Bali Island Of the Gods

Love, Dream, Enjoy, in Bali Beaches

This magical island, the Island of the Gods, is famous for its beaches, waves, magnificent rice terraces, its more than 10,000 temples, and its good vibes. It was the setting of the romantic drama “Eat, Pray, Love”, shot in part in Ubud, the heart of the “Mystical Bali”. Julia Roberts is set to star again in a “Bali” film, this time in company of George Clooney in the upcoming “Ticket to Paradise”. Shooting is expected to start in late 2021 and release is scheduled for Sept. 2022, so why not beat the crowds that this two huge stars will unavoidably draw to the island’s many beaches? Here is a run down of the best ones. Enjoy!

Best Beaches In Bali

Where is located the island of Bali?

Bali is located in the south-central part of Indonesia.
It is bordered by Java, to the west through the Strait of Bali and with Lombok, to the east through the Strait of Lombok.

What is Bali famous for?

Bali’s Beaches

Some of the Best Beaches in the World are in Bali.

Tanah Lot Temple

It is the most iconic Temple in Bali, built on a jagged boulder near the shore, rocked by the wave line, both mystical and mercantile and where some of the most picturesque sunsets can be contemplated in Bali.

Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu Temple, is one of the most important Hindu pura segara (sea temple) in Bali, dating back a thousand years.

Tegallalang rice terraces, Ubud

Famous for its exceptional beauty and proximity to Ubud, Tegallalang is one of the three most stunning rice terraces in Bali, along with Jatiluwih and Sidemen. It typifies the traditional Subak irrigation system, a cooperative water sharing scheme in place since the 9th century that mirror the Tri Hita Karana concept at the core of Balinese spirituality, the harmony with God, people and nature.

Monkey Forest, Ubud, Bali

The Monkey Forest covers 12.5 ha of jungle in the village of Padangtegal south of Ubud and is a natural sanctuary for the long-tailed Balinese Macaque, as well as a Hindu temple complex formed by Pura Dalem Agung Padangtega, Pura Beji and Pura Prajapati (Pura means temple in Indonesian). it is believed that the three temples were built around 1350. Hundreds of monkeys roam freely the park and the temples, fed and taken care of by the park staff. Owned by the Padangtegal community, the Monkey Forest exemplifies the concept of harmony between God, people and nature and the visitor will inmediately feel the peace and permeating spirituality of Bali.

The monkeys that inhabit the Temple are unruled and unruly: they will think nothing of taking snacks or sunglasses off you, disappearing swiftly up some bushes or trees with their loot. Stash all your belongings in a bag, keep your hands empty and enjoy the wonders of the place.

Two monkeys on monkey statues in the Sacred Monkey Forest, ubud
Two monkeys on monkey statues in the Sacred Monkey Forest, ubud

What is so special about Bali island?

What is so special about the island of Bali can fill a long list and will depends, of course, on each one’s own sensitivity. Loved by most, hated by a few nostalgic souls that seem to wish nothing should ever change (not in their ex-favorite holiday destination anyway), we think Bali is special for: its epic waves, legendary temples, magic soul, overflowing nature and waterfalls, kilometric beaches, tiny and hidden coves, rice fields, majestic volcanoes, beach clubs, Hindu ceremonies, and of course its friendly people.

Bali melasti ceremony, traditional umbrellas & offerings full color
Bali's Melasti Purification Ceremony

Which is the best time to visit Bali?

The best time to visit Bali is during the dry season, between March and October. And within that season, the better period is mid-June to mid-September, when temperatures cool down and the breeze is up. This is kite season: kids rush to any suitable field after school to fly the handcrafted, often huge, artifacts until well after dark. It seldom rains – but on an island, you never know… – there are fewer mozzies as the nights can be slightly chilly, and more people, as it is peak season. All in all, we’d say end of June or begining of September is ideal, with spectacular weather, and fewer crowds.

lempuyang, Gate of heaven, more than 10 m high, with views of the volcano Agung, built at more than 1000 m above sea level.
Lempuyang, Gate of Heaven, more than 10 m high, with views of the volcano Agung, built at more than 1000 m above sea level.

Where are the underwater statues in Bali?

In Bali, you can find underwater statues in many places, actually. Starting from the northwest, you’ll find some in Pemuteran, the gateway to Menjangan Island and the West Bali National Park, part of the Bio-Rock Reef Project. Further down the coast to the east, in Tulamben, right next to the USS Liberty wreck, in Amed, Jemeluk Bay, then in Nusa Ceninngan, off Bali’s southeastern coast next to Nusa Penida, and in Nusa Dua, off Samuh Beach. We can mention as well those in the Gili Islands, even if administratively they belong to Lombok province, in Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan.

