10 Must Visit Places in Bali

There is a good reason why Bali is one of the most sought-after travel destinations of the world. A healthy presence of tourists and travelers all around the year stands as a testimony to the diverse nature of activities and attractions that this gorgeous Indonesian island has to offer. Although it is these days considered almost a clichéd tourist destination, Bali is more than just sandy stretches of party beaches. The island possesses spots that are abundant with culture and history, making it as much a destination for the quiet, observant traveler as it is for a raucous, adventurous tourist. Here, Travelme compiles a list of places that one must make sure to visit in order to take in the full splendor of Bali:

  1. Mount Agung: Bali’s highest point is this active stratovolcano. At an elevation of 9944 meters above sea level, Mount Gunung Agung is not only a sight to behold with its active eruptions that seem to roll down from the dense clouds covering the peak, the lush green surroundings, charming rice fields and the quaint neighboring villages, it is a crucial factor in controlling the entire island’s climate cycles. The viewing points on the mountain are accessible via motor vehicle, although one can choose to trek their way up. The lake that sits on the sidelines of the mountain makes for some perfect landscape photography. There are various eateries that surround the mountain, and one must also visit the Pura Besakih, a temple complex which is considered to be the most sacred place of worship on Bali.
  2. Legian: Located on the west coast of Bali, just to the south of the more popular, Seminyak, Legian is a suburban beachfront town that offers some of the best experiences of Bali away from the usual chaotic crowd that populates its more well-known spots. Conveniently situated hotels and markets provide easy access to both the extremely picturesque beach, and the reasonably-priced shopping stops. The Double Six Beach and the Julan Padma are Legian’s more famous beaches, replete with nightclubs and restaurants and some pleasant walking routes that make for an extremely relaxing beach-side strolling. Plus, the surf break at Padma Beach is distinctly less crowded than the ones at Seminyak, making your surfing experience all the more worthwhile.
  3. Goa Gajah: If you are looking for a place of historical importance to visit on your stay in Bali, then you simply cannot slip up on this 9th century sanctuary for spiritual meditation. Popularly known as the Elephant Caves, its stone-walls are engraved with some intriguing sculptures and figures. One can visit the expansive bathing site; spend time in the sacred Buddha temple where there its age-old rituals are well preserved for everyone to witness, or simply walk around the parks and water-fountains. Sarongs or full length trousers are compulsory and are provided for free at the temple entrance. However, it is advisable to visit the cave early in the morning in order to avoid the tourist rush later on.
  4. Bali Safari and Marine Park: Much like most of Bali, this “safari” park is much more than what its name suggests. With a variety of animals from all over the world kept in the best of condition, the park provides everything, from safari rides, to awe-inspiring theatrical performances by the animals that talk about the man-animal conflict, to thrilling meals in cage like restaurants with lions prowling around. The wide vista of attractions offered by this safari park-cum-zoo definitely justifies the expenses you will have to shell out in order to get a taste of this experience.
  5. Gitgit Waterfalls: Located in the Gitgit village on the Southeast Asian Island, these waterfalls that flow down from a dense green undergrowth at a stronger speed than expected, are a popular tourist attraction on the island. This is thanks to the abundant open space around the waterfall that can accommodate a number of people. It is accessible through the short walkable trail, and one can have a calming swim in the fresh waters below the fall.
  6. Bratan Lake and Temple Complex: Embodying Indonesia’s characteristic blend of fascinating geographical landmarks, and fascinating legends and cultural heritage, the Bratan Volcano is a popular tourist spot. It contains three caldera lakes, which are waterbodies formed in sinkholes created by frequent magma expulsion. The temples once again add a spiritual charm to the natural splendor of the site, making it a must-visit destination on your trip to Bali.
  7. Ubud Art Market: If Bali is a melting pot for tourists and travelers from around the globe, then the Ubud Art Market is the place where you would go to find the most assorted collection of items from across a vast international spectrum. Oil-lamps, ikat skirts, paintings, woven basket and statuettes are only some of the variety of items you can find and purchase in the market. It also celebrates traditional Balinese handicraft unlike any other shopping spot on the island, but you will have to be at the top of your bargaining game in order to get a fair deal on the products. However, the people, as always, are amicable, and make the whole experience a rather fun activity.
  8. Jatiluwih Rice Terraces: If you thought Bali was just a cool holiday island with beaches and pubs, then think again. Apart from being Indonesia’s cultural and economic hub, Bali also contributes to the island nation’s food production with its fertile soils and agreeable climate. The Jatiluwih rice terraces are one of the many examples of the thriving rice fields that dot the island, with this one in particular worth a visit to as a tourist. Nourished with the help of a traditional water management technique called subak, these rice fields are a cultural landscape that will help you get away from the hustle of the rest of the island, giving you the perfect opportunity to unwind as you drive 700m above sea level to the hills. Do visit the nearby temples such as Batukaru, and catch the extremely popular dinner shows.
  9. Ubud Monkey Forest: If you are one for off-beat adventures, then the Ubud Monkey Forest, with its crowd of the native gray long-tailed macaques, ancient temples, and winding forest pathways is just the highlight you need for your trip to Bali. Visit these quirky monkeys in their natural habitat, get to learn more about their health, breeding and eating habits, and visit the small sanctuaries of worship made sacred by the ancient inhabitants of the area. Other attractions around the forest include a bathing temple, the Ubud Royal Palace and a site dedicated to village funerals known as the Pura Prajapati.
  10. Pura Ulun Danu Bratan: While Bali is famous for its Cliffside temples like the Tana Lot, or the Uluwatu, the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan is one of its few lakeside temples. Situated at the edge of Lake Bratan, and surrounded by green forests, and overlooked by the mountains of Bedugul, this temple is a picturesque structure, with an 11-storey pelinggih meru dedicated to Lord Shiva. The spot is located 1200m above sea level, and one can go boating in the lake, walk around the immaculate gardens, and check out the local eateries. A couple of hours spent here away from the chaos of the island will give you the peace of mind one craves for, but doesn’t really expect to find in an island like Bali.