How many of you have read the book “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert or watched the movie with the same name as book starring Julia Roberts. If you have then I am so sure that you must be having Bali in your must visit place.
Believe me friends Its really a must visit place for any tourist. Surround by the blue sea and having the beautiful landscape, Bali offers a relax environment to its visitors.
I had read about Bali before I visited it in 2009, but believe me I enjoyed more then what I had thought. Here I am giving you the beautiful account on the beauty of the Island Bali and Travel Information to make your Visit smooth.
Eat Pray Love : Bali
Some Basic Information:
Where is it : Bali is an Indonesian island located in the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. It is one of the country's 33 provinces with the provincial capital at Denpasar towards the south of the island (strictly speaking, the province covers a few small neighbouring islands as well as the isle of Bali).
The island of Bali lies 3.2 km (2 mi) east of Java, and is approximately 8 degrees south of the equator. Bali and Java are separated by the Bali Strait. East to west, the island is approximately 153 km (95 mi) wide and spans approximately 112 km (69 mi) north to south; its land area is 5,632 km
Religion: Majority Hindu , Though Indonesia is a Islamic country
People in Bali : - Native Bali people are simple ,calm and quiet in nature. They are mostly indulge in agriculture, art and tourism industry. They believe in ‘Karma’ means if one is doing bad thing in this life then the God will punish him/her in this life or in future life. That’s why people believe in good deed.
Geography: Bali's central mountains include several peaks over 3,000 metres in elevation. The highest is Mount Agung (3,142 m), known as the "mother mountain" which is an active volcano. Mountains range from centre to the eastern side, with Mount Agung the easternmost peak. Bali's volcanic nature has contributed to its exceptional fertility and its tall mountain ranges provide the high rainfall that supports the highly productive agriculture sector. South of the mountains is a broad, steadily descending area where most of Bali's large rice crop is grown. The northern side of the mountains slopes more steeply to the sea and is the main coffee producing area of the island, along with rice, vegetables and cattle. The longest river, Ayung River, flows approximately 75 km.
The island is surrounded by coral reefs. Beaches in the south tend to have white sand while those in the north and west have black sand. Bali has no major waterways, although the Ho River is navigable by small sampan boats. Black sand beaches between Pasut and Klatingdukuh are being developed for tourism, but apart from the seaside temple of Tanah Lot, they are not yet used for significant tourism.
Language : Bahasa Indonesia , People related to tourism and hotels can speak little English.
Travel Plan :
Suitable Time to Visit: Best : June to September (Clear and dry weather ) , Second Best – April – May and October – November ( Clear Sky at day time with late night and early morning shower )
How to Reach Bali:
Airport - Bali Airport (Ngurah Rai) Denpasar . It takes 2 1/2 hours in flight from Singapore , 4,5 hrs flight time from Bangkok , From Darwin, Australia – 2 Hours 11 Mins , from Sydney, Astralia 5 Hours 15 mins
How many days are required to enjoy Bali – Minimum 3 days required to see Bali and if you are able to make the plan of 5 days that would be good enough.
Use this interactive map to see the location of the places to visit
What to See in Bali :-
The whole of Bali is such Island that you can go any part of it and come back to your staying place on the same day .We have divided the attractions into two parts .The first part is having the must see attraction. Which you can plan if you are planning Bali for 3 days. The Second part is consisting the other attractions:
Must See Attractions –
1. Nusa Dua Beach – It’s situated on the southern part of Bali. Clean white beaches, clear water. The white sand and shallow water is Ideal for swimming , sun bathing and water sports.
Geger Beach is the public beach in Nusa Dua. This splendid white sand beach at the western edge of the enclave retains lots of the character that is missing in the sanitised Nusa Dua resort zone. Generally safe for swimming and some beach side warungs. The restaurant, beachbeds and massage ladies all work for the local cooperative. By supporting them you support the locals. Geger has a cooling breeze as it is one of the few beaches facing east and because ofv the reef far out from the beach it has some of the warmest water temperatures in Bali
Many companies in Nusa Dua offer water sports activities (banana boat, parasailing, jetski, diving, flying fish, etc). You can book directly on the beach at Nusa Dua or Tanjung Benoa, or have your hotel organise for you. All the operators work together to ensure that there is very little (if any) price difference. Expect to pay about US$25-30 for most activities; Point here to be noted is you can just go to the beach and according to your selected sports and number of the members in the group you can do bargaining and can get a good deal or package.
If you are really enjoying the beach you can easily spend 3 to 4 hours over there.
