Bali Island is one of the provinces of the Republic of Indonesia, divided administratively between eight districts that take their names and boundaries from the island's old Hindu kingdoms. Bali is a land that seems to have a magnet at its very heart. It is a feeling that is difficult to understand unless experienced but once visited you are surely compelled to come back and you may even want to stay forever, such is its pull. Maybe its Bali's beauty, maybe the friendly people, or maybe even the influence from spirits that certainly abide in this place.
Bali is small, just 140 Km by 80 Km and lies between Java, the most highly populated and influential of all the islands, and Lombok, one of the quieter and moderately slower paced islands. Like many islands, Bali has developed a world of its own. It not only captures what is special about Indonesia but also has a uniqueness of its own.
The tourism scene on Bali is spread around the island's main towns and regions, being especially concentrated in South Bali and the resorts of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak. Denpasar serves as the island capital and features some lively markets and information bureaux, while the regency of Karangasem is known for being home to the Mother Temple of Besakih, Bangli for its hilltop views, Kuta for its exceptional beach and party atmosphere, and the more centrally located Ubud for its Balinese culture and mountainous scenery.
Bali tourism travel guide can be enumerated as below :
Denpasar is the capital city of Bali, Denpasar has many community temples called 'Pura'. One is the Museum called Pura Jagatnatha which is dedicated to the Supreme God. Sang Hyang Widi Wasa. The statue of a turtle and two dragons (prevalent in all temples) signify the foundation of the world.The Museum offers a fine variety of prehistoric and modern art, whereas its architectural design resembles that of a palace. The government supervised 'Sanggraha Kriya Hasta' has a wide variety of handicraft and works of art. The 'Werdi Budaya' presents a yearly art festival between June and July, with performances, exhibitions, art contest and so on.
The Werdhi Budaya Art Center was started in 1973 and finished in 1976: the largest and most complete in a series of cultural center built throughout the archipelago by the Indonesian Government over the last decade. Designed by Bali's foremost architect, Ida Bagus Tugur, (also architect for Indonesia,s new National Art Gallery) the vast complex is, apart from its very real cultural function, a showplace for Balinese Temple and Palace Architecture at its most opulent. The open stage Arda Candra with its towering candi gate and the almost rococo main Art Museum, sprawling park, Balinese pavilions and follies have, become a regular architectural attraction. Built on one of the few remaining coconut groves in central Denpasar, the center has quickly become a busy forum for the performing and fine arts. With three Art Galleries and a host of stages, the Center is only rivalled by Jakarta's Taman Ismail Marzuki as a venue for diverse and rapidly changing cultural programs. Since 1975 the Center has been home to the islands Dance Academy (ASTI) a tertiary level Conservatorium, Dance and Drama School for traditional Balinese Performing arts. With the islands Art Scholl situated next door, the center's seminar halls and exhibition space are devoted to the encouragement and education of local art students.
One of Bali's most important sea temples, the temple sanctuary at Tanah Lot is built atop a huge rock which is surrounded by the sea.Built by one of the last priests to come to Bali from Java in the 16th century, its rituals include the paying of homage to the guardian spirits of the sea. Poisonous sea snakes found at the base of the rocky island are believed to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruder. The best time to see Tanah Lot is in the late afternoon when the temple is in silhouette.
Sanur beach has long been a popular recreation site for people from Denpasar and elsewhere. The palm lined beach curves from the Bali Beach Hotel toward the south, facing the Indian Ocean to wards the east. Sanur offers many good hotels, restaurants, shops and other tourist facilities. It is only a shot distance from Denpasar public transportation to and from the city are easily available until well into night. Offshore reefs protect the beach againts the waves and make it popular for windsurfing, boating and other watersports.
Once alonely village on the road from Denpasar toward the Bukit Peninsula, Kuta is now a thriving tourist resort, popular mainly among the young. It is a popular beach for surfing although currents make it less suitable for swimming. Coast guards, however, are on constant duty during the day. Kuta faces toward the west offering beautiful sunsets. Accommodation ranges from international hotels to home stays. The village abounds with restaurants, shops, discotheques and other tourist facilities. It is easier to find regular performances of Balinese music and dance in Kuta, staged specially for tourists, than anywhere else in Bali. Some performances are staged nightly. The village is ideal for meeting and mixing with other people, locals as well as visitors from abroad.
