About Bali, Indonesia

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— BALI —

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Bali is a tropical paradise with an abundance of fresh fruit always available. Bali boasts lush green forests, beautiful beaches and incredible rice paddies that spill down the sides of dramatic mountains.

It has a strong Hindu spiritual life, with thousands of temples and a rich culture of dancing, music, art, architecture, rituals and festivals.

The capital Denpasar in the south is a lively town, particularly after dark, when locals visit Pasar Badung, the biggest and busiest market on the island.

It is worthwhile hiring a car, jeep or moped, or chartering a private cab to visit the island’s villages. Among those worth a visit are Celuk, which is noted for its silver and goldsmithing, and Mas for its excellent woodcarving. Near the village of Kutri is Pura Kedarman, which has a hilltop shrine with a panoramic view and stone statue of the eight-armed goddess, Durga. Ubud, at the base of the mountains, is the cultural centre of Bali and home of much traditional Balinese dance and music. This is where most accomplished painters, dancers, musicians, carvers and weavers live and work, so there are a number of excellent museums, art galleries and shops selling quality handicrafts.

Not far from Peliatan is Goa Gajah or the Elephant Cave, carved into a rock face. Visitors enter the cave through the cavernous mouth of a demon. Also near Ubud, Tampaksiring is a small town where the most impressive ancient monument on Bali can be found: Gunung Kawi. The temple consists of 10, seven-metre high, rockcut memorials.

The spectacular 16th century Tanah Lot is probably one of Bali’s best known and most photographed temples. Perched on a rocky islet and encircled by the sea, droves of visitors go to see it at sunrise or, more commonly, silhouetted against a brilliant red sky at sunset. On Bali’s western tip, the Bali Barat National Park covers nearly 20,000 hectares and includes 7000 hectares of coral reef and coastal waters. The region is ideal for trekking, has outstanding dive sites and pristine beaches. East Bali has Gunung Agung, and West Bali has the Gunung Batur crater, a magnificent sight at sunrise.

Penelokan, on the edge of the crater, offers superb views of Mt Batur and down to the lake. The village of Batur used to be inside the crater, but after a violent eruption in 1917 when thousands were killed, the village was relocated onto the crater’s rim, with the village of Kintamani. Kedisan, by the lake, is the base from which you can take a boat across to Trunyan. Or walk for a couple of hours on the track around the lake to Toyah Bungkah passing through the old village of Songan. Nearly 1000 metres up the slopes of Gunung Agung is Bali’s most important temple, Besakih.

North of Denpasar is the temple of Taman Ayun in Mengwi, spacious and memorable for its moat and large grassy outer courtyard; and Bedugul, which has a leisure park at the southern end of Lake Bratan and lovely botanical gardens. It is the south of Bali that is the real tourist mecca: the areas of Kuta, Tuban, Legian and Seminyak. Kuta has an incredible concentration of shops and services, as well as Bali’s most famous beach—the only place in Bali where the surf breaks over sand instead of coral. Kuta and Legian come alive at night, with shops and market stalls selling every Balinese handicraft imaginable. Various cultural performances are staged nightly, with one of Bali’s best Kecak (traditional dance) performances to be seen in Kuta.

The increasingly busy area of Tuban is situated close to the attractions of Kuta and Legian but with a more tranquil beach. Safer swimming combined with Bali’s only watersports park, Waterbom Bali, makes it an appealing option for family holidays. Southern Bali, encompassing Nusa Dua, Sanur and Tanjung Benoa, is where most of the island’s international five-star hotels are located. Sanur has a palm-lined beach and its waters are protected by reefs making it ideal for watersports. Reasonably priced restaurants are found in Tanjung Benoa and Bualu village, and the nightlife is relatively sedate. There are other beaches at Lovina in the north, and Candi Dasa in the east. Popular activities on Bali range from surfing, scuba diving and sea walking to indulging at pristine spas or attending an exciting cooking school.

As it continues to attract an increasing number of international visitors every year, dining in Bali is very cosmopolitan yet inexpensive. Bali has amazing fresh seafood and the local lobster, sold at prices that will have you coming back again and again, is not to be missed.

A huge range of international cuisines including Chinese, Malaysian, Italian, Greek, Moroccan and Mexican, to name just a few, are available. Be sure to enjoy local delicacies such as nasi goreng and sate campur.

Bali is also recognised as a shopper’s paradise. Whether you are looking for casual or tailored clothing, locally crafted jewellery, handicrafts, antiques and artefacts or leather goods including leather coats, jackets and handbags, you will find it all at amazing prices.

Don’t forget, bartering is the local custom at the markets so have fun and get the best price you can. If you need a quieter pace, try the fixed-price department stores in Denpasar.

Bali offers every standard of accommodation ranging from modest, yet charming bungalow-style hotels nestled in lush tropical gardens through to some of the most exclusive and sophisticated hotels in the world. There is without doubt something to suit every budget.

The abundance of cultural and historical sites here makes for a fascinating holiday.

