Bali: The Island of a Thousand Temples

Bali Airport Directory (DPS)
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Bali, the destination on every traveller’s wishlist, is beautiful and has a culturally rich history. Beyond the stunning landscapes of mountains and lakes, the island is adorned with thousands of temples, each narrating tales of ancient traditions and spirituality. These aren't just places of worship but the living artefacts of Bali's history. And here's the thing – there are so many temples that trying to count them all is like attempting to tally stardust.

Bali offers a playground of thrilling activities, from surfing the legendary waves of Uluwatu to trekking through dense jungles and discovering hidden waterfalls. Book IndiGo flights to Bali to witness the island's diverse landscapes cater to every taste, making it a haven for those craving relaxation and exhilaration. So, if you seek a destination that will enchant, inspire, and linger in your memories, Bali should be on your checklist.

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Best time to visit: The best time to visit Bali is between April and October, which will have dry seasons, making it ideal for exploring beaches and cultural sites, and rainfall is minimal during this time. This time is also considered quite suitable for water sports and surfing along the coast of Bali.

How to reach?

By air: Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) is the main airport, often referred to as Denpasar International Airport. As the aviation hub, it is recognised as Indonesia's third busiest and claims the nation's finest airport title.

By sea: Bali, a haven for cruise enthusiasts and honeymooners, offers an idyllic escape. Start with a flight to Singapore, Java, or Sumatra, then hop on a cruise to Bali.

By road: Since Bali is an island, there is no direct road connectivity to Bali. However, for the adventurous souls, here's a potential route: India to Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, and finally, Indonesia. The road from Jakarta to Bali spans 1,200 km, demanding a 23-hour bus ride. You'd need visas and permits for every stop along the way.

Getting around Bali: One of the most popular and affordable ways to explore Bali is by renting a scooter or motorbike. They provide flexibility and are ideal for navigating through traffic. Renting a car with a driver or driving yourself is convenient for families or those who prefer a more private and comfortable journey. Public buses are not as common in Bali, but some options are available, especially for longer journeys between towns. Explore the scenic landscapes at a leisurely pace by renting a bicycle. This is an excellent option for eco-conscious travellers who want a more immersive experience.

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Places to visit

  • Mount Batur: Mount Batur is an active volcano in Bali's central highlands. It stands at 1,717 metres (5,633 feet) above sea level, this vantage point offers breathtaking panoramic views of the adjacent terrain, including Lake Batur. Start your trip from Serongga and then climb Mount Batur, the mystical beauty of nature. As you hike up the trail, you will hear soft tweets from birds, and amazing views will mesmerise your eyes. Start your hike early in the morning to witness the beautiful sunrise. There are two main routes to reach the summit. Toya Bungkah is a shorter and more popular route, and the Pura Jati Route is slightly longer but offers a different landscape perspective. No matter what route you choose, your hiking will be a thrilling and rewarding experience.
  • Tanah Lot Temple: Due to its stunning location along the shoreline with captivating sunset views, Tanah Lot Temple is a magnet for tourists worldwide. Perched on a rocky outcrop in Beraban village, Tabanan regency, this temple is a must-visit. Watch the waves crash as you soak in the majestic scenery, or marvel at the temple's breathtaking architecture. Stroll to the cultural park for traditional dance performances that add a lively touch to your visit. 
  • PuraLuhur Uluwatu: PuraLuhur Uluwatu sits on high cliffs with stunning ocean views. It's one of Bali's main temples, showing Bali's spiritual side. Explore the intricate architectural details of the temple, adorned with traditional Balinese carvings. The sight of the temple against the backdrop of the endless ocean creates a postcard-perfect scene. Pura Luhur Uluwatu is renowned for its captivating Kecak dance performances held against the backdrop of the setting sun. This traditional Balinese dance, accompanied by chanting "cak-cak-cak" sounds, narrates the epic, Ramayana.
  • Ubud Monkey Forest: Escape the chaos and find peace at Ubud Monkey Forest, which is home to over 700 Balinese long-tailed monkeys. The forest has 186 trees and plant species, and three Hindu temples. Take nature walks, inhale the fresh air, and share a moment with the monkeys by feeding them bananas. 
  • Goa Gajah Gianyar: Discover Goa Gajah Gianyar, an incredible spot in Bali that has a religious and historical significance. Popularly known as Elephant Cave, this Hindu temple is believed to have been built around the 9th century, serving as a sanctuary for meditation. As you enter the cave, you'll be greeted by rock carvings, including a striking giant face carved above the entrance. The temple courtyard is adorned with ancient relics linked to Hinduism and Buddhism. Take a stroll and marvel at the rock-wall carvings, fountains, and bathing pools that add to the temple's charm. Goa Gajah Gianyar is a fascinating destination that combines spirituality and ancient artistry, offering a glimpse into Bali's cultural tapestry.
  • Nusa Penida: If you crave untouched nature in Bali, head to Nusa Penida, a stunning island separated from Bali by Badung Strait. Whether you're a photographer, explorer, or just seeking a peaceful beach escape, Nusa Penida is a top Bali destination. With Hindu temples, lagoons, and limestone formations, the island is a haven of natural tranquillity. Picture high cliffs draped in greenery, surrounded by turquoise water – a visual treat. Nusa Penida, less crowded with tourists, offers limited accommodations and eateries, making it perfect for an undisturbed communion with nature.