Dreamland Beach, The New Kuta.
New Kuta, this is what they call for Dreamland Beach which is located in Pecatu, near Uluwatu Bali. In a journey approximately 35 minutes from Kuta, we will arrive at a beach that's known for its white sand and a paradise for surfers. The nickname 'New Kuta' itself was given to anticipate in the arrival of a new condo called 'New Kuta Condotel' on the beach.
Even though the beach is marvelous, but the visitors aren't as many as in Kuta Beach. That way you'll feel more comfortable to enjoy the beauty of this beach that's famous for its surfing place. Besides surfing, Dreamland also offers a view of beautiful hills and if the weather is fine, you can enjoy the sunset.
Nusa Dua Beach.
The Nusa Dua tourist resort is part of the Bukit Peninsula in southern Bali. Some of the most beautiful and luxurious hotels are found here. The resort is known for its clean white beaches and clear waters. The surf is gentle along the northern side of the peninsula, bigger along the south. The most convenient form of transportation to and from Nusa Dua is by taxi.
Lying on the western shore of the isthmus leading to Badung Peninsula is the famous Kuta Beach,which has earned a reputation as a beach paradise and attracts surfers,swimming and sunbathers of all ages and nationalities.
The white sands of Kuta are still arguably the best beachfront on Bali. The beach is much cleaner than just a few years ago, although the vendors remain annoying. Kuta is not the fishing village it once was: it is now a booming Pacific resort and its streets are clogged with tourists and traffic during peak seasons. Legian is a bit quieter, less crowded, and more suitable for longer stays, although in many ways it has become an extension of Kuta.
Seminyak is located at the north coast of Legian and can be reached in 30 minutes from Ngurah Rai Airport. Seminyak is a place well-known for its clean beaches. In Seminyak we can also easily find traditional goods sellers of Bali. If you choose sightseeing and shopping activities while you're in Bali, then Seminyak is the right place to be chosen.
Other than its short distance with the beach, Seminyak is also famous as a place that never sleeps because there are so many night clubs there. For you with clubbing interests, Seminyak will definitely be your main choice. Not a question if the later the night it gets, the more crowded it will be. Most foreign tourists enjoy their nightlife here, besides for the numbers of clubs, the location night clubs are right by the shore of Double Six Beach.
Driving northeast from Denpasar, stone figures on the roadside mark the village of Batubulan. Divinities and demons are carved from sandstone for ornaments of houses and temples. Workshop can be visited to watch artists at work.
Northeast of Denpasar, the village of Celuk is noted for its silver and gold works of jewelry in many styles.
The center of Balinese painting, Ubud's Museum 'Purl Lukisan' has a permanent collection of modern works of Balinese art dating from the turn of the century. There are also several art galleries and homes of famous artists here, including that of Dutchborn Hans Snel and American Antonio Blanco. The 'Young artist' style now popular in Balinese painting was introduced by the Dutch painter Arie Smith. In the past, other foreign painters inspired Balinese artists to adopt western techniques but traditional Balinese paintings are still made and sold another museum called 'Neka Museum' has a wide collection of paintings both by Indonesian as well as foreign artists who used to live in Bali. Ubud has several small hotels. Located on a higher altitude with a pleasant climate.
Peliatan is located between Ubud and Mas It has been known as the center-of traditional music, and dances. The fine art of local woodcarvers started a new style of wood carving producing such things as fruits, flowers and trees in their real shapes and colorings.
Goa Gajah, dates back to the 11th century and is believed to have been built as a monastery. Carvings on the wall show a demon head over the entrance, flanked by two statues. The cave contains a statue of Ganesha. Excavations have uncovered a bathing place with six statues of nymphs holding water-spouts.
The temple of Pura Tirta Empul is built around the sacred spring at Tampak Siring. Over 1000 years old, the temple and its two bathing places have been used by the people for good health and prosperity because of the spring water's curative powers. Regular ceremonies are held for purification. Specialities of the area are bone and ivory carvings, and seashell ornament.
