The spectacular mountainous region around Kintamani with its
deep crater lake and bubbling hot springs, make this region
a must to visit. Lake Batur is the largest lake in Bali and
the region offers some of the most spectacular views to be
found anywhere on the island. Lake Batur also provides water
for an underground network of streams and springs across the
southern slopes of the mountain.
The district is the earliest known kingdom in Bali, dating
from the tenth century. The evenings get cool up here but
it's well worth the stay overnight to climb the volcano and
watch the sunrise. Many cheap losmens are available here.
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
Around the three main temples dedicated to the Trinity: Shiva,
Brahma and Vishnu, 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 mountain resort of Bedugul, 18 km north of Denpasar, is
known for its excellent golf course. Located beside 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, water skiing, and
parasailing are available for hire. The Bali Handara country
club has bungalows for rent and a restaurant.
When the heat and humidity gets to you, why not escape to
Bedugul, Bali's highland retreat tucked into the crater of
an extinct volcano 1400 metres above sea level.
Here three lakes provide everything from recreation to the
water for springs, rivers and rice fields below. Lush pine
forests seem to create a freshness in the air. Bedugul is
known for the quality of its fruits , vegetables and flowers.
The temple of Pura Tirta Empul is built around the sacred
spring at Tampaksiring. 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. Specialties
of the area are bone and ivory carvings, and seashell ornaments.
Tanah Lot Temple
One of Bali's most important sea temples, Tanah Lot is built
a top 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.
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 Asta"
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 cultural image of Ubud is paramount to people as home
to the best art museums in tte country, like Puri Lukisan,
Neka Museum, ARMA (Agung Rai Museum & Art), etc. Ubud
is an ideal place to see Balinese dance, Legong, Ramayana,
Baris, Kecak and Sanghyang (the fire dance) are performed
nightly in or aroud the Ubud area.
Ubud gives you opportunity to see real Bali. It is a place
for leisurely strolls through rice terraces, lush forests,
breath-taking gorges and deserted swimming holes, all within
walking distance from the center of Ubud. You must visit Monkey
Forest - walk along Monkey Forest Road from Ubud, down into
a dense forest where you will find a bunch of happy monkeys
waiting for passing tourists.
Goa Gajah Temple
The Elephant cave is carved in to rock face and reached by
a flight of steps. It probably dates back to the 9-12th centuries
and shows elements of both Hindu and Buddhist. You can enter
the cave through the huge mouth of a demon. In front of the
cave are two bathing pools with spring water gushing from
spouts help by female figures.
A kilometer from Goa Gajah is Yeh Pulu. After a short walk
through rice terraces, you will arrive at an ancient rock
carving dating from the 14th century. The carving depicts
various scenes of everyday life and the figures of elephant-headed
Ganesha indicating a close relationship between the two sites.
South Bali on Bukit Badung. This cliff top temple, dedicated
to the spirits of the sea, has spectacular views and is popular
for viewing sunsets. The famous Pura Luhur Uluwatu temple
is an architectural marvel situated on headland at the western
tip to the plateau. According to local tradition, the first
Uluwatu temple was built in the 11th century, In the 16th
century, it was rebuilt into its current state. The temple
has some of the most exquisite architecture in Bali. The carvings
made in the unusually hard coral stone have withstood time
Tourists looking for a quiet beach resort can head 10 km west
from Singaraja to Lovina, a long stretch of beach (with hotels
and bungalows). The black sand beach is safe and a perfect
place for the swimming and snorkeling. Lovina also offers
dolphin viewing. It is the perfect base from which to explore
Goa Lawah Temple
Goa Lawah is the bat cave. This cave is crammed with thousands
of bats which are unseen but certainly not unheard during
the day. The cave is part of a temple that is said to lead
all the way to Besakih but it's unlikely that anyone would
be interested in investigating.
Kerta Gosa was used a venue for the administration of justice
by kings and priests during pre-colonial times. It is surrounded
by a moat and is decorated with beautiful paintings on its
ceilings, which depict tortures in hell and bliss in heaven.
The Bale Kembang (Floating Pavilion) stands behind the Kerta
Gosa. Its painted ceilings depict the legend of the hero Sutasoma
and his sacrifices, and of Pan and Men Brayut, known as the
couple who had too many offspring.
Sangeh is the famous Monkey Forest, set in heart of the only
primary forest in southern Bali. This forest consists entirely
of pala (nutmeg) tree. The monkeys living here are considered
sacred and hence used to make barong.
West Bali National Park
West Bali National Park is situated in two regencies: Jembrana
and Buleleng. The entrance on the Jembrana side of the park
is at Melaya on the Denpasar - Gilimanuk road. Visit this
place if you are looking for pristine tropical nature. The
park is the last natural habitat of the endangered Jalak Putih,
fewer than fifty are believed to be left in the wild, where
they are threatened by poaching. The park also home to banteng
and deer-like Menjangan. The National Park contains a broad
rang of natural environments, from magrove coastal forests
to savana and rainforest shelters.
To enter Bali National Park one must go to the park office
in Cekik. Accommodation is available in basic huts but you
must bring your own bedding and untensils.
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. Workshops
can be visited to watch artists at work.
Batubulan also is famous for Barong Dance which is performed
daily here. The dance symbolizes the never-ending battle between
good and evil. The Pura Puseh Batubulan, a beautiful temple,
is also worth visiting while in Batubulan.
Once a lonely 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 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.
This little island off Bali's west coast is known for its
beautiful coral reefs found nearby and the wealth of tropical
fish inhabiting the waters around it. The island itself including
Terima Bay, are by themselves worth a visit because of the
beautiful sceneries they offer.
Nusa Lembongan Island
Nusa Lembongan, a small island between Bali and Nusa Penida
in the Badung Strait, is the perfect location for a holiday
hideaway with few visitors and pristine unspoilt beaches.
Overlooking Sanghiang Bay with its clear sapphire-blue waters,
the Nusa Lembongan Resort offers a panoramic view of eastern
Bali and the majestic silhouette of Mount Agung.
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.
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
Celuk is center for Balinese goldsmiths and silversmiths.
More 40 jewelry workshops are located along the road from
Batubulan to Celuk. The jewelries are exported worldwide.
Sukawati is famous for its art market (Pasar Seni) and dalangs
(puppeteers). Set in a two-floor building, the market sells
everything from statues to dance costumes.
Mas is famous for woodcarving. Mas offers a myriad of wooden
items. The main road of the town is lined with dozens of workshop.
Sanur beach has long been a popular recreation site for people
from Denpasar. The palm-lined beach curves from the Bali Beach
Hotel toward the south, facing the Indian Ocean towards the
east. Sanur offers many good hotels, restaurants, shops and
other tourist facilities. It is only a short distance from
Denpasar. Public transportation to and from the city are easily
available until well into the night. Offshore reefs protect
the beach against the waves to make it popular for wind surfing,
boating and other water sports.