Can you swim with turtles in Bali?

Yes you can. The most common species of turtle in Bali waters is the green sea turtle (Chelonia Mydas). While there is no guarantee that you will actually meet one, the best places to see them right off the beach are Amed and the Gili Islands. If you spend any significant amount of time snorkeling in thoses places, it would be very rare not to encounter at least one. Scuba divers will see many, in most of the dive sites in Bali. There are turtle conservation projects going on for some time now, supported by the Bali government in coordination with charities and local communities to stop the turtle trade in Bali, notably by the Bali Sea Turtle Society and the Turtle Conservation And Education Center.

Can you do a day trip to Gili Islands from Bali?

Yes it’s possible, but not recommended at all. The last fast boats leave the Gilis at around 2:30pm, which means you’d spend at most a couple of hours in the islands. Then you can book a day trip from Bali, but it’s expensive, at least 150 usd/person. Much better to spend at least a couple of nights there, book a day trip to go around the islands or just relax and snorkel or swim from the beach.

Girl swinging on a swing over the lush green vegetation of the mountains of Bali

How much does the Bali swings cost?

The Bali swings cost anywhere from 5 to 35 US$. New places are popping up at a fast pace, but here are some of the most popular and long-running:

Bali Swing

Located in northeast Ubud, it is the precursor and offers a full pack with buffet lunch & drinks for 35 US$. Booking is recommended.

Wanagiri

Jl Raya Wanagiri follows the mountain top right above lake Buyan near Bedugul and features a long string of warungs (local restos) on the right side of the road with their respective look-out terraces on the left side. Wanagiri Hidden Swing is 1km on the right from the road (well indicated) and has very good reviews. Expect to pay around 5 US$. Pack a jacket and long pants just in case as this area is over 1.500 m/3.300 ft high. The whole area is beautiful and worth a trip or two, less than 2h away from Kuta/Legian/Canggu.

Tegallaland

The famous rice terraces are an ideal swing place and there are several along the ridge. Around 10 US$.

Tegenungan Waterfall

A no-brainer, really, nice waterfall and swing/birdnest. Northeast from Sukawati Art Market and Bali Zoo, a very popular and refreshing spot. Quoted prices: 10 US$.

Why is Bali so cheap?

Bali is cheap because basic products are cheap and abundant, and wages are low. The minimum wage in the Badung district (Kuta, Legian, Canggu) in 2020 was around 200 US$/month.

Is Bali cheaper than India?

It’s hard to compare a sub-continent, India, to a relatively small island like Bali. For all it’s worth, the 2019 Asian Development Bank’s price level index estimates that Indonesia was 12% more expensive than India.

Bali, beautiful house with pool and garden with palm trees
Bali, Villa with Pool.

Is Bali cheaper than Thailand?

We feel that Bali is a bit cheaper for food and accommodation, although Thailand overall has better service and cheaper alcohol. According to the Asian Development Bank, Indonesia was 17% cheaper than Thailand in 2019.

Which is better Bali or Fiji?

Both are fantastic destinations, but if your economy is tighter, Bali wins by far. Bali is much cheaper and easier to get to. Both are beautiful but Bali, in addition to beaches, mountains and waterfalls like Fiji, also has more than 10,000 Hindu temples and endless rice fields and terraces.

How dangerous is Bali?

Bali is not dangerous at all if you keep a few things in mind.

The biggest killer – potentially – is the motorbike accident. It’s very easy and cheap to rent a scooter in Bali, around 3 US$/day depending on the rental length, no questions asked. Discovering Bali on motorbike has huge advantages like allowing you to travel independently & cheaply and frankly it’s too big a pleasure to pass on it. Here are a few tips to avoid going back home in a body bag or by medivac:

# Don’t drive drunk
# Wear a helmet at all times
# Be extremely attentive to traffic, potholes, gravel, stray dogs & pedestrians at all times
# Keep your distances, especially behind cars: a 4 wheeled vehicle brakes much harder than a bike
# Use extra caution when overtaking, most drivers in Bali will move laterally without looking 
# Honking or headlight flashing means ‘I will pass no matter what’. No matter what includes your limbs or your life
# Don’t ride over your capacities
# The median lane is purely decorative
# Be alert at traffic lights, especially when just turned green
# Don’t take traffic offenses personally  

Another danger that motorist can face in Bali is bag or phone snatching in the tourist areas, especially around Canggu. Not only will you loose your possessions but you can end up with some bad bruises or worse as the thieves won’t mind a bit if you fall off your bike. If you need to use your phone for directions, keep it close to your body or even better use headphones. Keep your bag(s) under the seat.

