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Bali is not only about beaches and you will get to know this on your next Bali vacation with us. Bali is like a great classical orchestra that has an extreme potential of drawing eyes and pulling hearts towards its beauty. Exquisite nature, addictive beaches, and a mesmeric local culture is all that you need to explore when on a Bali tour. Delve deeper into the mesmerizing landscape and azure waters that is too at a leisurely pace.Readmore
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The undisputed favorite of Indonesia’s more than 17,000 islands, Bali lives up to its reputation as the quintessential tropical paradise. While some areas in Bali have suffered from over-commercialism in recent years, there are still places to visit in Bali that appear untouched by time. Known as the Island of the Gods, Bali’s culture is dominated by a unique form of Hinduism that’s evident in every aspect of Balinese life, from the temples that ornament every corner of the island to the daily offerings found in every home. Whether exploring the distinctive culture of the Balinese people, scuba diving in coral reefs, climbing an ancient volcano or sunbathing on a broad stretch of beach, Bali has a bit of paradise to offer every visitor.
Perched among the terraced rice fields that climb up the foothills of Bali’s central mountains, Ubud is considered the island’s cultural heart. Ubud is home to the island’s most important museums, including the Neka Art Museum with its expansive collection of Balinese paintings. There are dance and music performances every day throughout the city as well as numerous art galleries and craft shops to explore. Although Ubud has long been valued as a great place to learn about Balinese culture, tourism in Ubud boomed exponentially after it was featured in the book and movie “Eat, Pray, Love.” Fortunately, it only takes a short walk or bicycle ride to escape from the crowds and commercialism. Ubud is surrounded by gently rolling rice paddies which create a beautiful impression of greenness.
Situated on a large rock, Tanah Lot is one of the most famous Hindu temples in Bali. It has been a part of Balinese mythology for centuries. The temple is one of 7 sea temples, each within eyesight of the next, to form a chain along the south-western coast of Bali. Tanah Lot is one of the most popular places to visit in Bali and the whole area can be very busy, especially in the late afternoons and before sunset. The area between the car park and the beach adjacent to the temple is a maze of souvenir shops selling just about every Balinese trinket imaginable. Once visitors have fought their way through the souvenir vendors to the beach, they will see the magnificent temple perched on a rock just a few meters offshore.
Located on the southwestern coast of Bali, Seminyak is a small town that has been encompassed by the city of Kuta’s expansive growth. Despite its proximity to Kuta, Seminyak is one of the island’s most exclusive vacation destinations. From its high-end boutiques and five-star restaurants to its luxury hotels and spas, the city attract attracts well-heeled travelers from around the world. Although the surf is too treacherous for most swimmers, Seminyak Beach offers visitors panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and of the professional surfers who flock to this area to ride the big waves too.
Located on the slopes of Gunung Agung, Bali’s highest mountain, Pura Besakih is considered the most important of the “kahyangan jagat,” the nine directional temples built to protect the island from evil. The temple was named after the dragon god that believers say lives within the depths of the mountain. The temple complex includes more than 28 structures built on seven ascending terraces. Participating in an organized tour is the best way to view the site as the self-designated guides on site can be aggressively demanding.
Once a sleepy fishing village, Kuta gained fame as a great spot for surfing during the 1970s, and it has remained Bali’s premier vacation destination ever since. Located on the southern point of the island in the village of Kelurahan, the long, broad stretch of sand one of the best-maintained and most scenic beaches on the island. Known for its active nightlife, the southern section of the beach is usually crowded, day or night. A short stroll to the north end of the beach, however, offers visitors a quiet sense of solitude.
Peak season: August and December 20 to January 9.
High/Dry season: July, September 1 to September 15, Chinese New Year and Easter.
Low season: January 9 to June 30 and September 16 to December 2.
Rainy season: October/November – April
Bali has, without a doubt, the best range of accommodation in Indonesia, from Rp60,000 per night ($6) losmens to US$4,000 per night super-homes.
The backpackers tend to head for Kuta, which has the cheapest digs on the island. However, if the accommodation is located near a nightclub they can be noisy at night. One quiet and clean place in the cheaper category is Hotel Oka in Jalan Padma in Legian, only a kilometre from the nightclubs of Kuta and walking distance from the beach.
Many of the numerous five-star resorts are clustered in Nusa Dua, Seminyak and Ubud. Sanur and Jimbaran offer a fairly happy compromise if you want beaches and some quiet. Ubud's hotels and resorts cater to those who prefer spas and cultural pursuits over surfing and booze. Legian is situated between Kuta and Seminyak and offers a good range of accommodation. The newest area to start offering a wide range of accommodation is Uluwatu which now boasts everything from surfer bungalows to the opulent Bulgari Hotel. Further north on the west coast is the district of Canggu, which offers many traditional villages set among undulating rice fields and a good range of accommodation. For rest and revitalisation, visit Amed, an area of peaceful fishing villages on the east coast with some good hotels and restaurants, or head for the sparsely populated areas of West Bali.
From the traditional famed babi guling (a whole spit-roast pig) to Japanese, Chinese, Thai and American fusion cuisine, there’s always something to fill your belly in Bali.
Try the Potato Head Beach Club in high-end Seminyak for some multicultural dining in an unusual horseshoe-shaped building, or head to Gili Trawangan for the night market, where you can sample grilled king prawns straight from the ocean.
Make sure to order the Indonesian staple gado gado, a salad of boiled vegetables and eggs, at least once on your trip.
You can buy a 30-day visa on arrival for $35 USD. Money exchange at the airport can help you convert your currency. The departure fee you’ll be charged at the airport is 150,000 Rupiah (approx $17) . Only Rupiah will be accepted.
Australians are no longer required to pay $US 35 for a visa on arrival in Bali. Under a visa waiver program Australians are granted free entry into Indonesia for up to 30 days.
Bali is, in general, a safe destination, and few visitors encounter any real problems. However female travelers must take care and avoid carrying handbags or riding motorbikes, especially in the Canggu - Seminyak area, in 2016 there have been many reports of female expats, tourists and local girls being pulled from motorbikes (scooters).
Although the standards of healthcare and emergency facilities have improved greatly in recent years, they remain below what most visitors would be accustomed to in their home country. Whilst minor illness and injury can be adequately treated in the ubiquitous local clinics most overseas visitors would not be comfortable having serious problems dealt with in a local hospital, and insurance coverage for emergency medical evacuation is therefore a wise precaution. If a medical evacuation is required then patients are normally moved to Singapore or Perth in Australia. Jakarta, Indonesia's capital, does however have some high standard medical care facilities if seeking medical attention at a closer location.
Respect Religious Customs
Religion rules the roost in Bali. Don’t get your knickers in a knot when a street is blocked off for a ceremony or your driver pulls over mid-trip to make a blessing – this is all part of the magic of the island.
You can bargain for many items and services in Bali, but do so respectfully and with a smile on your face. You’ll know when the vendor has reached their limit, and at that point don’t push it. When in doubt, walk away – if the seller doesn’t come after you, you can be sure they aren’t prepared to drop their price any lower.
Tips Are Not Expected, But You Still Should
The Balinese people are lowly paid, and yet extremely generous and hospitable. If you receive good service, a small tip goes a long way. If you're with a group throw in a couple of bucks each, and learn to say thank you: 'terima kasih'. The locals appreciate you learning a few Indonesian words.
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