The villages of Kintamani and Penelokan give a view of the active Mount Batur and Lake. The caldera of Batur is impressive: 7 miles in diameter and 60 feet deep. From Penelokan, a road leads to Kedisan on the shores of the lake where boats can be hired
to cross over to Trunyan. This ancient village is inhabited by people who call themselves 'Bali Aga' or original Balinese who have maintained many of their old ways. The Puser Jagat temple has an unusual architecture and stands under a massive Banyan tree.
An old and famous center of the arts, it is now known for its dancing, wood panel carving and paintings.
Pura Kehen is situated in Bangli, Bali's second largest temple. Three terraced courtyards are connected by steps, and their balustrades are decorated with carvings and statues. A large Banyan tree with a tower shades the lowest and second courtyard, while in the third courtyard several shrines for the gods and ancestors are found.
The former seat of the Javanese Hindu Kingdom in Bali from where Balinese royalty draws its blood line, Klungkung was the oldest kingdom on the island and its 'Raja' the most exalted. The Kerta Gosa or Royal Court of Justice built in the 1 8th century, is specially known for its ceiling murals painted in the traditional wayang style pertraying punishment in hell and the rewards in heaven and other aspects of moralities. The floating pavilliun, garden and lotus ponds in this walled- in complex, located on the main intersection of town are a reminder of the former glory of this kingdom.
Nine kms from Klungkung is Goa Lawah or bat cave. The roof is covered with thousands of bats and its entrance is guarded by a temple believed to be founded by a sage nine centuries ago.
Known as the 'mother Temple of Bali, the sanctuary of Besakih on the slopes of Mt. Agung is the biggest and holiest of all Balinese temples. Over a thousand years old, steps ascend through split gates to the main courtyard where the Trinity shrines are wrapped in cloth and decorated with flower offerings. Around the three main temples dedicated to the Trinity: Shiva, Brahma and Wisnu, are 18 separate sanctuaries belonging to different regencies and caste groups. To the Balinese, a visit to the temples sanctuaries is a special pilgrimage. Each has its own anniversary celebration or 'Odalan'. The sight of the temple against the background of the mountain is impressive and during festivals, colored banners add a touch of gaiety.
The village of woodcarvers, many of Bali's old masters still live here. Art galleries exhibit some of their best works. Visitors can wonder through the Balinese style houses to view the carved wooden pillars and the artists at work or instructing apprentices who work in groups.
Ten hectares of nutmeg trees in the Sangeh forest abounds with monkeys. The forest is considered sacred, sono wood is allowed to be chopped here. Two temples stand in the middle of the forest and another at the edge. As they live in this sacred forest, the monkeys are also held sacred and are rather tame, but it is advisable not to play with them.
Bedugul - Lake Beratan - Pura Ulun Danu.
The mountain resort of Bedugul, 18 km north of Denpasar, is known for its excellent golf course. Located besides Lake Bratan, it is surrounded by forested hills. A beautiful sight is the 'Ulun Danu' temple which seems to rise out of the lake. The area offers good walks. Boats are available for hire. Water skiing, and parasailing is done as well. The Bali Handara country club has bungalows for rent and a restaurant.
The main attraction of Amlapura is its traditional palaces or puri. There is a western, a northern, a southern and an eastern puri as well as several others, all still occupied by members of the royal family. Of these, only the Puri Kangin (the eastern palace) on the main road to the market is easily visited. This is worth a look, as it gives a vivid impression of how local royals used to live. The palace buildings themselves are in fact an eccentric blend of Chinese and European details set what is essentially a traditional Balinese com pound with several pavilions and rooms surrounded by pools and connected by walk ways. The main hall is called the 'Bale London' and the furniture curiously hears the crest of the British royal family. One can even rent rooms here the perfect accommodation for the aspiring aristocrat.
Protected for centuries from the outside world by its surrounding walls, the village of Tenganan has maintained its ancient pre hindu customs through a strong code of non-fraternization with outsiders. Here unique rituals offering dances, and gladiator-like battle between youths take place. Tenganan is famous for its 'double ikat' woven material called gringseng, which is supposed to protect the wearer with magic powers.
Sebatu Holy Spring Temple.
Is named ' Gunung Kawi ' in Balinese. It is a beautiful village temple located in a peaceful valley with its holy spring. Somewhat similar to Trita Empul, there are large fountains outside the temple area, where villagers use to take a bath, but this place is not as 'holy' as Trita Empul.
