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Bali travel guide (source taken from Expedia’s YouTube channel)

Maret 27, 2017

I don’t know if I had posted this in the past, but that’s OK. All rights belong to Expedia.

The island of Bali lies in the center of the Indonesian archipelago, between the islands of Java and Lombok. But to the Balinese people, their island is considered the center of the spiritual universe.

Bali has a population of around 4 million people, and is home to Indonesia’s Hindu population. The Balinese practice the concept of Tri Hita Karana, which seeks to balance the human, natural, and spirit worlds. And it is this sense of harmony which makes Bali more than just a physical destination, but a complete state of mind.

Most first-time visitors are drawn to the south of Bali, a region blessed with incredible beaches and world-class surf.

Kuta was discovered by the flower children and surfers of the 1960s. Just a short drive from Bali’s international airport, and renowned for its nightlife and shopping, it’s hard to imagine that this is once a sleepy fishing village. Yet, Kuta’s crescent-shaped beach still retains a magical quality, casting a spell over sun worshipers from all over the world.

From Kuta, grab your sarong and follow the beach north, to the beaches of Legian, Double Six, and Seminyak, where things really mellow out. Step from the sand of Seminyak and into Petitenget Temple. The temple was built centuries ago, around a simple shrine, built to appease troublesome spirits who haunted the area. Today, Seminyak is a tranquil place, known for its great restaurants and fashion boutiques.

Bali has come a long way since its days as just a backpacker destination. Head south from Kuta to the Bukit Peninsula, where you’ll find the luxurious resort enclave of Nusa Dua, a name synonymous with seclusion and style.

On the peninsula’s west side is one of Bali’s finest beaches, Jimbaran. Towards the end of the day, pull up a chair at one of the seafood restaurants and experience an incredible spectacle, as Bali’s gods hurl paint across the heavens.

A little further south and jutting out into the Java Sea, is the rock at land’s end – Uluwatu. Follow the clifftop pathways to one of Bali’s most important temples, then, grab your board and paddle out into Uluwatu’s legendary swells.

Discovering more of Bali is a breeze. Hire a van with a driver for the day. Or, if you feel more adventurous, rent a scooter. Not far from the island’s capital Denpasar, is the Bali Bird Park, a sanctuary to over a thousand birds from Indonesia and beyond.

Nearby the Bali Zoo, see Bali from high up, on the back of a Sumatran elephant.

But it’s even higher, in the foothills, where the true spirit of Bali awaits. Only an hour’s drive from Denpasar is Bali’s cultural capital, Ubud. Here, the streets are align with stores and galleries, selling the works of local artisans.

To deepen your appreciation of Balinese art, spend a few hours at the Neka Art and Puri Lukisan Museums. Or, take a tour of the fabulous private collection of the Arma Museum.

Don’t miss the flamboyant home of painter Antonio Blanco – the Dali of Bali – whose life’s work was a tribute to the female folk.

Ubud is one of Bali’s most popular tourist destinations, but serenity is never more than a few steps away. You’ll find some of Ubud’s most popular residents, under the cool canopy of the Sacred Monkey Forest. A few kilometers away, step through the mouth of the demon into the elephant caves of Goa Gajah.

Ubud is surrounded by Bali’s rural heartland, where apart from the motor scooters, life has changed little for centuries.

As the altitude rises, the highlands offer a cool haven. It is here, among the volcanic mountain mists of Kintamani and beyond, that the island’s most revered gods reside.

Down below, the rest of Bali awaits, as well as nearby treasures like Lombok’s Gili Islands.

Indonesia has thousands of islands to explore. But few others in this archipelago, or indeed the rest of the world, can match the culture, natural beauty, and spirit of Bali.

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