2. Uluwatu - Pura Luhur Uluwatu is one of Bali's kayangan jagat (directional temples) and guards Bali from evil spirits from the SW, in which dwell major deities, in Uluwatu's case; Bhatara Rudra, God of the elements and of cosmic force majeures. Bali's most spectacular temples located high on a cliff top at the edge of a plateau 250 feet above the waves of the Indian Ocean. Uluwatu lies at the southern tip of Bali in Badung Regency. Dedicated to the spirits of the sea, the famous Pura Luhur Uluwatu temple is an architectural wonder in black coral rock, beautifully designed with spectacular views. This is a popular place to enjoy the sunset. Famous not only for its unique position, Uluwatu also boasts one of the oldest temples in Bali, Pura Uluwatu. It is advisable to arrive here before sunset to have a look around. The view from Uluwatu is amazing. The best place to see the sunset.
Uluwatu is also famous for sea surfing sports. Comfortable spot to survey the vast Indian Ocean
Monkey issue – Uluwatu is having monkeys .some people rate this place as not so good because of the monkeys ,but believe me this is worth to visit .Do be aware of the monkeys here as they will attempt to take anything you are carrying including glasses and cameras. Keep everything inside your bag. Don’t show up anything eatable or even water bottles; keep your sunglasses, cell phones safe inside the bag. Don’t provoke them, and then they will not harm you just as the sun sets you can watch the Kecak dancing and some cultural programme.
3. Ubud - Ubud is Bali's cultural heart This area is located in the cool mountains, just one hour's drive north of the airport. Ubud a flourishing arts centre. Most of Bali's museums and galleries are centered in Ubud, These museums and galleries offer paintings, woodcarvings, textiles and all kinds of souvenirs for viewing and also purchase.
I will suggest you to keep a budget for shopping. You can buy great piece of art on a very cheap price. I have seen in UK many shops during Christmas time sell woodcarvings from Bali Indonesia at a very high rate. I will recommend you to buy the art from the local artist rather than big galleries; they will offer you good cheaper price than the big gallaries and by buying from them you will directly support the artist. Get Ideas from big galleries and shop with local artist. You can find the local artist on the lanes of Ubud. Even if you are not buying anything but do visit Ubud to see the depth of the Balinese Art.
4. Kintamani - Kintamani provide a great view of the still active Mount Batur and its fantastic lake. Seven miles in diameter and sixty feet deep, Batur caldera is simply astounding . Kintamani is really great for day trips, trekking or simply for getting away from it all for a few days. Tour to Kintamani is a very impressive experience where Kintamani Area have very beautiful panorama located in plateau and also encircled by mountain atmosphere with the windblast from Mount Batur.
5. Goa Gajah (Gaja Cave means Elephant Cave ) – If you are interested in searching the roots of Bali’s rich art and culture. It’s a Temple complex dated back to 11th century.
6. Tanah Lot Temple – Tanah Lot Temple is 20 kilometers from Denpasar. The area comprises a wondrous mixture of natural beauty and sheer human effort. Here lies an idyllic white sand beach with crashing waves, complemented by a small yet majestic temple. This temple, known as Pura Tanah Lot, juts out to sea on a rocky background . At the base of the rocky island are poisonous sea snakes believed to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruders. The best time to see Tanah Lot is in the late afternoon. Tanah Lot attracts throngs of both locals and tourists daily. Most come here longing to catch a glimpse of the romantic Tanah Lot sunsets, a regular occurrence during the dry season (April to November).
7.Bedugul (Ulun Danu Temple ) - Bedugul is the name of both a small city and a mountain-lake resort area, Bedugul is located on the main north-south road between Denpasar and Singaraja in cool damp mountain country, an excellent base for walking trips around the lakes and surrounding hills. Bedugul is located in a high plateau at the center of the Island. Cool air and mists are natural for the place . Ulun Danu Temple is a beautiful Hindu Temple set in Beratan Lakeside with multilevel temple building. It is a famous temple in Bali and now many visitors are visiting this temple every day . Water tide in the lake make this temple unreachable; but it produce magnificent site to watch.
8.Kuta Beach - Kuta is now the tourist Mecca of Bali, popular mainly among the young and adventurous. Kuta beach is one of the first favourite beaches discovered by tourist. Coconut trees line on the sand beach as far as the eyes can see towards the north stopped by the runway of Denpasar's airport far in the west. Kuta Beach bustles with tourists' vendors and locals. It's the most popular beach in Bali and the island's number one party zone. The beach stretches as far north as the eyes can see. As short walk away north, the waves will invite to surfing. Rapid development and an influx of visitors haven't kept the surfers away and Kuta still remains one of Bali's best surfing beaches and a great place to enjoy a beach lifestyle. Its beaches are not suitable for swimming.You can learn surfing here.
So if you are a party animal and love to see beach side party and crowd this is the place for you. Else for calm and quiet beach enjoyment try other beaches mentioned above.
