Everyone who has visited Bali – even the seasoned world travelers – have said that it’s a completely unique, unforgettable experience. From natural beauty to architecture, to people, to cuisine, Bali is known to use it’s traditions in the best possible way and has successfully avoided falling into the trap of developing a strain of globalized, commercial, consumption-based tourist offer. To the luck of all who decide to pay a visit, Bali managed to remain unique.
The list of reasons to visit Bali may as well be endless, but still, here are some highlights.
Nature, scenery, and wildlife
Bali is world-renowned for its beautiful beaches. The types of beaches range from white sanded ones edged with palm trees in the South, such as Kuta and Sanur, to the stunning black sand on the northern and western beaches, to the mysterious cozy locations like Uluwatu and Padang Padang, hidden among the cliffs. Bali’s beaches also feature exquisite hotels and excellent conveniences.
Bali doesn’t lack forests and wildlife habitats either. Perhaps the biggest attraction is the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal, in Ubud. This pristine-looking, but also tourist friendly rainforest is the home of 3 holy temples and the 600 monkeys – the grey long-tailed macaques – associated with them. You can enjoy observing all the authentic monkey business – swinging through the trees, resting and cuddling with each other along the paths, feeding on fruit, and even having the honor of the monkeys stealing food from you! And besides the monkey business, the locality offers a pleasant, cool tropical forest hiking route.
Beyond the native primates, due to the suitable climate, in the Bali Safari & Marine Park you can enjoy looking at around 400 animals of 80 species, and from three regions – Indonesia, India, and Africa. Their enclosures are actually vast man-made habitats very close to those found in the wild, except they’re accessible and very photo-friendly. Probably the most known tenants of this park are the majestic Indian white tigers.
Ancient temples and buildings
Bali is filled with ancient temples, beautifully built at amazing locations. For example, there is the Besakih Temple, an at least 1000 years old complex compromised of around 86 temples and surrounded by breathtaking mountains, hills, and rice paddles.
Or Uluwatu, one of Bali’s sea temples, rested almost on the very edge of a cliff in the Bukit peninsula. In and around these very special sites you can experience the spiritual serenity that has been nurtured for thousands of years, striking architecture probably unlike anything you’ve ever seen, and scenic far-Eastern landscapes.
Arts and culture
Bali is rich in attractive museums which will introduce you to Bali’s art and culture, ancient and modern. Museum Negeri Propinsi is the Smithsonian of Bali. But unlike Smithsonian, the staff often plays on a bamboo gamelan, creating an extraordinary atmosphere for the visitors. The museum features prehistoric artifacts, traditional art, ceremonial objects and a large collection of garments and textiles.
If you’re interested in Bali’s modern art, Puri Lukisan Museum in Ubud is a place to go. It traces the history of Bali’s early artists who abandoned religious themes and moved on to portray a living culture and everyday life. The museum displays fine examples of all schools of Balinese art.
Also, Bali’s has a so-called art marketplace – Ubud Art Market or “Pasar Seni Ubud”, which is located is located across the Puri Saren Royal Ubud Palace. It is not just a marketplace. It is like a living museum of Bali’s applied arts and crafts. Most of the things found there are made in neighboring artistic villages. You’ll be able to find beautiful textiles, handmade woven bags, baskets and hats, hand-crafted kites, statues and so on. The crafted goods are not usually unreasonably priced, although note that haggling is considered essential and is counted in the initial price.
All in all – Bali is a unique holiday destination, worth of traveling such a long way. You’ll get to experience unique nature, culture, and hospitality of amazing people of this jewel-island.