Bali is a heavenly island of the Gods. The place where the scattered wealth and natural beauty blend harmoniously with diverse cultures. Both are pulsing in the rhythm in people’s life veins. Respect for cultural values and environmental protection was strong here.
The island also became a symbol of successful symbiosis between humans and fauna. In some locations, you will find a variety of nature conservation as habitat of various fauna such as is Lovina, the coast with friendly water for dolphins, Sangeh with its preserved ape kingdom, the bird park and wildlife garden located in a corner of the Ubud area.
Spur your adrenaline surge with a variety of unforgettable extreme adventure. Whitewater rafting through the jungle, surfing the challenging waves, enjoying the beauty of the underwater world by snorkeling and diving, testing the guts with bungee jumping or sling shot, is some of alternatives presented to challenge your courage.
Make sure that you really enjoy Bali in real sense. Begin the morning wherever you like, and end your adventure with a romantic dinner on Jimbaran beach, or enjoying music boom along the legendary Legian street.
Enjoy Bali this day forward, because every time you set foot in this heavenly island, you will surely find something new to enjoy. Moreover, at night in Bali was always too “young” to be concluded without exciting activities. Bali is the island that never let you fall asleep, even for a moment.
Art and Culture
Art and culture masterpieces of island have been legendary throughout the world. In fact, a prominent leading painter Antonio Blanco was “imprisoned” by the charm of beauty. Every joint in Balinese life is a picture of timeless art and cultural beauty.
Almost in every house, you will find the uniqueness of the offering for the gods and ancestors. Hundreds of temples with the different size and beauty coloring almost every inch of the earthy nirvana. Solid soil color mixed harmoniously with glorious golden nuance. Wrap of cloth with chessboard pattern provide the perfect accent on viscosity of indigenous culture of Bali.
Every day, you will find religious or customary ceremony that blends with daily Balinese activities. If you are lucky, you can witness the grandeur of Ngaben, the traditional ceremony for respecting for those who have passed away. Different reverence you can feel in the Village Trunyan where people send off their passed relatives through a unique magical custom. Spare your time to enjoy beautiful dances in conveying their charming yet meaningful dance. You can also witness to the historical moments in construction of the largest statue of Lord Vishnu on the island of Bali.
For the art hunter, you can easily find a variety of captivating artwork along the way or at some specific locations, such as Ubud area. Here you’ll find everything from antique classification, private collections, until the “low budgets”. Stay in control of your shopping desires or you have to add luggage to carry all the irresistible beautiful and luxury artwork you have chosen.
The Beauty of Nature
Do not let your eyes blink a wink when exploring the Island of the Gods, because Bali provides all the beauty of nature in front of you. Starting from the high mountains to the depths of the ocean.
Just look at the row of beautiful and charming white sand beaches. The swift waves will steadily accompany you surf. While in some other spot, you can enjoy the natural beauty of the sea using submarines and amazing sea walker. If you want to take a break, lie down on white sand and enjoy massage from the skilled hands.
You find here the beautiful natural view of mountain lakes can, by visiting the Ulun Danu Lake, Monkey Lake and Kintamani Lake. Towards Kintamani Lake area, spare a time to yourself to enjoy the expanse of rice terraces located around Tegal Alang.
Around Ulun Danu Lake, Bedugul, stand up an extraordinary architectural temples as a must-see tourism sites. Somewhere to the north a little, test your luck to be able for playing with a group of dolphins who were foraging near the sea Lovina Beach.
In the southern corner of the island of Bali, you can look at the splendor of Uluwatu Temple, perched on the edge of steep coral wall as well as the spectacular panoramic of Pura Tanah Lot.
In general, native of the Bali are friendly people. This is rooted from their religious philosophy and walked in their daily life. You can get a variety of useful information that adds value in your adventures.
The original inhabitants of Bali are mostly Hindus and has interesting characteristic in performing ritual worship. Inevitably, you will find many other interesting varieties that can only be found here. This is a form of cultural beauty that has lasted long peacefully.
Bali Island people fully understand that their daily life is also meant to turn around their economic wheel.This is realized through efforts for cultural preservation. One of them is by maintaining their hospitality smile that will always be remembered forever.
Culinary variety is part of the Island’s specialties. Lawar is one example. Your visit would not be complete without tasting this Balinese cooking. You can it in various parts of the island with it’s amazing taste.
Also, do not miss the appetizing “suckling pig”, salad seasoning boiledfish, bengil duck, jingo rice and betutu chicken. Variety of specially prepared snacks offers different tongue rocking sensations. For souvenirs, you can share exciting culinary experiences in the form pack of tasty and crunchy Bali nut.
