Millions of tourists flock to Bali each year to experience the island’s rich tapestry of culture, history and natural beauty. The enchanting shores of "the Island of Gods" encircle a wide range of attractions to satisfy every kind of traveller, from those on a quest for adventure to those seeking some blissful hours of relaxation lounging on a secluded beach.
Bali lies approximately two miles off the east coast of Java, and stretches a little over 100 kms from north to south. Due to the island’s relatively modest size, it is easy to get from one attraction to another and to visit the many beaches along the coastline, even on a shorter stay. The best way to get around the island is with your own transport, whether you hire a motorbike, car or even a vehicle with your own personal driver, which can be the most comfortable and safe option. Investing in your own transport also allows you access to the island’s more remote sights, which are not within reach of public transport, as well as offering you the freedom to feast your senses on the island’s geographical splendour at your own pace.
First and foremost, it is Bali’s supreme natural beauty that charms so many visitors each year. The island is home to magnificent mountains, colourful coral reefs, remarkable terraced rice fields and even an active volcano, Mount Agung, also known as “Mother Mountain” and the highest mountain in Bali at 3,031 metres.
Nature lovers will also enjoy a relaxing morning stroll through the island’s botanical gardens, which are set within 158 hectares of lush, fertile land. Visitors can refresh themselves by indulging in the fresh milk of a young coconut after feasting their eyes on the 2000 plant species that can be found in the gardens.
For visitors who enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life, the beach resort of Kuta is a favourite location, while Ubud, situated just north of the provincial capital Denpasar is a more spiritual retreat towards the centre of the island. Ubud is recognised as the island’s window into Balinese culture, and is the site of traditional music and dance shows, as well as a range of courses for visitors to fully immerse themselves in Bali’s heritage. There is an assortment of historical sites and villages in the countryside surrounding Ubud, much of which remains pristinely dotted with majestic coconut trees and carpeted by rice paddies.
For visitors on more of a spiritual journey, Bali boasts a selection of impressive temples. Besakih Temple has been distinguished as the island's mother temple for more than 1,000 years, and is perched on the slopes of Mount Agung. This unique complex actually comprises 86 temples, while down on the coast, Tanah Lot and Uluwatu are iconic temples, both of which serve as impressive foregrounds for the vivid colours of sunset. An amphitheatre and monkey forest are also situated near to Uluwatu for those who have made the journey to the area to enjoy.
Bali is also a favourite destination with animal lovers. Bali Safari & Marine Park is home to over 60 different species, all of which roam within enclosures designed to imitate their natural habitat as closely as possible. Regular animal shows also provide excellent entertainment for families with young children, including Bali Elephant Safari Park north of Ubud, which provides visitors with the chance to see the magnificent creatures up close.
The range of cultural, natural, spiritual and commercial Bali attractions is certainly vast, which is why visitors return year after year to experience and enjoy one of Southeast Asia' most fascinating and welcoming holiday destinations.
Posted by Max Vee