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

Where to Stay

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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 »
NANDINI JUNGLE RESORT AND SPA
Nandini Jungle Resort and Spa
Nestled in the heart of the Payangan rainforest, Nandini Jungle Resort and Spa is a captivating destination resort that blends seamlessly with its natural surroundings.From the moment you arrive at this luxury s... View More »
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Tauch Terminal Resort Tulamben & Spa
Situated beachfront on Bali’s northeast coast, The Tauch Terminal Tulamben Resort & Spa offers a perfect escape from the crowds in south Bali and offers access to some of Bali’s most famed dive spots.Ext... View More »
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Hyatt Regency Bali
After an extensive five-year facelift, the legendary Hyatt Regency Bali has reopened.Beachfront luxurySet amid nine hectares of lush, tropical gardens on Sanur Beach, Hyatt Regency Bali evokes the same sense... View More »
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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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Inaya Putri Bali
Unwind, surrounded by natural beauty with Balinese charm and contemporary living spaces at INAYA Putri Bali.From the moment you arrive at INAYA Putri Bali, you will be enchanted by the soaring entrance fashioned... View More »
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The Royal Purnama
On the glittering black crystal sands of Pantai Purnama (Full Moon Beach) on Bali’s southeast coast, this exclusive new villa resort offers a boutique, adults only beachfront retreat.The Royal Purnama is commi... View More »
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Kembali Villas
Discover tranquility in the heart of Seminyak at Kembali Villas.These luxury villas offer stylish fittings and modern comforts in a tranquil setting. Sprawled amidst lush gardens and waterways, there are seven v... View More »
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Lifestyle Retreats
Lifestyle Retreats is a unique and dynamic hotel management company that offers a holistic hospitality concept with a range of luxurious boutique hotels in Indonesia and CambodiaLifestyle Retreats offers you the... 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 »
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Ramayana Suites
Discover an urban sanctuary in the heart of Kuta at this five-star resort.Ramayana Suites is commited to deliver an outstanding service, to guarantee guests’ expectations down to the smallest details.Surro... 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 »
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The Samaya Ubud
Showcasing a harmonious blend of cutting-edge design and lavish comfort, The Samaya Ubud is designed around its natural surroundings, creating a hidden gem of luxury in the midst of Ubud’s tropical jungle.The ... View More »
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Impiana Private Villas
One of Indonesia’s leading names in the hospitality and spa industry, Impiana offers a collection of villa properties for seasoned travellers who expect the finest in services and standards.Impiana Private Vil... 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 »
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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 accommodationThe resort features 184 exceptional... 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 tranquilityThe perfect place to relax and renew, Dwaraka Villas is perfectly located to offer a tr... 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 Samaya Seminyak
With spectacular, unobstructed ocean views, The Samaya is an oasis of refinement in an urban tropical setting.Right in the heart of Seminyak, The Samaya’s luxurious private villas occupy a prime beachfront loc... View More »
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Amadea Resort & Villas
This award-winning Seminyak hotel offers a truly peaceful oasis in the heart of Seminyak.Located on the fashionable eat street with its many boutiques and famous restaurants, the resort is perfectly located for ... View More »

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