Place of Interest

Bangli
Bali houses Pura Kehen, Bali’s second largest temple. The temple has three courtyards connected by steps, and is decorated with carvings and statues. A large banyan tree shades the lowest and second courtyards.

Batubulan
Batubulan is home to a number of stone carvers. Divinities and demons carved from sandstone (Paras) decorate (and protect) houses and temples along the road that takes you from Denpasar. Batubulan also has excellent dance and theatrical performances.

Bedugul
The mountain resort of Bedugul is well known for its golf course and Ulun Danu, a temple which seems to rise out of the lake to present itself beautifully. Boats, water skiing, and parasailing are among the many watersports available in this area.

Besakih
The sanctuary of Besakih on the slopes of Gunung Agung (Mount Holy) is over a thousand years old and is known as the Mother Temple of Bali, the biggest and holiest of all Balinese temples. Steps rise through split gates to the main courtyard where the Trinity shrines, dedicated to Shiva, Brahma, and Wishnu, are wrapped in cloth and decorated with flower offerings. Around them, stand eighteen separate sanctuaries, belonging to different regencies and castes.

Celuk
Celuk is noted for silver and gold jewelry works. Their works are extremely meticulous and detailed.

Denpasar
The capital city of the Province of Bali, Denpasar houses government offices, banks, and many other offices. Yet it manages to retain its Balinese personality while its temples still mantain their presence and influence. Pura Jagatnatha, a temple dedicated to the Sang Hyang Widi (Supreme God), has been converted into a Musuem. The status of a turtle and two dragons in the temple signify the foundation of the world. The Pura’s architecture resembles that of a Balinese palace. It houses a fine variety of early and modern art.
Sanggraha Kriya Hasta is a government-supervised art center, home to a wide variety of handicraft and works of art. Werdi Budaya presents a yearly art festival between June and July, with performances, exhibitions, art contest, and other artistic activities.

Goa Gajah
Dating back to the 11th century, Goa Gajah is a cave temple believed to be built as a monastery. Two statues flank a demon head over the entrance, and a statue of Ganesha (Elephant) sits inside the cave. Further excavations have uncovered a bathing place with six statues of nymphs holding water spouts.

Goa Lawah
Nine kilometers from Klungkung is Goa Lawah (Bat Cave). Thousands of bats make the roof of the cave their homes. Its entrances are guarded by a temple believed to be found by a sage nine centuries ago.

Kintamani
The villages of Kintamani and Penelokan give a view of the active Mount Batur and its lake. Seven miles in diameter and sixty feet deep, the caldera of Batur is pretty impressive. From Penelokan, a road lead to Kediasan on the shores of the lake where boats can be rented to cross over to Trunyan.

Klungkung
The Javanese Hindu Kingdom in Bali, where Balinese royalty draws its blood line, sat in Klungkung. It is the oldest kingdom on the island, and its Raja the most exalted.
The ceiling of Kertha Gosa (Royal Court of Justice), built in the 18th century, displays one of Bali’s masterpieces. Much like Michelangelo’s The Creation on the Sistine Chapel, the murals portray the punishment of hell and the rewards of heaven, elaborated in thousands of panels of wayang style. The floating pavillion, garden, and lotus ponds are a reminder of the former glory of this kingdom.

Kuta
Once a lonely little village on the road from Denpasar to Bukit Peninsula, Kuta is now the tourist mecca of Bali, popular mainly among the young and adventurous. Coconut trees line the sand beach as far as the eyes can see towards the north stopped by the runway of Denpasar’s airport far in the west.The Sunset in Kuta is most breathtaking.
Accommodations in Kuta range from a modest homestay for a few dollars a night to luxurious, five-star, international hotels costing several hundred to several thousand dollars a night. The street of Legian, situated directly behind the row of hotels that face the beach, is lined with shops of all varieties. You can find any Balinese handicrafts here, from the least expensive to the most exquisite; or unique stores such as the leather store staffed by two young Balinese men that will perfectly sculpt for you a leather jacket. (They are all extremely talented artists, remember?)
At night, Kuta is alive with night life. Western influences create discotheques, dance clubs, and pubs. Gastronomical demands inspire a multitude of restaurants, serving traditional Indonesian and Balinese food to various ethnic meals from Japan, Switzerland, etc. As if these were not enough, various Balinese dance performances are staged in Kuta every night. One of the best Kecak performances is to be found in Kuta.

Mas
The village of woodcarvers, Mas is still the house of Bali’s old masters. A number of art galleries exhibit some of their best works. Mas is also known for its masks.

Menjangan Island
Located on Terima Bay, off the northwest tip of Bali, Menjangan Island offers beautiful scenery. The water surrounding it is known for beautiful coral reefs and its wealth of tropical fish.

