Bali is a little area with a big reputation. A province that you could circumnavigate in a day-long car journey, Bali still attracts travellers, due to its rich culture and stunning vistas. Famous for immersion in sophisticated art forms, such as painting, carving, and performing, Bali is a historic and cultural wonder. Still attached to its Hindu roots, you’ll stumble upon colourful offerings, ancient temples, and sacred dances wherever you go.
Slightly nervous travellers can relax. If you’ve always wanted to experience Indonesia, Bali is a friendly alternative to many provinces around the country. Here are some of our favourite, beautiful locations you must visit on your holiday:
Mother Temple of Besakih
More than one thousand years old, Besakih is the largest Hindu temple in Bali, and perches at the top of Mount Agung. An active volcano, Agung Mountain erupted in 1963, causing huge pyroclastic flows that destroyed many villages and killed roughly 1,500 people. Lava flows missed Besakih Mother Temple by mere metres. The Balinese people regard this as a miracle ordained by the Gods.
Unique, in that a Hindu of any caste may worship at Besakih, there are numerous sanctuaries and temples dedicated to Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu. Make the pilgrimage yourself, but try to reach the temple before nine o’clock in the morning, as tourist buses will be clamouring to wipe out the peaceful quiet of this temple.
Built in the 9th century, Goa Gajah (otherwise known as the ‘Elephant Cave’) has a façade that looks startlingly foreboding: menacing creatures and demons are carved into the rock face, watching you as you approach; but unless you’re an evil spirit, you have nothing to fear. In fact, this natural cave was designed as a sanctuary or monastery.
Later excavations uncovered an ornate bathing temple, complete with six nymphs holding water spouts. Within, you’ll find shrines to Ganesh, the elephant god, who is known as the ‘remover of obstacles’ and is the patron of arts, sciences, intellectual pursuit, and wisdom.
Sangeh Monkey Forest
Animal lovers will adore Sangeh Monkey Forest. Considered sacred, this reserve is heavily populated by nutmeg trees and primates. Hold on to your handbag tightly, as the monkeys are known for mischievous behaviour. Throughout the forest, you’ll run into meticulously carved statues and grand temples. Guide services are available, so compare prices on Bali flights today and make Sangeh Monkey Forest the first attraction on your itinerary.
For glorious beaches and even more breath-taking sunrises, Sanur is a palm-lined stretch of shore. Reefs protect the coastline from large waves, which makes this destination ideal for windsurfing and boating. If you’re looking for an area where you can get some R&R and then head back to the luxury of a good hotel, there’s plenty on offer in this region, after you’ve finished topping up your tan on the beach. Not all of us enjoy rough and ready accommodation on our holidays, and there are plenty of tourist facilities available in the beautiful Sanur.