They’ve been known to snatch items from tourists so be careful with any loose belongings like mobile phones, cameras, and dangling jewelry.

Marvel at the Giant Statues of Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park

 It’s like a theme park but instead of rides, it features large statues. Very,very large statues.

Pictured below is the first of three gargantuan statues you’ll find at Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park (GWK for short).It depicts Vishnu – one of the principal deities in the Hindu religion – who’s known as the god of preservation and guardian of all beings.

Marvel at the Giant Statues of Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park

 It’s like a theme park but instead of rides, it features large statues. Very,very large statues.

Pictured below is the first of three gargantuan statues you’ll find at Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park (GWK for short).It depicts Vishnu – one of the principal deities in the Hindu religion – who’s known as the god of preservation and guardian of all beings.

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Like the statue above, this is also just one segment of the larger statue. It depicts Garuda – a legendary bird or bird-like creature in the Hindu religion. He is the trusted mount of Vishnu and recognized as a symbol of faithfulness and devotion. Check out the person in yellow walking on the lawn for scale.

The Garuda statue is looking to its left, at the park’s main attraction – a 121-meter (397 ft) tall behemoth that now stands as the tallest statue in Indonesia and the fourth tallest in the world.

Enjoy Contemporary Art

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As described, Bali has a well-developed art scene. You’ll find contemporary art galleries and museums throughout the island, including the pioneering Nyaman Gallery in Seminyak. This is one of the best contemporary art galleries in Bali, showcasing an interesting mix of work from both local and international artists.

The body of contemporary art on display here is impressive. Check out this article for a list of interesting art galleries in Bali.

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Even the commercial mass-produced art was impressive. This was a stack of paintings being sold by some sidewalk vendor in Seminyak.

Lay on a Beach

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Doing nothing is probably one of the best things you can do in an idyllic island destination like Bali. And by “doing nothing”, I mean laying on a beach half naked just catching rays and sipping cocktails. Cliched I know, but who cares? You’re in Bali.

Being such a large island, there are plenty of beaches to choose from. We aren’t beach people so we didn’t spend too much time on the beach. Which beach (es) you go to will probably depend on where you’re staying, but you can check out this article for a list of the best beaches in Bali.

For many travelers, laying on sandy stretches of beach like this one is the only thing they need to do in Bali. I can’t say I blame them!

Have fun!

I’m not an expert on Bali but I do hope you find this travel guide useful. I’m only sharing some of the things I learned and studied.  If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, then please feel free to contact Apadana Travel Tour department. Our colleagues will be happy to assist you for travel plan to Bali.

You’re welcome to join our Facebook page too.

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