When you first hear the word Bali, you must be thinking of lots of cool beaches, potential surfing sites, late-night pubs and bars, loud music from home bands and DJs, hotels, resorts, villas, temples, sunset, and especially Balinese traditional customs like Kecak dance, Pendet dance, and Ngaben (Balinese funeral cremation). If you have also watched “Eat, Pray, Love” (a movie played by Julia Roberts, from the book of the same title by Elizabeth Gilbert), you can see some fantastic Bali scenes in it. Since there are loads of options here, then what are the best places in Bali for you to visit, especially if this is your first journey?
If you are looking for the top five, best places in Bali, here they are according to Indonesia: All Travel Guide:
Uluwatu Temple: Pura Luhur
When you hear about Uluwatu being considered as the first of the five best places in Bali, it is true. Not only it has a nice-looking cliff with its large, rugged limestone surface, there are also a few beaches and strategic surfing spots. Our primary focus here, however, is on Uluwatu Temple – Pura Luhur. That temple is on top of the cliff, which is situated in Bukit Peninsula island. In Indonesian, the word “luhur” means “something of divine origin,” while the word “ulu” means “land’s end.” The word “watu” means “rock.”
The view itself is already remarkable. Imagine seeing a temple perched on the steep cliff while the Indian Oceans lies 70 meters down below.
Pura Tanah Lot
Now, what can you do once you are here – which is also the second of the five best places in Bali? This temple, Pura Tanah Lot, is associated with a Balinese mythology about seven temples which form a ring in the southwest of Bali. Another source also mentions that Pura Tanah Lot is also one of the six sacred/holy ritual spots to praise and serve the gods of the sea. Check out the weather reports in Bali so you get to know when the tides are low. Then you can go there, especially if you are looking for a nice, quiet time with a cultural significant view around you. Take some pictures, especially if you are a photography enthusiast or even a professional photographer. The sunset view is also beautiful here.
Do not forget to also check out the cave where the sea snakes lie. They are also beautiful and believed to be the living incarnations of the sea gods themselves, according to the Balinese.
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan
This is also a temple, but this time, it is placed by the lake, which is Lake Bratan. It is obvious from the name, Danu (which means “danau” or lake.) Located about 56 kilometres from Denpasar, if the lake water rises and lowers, the temple looks as if it is floating on the lake. Interesting too, isn’t it? No wonder this is also one of the best places in Bali, especially if you are a big fan of ancient history and photography.
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan actually consists of four temples, which are: Pura Lingga Petak, Pura Penataran Pucak Mangu, Pura Terate Bang, and Pura Dalem Purwa. They are all for the ritual procession to praise, worship and serve the Hinduness ‘Trinity’ (Brahma, Wisnu, and Siwa). Another good thing about this place is that you get to find a lot of hotels, villas, and restaurants around. You can also visit Bedugul Botanical Garden and traditional markets, especially if you want to buy fruits and vegetables after that.
Checking out the free dolphins at Lovina
Do you want to see dolphins without fearing that they are victims of wild animal torture and exploitation? Go to Lovina. You have to wake up super early, though, then go on a boat trip leaving the island at dawn for it. You will see them happily jumping by over the sea water. Once you are satisfied enough watching them play around, then you can go back to the beach. Check out some cafes with live music there. Who knows? Perhaps you can get to know interesting people like backpackers and become new friends with them.
Are you familiar with Ubud’s Writers’ Festival, which is held annually at the end of the year? Well, you do not have to be a poet or a novelist if you would like to attend. Book your ticket in advance before going to one of the best places in Bali here. Some belief that this is the heart of Bali where people and a lot of energy gather here. Check out the museums, temples, cultural exhibitions (if currently happening), and… shops. If you are more of an outdoor type, you can also go on a bike tour (and bring your like-minded friends with you) or do some whitewater rafting. No worries, there is still some space for relaxing, doing yoga, and also meditating.
A rare perspective of Pura Luhur, a Balinese sea temple at Uluwatu on Bali, Indonesia. The temple sits on a sheer cliff, and guards Bali from evil spirits from the south-west.