What a tropical paradise Bali is. I had long avoided visiting Bali because it is touristy and filled with drunk Australian tourists. However, I was so wrong! I found my inner peace in Bali. This Indonesian island known for its forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, beaches and coral reefs is more than meets the eye. You can call Bali a small island, but this island is actually larger than my country Singapore! Bali is home to religious sites such as cliffside Uluwatu Temple. To the south, the beachside city of Kuta has lively bars, while Seminyak, Sanur and Nusa Dua are popular resort towns. The island is also known for its yoga and meditation retreats, as inspired by the book “Eat. Pray. Love”.
I will let the pictures do the talking!
- Tanah Lot
Tanah Lot epitomizes the romantic island of Bali. Balinese temples are perched on the rock facing the ocean, with the sound of crashing waves below.
Located in the sea some 300 meters from shore, the huge rock of Tanah Lot is reachable overland at low tide.
Come to Kintamani to enjoy the calmer atmosphere, cool mountain climate and scenic surroundings.
The weather here changes rapidly, so it was foggy most of the time and we waited for a long time, yet the clouds did not clear. Come to Kintamani preferably in the morning where the chances of seeing the sun are higher.
3. Nusa Dua
Nusa Dua is a sparklingly prestigious, sprawling enclave of international luxury hotels, deluxe spas, exclusive golf courses.
Luxury resorts offering tourists the best view of the ocean in their comfy deck chairs and sofas. One can spend the whole day here soaking up the sun.
4. Nusa Dua Water Blow
Located on the cliff facing the Indian Ocean, there is a large narrowing gap. When the waves approach and hit the cliff, it creates a huge spectacle. Check out the tide timings and come here during high tide to marvel at this spectacle. I came here during low tide and could only see a little action.
5. Pantai Pandawa
Pandawa Beach, or ‘Pantai Pandawa’ among locals, features a kilometer-long coast that is ‘hidden’ behind limestone cliffs.
The beach offers impressive ocean panoramas and huge limestone cliffs that were cut through to make way for its winding road.
This is my favourite beach in Bali because it is not as crowded as the touristy ones and it offers a very relaxed atmosphere. Other than the sunset being blocked by the limestone cliffs, I had no complaints about this beach.
Uluwatu is home of the most famous waves in Bali. The spot offers several waves which are working with different swells and tides. The temple here along Uluwatu also offers a nice view of the ocean, which somehow reminds me of the twelve apostles in Australia.
7. Ulun Danau Beratan
Pura Ulun Danu was built in adoration of the Goddess Danu. Danu, in the Balinese tongue, means lake, while the goddess Danu is queen of water, lakes and rivers. The temple complex consists of four sacred buildings. This famous temple also appears on the back of the R50 000 note.
8. Rice terraces and waterfalls
While most tourists flock to Ubud to take pictures at the famous Tegalalang rice terrace, we chose the path less trodden and went to Fiji rice terraces instead. Yes, this place is not one of the Pacific islands but a small rural community in Bali which is about an hour’s drive from Ulun Danau Beratan. The people were very friendly and told us to visit both waterfalls to admire the gorgeous falls.
9. Mount Batur
Probably the most hiked mountain in Bali as many tourists come here every morning to chase the sunrise. It was an easy climb and we did not require any guide. They were quite persistent, but we managed to brush them off and hiked up on our own.
10. Kuta beach
This would be the least recommended area because the beach is dirty and the waters are filled with black stuff floating around. However, many tourists still come here and there are several instructors offering surfing lessons on the beach to beginners. We chanced upon a group of school children performing a ritual at the beach and it was entertaining. They were carefully guided by their teachers in case they went out of step.
One week in Bali and I am still craving for more. I hope to be back again, to go diving or to explore the lesser known areas. It is a convenient holiday destination for us because it is just a 2.5h flight away. Bali may be just an island in Indonesia, yet I was surprised at how diverse this island and how different it is from the other Muslim-majority regions of Indonesia. It is no wonder that Bali caters to everyone from young backpackers on their gap year, solo travelers looking for love, yoga enthusiasts, adventurous travelers looking for the great outdoors or even families with young children in tow!