My Top 10 Luxury Escapes

Bali’s Culture

The Best Bits of Bali

Quick facts about Bali

Bali’s Cuisine

Explore Bali

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Where to Stay

The Kayon Jungle Resort 1
The Kayon Jungle Resort
Discover a luxury nature retreat at The Kayon Jungle Resort. Situated in the traditional village of Bresela, Payangan, only 20 minutes from Ubud’s centre, this boutique resort offers an intimate selection of 38... View More »
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The Trans Resort Bali
A luxury oasis in the heart of Seminyak, The Trans Resort Bali offers a sophisticated blend of rich Indonesian tradition and contemporary refinement. Luxurious accommodation The resort features 184 exceptional... View More »
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Ametis Villa
Ametis Villa is a contemporary retreat designed to elevate your tropical holiday to the height of luxury. With its refreshing interpretation of an intimate Balinese community, Ametis features private villas, each... View More »
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Viceroy Bali
Viceroy Bali is an ultra-luxurious all-villa resort consisting of 25 villas situated on a secluded ridge of the Petanu River gorge along Bali’s Valley of the Kings. Regarded as one of the world’s most luxurio... View More »
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The Seminyak Beach Resort & Spa
The Seminyak is a stylish beachfront resort set amidst lush native greenery, lily ponds and traditional thatched pavilions. With distinct Balinese touches, this modern retreat provides a welcome escape. Stylish B... View More »
Puri Villas Indonesia 1
Puri Villas Indonesia
Devoted to sustainable development in tourism, Puri Villas Indonesia is a well established hospitality company which offers a selection of unique properties that allow you to experience the warmth and richness of Ba... View More »
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Balitamansari Hotels
Welcome to Bali Taman Sari. This hotel group offers hidden gems in the unspoiled northern regions of Bali offering a view into a more traditional side of the island. Taman Sari Bali Resort & Spa Far removed ... View More »
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The Kayon Resort
Nestled deep in heart of Ubud’s lush jungle and verdant rice fields by the historical Petanu River, this enchanting adults-only resort, designed in complete harmony with nature offers a tranquil retreat. Luxury... View More »
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Dwaraka Villas
Discover a royal Balinese concept of accommodation nestled in the middle of a traditional Ubud village. Utter tranquility The perfect place to relax and renew, Dwaraka Villas is perfectly located to offer a tr... View More »
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Segara Village
Segara Village is a sanctuary of tropical charm that recreates the ambience of a traditional Balinese community. Situated in Sanur, along a white sand beach that is sheltered by a coral reef, the resort is perfec... View More »
Desa Visesa Ubud_2
Desa Visesa Ubud
Connect with Bali’s rich heritage and rituals at Desa Visesa Ubud. Honouring past traditions, Desa Visesa offers a brand new level of luxury with an authentic tropical island feel in utmost comfort and style, o... View More »
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Bali Dynasty Resort
The Bali Dynasty Resort is a premier beachside resort in South Kuta, renowned for its warm Balinese hospitality. The resort is conveniently located a ten-minute drive from the airport and is within walking distan... View More »
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Grand Hyatt Bali
Like the fabled Balinese water palaces of old, Grand Hyatt Bali is a cluster of four ethnic villages set amidst an interlinking system of cascading waterfalls, landscaped gardens and lagoons that meander through 41 ... View More »
indonesia bali ubud the royal pita resort aerial view
The Royal Pita Maha
The Royal Pita Maha overlooks the Ayung River at Batu Kurung. Located in the picturesque area of Kedewatan, a spiritually revered place believed to be blessed by the gods, this exquisite mountain retreat commands s... View More »
Ayodya Resort Bali
Ayodya Resort Bali
Ayodya Resort Bali rests upon 11.5 hectares of landscaped gardens complete with a beautiful lagoon pool and set within the secure gated resort community of Nusa Dua. A world of grandeur Reminiscent of an enchant... View More »
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The ANVAYA Beach Resort
Bringing forth a new concept of five-star luxury, discover an exquisite hidden sanctuary in the heart of Kuta. Featuring dazzling views over the captivating Indian Ocean, The ANVAYA Beach Resort Bali is equipped ... View More »
Hyatt Regency Bali_8
Hyatt Regency Bali
After an extensive five-year facelift, the legendary Hyatt Regency Bali has reopened. Beachfront luxury Set amid nine hectares of lush, tropical gardens on Sanur Beach, Hyatt Regency Bali evokes the same sense... View More »
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Plataran Indonesia
Plataran is a homegrown Indonesian hospitality group whose vision is to contribute to Indonesia and Indonesians by showcasing the rich and diverse natural and cultural heritage of this remarkable archipelago. Pla... View More »
kejora suite
Kejora Suites
This all-suite boutique hotel, centrally located in the heart of Sanur offers sophisticated accommodation, personalised service and indulgent comfort for an unforgettable holiday experience. Sophisticated suites ... View More »
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W Bali – Seminyak
An opulent playground for discerning visitors, discover an island escape where you’re surrounded by peace, tranquility, and contemporary sophistication. Prepare to be enchanted with a spectacular selection of 2... View More »

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