BALI INDONESIA, LAND OF THE GODS, Also known as the Land of the Gods, Bali appeals through its sheer natural beauty of looming volcanoes and lush terraced rice fields that exude peace and serenity. Bali enchants with its dramatic dances and colorful ceremonies, its arts and crafts, to its luxurious beach resorts and exciting nightlife. And everywhere you will find intricately carved temples.
There are thousands of gift shops in Bali. From Denpasar to Ubud, you will find many things you would like to bring back home. Most of the starred hotels are located near the beach. Otherwise, they usually have their own private spots at certain beaches. You can find them easily at popular spots like Kuta or Sanur. If you are thinking of bringing home souvenirs, your best bet is the souvenir market at Sukowati, where you may be overwhelmed by choice. Kuta has a large variety of boutiques and shops, selling everything from T-shirts, surf-wear, flip-flops to creative trinkets. If you wish to buy dried food stuffs, Bali coffee is most aromatic. You may also want to buy aromatherapy essential oils to sprinkle your bath with.
As Bali is located 8 degrees south of the equator, so the weather you will find is tropical, warm and humid climate all year around with two main distinctive seasons: Dry Season and Rainy Season. Quite different with the areas around Bali’s central mountains (volcanoes) which have several peaks over 3,000 meters in elevation. Up here the temperatures are considerably cooler, and there is much more rainfall than in the coastal areas. Bali’s white beaches are best for family holidays.
There are a variety of water sports available, such as banana boats, parasailing of jet skiing, swimming or plain sunbathing. Most well-known among Bali’s beaches is Kuta. Along this stretch is an array of hotels, restaurants, shops and cafes. For a quieter evening enjoy the beach at Jimbaran, a popular spot to eat fresh barbecued seafood. Sanur Beach also dotted with hotels and restaurants. 20 Surfers love the waves at Nusa Lembongan near Nusa Penida. These islands are a 45 minutes’ boat trip from Nusa Dua or from Sanur. At Nusa Penida’s south western coast, the Mantra Point and the Malibu Point are where divers can swim with Trevally, big rays and even sharks. The best dive spots are at Menjangan with its reef flat, anchor wreck, eel garden and caves to explore. Nearby and still in the Bali Barat Park is Pemutaran island. Bali offers first class adrenaline pumping white water rafting down the spectacular Ayung River by Ubud. Here you can also go bungee-jumping from a cliff down to almost touch the river. If you enjoy cycling, Ubud and its surrounding is a wonderful town to bike around. There are also good cycling paths at Uluwatu in the south.
The Kecak Dance is staged most dramatically in the open air by Pura Tanah Lot with a backdrop, the sun slowly lowering in the sea over the horizon beyond this beautiful temple. The Kecak Dance tells the story of Ramayana wherein Prince Rama’s wife, Sita, is abducted by the ogre Rahwana.
Source:Ministry of Tourism, Republic of Indonesia
Bali and Beyond Tourism
1. Tanah Lot
Tanah Lot Temple is one of Bali’s most important landmarks, famed for its unique offshore setting and sunset backdrops. An ancient Hindu shrine perched on top of an outcrop amidst constantly crashing waves; Tanah Lot Temple is simply among Bali’s not-to-be-missed icons. The onshore site is dotted with smaller shrines alongside visitors’ leisure facilities that comprise restaurants, shops and a cultural park presenting regular dance performances. The temple is located in the Beraban village of the Tabanan regency, an approximate 20km northwest of Kuta, and is included on most tours to Bali’s western and central regions.
2. Uluwatu Temple
Uluwatu Temple, or Pura Luhur Uluwatu, one of six key temples believed to be Bali's spiritual pillars, is renowned for its magnificent location, perched on top of a steep cliff approximately 70 metres above sea level. This temple also shares the splendid sunset backdrops as that of Tanah Lot Temple, another important sea temple located in the island's western shores. Pura Luhur Uluwatu is definitely one of the top places on the island to go to for sunset delights, with direct views overlooking the beautiful Indian Ocean and daily Kecak dance performances. Balinese architecture, traditionally-designed gateways, and ancient sculptures add to Uluwatu Temple's appeal.
