Bali brings to mind Eat, Pray, Love; Bali brings to mind a honeymooners’ destination; Bali brings to mind stretches of lazy beaches. But frankly, that is not all that Bali has to offer. People might at times tell you that Bali has become too commercial, and too tourist-y. But fact is that you just have to glimpse past the tourists at peak season, to see the real Bali that is still there, hidden from those who would rather judge than enjoy. When it comes to Bali, there are a number of places to enjoy and spend your time at. Places that cater to almost all kinds of people, no matter what their basic likes might be.
Pura Luhur – The Uluwatu Temple
With a sort of dramatic grandeur to it, the Uluwatu Temple is a temple perched on top of a limestone cliff (remember the movie cliffhanger? It’s rather like that!). Situated on an island that is most commonly known as the Bukit Peninsula, the area has some of the best beaches in Bali, with a number of surfing spots as well. The Uluwatu Temple itself is a majestic structure that was constructed in the 11th century, and was expanded by many famous safes since then. Climb a little higher near the temple, and you can witness some breathtaking views and the most amazing sunsets perched on a cliff over the Indian Ocean.
This is one of the most picturesque rock formations in Bali. Home to a popular pilgrimage temple, named the Pura Tanah Lot, the serenity offered by the place have made it a popular destination to visit. Known for amazing sunsets, the Pura Tanah Lot has a major cultural significance as well. It is listed as one of the seven temples that form a ring in the southwest of Bali. The best time to visit this area is during low tide, so you can experience walking across the water to visit the temple.
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan
Well known as Bali’s temple by the lake, Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, or simply Pura Bratan, is a major water temple of Bali. While most temples in Bali are perched on cliffs, this one sits serenely at the edge of Lake Bratan in the mountains near Bedugul. Water temples in Bali are said to service the entire outflow region. The Pura Bratan was built in 1663 for offerings ceremonies for Dewi Danu, the Balinese goddess of water, lakes and rivers. This temple is also dedicated to the Lord Shiva and his consort Parvathi.
Lovina’s dolphin tours are a very popular activity in Bali. Lovina just happens to be one of the best places in the world to go on a boat trip to see some frolicking dolphins. The tours can get rather crowded during the peak seasons when there are a number of people out for the same purposes. But it is truly worth the crowd when you are able to spot a school of dolphins jumping alongside your boat. These tours leave early in the morning around dawn. Lovina itself has an amazing backpacker scene to offer tourists where they can sit at the various cafes and relax with some live music.
Okay, you might be trying to escape the whole eat, pray, love, path to Bali, but Ubud is definitely one of the places that you cannot miss. Most of Bali’s energy and people are without doubt concentrated at the Ubud. Manmade gardens and parks, rolling paddy fields, nature, culture, monkeys, everything! Adventure activities are a plenty, and they include white water rafting, bike tours; or you could pop up to one of the numerous spas in the area; or even go shopping. Ubud really has something for everyone.
If these places are getting you ready for a visit to Bali, you should check out Part 2 of the top places in Bali as well!