Enjoying culinary in Bali not just talking about the tastes, but also a enjoying charming locations. On the island of the Gods, you can indulge your culinary tastes while enjoying a heavenly atmosphere you will not forget. As an example, try to enjoy a seafood dish with a romantic ambience at Jimbaran beach under bright full moon shone. Or, if you want to enjoy the warm atmosphere of the clamorous night, just go to the restaurant row on lively Legian street.
The island that you can explore in detail in the 24 hours will present an emotional excitement that you will never find anywhere else.Starting from the beauty of terraced rice fields before the harvest, the loyal white sand sparkle accompanies the sun entering climbing down to horizons, miscellaneous masterpieces of art, beautiful dynamic dance, the magnificent funeral of the noble, to the variety of appetizing foods.
Elephant Safari Park in Taro
Recognized as the World’s Best Elephant Park, this elephant safari park can only be found in Taro Village, Gianyar Regency located some 16 km or about 15-20 minutes journey from the north of the center of Ubud City or about 40 kilometers from the capital city of Bali Province, Denpasar.
This international standard elephant safari park is surrounded by a national nature conservation of about two hectares and is tuned into a facility for elephant conservation to live in nature almost like its natural habitat. All the elephants in this park were saved from their natural habitats in Central Sumatera and South Sumatera which are terribly damaged by human activities.
In this elephant safari park in Taro tourists are allowed to interact with the elephants by, for example, riding them around the path in Taro Village. Tourists are also presented with diverse activities performed these animals with long proboscis such as when they are taking baths and plunge in the water of the man-made lake, elephants taking a stroll around the park, or seeing them painting with their trunk.
Not only this, the tourists are also allowed to give food to the elephants and taking pictures with the elephants with a range of poses. The tourists can also have detailed knowledge on the elephants’ life and history and enjoy the elephant memorabilia in the museum of this tourism destination which keep a mammoth skeleton, the only one in South-east Asia.
Without any doubt, this Taro Elephant Safari Park is a must-visit place for those who come to take vacation to Bali and crave for a unique experience with elephants. Elephant Safari Park Taro is open daily from 8 am to 6 pm. Contact your reliable travel agent and booking service of the hotels to make reservation or you can directly book your hotel by calling 0361-721480. Don’t forget to bring your hat or sunscreen and antiinsect lotion if you are sure that you want to do the safari with elephants!
Kecak Dance Performance
Kecak Dance or the Monkey Dance is a Balinese traditional dance in form of drama which depicts a scene of Ramayana epic when the monkeys in formation helping Rama to fight Rahwana. This dance is performed by tens of men dancers who are in sitting position in a circular shape and with particular rhyme they chant a sound “cak” with their hands up in the air. This performance is so popular and a must-see piece of the tourists travelling to the island of Bali. Different from the other dance performances in Bali, Kecak Dance is specially unique since it does not use musical instruments to accompany the dance. This dance relies on the chanting of the dancers. The rhythmical chant “cak, cak, cak…” is composed in such a way that it become such harmonious arrangement which also include a number of remarks in between.
The dancers who chant “cak, cak, cak…” usually are half-naked (the upper body) and they only wear checks pattern cloth on their hips. In this dance, the sounds produced by the dancers give quite a mystical atmosphere for the audience. And the characters of Rama, Sinta, Rahwana, Hanuman and Sugriwa wear costumes like any other shadow puppet shows.
Kecak Dance is an outdoor dance performance which can be enjoyed in a number of place across the island of Bali. One of the favorite locations for this dance is the Uluwatu Temple in Badung Regency. To arrive at Uluwatu Temple we need only about 40 minute-drive from Denpasar. Kecak Dance performance in Uluwatu Temple starts at 6 pm or exactly before sunset every day. This dance is a 60-minute performance.
Barong Dance Performance
No different from the Kecak Dance, this Barong Dance performance is also a must-see traditional art performance equally popular among tourists in Bali. This dance can be enjoyed whenever and wherever you wish because it is available at all corners of the island of the goddess. Barong Dance performance only takes an hour and always starts with gamelan orchestra performance. It just doesn’t feel right to count out this dance performance when we travel to Bali.
Barong dance is performed by two men dancers, one plays the barong head and the front foot and another one plays the tail and back foot. There are so many variety of this mythological animal and they are regarded as protective animal; they can come in a head of bear, lion, tiger, wild boar, elephant, and keket which is considered as the king of the jungle. And for the mask, it is made of woods taken from ‘mystical’ places like graveyard and that is the reason why Barong is considered sacred among the Balinese Hindus.