A little further east on the coastal road is Yeh Saneh an idyllic spot few people know of. Only a few maters from the splash of the surf is a cool freshwater spring around which has been built a large pool and gardens for bathers and picnickers.
Git Git Water Falls.
To the south of Singaraja is Gitgit Waterfall, Bali's highest waterfall. This beautiful wilderness area is a must for nature lovers who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the larger towns. This is a perfect place to take photographs of bali's magical scenery
Bedugul Botanical Garden.
Botanical Garden in 1959, a large expanse of tropical rain forest in the foothills of Bukit Tapak was set aside by the government as the Kebun Raya Eka Karya Bali a botanical garden covering an area of 129.2 hectares. This extensive park is a popular place for weekenders. but during the week it is a haven of peace and solitude. More than 650 tree species have been recorded in the park, and there are 459 different wild and propagated orchids. including some rare ones collected from the nearby forest.
Taman Ayun Temple.
Taman Ayun Temple is a Royal Temple of Mengwi Empire and it is located in Mengwi Village, Mengwi sub district, Badung regency and about 18 Km north side of Denpasar town. It is strategically located beside of major roadway between Denpasar to Singaraja. It is set on the land which is surrounded by the big fish pond and look like a drift on the water. It owns the beautiful temple building with multistoried roof and Balinese Architecture. The wide beautiful landscape garden in front courtyard to welcome all visitors who come and visit this temple. It is a beautiful place to visit on your vacation in Bali.
Waterboom Bali its exciting water slides slice through 3.8 hectares of landscaped tropical parks providing hours of fun and entertainment for the young and young at heart! There are 101 ways to fill 24 hours each day with thrilling activities on land and in water. For relaxation, drift leisurely in a tube raft or go for a tranquil dip in inviting blue pools. World-class slides and rides are built and maintained to strict international safety standards. The advanced salt chlorination technique is soft on the environment and on your skin.
Bali Safari Marine Park.
Taman Safari Indonesia is an institution oriented to building tourist attractions that are attractive to visitors, environmentally friendly and that help spread the conservation message. They are the Government appointed Indonesian Center for the Reproduction of Endangered Wildlife and operate the Sumatran Tiger Rescue Team that relocates them when they come into conflict with humans.
Bali Safari Marine Park is home to hundreds amazing animals representing more than 50 species, including some of rare and endangered species. Combining Balinese cultural ambience with African Savannah, Bali Safari and Marine Park features the following exhibits featuring Sumatran elephant, Sumatran tiger, white tiger, leopard, komodo dragon and cheetah are just some of the fascinating creatures that can be seen at the Bali Safari and Marine Park. Fulfilling its mission of conservation, education and recreation through one of our attractive Elephant Show devoted to animals involved in conservation and education projects and so much more excitement by riding the elephant with our Elephant Back Safari around the African Savannah and get to see your favorite animal up close! in Animal Encounter make the Bali Safari and Marine Park's leading family attraction and adventure in Bali.
An extension of the life of this sleepy fishing village, the fish cafes startes as a few alung-alung huts on the beach and have expande to become a thriving industry. Now they concentrate around the beach area near the central Jimbaran markets and stretch all the way up the airport. The flavour produced when the fresh seafood smothered in mouth watering spice mixes as barbercued over coconut husks in fantastic.
located at the southern coast of Bali, about 10 minutes from Ngurah Rai International Airport, Jimbaran bay is one of Bali's most recently developed resort area. Tranquil compared to Kuta, it retains much of its fishing village charm. With its shallow water and lack of sharp corals, Jimbaran is ideal for families.
Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK).
Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) is a cultural park on the Bukit Peninsula at the southern end of the island of Bali in Indonesia. Bukit is a limestone plateau with Uluwatu to the west and Nusa Dua to the eastern.
It is devoted to the Hindu god Vishnu, and his mount, Garuda, the mythical bird who is his companion.
Made from more than 4000 tons of copper and brass, the statue is picturing Lord Wisnu, as the source of wisdom, riding on the back of the mythical bird Garuda as the manifestation of conscience toward Amerta, the perennial goodness.
