When it comes to beach getaways, there are countless tropical destinations in the region, but for millions of visitors who flock to Bali each year, this fascinating island is a favourite. Here are five reasons why:
- Holy city
Bali is known as the ‘Island of Gods’. The Balinese are known to be spiritual, with a majority of the population Hindu worshippers. From majestic sea temples such as Tanah Lot and Uluwatu Temple overlooking the ocean to the magnificent Penataran Agung Temple up on the mountain, Bali’s temples are stunning. Wake up early to catch the sunrise and you’ll also be treated to the morning ritual of locals placing the ‘Canang Sari’ at their doorsteps. The Canang Sari are little woven baskets made from palm leaves are filled with flowers. The offerings for the Gods is a ritual that’s been done in Bali for over a thousand years.
- Beach, Please
The island has a list of stunning beaches beckoning visitors to kick off their shoes and unwind. Nusa Dua has a stretch of shoreline boasting an idyllic beachfront setting and Seminyak that’s lined with hip bars and restaurants, is most beautiful at dusk, when the sun sinks slowly beyond the horizon. Each beach has its own charm, from soft white sand and limestone cliffs to extreme water sports and diving. Want to avoid the tourist populated beaches? No problem, there are also a number of hidden, remote beaches such as Jimbaran and Balangan that are away from the crowds. There’s a beach for everyone, every need and every mood.
- Time to get cultured.
The beauty of the Island of the Gods is undeniable and many will tell you that its beauty runs deep. The island is home to many traditional cultural traditions that are still practiced. Many ceremonies and celebrations are held throughout the year, which can be enjoyed through music, dance and architecture. Some that should not be missed is the Bali Spirit Festival that is usually held in April and the Ubud Food Festival that usually happens in May.
- But first, let’s take a picture.
With a perfect blend of city and village, Bali is every photographer’s dream destination. There’s the stunning nature (look out for the monkeys at Monkey Forest in Ubud and their funny antics!), verdant paddy fields, intricate temples, colourful culture and so much more to see and experience. And that’s just in central Bali itself. For the adventurous, just a short distance out of central Bali will take you into lush green forests, scenic lakes such as Bratan Lake, gorgeous waterfalls such as Gigit in Singaraja or Banyumala Twin Waterfalls in Sambangan, flower gardens, gushing sacred rivers and secret canyons that make up the island’s landscape.
- Yummy in the tummy
Bali’s traditional recipes have created a distinctive and delicious cuisine such as bebek, soto, babi guling are some local favourites. Head to Bebek Tepi Sawah in Ubud for authentic balinese bebek or to Jimbaran where there are a row of seafood restaurants offering a fresh selection of seafood ready to hit the grill. Many international chefs are drawn to Bali, resulting amazing eateries popping up in areas like Canggu, Nusa Dua and Ubud. Whatever you’re having a hankering for, be it tacos, moussaka, pizza, curry or foie gras, Bali has restaurant for every palate!