Indonesia’s tourism industry continues to go from strength to strength. One of the country’s most popular regions is Bali, whose natural scenery, culture and temples continue to appeal. Furthermore, the island’s rising number of visitors represents a wider spread of demographics and types of traveller than ever.
The island has plenty of good publicity, meaning travellers looking for a Bali guide to local hotels, restaurants and entertainment are well catered for. Nevertheless, there are several attractions and activities any visitor ought to consider on their journey. Eight of the best have been highlighted below, showing Bali’s adventurous side as well as some of its more tranquil pursuits.
Tanah Lot Temple This ancient Hindu temple is the pride of Balinese landmarks. Yet while all faiths see representation through temple sites across Bali, Tanah Lot Temple’s location on top of a rocky outcrop is a big part of its appeal. The temple itself, with its intricately designed towers, is tucked behind rich vegetation. Steps carved into the stone give visitors a sense of scale as they climb to appreciate the architecture.
Tanah Lot Temple draws crowds of sunset lovers every evening. Over the ages, seawater has eroded the landscape around the temple, so it becomes an island at high tide. At low tide however, visitors can walk across soft sands to see it.
Culture in Ubud The community of Ubud in Bali is popular, yet still enough off the beaten track to appeal. It’s surrounded by rice paddies and has a rich history. Moreover, tourists visit Ubud due to its artisan heritage, seen in the handcrafted pieces sold here. Clothing and traditional food also give holidaymakers a reason to visit Ubud when seeking authentic Bali culture.
Ubud houses many of Bali’s best museums. Of particular interest is the Neka Art Museum for its paintings and sculptures, as well as its collection of keris daggers.
The Devdan Show Bali’s Devdan Show is a visual spectacle. It takes all elements of Indonesian culture, history, myth and folklore and combines them into colourful musical and dance performances. Highwire acts and acrobatics are mixed with dance routines and a few comedic touches in a two hour show that is available throughout the year.
Seafood at Sanur While fresh fish is easily found across Bali, visitors often favour the small town of Sanur. This coastal retreat has a promenade of seafood restaurants, where fresh catches of all kinds are served with ice and chilli. Tradition is strong here, and the usual method of preparation involves dishes being grilled over coconut husks.
The Love Anchor bazaar Bali has a bohemian side that attracts many holidaymakers. Of all Bali’s evening markets, Love Anchor in Canggu best summarises that feeling. Its fairy lights and neon are to be seen throughout its maze of stalls and shacks.
Visitors can expect to find everything from sweet treats and street food through to traditional artwork. However, the artistic side of the market is also seen in its New Age trinkets and handmade clothes. The food court and its nearby bars also host cut-price Happy Hours that tend to draw the crowds.
Waterbom Park Waterbom Park is a vibrant waterpark, with giant green slides like the Green Viper. It also has quieter rides and attractions for slower-paced guests. The racing chutes and Boomerang slide encourage bravery, while quieter picnic areas give visitors a chance to cool down. Although its a family destination there are plenty of adult touches too, such as the swimming pool bar.
The chocolate tour at Pod Bali Pod Bali is a local chocolatier that has opened its doors to tourists. It’s a fair trade grower and manufacturer, but also has become a local brand name that Balinese people enjoy. Tours take in not only the manufacturing process, but also farming and other elements. Conservation is a big part of business for Pod Bali, although visitors can still expect to take home lots of delicious treats.
Rafting the Ayung River The Ayung River is known for its natural scenery, yet it’s also got a lot of draw for the adventurous visitor. Whitewater rafting down this river whisks guests past farmland and tropical forests in groups of up to six at a time. Experts here are able to help beginners get to grips with the fun, yet the Ayung River is also popular with experienced whitewater rafters seeking a big challenge.
Altogether, Bali has lots to offer every traveller. With that in mind, its growing popularity hardly feels surprising.