3. Besakih Temple
Besakih Temple, known as Bali’s ‘Mother Temple’ for over 1,000 years, sits 1,000 metres high on the southwestern slopes of Mount Agung. Besakih is an artistic and unique complex that comprises at least 86 temples which include the main Pura Penataran Agung (the Great Temple of State) and 18 others. Besakih is the biggest and holiest of the island's temples and is surrounded by breathtaking and scenic rice paddies, hills, mountains, streams, and more. Pura Besakih features three temples dedicated to the Hindu trinity. Pura Penataran Agung in the centre has white banners for Shiva, the destroyer; Pura Kiduling Kreteg on the right side is with red banners for Brahma, the creator; and Pura Batu Madeg represents Vishnu, the preserver, with its black banners. You can visit other temples in Pura Besakih, but many of their inner courtyards are closed to the public as they’re reserved for pilgrims.
4. Tegallalang Rice Terraces
Tegallalang Rice Terraces in Ubud is famous for its beautiful scenes of rice paddies involving the subak (traditional Balinese cooperative irrigation system), which according to history, was passed down by a revered holy man named Rsi Markandeya in the eighth century. Tegallalang forms the three most splendid terraced landscapes in Ubud's shared region, with the others being in the villages of Pejeng and Campuhan. The Tegallalang rice terraces alone offers a scenic outlook that spreads down before you and away to the rice paddies on the slopes across the valley. The high roadside location is cool and breezy and it is a well-known spot for tourists to stop and take photos. Painters and nature lovers also enjoy visiting this spot, and there are numerous art kiosks and cafes near the ledge offering their ware.
5. Ubud Monkey Forest
Ubud Monkey Forest, also known as the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal, is one of Ubud’s most popular attractions; a natural forest sanctuary that is home to a horde of grey long-tailed macaques. The site is well preserved thanks to a community-based management program. The forest is also conveniently positioned near Ubud Town Centre, and within easy walking distance from guesthouses and resorts along the main roads of Jalan Hanoman and the namesake Jalan Monkey Forest. Besides watching playful monkeys in their natural habitat, swinging through canopies, lazing along pathways or feeding on bananas, the site offers cool walks along paved pathways through a leafy nutmeg forest. Beautiful ancient temples with guardian statues covered in moss also feature throughout the forest. Those staying outside of Ubud and coming for a day tour usually have the Ubud Monkey Forest as a must-visit, combined with sightseeing highlights at the Ubud Royal Palace and shopping sprees through the expansive Ubud Art Market, all only a 10-minute drive away.
6. Green School Bali
Green School is a private school located in central Bali, with a big difference. The school or oftentimes referred to as ‘The Green Campus’ features an ecologically-sustainable design throughout – all structures are made up of locally grown, treated and manufactured bamboo. The brainchild of Bali-based jewellery designer John Hardy, the school showcases over 70 large bamboo structures, including a bridge over the Ayung River valley connecting the school to its main entrance. Tours are available that enables you to see up close and admire the massive structures, as well as learn about the sustainability projects within. These include renewable energy using a hydroelectric vortex generator and solar cells at specific points around the campus. The main structure, nicknamed ‘The Heart of the School’, serves as centrepiece with its swirling rooftop design over a massive 60m long build on bamboo stilts.
7. Kintamani and Mount Batur
A Bali volcano can be a sightseeing highlight on your next trip to Bali's highland region. The Kintamani volcano or Mount Batur, in particular, is a very popular trek. The captivating Mount Batur surrounds the 13-square kilometre Batur caldera lake. Those with a penchant for adventure can take a winding road down to the lake shore. This leads you to Toya Bungkah, Ulun Danu Batur temple, and a collection of hot springs. The Kintamani area consists of three main villages, namely Penelokan, Batur, and Kintamani. There are also some old Balinese villages around Batur Lake, often referred to as Bali Aga villages. Penelokan is a popular stopover. It serves as a vantage point at the southernmost part of the crater rim. From here, you can enjoy the sweeping views over the magnificent Bali volcano.
The fertile Kintamani area is a top producer of fruit and vegetables in Bali. This highland area is at approximately 400 metres above sea level. Kintamani is also known as the largest bamboo producer on the island. The giant 'petung' type of bamboo harvested here is widely used for making traditional furniture items. Lake Batur is the main source of irrigation water for most of Bali. Locals also breed freshwater fish here. The water temperature at the Toyabungkah hotsprings can reach up to 45 degrees Celcius. Kintamani is in Bangli, the only district on the island without a shoreline.