Nusa Dua
Part of the Bukut Peninsula in southern Bali, Nusa Dua has some of the most beautiful and luxurious hotels on this planet, gracefully integrating the beauty of the white beaches and clear water into the landscape of the hotels. Ronald Reagan stayed here when he visited Bali. The beaches of Nusa Dua allow you to gently surf along the northern side of the peninsula. If you care for bigger waves, the southern part of the peninsula can give you a challenge.

Peliatan
Located between Ubud and Mas, Peliatan is the center of traditional music and dance of Bali.

Sangeh
The ten acres of nutmeg trees in the Sangeh forest are considered sacred. Two temples stand in the middle of the forest, and another at the edge. Monkeys heavily inhabit this forest, and are also held sacred. They will come to you when you visit the temples. Make sure you protect your handbags, etc as the monkeys will steal them.

Sanur
Palm-lined beach, curving from the Grand Bali Beach Hotel to the south and facing the Indian Ocean towards the east, Sanur is an excellent place to see the sun rise in the morning. I suspect this is where Nehru experienced Bali to utter “Bali is the morning of the world.” Offshore reefs protect the beach agains the waves, and makes it popular for windsurfing, boating, and other watersports.
Sanur is only a short distance from Denpasar, with public transportation readily available. It is one of the first areas where one can find good hotels, restaurants, shops, and other tourist facilities.

Seminyak

Seminyak is a mixed tourist / residential area on the west coast of Bali just north of Kuta and Legian. Originally a separate township, this is now just another suburb of Kuta. This area is very popular with resident expatriates and land and accommodation prices are amongst the highest in Bali. Plenty of luxury spas and hotels abound. Owing to its high density of high-end shopping, combined with the clustering of many fine eating establishments, it has rapidly become one of the most well known tourist areas on the island.

In addition to a few commercial strips with popular and lively restaurants, bars, villas and good crafts/furniture shops, there are a few notable establishments: Ku Dé Ta, which is a bar/restaurant with a cult following based on its beach side/semi-resort atmosphere that has earned it the title of number one party spot in various magazines, and Oberoi, which is an expensive hotel with a worldwide reputation. La Lucciola is a restaurant located in the north of Seminyak on the beach and has been in existence for over a decade.

Jalan Raya Seminyak (more often referred to as Jalan Legian), runs parallel with the beach, bisecting the district and acts as its main road artery.

Tampak Siring
Pura Tirta Empul is the temple of Tampak Siring, built around a sacred spring. The temple and its two bathing places have been used by the Balinese for over 1000 years for good health and prosperity; the spring water has curative powers. Regular purification ceremonies take place here. Additionally, the people of Tampak Siring produce artistic bone and ivory carvings.

Tanah Lot
One of Bali’s most important sea temples, Tanah Lot temple is built atop a huge rock, surrounded by the sea. Build in the 16th century, Tanah Lot’s rituals include paying of homage to the guardian spirits of the sea. Poisonous sea snakes found in the little caves at the base of the rocky island are believed to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruders.

Tenganan
The village of Tenganan maintains its ancient pre-Hindu customs through a strong code of nonfraternization with outsiders, helped by the protection of its surrounding walls. Unique offering ritual dances and gladiator-like battles between youths take place. Tenganan develops a unique technique of weaving, called the ‘double ikat.’ The people believe in the magical power of the fabric.

Trunyan
Trunyan is an ancient village in Bali, inhabited by people who call themselves “Bali Aga” or old Bali. They live in ways that are much different from other Balinese. In Trunyan, the temple Puser Jagat (Navel of the Universe) has an unusual architecture and stands under a massive banyan tree. Instead of cremating their corpses, the Bali Aga simply place them under this banyan tree. The odor of death is mysteriously masked by a special arboreal fragrance emitted by the banyan tree.


Ubud

Ubud is the art center of Bali, which maybe a hard concept to understand, given the artistic nature of the entire living in Bali. But the Raja of Ubud, historically, strongly encouraged artistic development, especially in painting. Ubud’s Museum “Puri Lukisan” houses a permanent collection of Balinese paintings, dating from the turn of the century. Dutchborn Hans Snel and American Atonio Blanco, among other internationally prominent artists, had both called Ubud their home. The Neka Museum is another excellent museum, with marvelous collections of traditional Balinese paintings by local artists as well as foreign artists who lived in Bali.
Ubud today expands to other arts. You should not be surprised to run into a foreigner who happens to be living in Ubud, meditating or soul searching for his next book or poetry collection. Most hotels in Ubud are small, homely hotels and homestays that will provide you with a room that faces the ricefields with bird sonatas togently wake you in the morning.

Yeh Saneh
Few people know of this idyllic spot a little further east on the coastal road. A few meters from the splash of the surf is a cool freshwater spring around which a large pool and gardens have been built.