Bali, the famed Island of the Gods, with its varied landscape of hills and mountains, rugged coastlines and sandy beaches, lush rice terraces, and barren volcanic hillsides all providing a picturesque backdrop to its colorful, deeply spiritual, and unique culture, stakes a serious claim to be paradise on earth.
With world-class surfing and diving, a large number of cultural, historical, and archaeological attractions, and an enormous range of accommodations, this is one of the world’s most popular island destinations and one which consistently wins travel awards. Bali Island has something to offer a very broad market of visitors from young back-packers right through to the super-rich.
The places to Visit:
- Bedugul. Nice lakes in the mountains, a golf course, the botanical gardens, and the famous Ulun Danu Bratan Temple.
- Bukit Peninsula. The southernmost tip of Bali, with world-class surfing, great beaches, and the can’t-miss cliff-hanging Uluwatu Temple.
- Candidasa. A quiet coastal town, the Bali Aga and gateway to the east coast.
- Denpasar. A bustling city, the administrative center and transport hub of the island but not a major tourist destination.
- Jimbaran. Sea-side resorts, a nice sheltered beach, and seafood restaurants south of Kuta.
- Kintamani. The active volcano Mount Batur, has great mountain scenery, cooler temperatures, and fruit growing.
- Kuta. Surfer central is by far the most heavily developed area in Bali. Lots of shopping and nightlife and it is the center of lower-end party culture in Bali.
- Legian. Located between Kuta and Seminyak; also the name of Kuta´s main street.
- Lovina. Beautiful black volcanic sand beaches and coral reefs.
- Mount Agung. The highest mountain in Bali and the mother temple of Besakih.
- Nusa Dua. An enclave of high-end resorts and a long, golden sand beach.
- Sanur. Sea-side resorts and beaches are popular with older families.
- Seminyak. Quieter, has more upscale beachside resorts and villas just to the north of Legian, with some fashionable upscale restaurants and trendy designer bars and dance clubs.
- Ubud. The center of art and dance is in the foothills, with several museums, the monkey forest, and lots of arts and crafts shops.
- West Bali National Park. Trekking, bird watching, and diving in Bali’s only substantial natural protected area.
- Funerals (pitra yadnya) are another occasion of pomp and ceremony when the deceased (often several at a time) are ritually cremated in extravagantly colorful rituals (ngaben).
- Galungan is a 10 day festival that comes around every 210 days and celebrates the death of the tyrant Mayadenawa. Gods and ancestors visit the earth and are greeted with gift-laden bamboo poles called penjor lining the streets. The last day of the festival is known as Kuningan.
- Nyepi, or the Hindu New Year, also known as the day of absolute silence, is usually in March or April. If you are in Bali in the days preceding Nyepi, you will see amazing colorful giants (ogoh ogoh) being created by every banjar. On the eve of Nyepi, the ogoh ogoh are paraded through the streets, an amazing sight which is not to be missed. There are good reasons to avoid Nyepi as well, but for many visitors, these will be outweighed by the privilege of experiencing such a unique festival. On Nyepi absolutely everything on the island is shut down between 6 AM on the day of the new year and 6 AM the following morning. Tourists are confined to their hotels and asked to be as quiet as possible for the day. After dark, light must be kept to a bare minimum. No one is allowed onto the beaches or streets. The only exceptions granted are for real emergency cases. The airport remains closed for the entire day, which means no flights into or out of Bali for 24 hr. Ferry harbors are closed as well. As the precise date of Nyepi changes every year and isn’t finally set until later in the year before, flights will be booked by airlines for this day in case you book early. When the date is set, and as it gets closer, the airlines will alter their bookings accordingly. This may mean that you have to alter your accommodation bookings if your flight has been bought forward or back to cater for Nyepi day.
Daytime temperatures are pleasant, varying between 20-33⁰ C (68-93⁰ F) year-round. From December to March, the west monsoon can bring heavy showers and high humidity, but days are still often sunny with the rains starting in the late afternoon or evening and passing quickly. From June to September, the humidity is low and it can be quite cool in the evenings. At this time of the year there is hardly any rain in the lowland coastal areas.
Bali is in the UTC+8 time zone (known in Indonesia as WITA, Waktu Indonesia Tengah).
Electricity is supplied at 220V 50Hz. Outlets are the European standard.
Things To Do:
- Visit Bali’s Hindu culture and history.
- Visit and enjoy the hot springs (Air Banjar, Toya Bungkah hot springs).
- Traditional spa and massage.
- Water sports.
- Other sports: Golf, Paragliding at Nusa Dua, Mountain Cycling at Ubud, Jungle Trekking, Bungy Jumping at Seminyak, Horse Riding in Seminyak and Umalas, and Hiking in the rice fields at Ubud areas.
- Observe nature in West Bali National Park, Taman Safari, and Butterfly Park (Taman Kupu-Kupu).