8. Bali Safari and Marine park
Bali Safari & Marine Park offers a fun day out, and serves as one of the island’s largest and most visited animal theme parks which opened its gates in 2007. The Bali Safari & Marine Park was established by Taman Safari Indonesia; covering 40 hectares of land in the Gianyar regency. It is home to over 60 species, all of which roam free in large enclosures that mimic their natural habitats. Enjoy riding on a safari bus to visit the animals, watching fascinating elephant talent shows, get cuddly with baby orangutans, and view baby sharks at the aquarium. Families travelling with children will have a blast together at the adjacent water and amusement parks.
9. Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
Jatiluwih rice terraces pretty much cover the region of the namesake upland village in West Bali, most famous for its landscapes that are both dramatic and truly exotic. The site is one of the island’s must-see natural panoramas on par with Mount Batur and the caldera of Kintamani. The cool highlands and the breathtaking scenery of this village at the foot of Mount Batukaru makes for wonderful photo opportunities, and serves as a soothing retreat away from the island’s crowded south. Once a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site candidate, Jatiluwih rice terraces comprises over 600Ha of rice fields that follow the flowing hillside topography of the Batukaru mountain range. These are well-maintained by a traditional water management cooperative known as ‘subak’, which dates back to the 9th century. The cooperative itself eventually won recognition as a dominant factor in Bali’s ‘cultural landscape’ entry on the heritage list.
10. Elephant Cave (Goa Gajah)
Goa Gajah’s name is slightly misleading, lending the impression that it’s a gigantic dwelling full of elephants. Nevertheless, Goa Gajah ‘Elephant Cave’ is an archaeological site of significant historical value that makes it a special place to visit. Located on the cool western edge of Bedulu Village, six kilometres out of central Ubud, you do not need more than an hour to descend to its relic-filled courtyard and view the rock-wall carvings, a central meditational cave, bathing pools and fountains. Various structures reveal Hindu influences dating back to the 10th century, and some relics feature elements of Buddhism dating even earlier to the 8th century. The cave is shallow; inside are three stone idols each wrapped in red, yellow and black cloths. Black soot lines the cave’s walls as result from the current-day incense burning. Several indentations show where meditating priests once sat. The northern side of the complex is dominantly Buddhist while south across the river it’s mostly Shivaite.
11. Borobudur Temple (Yogyajakarta)
Borobudur is the biggest Buddhist temple in the ninth century measuring 123 x 123 meters. It is located at Magelang, 90-km southeast of Semarang, or 42-km northwest of Yogyakarta. Borobudur temple is the one of the best-preserved ancient monument in Indonesia that are most frequently visited by over a million domestic as well as foreign visitors. It also had been acclaimed by the world as a cultural heritage main kind. The architectural style has no equal through out the world. It was completed centuries before Angkor Wat in Kamboja. Borobudur is one of the world's most famous temples; it stands majestically on a hilltop overlooking lush green fields and distant hills. Borobudur is built of gray andesite stone. It rises to seven terraces, each smaller than the one below it. The top is the Great Stupa, standing 40 meters above the ground. The walls of the Borobudur are sculptured in bas-reliefs extending over a total length of six kilometers. It has been hailed as the largest and most complete ensemble of Buddhist relieves in the world, unsurpassed in artistic merit and each scene an individual masterpiece.
12. Prambanan Temple (Yogyakarta)
This is the most famous and also the most magnificent of Central Java's temples or more precisely complex of temples. Situated about 15 kilometers from Yogyakarta, the top of the main shrine is visible from a great distance and rises high above the scattered ruins of the former temples. Prambanan is the masterpiece of Hindu culture of the tenth century. The slim building soaring up to 47 meters makes its beautiful architecture incomparable. Seventeen kilometers east of Yogyakarta, King Balitung Maha Sambu built the Prambanan temple in the middle of the ninth century. Its parapets are adorned with bas-reliefs depicting the famous Ramayana story. This magnificent Shivaite temple derives it name from the village where it is located. Prambanan Temple is locally known as the Roro Jonggrang Temple, or the Temple of the "Slender Virgin", it is the biggest and most beautiful Hindu temple in Indonesia. The temple complex of Prambanan lies among green fields and villages. It has eight shrines, of which the three main ones are dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. The main temple of Shiva rises to a height of 130 feet and houses the magnificent statue of Shiva's consort, Durga. There are 224 temples in the complex; three of them, the main temples are Brahma Temple in the north, Vishnu Temple in the south, and the biggest among the three which lies between Brahma and Vishnu temples is Shiva Temple (47 meters high).
