Discovering the Best of Bali
We didn’t know what to expect from the Indonesian island of Bali. As we stepped off the plane, made our way through the airport, and headed outside, the humidity hit – as if we'd just opened a scorching oven. But more spectacular was the call to prayer booming out of the nearby mosques. That was when we realised that we were surrounded by cultural, artistic and religious sites, just waiting to be visited. The country is full of serenity and peace and, with so much to see and do in Bali, it's best to take a week to enjoy it, from its scenic beaches to its beautiful architecture. Based on our time here, this is how we recommend spending your holiday discovering the very best of this diverse isle:
One place you shouldn’t miss is the Tegalalang Rice Terrace in Ubud. With its many fields and grooves, swirling their way down the hillsides, the views really are majestic. The greenery stretches for miles ahead, with butterflies and dragonflies floating by. It’s the perfect scene for any budding photographer trying to capture that perfect wanderlust shot. You have to experience it to truly believe it.
We loved visiting the Ubud Monkey Forest. We were so happy to see a sanctuary that looks after all the monkeys that live on the island, allowing them to run free within this dense forest. And run free they do – hundreds of monkeys dart through the treetops, taking no notice of the thousands of tourists that pass through this famous location every day, unless you have food that is! Daily activities like sitting around, sleeping, playing or even grooming each other quickly grinds to a halt the moment a monkey realises there is food on offer. As animal lovers we enjoyed interacting with these monkeys, even though they do have a cheeky side behind that cute exterior. Expect some serious monkey business as you explore the trees and temples of the sanctuary.
When looking to cool off in Bali while enjoying a jaw-dropping view, head for one of the many waterfalls that are scattered all over the island. We love Sekumpul and Jembong. As soon as you jump in and witness the cascade up close you'll experience the sheer power of the water as it crashes down, creating a delicate rainbow before your eyes. We feel this represents Bali well – a strong country with amazing produce, but at all times elegantly portrayed.
Sampling the food
Other than sightseeing (be sure to visit Mount Batur, the cliffisde Uluwatu temple and the sandy Sanur Beach, to name a few) you have got to sample the incredibly tasty foods that the island has to offer. From the infamous Babi Guling suckling pig, to the melt-in-your-mouth sate skewers, Bali has a wide variety of national dishes. Be sure to indulge in a rich Balinese coffee too – with its tantalising smell it's really had to resist – and the unique luwak coffee. The latter is only produced in Bali and ground from coffee cherries that have been eaten by the Asian palm civet cat and passed through their digestive system. It's not one for the faint hearted, but is definitely worth a try!
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