Located in the Indonesian archipelago, Bali has a lot to offer its annual visitors. The home of nine strategically located temples, beautiful beaches, monkeys and rolling rice terraces, there is a lot in the way of culture and entertainment that Bali has to woo its guests. This list highlights ten of the most visited sites in Bali to truly experience Balinese culture at its best.
Regarded as the lifeblood and heartbeat of Bali, Ubud encompasses much of the culture, attractions like temples and museums as well as gardens and parks in Bali. This is where you want to visit to be completely immersed in the culture and experience Balinese architecture, food and art. There are also opportunities for families with children to engage in together such as workshops which feature jewellery making, painting and making masks.
- Pura Tanah Lot
Set on a rocky foundation and surrounded by the crashing waves of the sea, this Balinese temple represents one of the most sacred temples in Bali. While you will not be allowed to go inside for viewing, you are free to roam the grounds and admire the architecture and serenity of the environment, creating memories with the photos you take. There are several restaurants nearby as well as cafes which visitors can visit and relax at after their temple excursion. The best time of day to visit this site is a sunset to view the orange and golden hues in all their glory.
- Ubud Monkey Forest
Not very far from the town centre of Ubud, is the Monkey Forest. This Sacred Monkey Sanctuary is where you will be able to observe the macaque monkeys with their very long grey tails in their natural environment unencumbered. The setting is much like a jungle and is the delight of photographers who can capture the antics and gymnastics of these magnificent creatures and nature and animal lovers can also enjoy the display. The fast fingered monkeys have been known to snatch the belongings of visitors so you will want to keep your possessions safely stowed and even though they are delightful to observe, try not so smile or look directly into their eyes as they have been known to interpret this as aggression.
- Mount Batur
Mount Batur is 1700 meters high and attracts visitors and hikers to climb to its peak to experience the magnificent rising sun. This active volcano actually takes hikers between two to three hours to get to the very top and the trails are sufficiently marked. The treks are generally guided however, and a morning breakfast is typically included which is prepared from the steam rising from this sacred volcano. Be sure to be adequately suited for the low morning temperatures and don appropriate footwear to be able to deal with the rigours of the terrain.
- Waterbom Bali
Located in Kuta, this water park is outfitted with meandering water slides, a lazy river, swimming pools and other rides. There is something for kids of all ages and each member of the family. Complete with a spa, restaurants, lovely shade trees and cafes, this water park offers much more than meets the eye.
- Sekumpul Waterfall
The most beautiful waterfalls in all of Bali are to be found in the north, namely the Sekumpul Waterfalls. The falls are actually a sequence of seven different water falls through which you can hike with a tour guide if you choose. There are points along the trek which may be particularly slippery so having someone who knows the ins and outs of the trail may be the best decision.
This little town which is very close to Kuta is well known for its prestigious restaurants, world class hotels, designer boutiques and spas. You can view the magnificence of the Indian Ocean from Seminyak beach and also take in the well seasoned surfers who brave the choppy waves on their surf boards. There are two major malls for shopping which are Seminyak Village and Seminyak Square as well as other smaller stores which span either side of the street. Bargain shoppers can get excellent deals by going to the Seminyak Flea Market.
- Uluwatu Temple
The Uluwatu temple sits on cliffs overlooking the sea and is to be found in the Bukit Peninsula. In Balinese, the words Ulu and Watu mean land’s end or tip and rock, respectively. The name is therefore apt for its location on the cliffs. As with the other temples located by the sea, dusk is the opportune time to visit this location to witness the setting sun and its breathtaking reflection on the ocean water.
- Kuta Beach
This well renowned beach is usually very populated with visitors and buzzing with life. From surfing lessons to lounge chair rentals and restaurants and cafes, to swimming and watersports, there are various activities to participate in.
- Tegallalang Rice Terraces
The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are such a beauty to behold with the rich greens and interesting rolling patterns. It is located about a half an hour’s drive from Ubud and you will head north to reach them. The fields make for very interesting photography and the cafe or restaurants which overlook these fields offer another perspective to view them.
Joshua Gulliver, the author of this article writes occasionally on behalf of Bali Ferry specializing in connecting you to amazing, spectacular places.