10 Reasons to go to Bali
Dozens of ceremonies take place daily all over Bali, turning travelers’ lives into a never-ending holiday. Fancy dressed people carrying pyramids of fruit, fringed umbrellas and figures of Barong, a mythical lion dog covered in fur and wearing a mask. The temple procession disappears as suddenly as it appeared, shimmering in the distance in gold and white silk garments, leaving hibiscus petals on the road.
2. Come to your senses with the help of a spa.
A total reset for body and spirit or simply a desire for peace and quiet, visitors to Bali spend many happy days enjoying massages, baths, rubbing scrubs and incense, drowning in tenderness and bliss. Balinese massage techniques include stretching unhurried movements, rolling the skin, palm and thumb massage, resulting in a complete sense of tranquility. Try a banana leaf wrap.
3. enjoy Balinese food
It’s likely to take your breath away when you find yourself in a classic varunga (grocery store) to buy your own food. Dozens of freshly prepared dishes are sold here. The fertile soil provides a variety of products from which to prepare flavorful dishes. Local specialties like babi guling (roasted suckling pig marinated in spices for hours) will have you waiting in line again and again. Vegetarians will have their work cut out for them here too.
Surfing season in Bali is year round. This is where surfing in Asia began. Surfers scurry all over the island on motorcycles with board stands in search of the next cool break. Is the wave going down? Another awesome spot just five minutes away. “Your Wave” will be found here by professionals and beginners alike.
5. See Balinese dance.
The exact opposite of Balinese relaxation is folk dance. This art requires perfect precision of movement, which is not expected from lazy people who like to spend their time in beach cafes. The performer of the lehong, an incredibly beautiful dance, spends years in training, meticulously honing her movements, from her eyes to her toes. Every movement counts. Silk-clad dancers perform “stories” based on Hindu beliefs and customs.
6. Marvel at the scenery of the rice fields
Narrow strips of greenery curve intricately around hills lined with coconut palms. The ancient rice terraces of Jatilujih serve as a timeless testament to the love and respect Balinese peasants have for the land. In 2012, UNESCO recognized the area as a World Heritage Site and included Bali’s tradition of risk cultivation on its list.
7. Get to know Kuta Beach.
Bali’s tourism began here, which comes as no surprise at all: the wide arc of sand from Kuta goes to the misty horizon northwest to Echo Beach. The surf, which started far out in the Indian Ocean, crashes against the shore in long, even waves. You can walk all 12 kilometers of sandy shore in the south, enjoying a foot massage, or revel in pleasant solitude in the north.
8. Spend the night in the clubs of Kuta
The night starts in a trendy cafe or open-air bar in Seminyak, where everything looks a little more beautiful thanks to the flickering candles and mesmerizing house music. Then you have to move to the clubs of Kuta. Here world-class DJs spin popular sets. In the morning you will be disastrously exhausted, but cosmically happy.
9. Scuba diving
Feel yourself quite small when a manta ray floats over your head, obscuring the light of the sun. Or catch a glimpse of a two-and-a-half-meter moonfish staring at you, frozen in place and watching you. Nusa Penida is just one of the many dive sites in Bali.
10. Go crazy with beauty in Ubud
Known for books and movies, Ubud, Bali’s artistic center, exudes an irresistible spiritual beauty. The streets are lined with galleries of famous and not so famous artists. Remarkable performances showcasing the island’s rich culture grace dozens of stages each night. Museums exhibit the work of artists who have found inspiration in this land. Ubud is a state of mind and a beautiful human existence.
10 reasons to go to visa-free Indonesia right now
The Buddhist complex of Borobudur, one of the largest religious buildings in the world, may not have survived to this day. Thousands of years ago, after the eruption of the volcano Merapi, people left these places, and the temple sank into oblivion for many centuries. It was not until 1815 that this grandiose architectural complex, covered in layers of volcanic ash and almost completely swallowed up by the jungle, was discovered. A century and a half later a major restoration began under the auspices of UNESCO. Details of the excavations, a mini-copy of the temple and other interesting materials from the history of Borobudur can be seen in the museum of the same name, which is located on its territory. The temple itself is best visited at dawn, when the Buddhist complex looks especially magical in the rays of the rising sun.
Find the cabin where Gilbert lived
The story of journalist Elizabeth Gilbert, who set out to find herself in various parts of the world, is known to almost every woman “slightly over 30”. The third point of her route was the blessed island of Bali, where among the lush vegetation, the journalist found harmony and love. Finding the villa in the town of Ubud where Elisabeth lived was easy. Although, according to rumors, the house is now in disrepair and can not be rented. Spiritual seekers gather in Ubud to devour an organic sandwich over musings about the end of the world, karma cleansing and meditations. They are accompanied by American female tourists, fans of the movie “Eat. Pray. Love”, dreaming to repeat the experience of Julia Roberts and meet here a dream man with the appearance of Javier Bardem.
Climbing the most picturesque active volcano.
