What to see in Indonesia
A dreamy holiday paradise, Bali is the westernmost island in the Lesser Sundas, an island-group in Indonesia. Attracting travellers from across the globe, Bali stands out for its Hindu culture, excellent arts heritage and paradise beaches, as well as its reputation for having some of the world’s most beautiful resorts and hotels, making it perfect for a tropical escape like no other.
A holiday to Bali consistently tops the charts of bucket-list destinations and this modestly sized island encompasses lush rainforests, vibrant cities, highland sanctuaries and rugged Indian Ocean coastlines. The capital and largest city, Denpasar is the gateway from where most Balinese adventures begin. Ubud is the cultural heart of the island and a favourite of those who travel to Bali.
Here, a rich arts scene, bohemian vibes, lush hillside rice paddies and countless monuments, temples and markets attract creative types from around world. Seminyak, Nusa Dua, Kuta and Jimbaran are just a handful of the islands most-loved beach destinations, where sunset views, idyllic beaches and a year-round holiday atmosphere ensure the perfect setting for an unforgettable holiday, honeymoon or family getaway. A tour of Bali is all about exploring the distinct traditions of Balinese Hinduism, spending laid-back afternoons soaking up the sunshine on the beach and exploring the wildlife of the rich highlands.
There are simply so many things to see in Bali, it can be difficult to know where to begin. The sheer number of Hindu temples, picturesque beaches and curious cultural attractions form a dizzying array of things to do, but a few favourite sights stand out. Uluwatu Temple is one of Bali’s ‘spiritual pillars’ and a favourite place to watch the sunset.
Set on a cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean, Uluwatu Temple is one of the most authentic places on the island to get in touch with your spiritual side. Another unmissable highlight is the Taman Saraswati Temple, also known as Ubud Water Palace. Set amongst tranquil ponds, adorned with lilypads, this temple is known for its evening dance performances, which take place every night.
If you’re a wildlife lover, you cannot miss a visit to the Monkey Forest of Ubud during a trip to Bali. Home to hundreds of long-tailed macaques, these adorable monkeys have free reign amongst the verdant trees and sacred temples on the site. It’s a magical place and the perfect destination to get up close to Bali’s most famous residents.
When it comes to natural wonders, aside from the beautiful, rugged coastline and picture-perfect rice terraces, Mount Batur stands out as a must-see sight on a Bali tour. An active volcano, Mount Batur rises 1717 metres from the waters of Lake Batur.
It’s possible to hike to the summit and many choose to set off in the early hours to catch the sunrise from the peak. If you’re curious about Balinese culture, head to Batuan Village, for an authentic look at historic Bali, complete with traditional houses and architecture. The village is inhabited by craftsmen and artists who work diligently to continue the artistic traditions of their ancestors.