Tag Archives: Bali

Seminyak Center long term rental Villa Carissa 3-bedroom

You found one of the best Seminyak Center long term rental Villa or annual rental in Seminyak, with a private swimming pool. If you want to rent in a lively area, which offers you many activities, and which will allow you to never get bored, then Seminyak Center is the place for you! Our villa is tucked inside a quiet place. Ideal for you to have a peaceful time, but when you want to go out to well-known and touristic area in the south of Bali, or even to party, our villa is the right place.

Villa Carissa 3-bedroom long term rental

How much is our yearly and monthly rent?

  • 1 year rent: IDR 800 000 000.
  • Monthly rent: IDR 85 000 000.

Inclusive of:

  • Cleaning service: 3 times/week
  • Pool cleaning: 2 times/week
  • Internet
  • Banjar fee + security (district contribution).
  • Bin collection

Not included:

  • Electricity
  • Linen and towel laundry

Villa in Seminyak | Villa Carissa, 3 bedrooms Villa With a Private Pool

Cancellation:

Non-refundable. No modification.

Payment:

All payments must be paid at once, and up front.

Info:

To comply with the local authorities, we will need a copy of your ID card. Please kindly note for all foreigners, we will need a your copy of ID card/passport with visa or KITAS (Indonesian residence permit) valid. Thank you.

Once you’re agreed with our long term rental, we will give you the lease contract.

Villa Carissa’s location for your Seminyak Center long term rental villa

For example, you can walk to Ku De Ta beach for only 12 mn….

Learn more about villa for year-round rental in Seminyak Central, Bali

Seminyak centre, a well-known and touristic area in the south of Bali. If you want to rent in a lively area, which offers you many activities, and which will allow you to never get bored, then Seminyak is the right place for you!

Several very different neighborhoods in Seminyak

You will find several very different neighborhoods in Seminyak. The Batu Belig district is concentrated around the main axis of Jalan Batu Belig. It is now a must in Bali. Indeed, you will find many unmissable restaurants such as Strawberry Fields or Watercress, but you can also do a lot of shopping there, relax in a spa, or share a drink with friends in one of the many lively bars in this area. area. This district has also become a must for its perfect location: halfway between the center of Seminyak and Canggu, it is the ideal place if you want to stay close to these two lively areas of the island.

Batu Belig

This area is also located just a few minutes by scooter from Umalas, which will offer you proximity to schools and in particular to the Lycée Français de Bali. Around this area also offers you its beach and its many bars and beach clubs: we particularly recommend the Tropicola, this beach club will immerse you in a colorful and modern atmosphere, and you can enjoy the swimming pool during the day, and enjoy tasty dinners there.

Petitenget area

The Petitenget area is also a highly developed area of ​​Seminyak. Located just two or three minutes by scooter from other areas of Seminyak, you can also find many trendy restaurants like Clean Canteen, bars, and nightclubs if you like to go out. Petitenget Beach, quieter than Seminyak Beach, will offer you peace facing the Indian Ocean.

We particularly recommend the Mano, a much less known beach club, which will allow you to enjoy the beach in a heavenly setting. You can do many activities in Petitenget, if you like Balinese culture, the Petitenget temple will immerse you in the heart of Balinese authenticity.

Oberoi or Kayu Aya street is often described as the chic neighborhood of Seminyak

This area of ​​Bali offers many restaurants and high-end shops. You will find Vin + Seminyak, a restaurant where you can enjoy tasty dishes around quality wines.

You can also enjoy the beach in this area, the Ku De Ta is the perfect beach club to admire a magnificent sunset. Kayu Aya Street, the main axis of this area of ​​Bali, offers an impressive number of shops, restaurants, spas, and bars. If you like to go out, this is also the ideal place for you. You can spend an evening with friends at La Favela, a place that has become a must in Bali today for its heavenly decor.

Area near Sunset Road

Finally, area near Sunset Road. This area of ​​Seminyak is also extremely lively. Very close to Kuta, it is one of the most touristic places on the island. You will find plenty of restaurants, bars, shops, spas and gyms. On the beach of Double Six, you will find a lot of beach bars, with many colorful beanbags that create a unique atmosphere. To admire the sunset and share good tapas with friends, we recommend La Plancha. Also very close to Sunset Road, the main axis of South Bali, you will have quick and direct access to many other areas of Bali.

If you like entertainment, Seminyak is the city for you. By renting our villa for the year in this part of Bali, you can enjoy Balinese life in one of the most developed areas, and you will also stay close to other must-see places such as Berawa for example, only 15 minutes by scooter.

