An Indonesian island, Bali is known far and wide for the plethora of tourist attractions it offers. Bali has huge forests with volcanoes, stunning beaches, breathtaking temples, and many coral reefs and rice paddies as well. Whether you make the visit with your friends, family, or all on your own, one thing is guaranteed – you will have the time of your life here. So, here are the five best places you cannot afford to miss when planning an itinerary for this gorgeous island.
Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
Located away from the crowds of resorts and hotels of Bali, these rice terraces will take your breath away. They are situated against the backdrop of mountains and are spread out over 600 hectares of land. The landscape formed by these rice terraces can be enjoyed best in the evenings as you take in the sunset and the cool breeze.
Also known as the mother temple, the Besakih Temple is truly one of a kind. It is composed of eighteen sanctuaries that have individual historic and caste significances. These eighteen structures come together to surround three temples, each dedicated to one Hindu god – Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. The temple is located on the slopes of Mount Agung. The sites all around are truly spectacular. It is advised to visit the temple early in the morning, or if not possible, in the evenings. During these hours, the temple is quieter and you can take in the peace that surrounds it. Try to go there after reading up on its history, so that you can appreciate the architecture and the rituals even more.
Ubud Monkey Forest
As the name suggests, this forest is home to loads of monkeys, or macaques, to be precise. These monkeys are quite playful and you can watch then frolic amongst the trees, eating bananas, or simply taking a stroll by the pathways. But however tempting it may be, do not feed or go near them. You can go for a light walk and admire how beautifully maintained the site is. There are many intriguing statues and very ancient temples that will interest you to no end. Spend a long afternoon here in this forest sanctuary and get to know more about Bali’s culture. There is a vibrant market nearby that is worth visiting as well – you can shop for scarves, shirts, and many handcrafted gifts like bags and baskets.
There is a lot to see in and around Munduk. You can go for a trek, witness the huge waterfalls, have a taste of the incredible coffee of Munduk, and see the plantations there. From the cafes that dot Munduk, you can get some impressive views of the mountains and greenery all around. You can also visit the well-known temple of Pura Ulun Danu Bratan. You can watch the local people pray in their beautiful ethnic clothes. Munduk is thus not at all skippable, so make sure you plan it out well in time.
Kintamani is a village that is nestled amongst the mountains. You can spend time with the locals and get to know more about the surrounding areas from them. This village is home to the famous Mount Batur as well. Mount Batur is known to be the second tallest peak in all of Bali. You can go for hikes early in the mornings and enjoy the mountain air and the scenic sunrises. Be sure to carry some woollens as it can get really chilly at the top of the summit. The dark molten rocks and the slopes shaped by lava are quite visible and very interesting to look at. The volcano situated there is actually active to this date – and it has erupted over twenty times in the past 200 years.
A trip to Bali is exciting and relaxing – all at once. But in order to make the trip even more memorable, try to plan the trip in the months between May and August. You can get around the island in taxis easily, but factor in the heavy traffic before heading out. Respect the locals and be considerate of their culture and privacy. Keeping these tips and places in mind, you can have a thrilling experience in Bali!