8 Must See Places to Visit in Bali
The small Indonesian Island of Bali has grown into a popular tourist destination since the first hotel opened at Kuta beach in 1930. Whether you want a relaxing beach holiday, want to try exciting sports like scuba diving and surfing, or want to enjoy fresh mountain air, you can do it in Bali.
With so much to offer visitors, new hotels and attractions are springing up all over the place. Now it caters for thousands of visitors every day, and there is so much to see and do here you’ll struggle to fit everything into a week or two.
If you don’t have too much time on your hands while in Bali, there are a few places you simply must visit while on the Island of a Thousand Temples. Try to experience as many as you can before you leave!
1. Uluwatu Temple
The Balinese temple at Uluwatu is perched at the edge of the cliffs overlooking Suluban beach, and commands an excellent view over the Indian Ocean. When you visit the temple you will have to dress accordingly. Everyone is required to wear a sarong, and if you are a man traditional Balinese headwear too. The architecture of the temple is stunningly intricate, but don’t stare too long because the monkeys here are fearless, and may just snatch your sunglasses from your head if you’re not paying attention.
2. Padang Padang
A beautiful small beach just round the corner from Uluwatu, Padang Padang is the place to peacefully soak up some rays. Walk down a dark narrow staircase between towering rocks to emerge onto the beach, and arrive early if you want to get a good spot. The water here is clear and cooling, just what you need to refresh yourself after bathing in the tropical sun. In August a prestigious surfing competition is held here, and you can witness some of the world’s best surfers surfing one of the world’s best waves.
4. Kuta Beach
By far the busiest beach on the island, Kuta is where most people go when they arrive in Bali, so be prepared for the hustle and bustle. While it’s by no means the most beautiful or clean beach on the island, the atmosphere here is vibrant and everyone seems to have the same thing in mind, which is to party and have fun. A great time to head here is an hour before sunset, so you can enjoy the sun going down, the glowing sky, and a cold beer.
In the north of the island, Lovina is quiet compare to the south, but still has much to offer. The main attraction here is the long beach, and the dolphins that can be seen jumping out the water. Get up early and take a boat out to get the best views of these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. The fishing here is also particularly good, and a relaxing fishing trip can be easily organised for a very reasonable price. If Kuta is not your scene, then Lovina just well might be.
5. Nusa Lembongan
This idyllic island is 12km off the south east coast of mainland Bali, and if surfing or scuba diving is your thing, this is definitely the place for you. Many people say Nus Lembongan is what they imagined Bali would be like before they visit, with the pace of life being much slower than the bustling tourist centre around Kuta and Seminyak. Here you can stay in a traditional thatched hut a stone’s throw from the white sand beach and the crystal clear water.
6. Gili Islands
The Gili islands are a trio of small islands found off the north east coast of Bali, and epitomise the typical image of a tropical island. Gili Trawangan is the largest of the three, and is where the younger crowd tend to stay due to the parties held there, and the other two are called Gili Meno and Gili Air. There are no cars or motorbikes on the islands, and you can walk around them in just a few hours. To really isolate yourself from reality, the Gilis are the place to go.
7. Mount Agung
The largest volcano on the island, and also the highest point on the island, Mount Agung last erupted as recently as 1963. Towering over the island at 3,031 metres, on a clear day you can see it from many different places in Bali. The best views however, are from the top of the volcano. You can easily organise a guide to take you up Mount Agung, and the hike usually takes place during the early hours of the morning, so that you are at the summit for sunrise. You’ll literally be above the clouds when you reach the top, and will have stunning views over Bali, and may even be able to see Mount Rinjani on the neighbouring island of Lombok.
8. Lake Batur
Up in the highlands of Bali, near the town of Kintamani and nestled below Mount Batur, is Lake Batur. The lake was once the crater of a volcano, before it became full of water. Here you can unwind and enjoy a cooler climate than in the south due to the altitude. Fishing in the lake or taking a rowing boat out on the water are popular activities here. If relaxation is what you really desire though, head to one of the hot springs surrounding the lake, and lay back is a steaming hot pool of volcanic mineral water.
If you manage to visit all these fantastic places in Bali when you visit, then don’t worry, because there is more to see on the island. A great way to explore and see the lesser known parts of Bali is by motorbike, so hit the road and see what you can find!
About the Guest Blogger – Eve writes on behalf of a number of UK travel companies including those providing annual travel insurance. She will never forget her trip to Bali and hopes to return shortly.