Best Golf Courses in Bali

As one of the main tourist destinations in Southeast Asia, Bali offers a multitude of tourist infrastructures and facilities, including golf courses. There are many best golf courses Bali and some only offer nine-hole half courses. They are located in different places on the island, and each has its own particularity. Here are the best golf courses in Bali:

Bali National Golf Club – Nusa Dua – 18 holes par 72 (7166 yards)

Established in 2013 and located in a luxury resort of Nusa Dua in South Bali, this golf course is ranked as one of the “best golf courses in Asia” according to the American magazine “Fortune”. Designed by a good team of architects (Nelson & Wright), this golf course has a different character on which the course is very hilly and the fairways are quite narrow. As one of the best courses in Southeast Asia with a magnificent panorama of the Indian Ocean and Mount Agung, since its construction in 1991 it has welcomed some prestigious golfers from around the world, including Tigerwood, Vijay Singh , Alfred Dunhill and Colin Montgemerie.

Address: The MAJ Nusa Dua, Kawasan Wisata, Lot S-5, Nusa Dua, Bali 80363
Email: reservations@balinational.com

Phone: +62 361 771 791 or +62 361 849 2600
(WhatsApp available) +62 811 3898 416

Website: https://balinational.com

New Kuta Golf – Uluwatu – 18 holes par 72 (7515 yards)

Built in 2007 and benefiting from the standards to host the major international championships. This golf course designed by Golfplan, Ronald Fream; occupies an area of almost 85 hectares of land on the limestone cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean. It is located just 20 minutes drive from Denpasar Ngurah Rai International Airport. At the end of the day, this great course also benefits from a magnificent sunset. Designed in 18 holes and each with 4 tees, this golf course obviously allows you to play on a first class championship course. More than just a golf course, this one has enough character to guarantee the satisfaction of all players, whatever their level.

Address: Jalan Raya Uluwatu, Kawasan Pecatu Indah Resort Pecatu, Jimbaran, Kec. Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

Phone: +62 361 8481333

Website: https://newkutagolf.co.id

Nirwana Bali Golf Club – Tanah Lot – 18 holes par 72 (6805 yards) PERMANENTLY CLOSED 🙁

Established in 1997 and located on the southwest coast of Bali, this course is a masterpiece of beauty with the spectacular view of the Indian Ocean and lush tropical vegetation offering a unique experience for golfers of all levels. Designed by world-renowned golfer Greg Norman in the heart of the Balinese rice fields, this 18-hole golf course is ranked as the finest golf course in Indonesia and the most photographed in the world. With three holes on the cliffs overlooking the ocean and also the hearing of the rice terraces, this golf course is one of the most demanding courses offering exceptional obstacles and also testing the precision of each golfer.

Address: Jl. Tanah Lot, Beraban, Kec. Kediri, Kabupaten Tabanan, Bali 82121, Indonesia

Phone: +62 361 815900

Bali Handara Kosaido Country Club – Near Lake Bedugul – 18 holes par 72 (7024 yards)

Established 1974 and located at 1200 meters above sea level on the mountain of Central West Bali on the edge of the rainforest, this course really offers a spectacular panorama of the nearby high altitude lakes. Benefiting from the good temperature and the freshness of the mountains all year round, this place is really ideal to practice your favorite sport during your holidays on this small island of paradise. Designed by Peter Thompson & Michael Wolveridge on 6385 meters with lots of obstacles, you will find a few more obstructions here than elsewhere.

Address: Desa Pancasari- Singaraja, Bali Indonesia

Phone (+62-362) 3422 646 / hotline
(WhatsApp available) +62 878 888 36 888

Website: https://www.handaragolfresort.com

Bukit Pandawa Golf Course

Ideally located in

Address:

The Grand Bali Beach Golf Course – Sanur – 9 holes par 36 (3650 yards)

Established in 1972 and ocated opposite the Grand Bali Beach Hotel in the resort town of Sanur, this course is the smallest of all the previous four with only nine holes (half course), designed by Rajakulasingham. Initially, this golf course was intended for customers of the Grand Bali Beach hotel who like to seek the pleasure of playing golf that is not too far in the mountains. Nevertheless, over time the course is now open to the wider public who would like to devote a day or two to indulge in golf in Bali. It is a pretty little course, aesthetically constructed, very well maintained, well planted, of medium difficulty and very friendly staff. As the seaside climate is always warmer, the best time to start here is early in the morning in order to beat the heat.

Address: Kompleks Inna Grand Bali Beach Hotel and Resort
Jalan Hangtuah No 58
Sanur – Bali

Phone : +62 361 287 733

Website: https://www.balibeachgolfcourse.com

Sources: CleverlySmart, PinterPandai

Photo credit: Jillrose999 via Pixabay

Sanur

If you are looking for a peaceful place to spend a family vacation by the sea, Sanur might just be the place for you. With its white sand beaches, calm and shallow waters, children can swim safely while you sip a cocktail on your deckchair.

