A relaxed little village on West Bali’s northern coast, Pemuteran has become more popular with tourists over recent years. The village is close to West Bali National Park and is home to several seafront resorts. The area enjoys outstanding natural beauty, making it very attractive to visitors who prefer natural attractions to the shopping, partying and beach parading of many of Bali’s bigger destinations.
Bali’s capital city, Denpasar has quite a few things to attract tourists who are willing to put up with the noise, traffic and pollution. There is an arts centre where Balinese art and culture is celebrated. The Bali Museum is well worth visiting. Few people appreciate the architecture of the building or the exhibits inside, which include ancient artifacts, textiles, art works and local crafts. Denpasar is also home to many temples as well as several attractive parks.
An active volcano that still smolders, occasionally blowing out smoke and ash, Gunung (Mount) Batur rises majestically in the north of the island. It forms a stunning backdrop for many photographs. Day tours are organized to the rim of the crater, from which incredible views are possible on clear days. Lake Batur, yet another piece of stunning natural scenery, sits at the eastern perimeter of the volcano. Climbing Gunung Batur takes about two hours.
At 3,142 meters, Mount Agung is the tallest mountain in Bali. Mount Agung holds great spiritual meaning for the Balinese. The mountain is home to Besakih, the Mother Temple. Though views of the mountain are stunning, actually climbing the mountain is not easy. Getting to the top takes six or seven hours and is best left to physically-fit people who have plenty of trekking experience.
Candidasa has hardly any beach, which makes it less attractive than many other destinations on Bali. It was also the victim of a crazy development wave that left it over-developed. On the other hand, Candidasa is much quieter than most parts of South Bali and can be quite relaxing. Thanks to the number of hotels and restaurants, Candidasa also makes a good base for visitors keen on exploring the eastern end of Bali.
Similar to Kuta but with higher prices, Sanur is often derided with the name ‘Snore’ and is home to many retired ex-pats. Sanur’s beach is very calm, making it ideal for families. The town also enjoys an interesting history. Before WWII, Sanur was a popular destination with some of the first Westerners to discover the tourist delights of Bali.
Several celebrated artists lived in Sanur. The Le Mayeur Museum was once the home of the Andrien Jean Le Mayeur, an artist from Belgium who made Sanur home with his beautiful Balinese wife. At the back of the Blanjong Temple, you’ll find an inscribed stone pillar dating from the 10th century. The Prasati Blanjong tells the story of a visit by a Javanese king who probably established Bali’s first formal government. This is the oldest artifact in Bali and an important part of Balinese history.
Bedugul is the name of the central highlands area of Bali. A number of attractive villages can be found in this area, which is marked by incredible natural scenery. The key attractions in the area are three lakes formed in the craters of dormant volcanoes. Bedugul is also home to the Bali Botanical Gardens.
Located just one kilometre to the west of Munduk Market, in Bedugul, these are the most impressive waterfalls one can easily reach on Bali.
A big limestone rock peninsula jutting out into the sea in the north of Bali offers a range of attractions. The area is popular with surfers as it offers Bali’s top surf breaks. The scenic Uluwatu temple hangs off the cliffs of Bukit Peninsula. Watch out for the temple’s many resident monkeys, who are quite apt to steal anything you don’t hold tightly. There are many fine beaches here, too, though some have been spoiled by rampant tourist development.
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