There is little that can be said about Bali that hasn’t already been said before, and this island is the jewel in the crown of Indonesia, and is often the only place that travelers will ever experience in country. Unfortunately the Bali from the days of old is long gone and this island is now busy, expensive, and filled with tourists, but despite this it has still managed to keep much of its charm that made it so famous to begin with.
You can’t come to Bali without going to its main center of Kuta, even if you decide that you want to leave immediately. Here you will find the famous Kuta beach where the sea meets a sand bar and there are gentle rolling waves which are perfect for beginners learning to surf. You can live the typical Kuta experience by having a surf lesson by the hour or if you want something easier you can rent a sponge board. Even if you don’t want to get wet, people flock to the beach at night to take photos of the beautiful sunset and relax with drink or two on the sand. This is definitely a busy version of a tropical island paradise but it’s still a fun one all the same if you don’t take it too seriously.
Tanah Lot is perhaps Bali’s most famous icon and is made up of a rock formation with a Hindu temple, Pura Tanah Lot built on the top. Over the years the ocean tides have separated the rock from the shore so there is no way to get to it at high tide. At low tide however you can walk across the sand banks to the temple which is said to be guarded by sea snakes. Whether you like temples or not this is an amazing feat of nature and particularly impressive at sunset, and there is a craft market as you walk down to the rocks that sells souvenirs from the area.
Ubud is known as the major arts and culture hub of Bali as well as the location of the Indonesian part of the film Eat, Pray, Love starring Julia Roberts. Distinct from other areas of Bali (and despite how it looks in the film!) Ubud does not have a beach, but instead is set in the middle of rice paddies and forests and is seen as the place to go if you want to get away from the party atmosphere in Kuta. Ubud is full of art galleries where you can find the works of a host of prominent Balinese artists or you can take in a Tek Tok dance at the Bali Culture Centre in Ubud. Aside from cultural activities there are a range of yoga retreats, healthy eating cafes, and wellness centers in Ubud, so if you want to relax and detox then you may just end up staying for a month rather than the few days you had planned. Time has a way or running away with you here.
Uluwatu is located at the extreme north of the island of Bali. If you are looking for a breathtaking experience in front of several major cliffs, this is the right spot to go. You can’t jump from there, but you can enjoy an amazing view, no matter where you are in Uluwatu. On this part of the island, you’ll discover white sand beaches and also a lot of surfing spots, such the famous Blue Point Beach. Although you can’t really learn how to surf there because of the reef, this doesn’t mean that you can’t swim or explore the nice caves around. Don’t forget to find the amazing Pura Luhur Uluwatu temple located at the edge of the island of Bali. We recommend going at sunset to have an amazing view of the temple while the sun disappears on the horizon.
Bali has always seemed like a dream to many people, and for some, a trip here can turn into a nightmare as the peaceful beach vacation they were imagining no longer exists over the booming music and thumping club scene in Kuta. Still, if you want to dance the night away then this is a great place to do it, and if you want more serene adventures then moving on to other areas like Ubud can show you yet another face to this multifaceted island.