Ngaben Ceremony - The Cremation of Hindu Bali People
Ngaben is a traditional cremation for the Balinese Hindus. This ceremony is a ritual that will help release the corpse to the life after death.
In this ceremony, the corpse is put in the casket just like a person in their sleep, and the families left behind will always think that way. No tears shed, because the corpse will go through incarnation or find their terminal rest in Moksha (free from death and reincarnation).
Tourists just do not have the luxury to always experience this one of its kind ceremony whenever they wish as this is a very rare event. Ngaben is not necessarily done immediately after someone’s death. The selected day for this staggering event needs to be discussed with the prominent and elderly figures in the area. For the people members of high caste, it is just usual that this ritual is done in three days after the death. But, for the lower caste people, the corpse needs to be buried first and then cremated. They usually perform this ceremony in groups and they come from the same village.
When the D-day comes, the corpse is put in a casket. This casket will then put inside a cow-shaped sarcophagus made of wood and paper. In a procession this cow-shaped coffin is brought to the cremation site. This procession does not move in just one straight line and this is to play tricks for the evil spirit so that they will not be around the corpse. The peak of the Ngaben ceremony is to put the whole structure of sarcophagus on fire along with the corpse. The fire is necessary to free the spirit from the body to help the reincarnation process.
Ogoh-ogoh Festival is held annually to welcome the Nyepi Holiday which fall in the month of March every year. The objective of this ceremony or this festival is to neutralize all the evil spirits so that they would not be a nuisance and to turn the evil spirits into good spirits for all the human beings in this universe.
Ogoh-ogoh comes in gigantic form, symbolizing evil spirit. The structure of ogoh-ogoh is made of bamboo and cement paper, whereas its form is taken from epic accounts from Mahabharata and Ramayana. But, now, many items of ogoh-ogoh are modeled by national or international figures widely talked about during the festival.
Before being carried in a procession, a ceremony is performed to pass on the spirit and soul. After the procession, another ceremony is held to neutralize the spirit and soul by putting the ogoh-ogoh on fire.
Ogoh-ogoh Festival is held for several days before the Nyepi Day arrives. Usually this festival is centrally organized in a venue in big cities in Bali or in the villages surrounding the city of Denpasar. Tourists are free to come and document this festival.
Riding Bike Along The Rice Field of Jatiluwih
This tourist destination is a large area of rice field typically Bali style, that is leveled rice fields (in form of terraces) which are so fascinating to see with its well-known Subak irrigation system (cultural and community-based traditional irrigation system of Bali). Jatiluwih is found in mountainous area of Batukaru in Tabanan Regency, about 40 kilometers from the center of the city of Tabanan or about 90-minute drive from the tourist center of Kuta. Thanks to its uniqueness, the terrace-shaped rice fields are enlisted for the nomination of UNESCO World Heritage.
In this rice field, the tourists can enjoy such amazing landscape of rice fields, streams and rivers, temples, and villagers’ houses by riding a bike. For this kind of adventure that involves bicycle, the hotel management can be contacted. Usually they provide transportation from and to the hotel. So, if you crave for something different during your vacation in Bali, just make time for this kind of adventure in Jatiluwih.
Makepung is a typical festival of water buffalo race in Bali. This water buffalo is a tradition performed by the villagers in Jembrana, north of Bali, every year (see the Agenda of Bali Tourism). To be able to see this festival, the tourists can visit Jembrana about three-hour drive from the tourist hub in Kuta.
In this festival, these water buffaloes which will take part in the race are given sufficient food and supplement to make them big and strong. Aside from such thing, these buffaloes are regularly trained in order to win the race.
During the race, these buffaloes will race on rice field-track led by jockeys. Those competing animals have quite fantastic value. The price for a pair can reach 50 million rupiah and this price will keep on rising when they win a race.
Apart from its cultural diversity, Bali is also known for its water sport attractions. One of the most interesting sports is rafting. One of the most popular rafting areas is the one located in Telagawaja River, Karangasem. Telagawaja is picked because of its unique rafting route and its clear water besides its natural beauty surrounding by mountains and caldera.
For this adventure, there are a number of special packages offered by the rafting organizer in Telagawaja. One of those packages is spending the night in higher ground at the foothill where traditional life of the Balinese people can still be viewed. Telagawaja can be reached by car and it takes 1,5 hour from Kuta. Transportation services from and to the hotel are available for tourists who have booked to do this water sport.
See all Places of Interest in Bali.