BALI – GODS’ MASTERPIECE
What makes Bali island so unique?
The people of Bali call their home island “Gods’ Masterpiece” or “The Dawn of the Universe.” Dream conjuring titles such as these have rightfully so made Bali the most well-known and recognisable island from the Indonesian Archipelago with millions of tourists from all over the world visiting Bali every year; some lured by its mythical beauty and natural harmony, others seeking the ultimate in leisure or the perfect wave.
Nowhere else in the world combines picture perfect landscapes painted with every possible shade of green, spectacular rice paddies, majestic volcanoes dominating the horizon, boundless rainforests, pristine secret beaches, crystal clear water and one of the most rare and adventure-filled coral reefs in the world. Three hundred thousand temples and shrines aesthetically intertwine with the architecture of centuries past. Thousand-year-old traditions and ceremonies attended by hundreds of participants followed by colorful processions are just some of the normal every day inspiring events that occur in Bali island.
Life is different on this magical island, time moves slower here. The Balinese keep themselves busy with daily offerings and humble prayers as the island’s air is filled with traces of frangipanis and incense. Sooner or later everyone falls in love with this place and sooner or later everyone comes back.
Have lunch with a view on Kintamani – the biggest volcanic crater in South East Asia, created by an eruption thousands of years ago. Inside this ancient crater yet another volcano has arisen – Gunung Batur, which is still active today. You can either enjoy some sunrise trekking here or make perfect hard boiled eggs by geothermal energy.
Pay a visit to the Mother Temple of Besakih – the biggest and the holiest complex of temples in Bali. Made up of 22 temples that sit on parallel ridges. Its high location over 900 metres up the slopes of sacred Mount Agung, offers spectacular countryside views with rice paddies, hills, mountains, and streams and gives Pura Besakih a mystical quality.
Find peace of mind in the iconic Ulun Danu Temple complex, which appears to be floating on the western shore of Lake Beratan near Bedugul. Ringed by a mountain backdrop and surrounded by clear reflective waters – the most picturesque locations in central Bali. “The Floating Temple” is dedicated to Dewi Danu, the water goddess.
Inhale Ubud vibe. It is hard to say that one’s visited Bali if you didn’t go to Ubud. For many, Bali is just and only Ubud, and there’s nothing more important on the whole Island. Ubud is a small city, located in the center and it’s recognized as the cultural, spiritual and artistic capital of Bali. Get ready to have an amazing time at an sensational destination.
Purify yourself in Tirta Empul Temple, built with holy springs and baths flowing continuously throughout the complex. Brahmins and locals from all over the island use this water to perform ceremonies year round. The Balinese believe in the water’s curative and rejuvenating power and, as a consequence, take ritual baths here along with prayer.
Ready for a spiritual experience? Climb the 1700 steps to visit the crown jewel of the complex – Pura Lempuyang. Located in the foot of the holy mountain, has a unique gate nicknamed “Gates of Heaven”, where you can overlook Mount Agung. The temple gives you a feeling of sacredness and automatically calms you as you enter… as if it has this magical power over you.
See the show! Every evening Uluwatu hosts a unique performance of the Kecak Fire Dance – an intriguing ritual collaborating the ceremonial chant of several dozen men with some scenes from Ramayana – one of the oldest Hindu epics. The Kecak dance can only be seen in Bali and its origins are ancient, pre-Hindu magical rites, serving a protective purpose.
Discover the unique Temple of Hanumann – the God in the body of a monkey, surrounded by the Monkey Forest Sanctuary. It houses approximately 600 monkeys which are known as long-tailed Macaques. Read the guidelines listed right at the Monkey Forest entrance and don’t underestimate their importance.
Head over to The Nusa Islands! 3 small coral islands: Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan are simply mesmerizing. Just a hop and skip away from mainland Bali (approx. 40′ fast boat ride), they offer a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of busy Bali locations. Expect raw places where you can immerse in real authentic local life.
See THE Sunset! Tanah Lot – a truly spectacular temple built on a piece of rock torn off the mainland and surrounded by the ocean. When the tide comes high it appears as though the temple is actually floating on the water. It’s one of the most scenic places on the ‘Island of Gods’, and can be pretty crowded during sunsets.
Take a long stone stairway to reach a XI century temple! Built on the top of a spectacular cliff that is over 100 meters high, the Uluwatu temple is dedicated to the Hindu monkey-god Hanuman, providing tremendous views for visitors and locals. The area is also a sanctuary for sacred monkeys which can be spotted all over the place.
Stroll around Jatiluwih – the biggest rice field terraces in Bali, which are placed in the Unesco World Heritage List. The breathtaking and serene scenery of villages at the foot of Mt. Batukaru serves as a soothing retreat away from the island’s crowded south. That’s a rare and precious thing in Bali! Be clever – take an umbrella for rainy and hot days.
Challenge yourself by trekking to the peak of the Agung Volcano which is the highest volcano on the island, believed to be a replica of Mt. Meru – the mythical residence of the Hindu God of Shiva. Trekking Agung with friends is sure to provide precious memories and a sense of accomplishment that will last you all a lifetime.
Explore Tenganan village, the last habited place of the Bali Aga people – the original inhabitants of Bali, who up until now are still practicing intriguing rituals of animism and Hinduism. Those who like Balinese unique tradition would find Trunyang village extremely interesting – the only place in Bali where the dead are not buried…
Enjoy a sunrise trip on the sea and capture some photos of jumping dolphins with misty mountains in the background! Consider traveling to the often-overlooked North Bali – the area is naturally quieter and more secluded compared to the central areas. Lovina has a nice black volcanic sand beach that stretches for a couple of kilometers.
Enter the cave of Goa Gajah – a Buddhism sanctuary from the XIV century. Locally known as “the Elephant Cave” because of its close proximity to the Elephant River. A mysterious cave, relics, and ancient bathing pools are set amid green rice paddies of Ubud. It’s a very important piece to the puzzle in the evolution of the Hindu religion in the area.
Explore the valley and look for the hidden path. Gunung Kawi, home to thousand-year-old royal tombs and the remains of one of the first Buddhist monasteries in Bali. An exceptionally beautiful place situated in a ravine surrounded by green rice fields, Gunung Kawi is the perfect spot for the ideal photography session.
If you want to swim in a real life sea aquarium this is the place to go! Snorkel in the North Bali National Park, have a couple great dives just off the island and explore wonderful underwater flora and fauna. Pulau Menjangan is a small uninhabited island accessible only by boat, an expanse of unspoilt wilderness where deer still graze.
Explore the sacred and secret Canyon of Beji Guwang Sukawati. It boasts remarkable rock formations and is a haven for those who want to enjoy some peace and solitude. Discover a secret gem for the adventurous, getting ready for 2-3 hour long trek. The slippery steep rocks can be risky to navigate, so be careful!
Prepare yourself for a long way down – 200 plus steep steps and lack of elevator to back up to a starting point. Still unknown to most people and only recently discovered by travellers, Tukad Cepung Waterfall stands almost virgin and unexplored, even though it’s getting popular on Instagram.
Take some rest! Located in Jembrana, West Bali, just off the Denpasar – Gilimanuk highway, Yeh Leh is not decorated with soft white sand like your ideal beach. These mysterious rocks have been smoothed over for hundreds of years, leaving few clues about their origin.
CURIOUS ABOUT TRAVEL?
Visit: Jl. Bypass Ngurah Rai Pesanggaran,Istana Regency
Park Block L no 6, Sanur, Pedungan, Kec. Denpasar Sel., Kota Denpasar, Bali 80223, Indonesia