Everything about Bali is mesmerizing. To be blessed with so many landscape varieties on a single island, it really must be the island of Gods. From lush rice terraces, white sandy beaches, to merrymaking tourist towns – all provide a backdrop to this spiritual place, rich with culture. With something for everyone, it’s no wonder Bali’s one of the world’s most targeted escape destinations. Helping you to better plan for your holiday in this tropical paradise, our Bali travel tips offer a useful insight into just what you can expect to see and experience on this enchanting island.
Live the beach life
Stretches of white sand, spectacular coastlines and amazing views of the ocean are what made Bali famous. It’s not hard to want to plunge in the clear waters of well-known beaches like Dreamland, roll in the sands of Sanur or surf the waves at Padang-Padang. Shops and clubs are an easy access when you’re strolling around the beaches in Kuta and Seminyak, and Jimbaran is one of the hottest spots to watch the sun go down while dining on mouth watering seafood banquet. Nusa Dua offers many things throughout the day, including plethora of watersports such as banana boat, parasailing, jet ski rides and scuba diving.
Sit back and relax
Far from the bustling tourist areas, there’s another side of Bali that boasts peaceful tranquillity. Ubud comes immediately to mind with its vivid greenery. But peace-seekers aren’t the only ones who think of it as paradise. A thriving number of wood carvers, sculptors and painters have also made Ubud their artistic haven, regarding the place as their muse. Jatiluwih is another rustic area known for its serene atmosphere, with a panoramic view of breathtaking paddy fields against the background of Mount Batukaru.
Bask in its culture
Bali's deep root in Hindu spirituality is evident in its daily life and culture, from traditional offerings found on sidewalks to historical proof in the form of thousand-year-old temples. The largest and holiest one of all is Besakih, perched a thousand metres high on the slopes of Mount Agung and often dubbed as Bali’s ‘Mother Temple’. Tanah Lot is another important temple that is oddly placed – on a small island just offshore. But the site is what actually gave the temple its fame, especially when it’s time for the sun to set. The famous cliff-hanging temple of Uluwatu is another tourist favourite. Not only does it directly oversee the Indian Ocean, you can also catch the mesmerizing Kecak dance performances daily. Just be careful of the cheeky, stealing monkeys.
Dance the night away
It’s hard to say where you’ll sweat more – tanning by the beach or dancing with the masses round midnight. The party almost never stops in Bali and Seminyak is the best place to celebrate. Posh drinking venues overlooking the ocean have become quite the go-to trend for partygoers, such as beachfront lounge Potato Head Beach Club and the stylishly designed Woo Bar. Getting a good, seated spot at these places during sunset hours are virtually impossible, but the mood only gets better as soon as the night begins.
A pride of Balinese cuisine, the betutu is normally made using whole chicken or duck, wrapped in banana leaves. By digging a hole in the ground, the chicken or duck is then planted inside, covered in hot coals and cooked for 6-7 hours. The long and complicated cooking process is what makes the betutu a special dish in restaurants.
Babi Guling (Be Guling)
Those who like all things porky, would love the be guling, or rolled pork. Young pigs are stuffed with spices and vegetables, such as cassava leaves then baked as it’s rolled until cooked. The glazed, brownish discolouration of the skin is a typical trait of the dish, which becomes crisp as the meat tenders. It is then cut into pieces and served with rice. The babi guling was originally a dish reserved for traditional and religious ceremonies but is now sold in a variety of places, from roadside stalls to five-star hotels.
Made of saltwater fish, green coconut, spices and brown sugar, this classic Klungkung food can now be found all over the island. Best eaten fresh off the grill, this type of satay can only last for one day. It is served in Balinese ritual ceremonies as well.
Over the years, Bali has been an increasingly popular wedding destination. Surrounded by such natural beauty – gorgeous beaches, stunning sunset and cultural heritage – it comes back to choosing how you want to spend your special day. Many couples even head to Bali to renew their vows, proving once and for all that Bali is indeed the perfect place to fall in love, after all.