13. Mount Bromo (Surabaya)
Bromo have known by all of visitor of the worlds. They come to Bromo to watch the sunrise. The visitor also can look down to the crater that full of its smoke, and feel the cold of the air, is probably could only be done in Bromo. Our eyes will also completed by the sea of sand that the way to reach Bromo’s peak. The main gate to the sea of sand and mount Bromo is through Cemorolawang. This is the most crowded visiting area, espesially on holidays. There are many kinds activities that could be carried on this area such as; Camping, watching the scenery, horse riding to sea of sand or walking. Mount Bromo has settled by Tenggerese for about thousands years. They who are good of God follower and always do their custom strickly, has historical relationship with Majapahit. The Antropologist from our country or other country are interesting to do some research, because the Tenggerese are strickly in keeping custom for centuries, without influenced by world’s change. So there so many version of the unique of Tenggerese in Probolinggo, it can be in the forth of tale, folktale, serat and kidung, legend and science report.
14. Komodo National Park (East Nusa Tenggara)
Komodo National Park is located in the center of the Indonesian archipelago, between Sumbawa and Flores islands. Established in 1980, initially the main purpose of the Park was to conserve the unique Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) and its habitat. However, over the years, the goals for the Park have expanded to protecting its entire biodiversity, both terrestrial and marine. In 1986, UNESCO declared the Park a World Heritage Site and a Man and Biosphere Reserve, both indications of the Park's biological importance. Komodo National Park includes three major islands: Komodo, Rinca and Padar, as well as numerous smaller islands creating a total surface area (marine and land) of 1817km (proposed extensions would bring the total surface area up to 2,321km2). As well as being home to the Komodo dragon, the Park provides refuge for many other notable terrestrial species such as the orange-footed scrub fowl, an endemic rat, and the Timor deer. Moreover, the Park includes one of the richest marine environments including coral reefs, mangroves, sea grass beds, seamounts, and semi-enclosed bays. These habitats harbor more than 1,000 species of fish, some 260 species of reef-building coral, and 70 species of sponges. Dugong, sharks, manta rays, at least 14 species of whales, dolphins, and sea turtles also make Komodo National Park their home.
15. Tana Toraja (South Sulawesi)
Many tourist attractions are available in Tana Toraja Regency. It is because the locals often perform numerous traditional ceremonies. In fact, you can enjoy local dances. Apart from such cultural lures, Tana Toraja holds an interesting history. The locals believe their ancestors came down from the heaven using sky stairs. However, some historians didn’t approve this story. Instead, they said the ancestors of the locals were immigrants. These people came from Tongkin Cape. That means there was an acculturation back then. Tana Toraja Regency is the home of interesting tourist spots. Travelers can get around and visit several vacation destinations such as Londa, Lemo, and Tampang Allo. All of them share the same feature, which is the traditional cemetery. You may expect some bones on the holes of a particular wall. It sounds creepy, doesn’t it? However, visiting the local tombstones is considered a new experienced for travelers. In fact, it is the main reason why many tourists visit Tana Toraja. The best time to visit Tana Toraja Regency is in Juni or December. At these times, you are able to witness a special ceremony performed by the locals. They sacrifice tens of buffalos or pigs as the part of burial procession. The legend has it. These animals will accompany the dead person to reach the heaven. What’s next? It is as simple as exploring the villages in Tana Toraja. They have beautiful Tongkonan and culture.
Top 10 Best Bali Food, that you must to try!
Thousands of islands with different cultures make up Indonesia, so no wonder its food is just as diverse. To complement the holiday experience on Bali, you would not want to miss out on its assortment of dishes. These include interesting and exotic selections such as 'lawar', 'bebek betutu', the Balinese satay version known as 'sate lilit', and the island’s famed 'babi guling' whole spit-roast pig. The Balinese have a rich collection of snacks, cakes and desserts for your sweet tooth too!
