Bali is an island in Indonesia known best for its laid-back beaches, ancient Hindu temples, forested volcanic mountains, shopping, and so much more. It is a tourist’s paradise and can be a more permanent paradise for expats. Some of the popular towns include Seminyak, Ubud, Nusa Dua, Kuta, and Denpasar. Each has its own unique features to offer travelers. Seminyak and Kuta are popular tourist hubs and beach towns. Kuta has a Shell Museum full of rare and interesting looking natural shells from all over the world. Ubud features a lot of greenery, as well as resorts and spas. Its Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is a must-visit. Among all of the towns on the island, there’s plenty to see and do for any traveler. These are just a few suggestions.
Tanah Lot Temple
Tanah Lot means “Land [in the] Sea,” and that’s an appropriate name for this iconic Hindu temple and pilgrimage site. It is located on a rock formation in the sea, with a dramatic setting atop the rocks and crashing waves, overlooking the water. It is Bali’s most visited and photographed temple. Tanah Lot is just under 20 miles away from Denpasar. It can be accessed from the town of Kediri. You will have to do some hiking and climbing to reach the temple, but it is well worth it.
Located near the island’s northeastern coast, about 40 miles north of Kuta, is Kintamani, a region with a soaring volcano and large lake. The volcano and lake are a famous pair, together called Batur. This is a site for adventurers who prefer hiking and boating over the regular, everyday beach experience. It can also be a day trip for those who love the beach but want to see all that Bali has to offer. You can hike up the mountain or take a boat out on the water. There are small towns located along the lake’s shore, where you can stop and look around. Also located on the lake’s shore is another well-known temple, called Pura Ulun Danu Batur.
Tegalalang Rice Terrace
Located about 20 miles north of Ubud is the site of an ancient irrigation system, the Tegalalang Rice Terrace. This irrigation system dates back to the 8th century and features sloping rice paddies. You can stroll through the paddies and stop in at one of the restaurants that overlook the terrace. The entrance fee is less than $1 USD. You’ll have to do some hiking, or you can tour the terrace via a tour bus or motorbike.
As a very spiritual place, you’ll find that most of what you’ll want to see during your trip to Bali will involve temples and shrines. Gunung Kawi is a set of 10 shrines cut from a rock face in its Tampaksiring region. It is believed that these shrines were carved from the cliff face in just one night by a legendary Balinese figure known as Kebo Iwa. The shrines rise over 22 feet high in the cliff face and are thought to be dedicated to King Anak Wungsu of the Udayana dynasty and his queens.
Visit the Beaches – Seminyak, Sanur, and Kuta
Of course, a trip to Bali wouldn’t be complete without stopping at its most famous beaches. Seminyak is a resort area with high-end shopping and luxury hotels at the southern end of Bali. Sanur is on the southeast end of the island and features a paved cycling path and lots of colorful fishing boats on the sand. There is a temple built from coral with inscriptions dating back to the 10th century, and the seaside town features art galleries and restaurants. Kuta is one of Bali’s oldest tourist destinations, and it’s known for being a party hub, with nightclubs and lots of surfing. It’s a great spot to go if you’re looking for surfing lessons. Kuta has large malls and a waterpark, as well as lots of pools and tropical landscaping.
Life in Bali
Bali is one of the most popular and well-loved tourist destinations in the world, and with one visit, it will be easy to see why. That’s why so many who travel to the island choose to stay and start a life there. Weather during the dry season (April to October) is gorgeous, and prices make it easy to afford a lifestyle of luxury. The language is English and you’re bound to find expat communities and clubs there. Make sure and check off these things to do while in Bali before deciding if moving there would be right for you.