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Bali is known for its iconic rice terraces, temples close to seas with glorious backdrops, the Balinese architecture, its beaches, and many many more such places.
In this article, I hope to give you a glimpse of some of the must-visit destinations when you visit Bali.
1. Tanah Lot
Tanah Lot is one of the most famous temples in Bali. It is situated atop a rock and is distinctly popular because of its seaside setting and the waves of the sea that constantly crash on it.
The history of the temple goes down to a priest named Nirartha who constructed it. He came to the place to spread Hinduism, but then as he was repelled by the locals he moved a part of the rock into the sea, to make people realize his powers, after which his teachings were accepted.
Visitors are not allowed to enter the shrine but you get a chance to view a magnificent sunset by the temple, which is a popular attraction for many tourists.
2. Tegallalang Rice Terraces
The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are one of the popular rice terraces in Bali. The lush green rice paddy fields are sure a delight to the eyes. It is said to follow the traditional irrigation system of Bali, the subak. There are many cafes and restaurants that are situated nearby that overlook the paddy fields, from which you could get a good view of these iconic landscapes.
As you pass by these rice terraces, you will also find art and craftsmanship by the locals for sale, such as handwoven hats and wooden ornaments.
The other such popular rice terrace is the one in Jatiluwih.
3. Ubud Monkey Forest
The Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest lies in the Padangtegal village in Bali. It is regarded as a major economic, educational and spiritual center by the residents of the village. It is a conversation center for the monkeys and is a must visit place for animal lovers and photographers.
You can find large-tailed macaques mostly in the forest. The forest also preserves rare species of plants within it. You might want to keep your valuables safe while inside the forest as it might get snatched by the monkeys there. Carrying food is also not recommended.
4. Mount Batur
The Mount Batur is a popular hiking destination in Bali, mostly preferred for early morning hikes to watch the sunrise from the top of the volcano. It’s an active volcano that is considered sacred. After you reach the top of the volcano, you can see the Lake Batur to the southwestern side of it. It offers amazing views and panoramic shots for photography lovers.
The hike is an easy one that takes around two to three hours on an average. There are also guided tours available for the hikes up the volcano. This place is a must visit for people who love trekking.
5. Goa Gajah
Goa Gajah, also called as the Elephant Cave is one of tourists destinations in Ubud, that is dedicated to spiritual seekers. It’s considered as an ideal place to do meditation. Down Goa Gajah, you can find the rice paddies of Sungai Petanu that might also be of your interest.
6. Ubud Art Market
If you are someone who loves shopping arts and artifacts, make sure you visit the Ubud Art Market. It is one of the top tourist attractions for art lovers. Most of the artwork and handicrafts that are sold here are made by the locals of the neighboring villages.
Some of the things that you can find here are Ikat woven skirts, paintings of Balinese style, woodcarvings, beach dresses and accessories, silk scarves, sculptures, jewelry, Buddha statues and so on.
Even if you are not planning to buy something from the place, visiting it to enjoy the artwork on display is worth your time. You can also carry exquisite Balinese handicrafts and souvenirs to take back home.
7. Kuta Beach
Kuta beach is a commercialized beach destination, and also one of the most famous ones. It is a busy beach where it’s quite possible that you will be nagged by the beachside vendors persuading you. It is deemed as a pretty decent place for surfing lovers. On sunny days, you could just enjoy the beauty of the place with your loved ones, sipping a tender coconut to beat the sun.
Some of the other popular beaches to the north of the Kuta Beach are the Seminyak and the Legian beaches.
8. Uluwatu Temple
The Uluwatu Temple is situated at the tip of the rock and gets its name from two words – Ulu that means tip and Watu that means rock. This is also another preferred sunset point as the Tanah Lot.
The temple is believed to prevent the people of Bali from the evil sea spirits and the monkeys at the entrance of the temple are also perceived to be the guardians.
There are two entrances to the temple, from the north and south that take around one hour from one end to the other. Both the entrances have split gates that have carvings of flowers and gods on them. All the way up to the temple, you can find breathtaking views and Balinese architecture.
9. Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
The Jatiluwih Rice Terraces are less crowded as compared to Tegallalang, and it covers around 600 hectares of land. This is located to the west of Bali and is can be seen from the top of Mount Batur. These rice terraces also follow the subak irrigation system.
10. Pura Besakih
Pura Besakih, also known as the “mother temple”, is the oldest and also the largest Hindu temple in Bali. The temple is built on six levels, and has around 23 shrines within it that are related to each other. The entrance to the temple is majestic and is again, a split gate design as in other temples. The temple is said to have been built in the megalithic ages.
11. Danau Buyan
Danau Buyan is a preferred camping destination for those who love camping. It has a large campsite and is most often found packed. It is serene and calm, away from the busy cities and the crowd. You can buy food and wood on the camping site. If you are looking for camping tents, check out some of these pop up tents that we’ve personally used and found to be good!
That’s it, guys! Have a fun time visiting Bali, and stay safe. Let me know in the comments about your experience of Bali.
Got 5 minutes to spare? Here are some more travel tips I’ve found over the years: