Vacation Review in Bali, Indonesia: What to See, Main Attractions, and Interesting Places in Bali, Bali Photos, and How to Get to the Island.
Before my trip, driven by eagerness for experiences, I compiled a list of about two dozen must-visit places. Upon arrival, I discovered an additional set of equally captivating, though less prominent, spots. Now, if asked to highlight what stood out and etched into my memory, I would point to the following eight locations, each worthy of separate exploration.
The town of Ubud, immortalized in the famous book “Eat, Pray, Love” (which I skipped for its overtly girlish tone), encapsulates the true Balinese atmosphere. Here, all Balinese accents converge meticulously – temples, rice terraces, restaurants, Balinese dances, quaint streets, and even a monkey forest.
With excellent infrastructure in terms of hotels, transportation, and recreational spaces, Ubud emerges as an ideal destination for quality leisure. The absence of a beach is compensated by an hour’s scenic drive to the island’s shores, conveniently connecting to Bali’s main attractions.
Pura Besakih Temple (Pura Besakih)
Pura Besakih, Bali’s main temple, didn’t entirely captivate me due to its overly touristy atmosphere and occasional solicitation for paltry sums. Nevertheless, this millennium-old temple merits a dedicated visit.
Mount Batur and Mount Agung
Our strong desire to ascend Mount Batur and Mount Agung was thwarted by the weather. While the coastal region basked in splendid March weather, torrential rain enveloped the mountains. For those aspiring to conquer the volcanoes, planning a trip to Bali between May and September is advisable.
Ulun Danu Temple on Lake Beratan
Balinese temples may seem similar, like Easter eggs, but Ulun Danu distinguishes itself as one of the primary water temples in Bali. It stands as a picturesque edifice in a beautiful lakeside setting. Sunrise enhances its beauty, offering a serene view with minimal tourists. The temple’s image even graces the 50,000 Indonesian Rupiah note.
Located in the homonymous village on the southwest coast, Changgu Beach is a day-trip-worthy spot. Marvel at the beaches with black volcanic sand, gaze at the ocean, spend the evening in a seaside restaurant, witness the sunset, and momentarily forget all your current concerns.
It’s not a classic attraction; it’s just exceptionally pleasant. Booking accommodation in advance is wise due to Bali’s increasing popularity.
Tanah Lot Temple (Pura Tanah Lot)
Another famous Balinese temple, Tanah Lot itself may seem ordinary, but its location warrants an evening visit. If fortunate with the sunset, your trip to Bali will feel justified. Monks indeed know how to choose sites for building temples, even if the downside is the large crowd, surpassing even Pura Besakih. Regardless, the location merits a special visit.
Uluwatu Temple (Pura Ulu Watu)
The temple itself might go unnoticed, as it is as small as the colossal and majestic cliffs on which it stands. Spend hours observing the brief life of ocean waves, shifting your gaze from the water to the looming cliffs, and then back to the waves. Ulu Watu even offers secluded spots where only local monkeys share the view with you.
Not just a single waterfall, but an entire cascade of over a dozen waterfalls in the mountains near Lake Beratan. The best time to visit is during the dry season, from April to October. While February to April offers a more impressive flow, it requires a full day, including the round trip. Nearby is the less scenic but more frequented Git Git Waterfall. If time allows, visit both; if choosing is necessary, Sekumpul is the unequivocal choice.
Moreover, I recommend reading a couple of informative Bali travel reports, renting a car with a driver (around $50/day), and exploring the route, witnessing all these attractions along with a dozen excellent Balinese beaches.
Finding Affordable Accommodation on Bali Island
Hotels or apartments in Bali can be found through the familiar Booking.com – Bali. We prefer it over Agoda as it doesn’t charge upfront and offers better prices.
Getting to Bali Island
The most convenient route to the Indonesian island of Bali is often through Singapore. Airfare from Kiev can be purchased directly from airline websites, but availing flight deals from aggregators like Aviasales is more economical. From Singapore to Bali (Denpasar), the popular Asian low-cost carrier Air Asia operates flights.