Sate (or “satay”) are marinated, skewered and grilled meats, served with spicy sauce, and may consist of diced or sliced chicken, goat, mutton, beef, pork, fish, tofu, eggs or minced blends. Bali’s own variant is sate lilit, made from minced beef, chicken, fish, pork, or even turtle meat, which is then mixed with coconut, coconut milk, and a rich blend of vegetables and spices. Wrapped rather than skewered around bamboo, sugar cane or lemongrass sticks then grilled, sate lilit can be enjoyed with or without sauce.
2. Nasi Ayam and Nasi Campur
Bali’s own take on ‘chicken rice’, nasi ayam and nasi campur can be found served at many warungs (small eateries) and restaurants throughout the island. The dish is mainly white rice served with many different elements of Balinese delights, from a bit of babi buling or betutu as the main meats, together with mixed vegetables and a dab of the iconic spicy hot sambal matah – sometimes served with a bowl of soup. For those who do not want it too spicy, simply ask for it without the sambal.
3. Bebek and Ayam Betutu
Betutu is an iconic Balinese favourite, consisting of a whole chicken or duck stuffed with traditional spices, wrapped in banana leaves, then enveloped tight in banana trunk bark before it’s baked or buried in a coal fire for 6 to 7 hours. The result is a rich and juicy, succulent feast with all meat easily separated from bones. Betutu is the Balinese slow-cooked luscious equivalent of babi guling for ‘non-pork eaters’.
4. Mie Goreng (Fried Noodle)
A classic Indonesian staple of fried noodles is often served with vegetables and a choice of chicken or shrimp. Sometimes it served with a fried egg on top, chicken sate sticks, prawn crackers and peanut sauce. Oh, and don’t forget the pickled vegetables.
5. Tahu and Tempe
Among the most versatile of food items, tahu (tofu) and tempe come in various preparations, some as savory snacks, and some as accompaniments and even main course dishes. These soy bean curds may be fried, stuffed and battered. Many Indonesian dishes, especially those that have the main portions of rice, include tempe crackers, while the most favourite tahu snack are the stuffed and fried versions which usually include a mixture similar to spring rolls.
6. Jimbaran Seafood
The line-up of beachside cafés on Muaya beach in Jimbaran Bay typically serves grilled fresh caught seafood, ranging from shrimp, clams, crabs, calamari, lobsters and a wide assortment of fish. But in terms of taste, the secret lies in each of the café owner’s recipes of barbecue sauce and condiments – usually in the form of homemade sambal, which has collectively become known as “sambal seafood – Jimbaran style”. From sweet-sour blends to the typical hot and spicy... tasting is believing!
7. Pepes and Tum
Pepes is an Indonesian Sundanese cooking method using banana-leaf as food wrappings. The small package is sewed with thin bamboo sticks at both ends, and either steam-cooked, boiled or grilled. It is most commonly used to prepare fish as “pepes ikan” or meat, chicken, tofu or vegetables. Tum takes on a different form, with the wrapping folded and stitched at one top end, and usually steam-cooked. The banana-leaf wrapping provides a special aromatic appeal to the cooked blend.
Lawar is a traditional mix containing fine chopped meat, vegetables, grated coconut and spices. Sometimes, and in some areas, lawar is prepared using fresh blood mixed with the meat and spices to strengthen the flavour. Lawar are usually served immediately after preparation as it cannot be kept long. There are two main types of lawar, white and red. The white version usually does not contain any meats or blood.
9. Traditional cakes and desserts
Traditional cakes are collectively referred to as jajanan pasar (traditional market cakes), originally used to accompany ceremonial offerings, but now have found their way to the markets as daily coffee time favourites. The varieties abound, but the ingredients usually include rice flour, glutinous rice, sugar, coconut and tropical fruits. Wajik, pancong, jaja batun bedil, bubuh injin, godoh, pisang rai, and kelepon (pictured) are typical varieties.
10. Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice)
Nasi Goreng is Indonesia's fried rice, one of the nation's most notable dishes. Nasi Goreng is pre-steamed rice stir-fried with a combination of meats and vegetables, ranging from scrambled eggs, diced beef, strips of chicken, shrimp, anchovies, lamb, crab, green peas, onions, shallots and a blend of sweet soy sauce or kecap manis and hot chili sauce. The presentation usually features the typical toppings: sliced tomatoes and/or cucumber, fried shallots, fish or shrimp krupuk crackers and mixed pickles or acar.