Places to eat

  • Finns Beach Club: At Finns Beach Club, it's not just a restaurant, it's a massive party hub! Imagine a bamboo paradise with a spacious and refreshing vibe, along with a luxurious blue-tiled pool. Like many Bali spots, their menu serves up simple Indonesian dishes blended with international and fusion cuisine, including a Sushi Bar. Top picks at Finns Beach Club include grilled squid with salt and Szechuan pepper, chicken wings with barbecue glaze, and a fish basket.
  • Watercress Cafe: Bali restaurants are known for their special menus, and Watercress Café stands out as a great example. Kickstart your day with a cosy breakfast paired with coffee or tea. When it's time for lunch, choose from warm quiches, lasagna, sushi, and salads. You can also buy burgers and sandwiches from the a la carte menu. Watercress Café has something for everyone, making your meals in Bali a unique and tasty experience.
  • Queens of India: Queens of India in Bali, Kuta, is a top-notch Indian restaurant serving everything from tandoors to biryani. The decor is tastefully done, with just the right Indian flair, making it perfect for a leisurely meal. Queens of India is a great place to enjoy a flavourful meal, blending affordability with fantastic taste.
  • Bali Asli Restaurant (Karangasem): It sits in the northeast part of Bali near Amed village, surrounded by stunning natural beauty at the foothills of Mount Agung. It's not just a restaurant, it's a place to unwind, savour, and recharge. Bali Asli specialises in Balinese cuisine, promoting the rich local culture. The food is authentically prepared on a wood fire and mud brick stoves, enhancing the flavours. Using traditional Balinese spices, the dishes capture the essence of the region. They also offer Balinese cooking classes, inviting guests to explore and appreciate the local cuisine.

Shopping places

  • Mal Bali Galleria: The Mal Bali Galleria is a famous mall and an entertainment centre that is the ideal place to spend time. It comes with multiple bookshops, fashion outlets, restaurants, a supermarket, souvenir shops, and stores of local artisans.
  • Ubud Art Market: The Ubud Art Market, also known as 'Pasar Seni Ubud', is a bustling shopping hub and a must-visit. This vibrant market draws crowds of tourists seeking unique ethnic products sold by friendly Balinese locals. You can find silk scarves, summer shirts, woven bags, baskets, hats, statues, musical instruments, jewellery, and more. Villagers from Pengosekan, Tegallalang, Payangan, and Peliatan often craft these items.
  • Sukhavati Art Market: The Sukhavati Art Market stands out as one of Bali's enduring shopping spots, a treasure trove for handmade delights. This market is a hub of local craftsmanship, offering a plethora of souvenirs perfect for gifting. As you explore, you'll encounter shops showcasing bamboo creations, jewellery adorned with local stones, and an array of other captivating handicrafts. What makes this market special is its culturally rich atmosphere, enveloped in a bohemian vibe.
  • Kuta Beachwalk: Kuta Beachwalk is like a giant playground spread across 3.7 hectares and located near the end of Jalan Pantai Kuta. It is a fun zone with shops, restaurants, and entertainment for everyone. Here, you will get top brands along with local handmade treasures crafted by Balinese artisans, adding a touch of authenticity to your shopping spree.

Where to stay?

  • AYANA Resort and Spa Bali: Located in Jimbaran, AYANA is renowned for its stunning cliff-top location overlooking the Indian Ocean. The resort features a private beach, 19 restaurants, multiple swimming pools, and a world-class spa. This resort offers a serene escape in the tropical jungle along the Ayung River. Guests enjoy an infinity-edge pool, lush surroundings, spacious villas, and exceptional dining at the Riverside Café.
  • COMO Uma Ubud: Set beside the Tjampuhan Valley, COMO Uma Ubud offers a wellness-focused retreat. The resort boasts luxurious rooms, holistic spa treatments, a pool, and acclaimed cuisine at the Kemiri Restaurant.
  • The Legian Bali: Positioned on the beachfront in Seminyak, The Legian Bali is renowned for its infinity pool facing the Indian Ocean. The hotel offers stylish suites, personalised butler service, and exceptional dining at The Restaurant.
  • Katamama Hotel: Located in Seminayak, Katamama Hotel is a boutique gem that showcases unique Indonesian design. The hotel offers spacious suites, curated artwork, and a tropical garden and is adjacent to the Potato Head Beach Club.

More reasons to visit

  • Beautiful beaches: With its pristine sandy shores and crystal-clear water, Bali boasts some of the world's most beautiful beaches. From popular spots like Kuta and Seminyak to hidden gems like Padang Padang, each beach offers a unique experience.
  • Adventure activities: Bali is a paradise for adventure enthusiasts. The island offers many adrenaline-pumping activities, from surfing in Uluwatu to hiking Mount Batur, diving in Tulamben, and white-water rafting in Ayung River.
  • Rice terraces: The iconic Tegallalang Rice Terraces near Ubud offer a mesmerising landscape of lush, green terraced fields. Visitors can stroll through the fields, capturing stunning photographs and enjoying the serene surroundings.
  • Bali Swing: Bali Swing, a popular attraction in Bali, is a must-visit. Known for its iconic swings suspended over lush tropical landscapes, it's a thrilling and picturesque experience. When you swing back and forth, not only do you feel the adrenaline, but you also create the perfect picture-worthy moment.

Visa and Immigration

Citizens who are from ASEAN countries require a Visit Visa and process one extension, and both of these can be done online. Citizens holding passports from Brunei, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam can enjoy visa-free entry to Bali. It's important to note that when entering under this free entry provision, the stay is limited to 30 days, and extensions are not permitted. Travellers must exit the country within these 30 days. Citizens of countries like Australia, India, Italy, Japan and others require a Visa on Arrival. Other nationalities require a B211 Tourist Visa for tourists to visit, which they need to obtain before arrival. However, if you have any other purpose besides sightseeing, you will be required to apply for a visa that matches your purpose of visit. Those visas will not be extended or can be conveyed into a tourist visa. It is advisable for every traveller to check the country’s official website for detailed and latest information.

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