All in all, Bali is ultra safe outside of the tourist areas of the south and pretty safe around them granted you use a bit of caution & common sense.

Huge and beautiful two-story swimming pool in the mountains of Ubud, Bali
Hanging Gardens of Bali

What is the main religion in Bali?

Bali’s main religion is Balinese Hinduism, a blend between the Shiva sect of Hinduism and Mahayana Buddhism, practiced by nearly 90% of the population. Officially named Agama Hindu Dharma in Indonesian, it mainly differs from Indian Hinduism in that it is monotheistic, worshiping one God called Sang Hyang Widhi or Acintya.

Tanah Lot Tempel
Tanah Lot Temple, Bali.

What language is spoken in Bali?

Bali’s official languages are Balinese and Indonesian. Balinese is the native language, as its name suggests, while Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) is the official language of the Republic of Indonesia and come from Malay. Balinese is an Austronesian language that has some roots in Javanese, and can be written in Balinese script, derived from Indian Brahami, or since recent times in Latin script.

English is widely spoken around the island, especially in the tourist zones.

Tirta Empul Temple, Bali
Tirta Empul Temple, Bali.

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Indonesia

Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a secular democratic country of Southeast Asia and the biggest island country on the planet.
The Republic of Indonesia is made up of 17,508 islands, including Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, and parts of Borneo and New Guinea. Situated in the Coral Triangle, one of the major coral reef zones of the planet and a center of immense marine biodiversity, Indonesia boasts one of the world’s largest coastline, estimated at 55.000 km/34.000 mi by some and 95.000 km/59.000 m by others (a textbook illustration of the coastline paradox), enough, in any case, for a treasure cove of astounding and unforgettable beaches.

Best Beaches In Indonesia.

Where is Indonesia Located?

Indonesia is located between Australia and the Southeast Asian continent, marking the division between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It spans approximately 1/8th of Earth’s circumference across the Equator,  From Sumatra in the west to Papua in the East.

What is Indonesia famous for?

Bali’s Beaches

Some of the Best Beaches in the World are in Bali.

Raja Ampat, West Papua

One of the Best Dive Sites in the World. In Indonesian Raja Ampat mean Four (ampat) Kings (raja)

Borobudur temple, Central Java

One of the most important Buddhist temples in the world.
Built in the shape of a traditional Buddhist mandala in the 8th century.
This fabulous temple is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Komodo National Park

This national park was founded in 1980 with the intention of protecting the Komodo Dragon, a monitor lizard which can reach 3 m/ 10 ft long and weigh more than 70 kg/154 lbs.
In 1991 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, made up of three main islands and several smaller ones, as well as the surrounding marine areas. Its waters are some of the richest and most diverse in the world, as well as one of the best places to dive.
In 2011 the Komodo National Park was declared one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
Another of the highlights of the island of Komodo is its famous Pink Beach, a beautiful stretch of pink sand that is considered one of the Best Beaches in the World.

Orangutans in the wild at Borneo

Tanjung Puting National Park in Kalimantan, Borneo, was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1977 and a national park by the Indonesian Government in 1982. This threatened Biosphere Reserve is home to the largest orangutan population in the world, as well as other primates, birds and reptiles.

Jatiluwih Rice Fields, Bali

At about 700 meters above sea level on the southeast flank of Batukaru volcano, sit the largest and most picturesque green rice fields in Bali, covering more than 600 hectares.
These Jatiluwih rice field terraces are so lush and beautiful that they were designated a UNESCO Cultural Landscape in 2012.

Aerial view of the rice fields of Jatiluwih, Tabanan, Bali, where you could see the beauty of its tiered terraces of rice fields with different shades of emerald green
Jatiluwih Rice fields, Tabanan

Is Indonesia a dangerous country?

Indonesia is a safe country to visit, and the main annoyances faced by travelers are the petty thefts or small-time scams common to many worldwide touristic destinations. One important thing that Westerners should keep in mind: don’t ever make anybody loose face, especially in public. Keep your anger in check and state calmly your grievances. 

Is Indonesia an Islamic country?

With nearly 90% of its population declaring to be of Muslim faith, Indonesia is neither an Islamic nor a secular state, as it does not recognize atheism or agnosticism. The constitution guarantees the citizens’s right to practice their religion and recognize 6 of them: Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Confucianism. Sharia law is officially enforced in the province of Aceh, north Sumatra, as part of an agreement between the central state and the local administration that ended a separatist conflict between them in 2005.

Colorful Hindu offerings of wicker baskets, flowers and incense.
Hindu Offerings

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