Currently, the statue of Vishnu is 23 m high, although the original plan was for a 146 meter gold plated Vishnu riding Garuda on top of an 11 storey entertainment complex. The idea was not without controversy, and religious authorities on the island complained that its massive size might disrupt the spiritual balance of the island, and that its commercial nature was inappropriate.
Within a cultural theme park of 230 hectares with complete tourist facilities, the Garuda Wisnu Kencana park will, in the eyes of the world, bears symbol of Bali's magical past and be the beacon of it's bright and promising feature. Magnificent panoramas, the maze of steel and cooper forged into a massive shape of a god will combined with facilities to educate, and Balinese cultural events to entertain, will create a unique experience.
Uluwatu, located at the south corner of Bali Island and facing Hindian Ocean, is a charming recreation place. Here stands a strong and big Pura on a reef that clings toward the sea with the height of about 50 meters. Uluwatu Pura is one of the Puras in Bali with its beautiful location. The main attraction for tourists is its spectacular views. Located at the northwestern area, this pura is like roasting at the tip of the cliff that is very high and steep, with a view of blue and clear sea below, and the blowing waves with white foam, making the view extremely beautiful.
Uluwatu beach site with is big waves are very challenging for sports lovers, especially surfers. Every year an international event is held here. Along Uluwatu beach there are some surfing sites which tourist like to visit.
In the evening while watching the beauty of sunset, you can also enjoy a Balinese dance staging that is famous, even in foreign countries. This dance is known as 'Kecak Dance'. Not only that, for you love to learn history, Uluwatu Pura is located for its historical values.
A place where you see lots of terraced rice paddy fields. The sights are breathtaking as you see the green terrace, meandering around you. This place is supposed to one of the few in the world that has such nice terraced paddies. Those terraces are probably cut decades ago, and now resulting in the fascinating view today.
Tulamben has become Bali's most famous diving area and therefore where you are most likely to meet internationally recognized underwater photographers and writers. Tulamben Bay, like the rest of Bali, is situated in the richest marine bio geographic zone in the world. Tulamben is on the north-east coast; the bay receives very plankton-rich waters from the major ocean current that moves from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean. This, coupled with the fact that the three main dive sites provide totally different physical environments, mean that Tulamben contains a stunningly diverse underwater ecosystem.
Amed is located on the North East coast of Bali. By car, about 15 mins south of Tulamben, along the main road, and then 15mins on a local road, so Amed is much prettier than Tulamben. Due to the easy conditions at Amed, it is suitable both for novice and experienced divers. On the outskirts of Amed, you can see traditional salt-panning and buy sea salt as a souvenir of your visit!
Immediately outside Jemeluk Bay are 2 dive sites, Amed Wall and Amed Reef, both of which can be done as a shore- or boat-dives. The boats are small outriggers (jukung) - long and narrow fishing boats.
Menjangan Island became Bali's first internationally known dive location at around 1978. Consequently, in older dive guidebooks, Menjangan is described as having beautiful reef flats. Unfortunately that is no longer true. On a more positive note, Menjangan Island is actually famous for the wall diving. The walls descend to varying depths, the shallowest being 26m, the deepest 60M+. The walls offer the greatest diversity of gorgonian fans in Bali. They generally start at 10m with the flat coral reefs offering gentle conditions and lots of sunlight. These are full of medium and small fish. The walls are full of small nooks and crannies, overhangs, and bigger cavelettes, crevasses, etc. They are covered with soft corals, gorgonian fans, sponges.
Amuk Bay, with the villages of Padangbai to the south and Candidasa to the north, is about 6 kms across and located along the south side of Bali's eastern point. Just north of Padangbai is the Blue Lagoon, a treasure-trove of marine life. Two islands (Tepekong and Mimpang) outside the bay, and Biaha a little to the north, offer some of the most breath-taking diving in Bali. However, due to conditions, these 3 sites need to be treated with care and respect.
Nusa Penida is the largest of 3 islands off the southeast coast of Bali. The water here is fairly cold but often startlingly clear, with gorgeous corals and prolific fish, with some turtle, shark and in season, Mola-Mola (the weird and wonderful Sunfish). AquaMarine offers nine dive sites at Nusa Penida. The majority of diving at Nusa Penida is drift-diving and the currents are not always predictable.