1.Jimbaran - Located on Bali's west coast, Jimbaran offers a small-secluded beach area, where tranquility and perfect peace is the perfect antidote to a stressful world. The land gently slopes away from the beach revealing exclusive celebrity haunts hidden under a canopy of leafy tropical forest. A popular spot for windsurfing and sailing small craft, which are available for rent, Jimbaran's grey sand and calm waters are attracting more people but the beach still has a sleepy feeling. You can visit garuda wisnu kencana cultural park to see the Mighty Garuda statue. Good place to take picture with .
2.Mount Agung (Besakih Temple )- Mount Agung is Bali's biggest trekking challenge. The most revered and the highest peak in Bali, Mount Agung stands tall at over 3100 meters. The Balinese consider Mount Agung to be the center of the world. All temples in Bali point towards Mount Agung. The Mother Temple of Besakih, with its uncountable steps, solemnly wait for the arrival of the gods and the goddesses, for when they step down from heaven, they come to Besakih by way of Mount Agung.
3. Lovina Beach - Lovina beach is really a string of coastal villages to the west of Singaraja. Escape from the hustle and bustle of Kuta to Lovina Beach located in north Bali, about 100 kilometers from southern tourist hotspots. It is well known as an excellent site for sunset watching, snorkeling, and diving. Darkly beautiful, Lovina offers quiet and calm, and is popular Asian tourists and those avoiding the hustle and bustle of the southern beaches. Lovina Famous for its early morning dolphin-watching boat trips.
Things to Do –
1.Surfing – Uluwatu and Kuta . You can learn Surfing in Kuta
2. Swimming and Water sports – Nusa Dua , Lovina and Kuta
4. Trekking – Mount Agung
5. Paddy Field – Must see Paddy Field on hill slops
6. Get spa and Message – at Nusa Dua.
7. Get Tattoo – At Kuta Market area
8. Sea Food – Lovina beach
9. Watch Dolphins – Lovina Beach
10. Watch Art – At Ubud
11. Shopping – Shop for Art at Ubud Road
Food – Bali offers you great Sea food .The food also includes lots of tropical fruits on platter
One of the most enjoyable elements of Bali travel is the food. When sitting down for a meal in Bali, you are often greeted by a pyramid cone of rice, beautifully presented with vibrant colors of fresh vegetables and skewers of chicken with peanut sauce presented on beautifully carved wood plates or banana leaves. When dining in Cities like Ubud, you will the restaurants often have few walls and when seated in the back you are greeted by stunning views of rice paddies. As rice is now harvested every three months in Indonesia, while eating a delicious meal it is not uncommon to see farmers and Balinese women working the fields, planting seedlings in the mud, or harvesting the mature rice by beating the grains loose.
Experiencing Balinese food is a memorable experience in an of itself. Open ponds with fish often surround your table as you sit down to crunchy stir fried vegetables, shredded coconut all in delectable sauces that keep you wanting to take another bite. Bali is filled with restaurants that offer an endless variety of food. There is of course, traditional Balinese cuisine, which offers enough variety of healthy, scrumptious menus to keep the palette more than happy.
They serve Excellent Coffee different in taste called Balinese Coffee. Many restaurents are serving food from the other part of the world as well.
For Vegetarians - The Vegan need to be bit careful because in Bali Egg is considered as Vegetarian food where as for many Vegans it’s not. Bali people generally serve rice and noodles with eggs, so if you don’t eat eggs then tell them beforehand that you don’t want egg in rice. In Kuta and Denpasar you will find some Indian restaurants which serve Vegan Food.
My Stay - We stayed at Hotel Virabali in downtown Kuta http://www.thevirabali.com/ . The hotel is very beautiful and comfortable. Rooms are also nice . Staff are friendly. Food is good. The location is very advantageous. The Hotel provide pick and drop facility from the Airport. Overall Good value for money.
I had good food at Tuban area of Kuta. You will find many restaurants and bars in this area.
Travel Tips –
1. Travel between April – September
2. Always carry Sunglasses , Sunscreen cream and cap in hot times of the day.
3. Bargain works great in Bali in almost everything like sports, art piece shopping , and Cab hire
4. Hire a Cab and book it for the site seeing.
5. Temples allow inside people with long cloths only (people wearing cloths below knee ) otherwise they give Sarong to drape the legs before entering in temple.
6. Beware of the Monkeys at some site. They can snatch things from your hands.
Love Land – So if you are looking for the honeymoon spot or a calm and quiet holiday with some spark of adventure or you are on a journey of self discovery – Bali is your perfect answer.
So we are not sure if you find the love of your life in Bali Like Elizabeth Gilbert (http://www.elizabethgilbert.com/eatpraylove.htm ) but we are very sure that you will fall in love with this Place.
Do write to me about your experience in Bali.
Do write to me about your experience in Bali.