Trekking to the puffing and smoking giant Bromo is a popular tourist attraction on the island of Java. It is located in the huge Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, next to a couple of other volcanoes. The view of Bromo and its neighbor Semeru is without exaggeration one of the most spectacular in the world. You can get to the top on your own. The road goes through a cosmic lava sea, past a Hindu temple, and then up the steps – right to the edge of the crater. If you’re too lazy to climb the mountain, but want a view, take a jeep tour of Mount Penanjakan. You can also stay in one of the hostels (from $ 15) in the vicinity of Bromo. This is convenient because the most memorable hikes are best started before sunrise.
To master surfing
In Kuta, a small but very popular village on the southern tip of Bali, everything revolves around surfing. Professionals come here to catch the best waves, beginners – to master the board in a week of training. There are plenty of surf schools (one of the most famous – Endless Summer, where the guys from Comedy Club took surfing lessons), long beaches are literally filled with dozens of huts with rental boards for every taste, and in the evenings in cafes and restaurants peek exceptionally tanned macho. The best time to surf is from May to September, when the beaches and water are cleaner and the waves are bigger and more powerful.
Hike through a real jungle
Gunung Leuser is a national park in northern Sumatra. It is a real jungle, home to 105 species of mammals – tigers, rhinos, elephants and orangutans – as well as nearly 313 species of birds and 100 species of reptiles. In 2004, the park was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as the Tropical Rainforests of Sumatra. The main type of tourism here is trekking accompanied by Sumatran guides. The trail winds its way through rubber tree and palm plantations, mountain ranges and impenetrable jungle where daylight can barely penetrate the dense foliage and vines entangle your hands and feet. The route can be of any complexity and duration from three hours to fourteen days. Prices for trekking tours start at 15 euros.
Ride a boat on a giant volcanic lake
There is a body of water on the island of Sumatra that is striking in its scale. This is Toba, the world’s largest volcanic lake. According to some estimates, it was formed about 69,000-77,000 years ago by a colossal eruption of the volcano of the same name. Its area is 1,700 square kilometers, the maximum width – 30 kilometers, and the depth in some places reaches half a kilometer. The lake is worth spending a couple of days swimming in the volcanic waters, ride a boat and get acquainted with the traditions of the local Batak tribe. You can stay at a hotel on Samosir Island, which is located in the center of the lake.
Find out what real idleness is.
Gili is a chain of tiny islets nestled next to the island of Lombok. There is virtually no civilization, traffic and high hotels – only azure waters, soft and white as flour sand and “sweet” landscapes in the style of advertising Bounty. The main pastime on Gili – idleness and relaxation: tourists lounging in a lounge chair, listening to music, watching the sunsets or lazily somersault in the coastal waves. Sometimes you can go snorkeling or diving, eat pizza or watch a movie for a change. Or go to a bar or a raucous party on the biggest island, Gili Trawangan.
Catch the most beautiful sunsets in Indonesia
“Tanakh Lot” literally means “Land at Sea. And indeed, this extraordinarily beautiful temple sits on a small rock in the middle of the ocean. It was built in the XV century on land, but over time the land and the rocks were swallowed by the ocean, and now the way to the temple is open only at low tide. Tanah Lot is a temple for the faithful, but tourists can wander at its feet and look at the holy spring. It is best to come here by five pm, when the sun goes down the sky begins to shimmer in all the colors of the rainbow and the temple itself is beautifully reflected in the sea water. It is believed that at this time you can catch the most beautiful sunsets in Indonesia. Those who are afraid of bad weather should stay in advance at the hotel Dewi Sinta, which is located 200 meters from the shore (from $ 40 per day).
Find a slice of Europe in the center of the South Asian metropolis
Old Batavia is a place that reminds you that Jakarta was once the capital of the Dutch colony. It has well-preserved European-style streets and houses with rust-red tiled roofs, a fortress, city walls and canals arranged in the manner of Amsterdam. The center of the old city is a paved stone square Taman Fatahila. Here is the City Hall, inside which is the Historical Museum of Jakarta with very interesting exhibits. Another interesting building in the square is the Palace of Justice with a portico in the typical Greek style and tall colonial windows. Nearby is the Puppet Museum, housed in a former Christian church. A little further on, if you go in the direction of the port of Sunda Kelapa, you can see the only surviving Dutch drawbridge (Chicken Market Bridge), built in the 17th century.
Watch for giant lizards
At first the stories about the existence of giant dragons on a distant island in eastern Indonesia were treated with disbelief – it was hard to imagine that in the XX century there are still animals on Earth unexplored by science. And only a few years later, they became interested in scientists who, as part of a special expedition, went to the island of Komodo – to see with my own eyes huge reptiles. These lizards are predators. They eat mostly carrion – deer and wild boars. And they only need to bite the victim once and quietly wait for its death – the saliva contains a large number of enzymes and bacteria that cause blood poisoning and, consequently, death. Therefore, to move on the island can only along certain routes and must be accompanied by a local ranger.