Bali: The Best Places
As one of the most romantic, relaxing and affordable holiday destinations in the world, Bali has become one of the “it” leisure holiday destinations in the world. With a mix of jet-set party destinations such as Seminyak, to the peaceful, remote wilds of the tropical jungle in Ubud, Bali offers something for everyone. Following the launch of our new Bali Destination Guide, here is our selection of some of the best places in Bali for first time visitors:
1. Seminyak Seminyak is one of the most jet-set destinations in Bali, where you’ll discover an exotic mix of luxury beachfront resorts, local shopping boutiques, and a vibrant restaurant and nightlife scene. While the beach may not be the cleanest in Bali, it’s nonetheless a picturesque and popular hangout spot for local families and visitors where you’ll find sensational sunset views and find local artisans selling their handcrafted wares. Jalan Laksmana is one of the main shopping and dining streets in Seminyak, where you can easily spend an afternoon shopping for handmade silver jewelry, Indonesian fabrics, clothing, shoes and beautifully crafted homewares. When you’re ready for a break, stop at one of the many trendy cafes or local Indonesian eating houses, where you’ll be spoiled for choice with a wide range of global cuisines and trendy nightlife spots. Don’t miss a visit to one of Seminyak’s many spa & massage centers for the ultimate relaxation.
2. Ubud Ubud is the cultural heartland of Bali, where you’ll find spectacular landscape of lush jungles, soaring mountains and verdant rice paddy fields cascading down the mountains edge. Ubud is also home to many beautiful Buddhist temples and religious sights, where you’ll be able to visit many of the local temples and might even be lucky enough to be invited to a local ceremony or festival which are frequently held throughout the year. The town center of Ubud is filled with shops and boutiques selling locally crafted homewares, clothing and jewelry, where you’ll be spoiled for choice when shopping in the area. Outside of the city center you’ll also find many local furniture, arts and homeware artisanal craftsmen, where you can visit their workshops and see the products being made in front of you. Many of the more established vendors can organise for products to be shipped home for you. As soon as you leave the town center, there is a distinct change of pace where the peaceful rice paddies, soaring mountains and picturesque river make for a wonderful location to hike, swim and kayak for the more adventurous at heart.
3. Mount Agung & Bali’s Religious Sites Mount Agung is Bali’s highest volcanic in the eastern area of Bali which soars to heights of 3,148 meters, and last erupted in 1963 where the lava flows narrowly missed Bali’s most sacred temple, Pura Besakih, which is located on the mountain’s edge. Ascend the stairs to the monumental gate which is positioned in the courtyard of the main temple, where the central shrine is dedicated to the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Bali is a deeply spiritual country, where over 20,000 religious temples can be found throughout the island. Two other beautiful temples to visit in Bali include the Ganung Batukau and Tanah Lot. The best way to visit Mount Agung and these religious sights is to organise an inexpensive local driver to take you on a day trip to visit the most popular religious sights around the island.
4. Jimbaran Bay Jimbaran Bay is a popular beach town and fishing village in the southern area of Bali where you’ll find an exotic mix of exclusive 5-star luxury hotels & resorts mixed in with a vibrant local scene. Every evening the beaches are filled with makeshift wooden huts - i.e. local Indonesian “warung” eating houses - where fresh seafood is brought from the local fisherman and is cooked on the beach in front of you by locals. Indulge in a hearty and inexpensive meal of fresh fish or grilled lobster while mingling with the friendly locals. Enjoy a swim in the beach afterwards when the temperatures are soaring.