Best Bali Restaurant
Selecting the best restaurants in Bali from the wealth of world-class dining venues on offer was a real challenge. They offer a great range of cuisine in terms of region and sophistication and often feature unique locations with awe-inspiring views and artistic interiors. Over the years, Bali has evolved with each wave of visitors and is now truly a first-class dining destination, where the world’s most innovative and talented chefs can be found. Here we have gathered the best restaurants in Bali - the finest dining spots the island has to offer - so whether you are looking for a fine dining venue to celebrate a special evening as a couple, or looking to revel in a friendly place with friends and family, we have all the top selections here for you to start off with.
1. Kubu Restaurant Bali
Kubu Restaurant Bali offers scenic riverside views and fine Mediterranean-European dining, attracting honeymooners and foodies alike. As the signature restaurant of Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, this dinner-only venue is located on Jalan Raya Kedewatan, slightly removed from downtown Ubud but still easily accessible by car or motorbike. Crafted mainly from bamboo, the open-air restaurant’s primary soundtrack is provided by the babbling Ayung River. Kubu Restaurant Bali takes its name from the huts local farmers have traditionally used for storing rice and pays tribute to these shelters with nine private dining cocoons, tailor-made for a romantic dinner. Booking ahead is advised for any of the restaurant’s 40 seats, and is an absolute must if you plan on dining in one of the sought-after cocoons
2. Swept Away Restaurant
Swept Away Restaurant, located inside The Samaya Ubud, sits on an elevated deck that lets you look out over the picturesque river that runs past this charming part of Ubud. The ambiance here is perfect for anyone looking for a relaxed dining experience that is close to nature, and one of the best things about Swept Away is the sheer number of food choices on offer. There is a delicious lunch menu that has favorites like salads including the Asian Seafood Salad at IDR 130,000 and light meals like Pulled Chicken in Rice Paper Rolls at IDR 90,000. If you want to dine a little later in the day, then in the late afternoon you will find a small bites menu that has a range of locally inspired tapas. Just some of the toothsome choices on offer at Swept Away Bali Restaurant include mini wagyu burgers as well as traditional Indonesian satay skewers and crispy baby squid, with prices starting at IDR 40,000. For those looking to sip a few cocktails or beers, there is a lounge area that overlooks the river.
3. Blanco par Mandif
Blanco par Mandif serves delicious local Indonesian food but with a twist, by offering a degustation style menu that, until now, you would be more likely to find in a French fine dining establishment. The restaurant is located in the cultural capital of Bali, Ubud, and the food at Blanco par Mandif is served in the gorgeous Blanco Renaissance Museum where you can look out over the famous Campuhan River. The restaurant has an intimate feel, as it only seats up to 10 diners at one time, so is the perfect place for those looking for an exclusive dining experience. Advanced bookings are a must
4. Locavore restaurant
Locavore became famous and made it to best restaurant in Bali for its unique approach to international cuisine, using locally sourced produce, and mostly due to its delectable and innovative creations by two former chefs of the five-star resort Alila Ubud. Bookings are essential for securing one or more of the restaurant’s only 30 seats. The sleek and modern interior is trendy but not too pretentious, because it’s all about the well-crafted cuisine served from the open kitchen. Locavore Bali has a tasting menu with wine pairing as well as five to seven-course degustation treats. Among the recommended mains are raw Japanese amberjack on watermelon with watermelon gazpacho foam, and slow-braised oxtail with caramelized shallots. Desserts are also heavenly
5. Cuca Restaurant Bali
Despite being a newcomer to the Jimbaran dining scene in 2013, Cuca Restaurant quickly gained popularity with its artisanal tapas and desserts, brought to you by husband-and-wife chef and restaurateur team, Kevin Cherkas and Virginia Entizne. Cuca offers a unique and exceptional sharing experience with highly innovative dishes using ingredients that are locally and sustainably grown. Best spot is at the long table where you can enjoy Chef Cherkas' special tasting dishes while viewing him and his culinary brigade in action at the open kitchen.