Sanur is one of Bali’s popular destinations and it’s easy to see why. White sand beach, protected lagoon, luxurious hotels, very good quality restaurants and calm throughout the city, it has something to please almost everyone. It’s only 30 minutes’ drive from Kuta, Seminyak and 40 minutes’ drive from Ubud.

Families, divers and retirees alike love it, but it can definitely win the hearts of many more people. In general terms, Sanur is more expensive than Kuta but cheaper than Seminyak.

Sanur is one of Bali’s oldest and most famous beachside destinations and attracts visitors by the hundreds with its stunning beach and restaurants. Quieter than Bali, Sanur is full of tourist attractions where you can stay, eat and drink, and will be the perfect place to relax for a few days before continuing your journey to other parts of the island or even to other islands, such as Nusa Penida. This little piece of paradise is a popular tourist attraction which, although it lacks some tourist infrastructure, will be the perfect place to take a short getaway from Sanur. Famous for its ornithological sanctuary, various breathtaking diving spots and its superb landscapes, do not hesitate to travel from Sanur to Nusa Penida if you want to discover another side of Bali!

With its four kilometers of beautiful white sand beaches, Sanur is known to have been Bali’s first real tourist and seaside destination from the first half of the 20th century. Today, the sand is still there but Sanur is more of a so-called secondary destination. The small city, which gossips say is sleepy, is in fact a good alternative to Kuta-Legian-Seminyak, with its overcrowded streets, its less clean beaches and its already legendary traffic jams!

The famous white and black checkered fabric (poleng), a notorious symbol of harmony in Balinese Hinduism and of opposing forces that intersect, is the emblem so well chosen of the rival station of Sanur, which we are going to draw here briefly the portrait. A passage by this long beach, which we reach so quickly via the bypass (motorway) just nearby…, a resort that is both old and modern, remains a guarantee of calm in comparison, even if the real tranquility is to be sought elsewhere on the island, in the north and east especially…

What to do in Sanur?

1. Sanur Beach

It is located in a lagoon east of Bali. Sanur Beach is very family friendly. Children can play at the edge of the shallow water, and parents can watch them while having a drink in one of the many bars that line the beach. If you are looking for a calm and safe beach, this is the beach for you!

The sunrises in Sanur are very beautiful to see especially since the seafront of Sanur offers views of Nusa Penida and pretty scenes of local life in the middle of tourists with its fishermen or even the portions of public beaches of Sanur where the locals come to spend time with family or lovers at the end of the day, especially on weekends. What we like is the long pedestrian promenade that runs along the sea, you can easily walk or cycle there.

Sanur Beach, Bali 2017-08-21 (12)
Sanur Beach, Bali. Magul, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

2. Pasar Sindu (local market)

The local Pasar Sindu market is a must. When you arrive around 10am, it was already almost a little late and some shopkeepers had already been tidied up. It must be said that with the humid heat, life begins at 5 a.m. in Bali. But you can discover fruits and vegetables that you might not see every day. Like the Salak, a curious fruit in the shape of a snake’s egg (it is also called snake fruit). After peeling it, its texture a little rough, but its taste is close to the apple. Nice discovery!

In the market, there are also many flower stalls for making daily offerings in front of houses and temples. According to local belief, this offering protects and blesses. Before going to work, the Balinese place an offering and say a prayer in front of one of the many small temples in each street. In these flower offerings, the Balinese sometimes also add sweets or crackers, then burn incense. Which diffuses a typical and unique smell in the streets.

3. Le Mayeur Museum

This small museum located north of Sanur hides works of art and the personal history of the painter Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur de Merpres, a Brussels artist in love with Bali and the shores of Sanur. The Le Mayeur Museum is located in the main part of Sanur Beach, behind many art and souvenir stalls. This museum was actually the home of Adrien and his wife who was a Balinese dancer named Ni Wayan Polok Tjeoglik. After Adrien’s death, this house was transformed into a museum.

Unfortunately the beautiful paintings of Le Mayeur are poorly maintained by the Indonesian State and are deteriorating which is a shame.

4. Fishing

On Sanur beach, many fishing companies offer day trips, so you can choose what kind of fishing you want to do. If you want more authenticity, you can also join the local fishermen on a small boat. It’s a great experience and most of the time you can eat your own caught fish afterwards!

5. Dive

The coral reef is mostly damaged, which makes it less attractive to divers. If you want to dive in the most beautiful spots in Bali, a day trip with Dune Atlantis to the Gilis Islands, Padang Bay or one of our many other destinations, is the ideal solution.

6. Fastboat to Nusa Islands

From Sanur, you can take a fastboat to one of the islands of Nusa. The fastboat only takes half an hour to reach Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan or Nusa Ceningan.

Read also: Nusa Lembongan or Nusa Penida | What to choose between the two islands?

7. Visit the temples

  • Pura Segara

This temple, visible from the street, is dedicated to the gods of the sea. At the entrance, you will see a black portal guarded by two black demons, while the altar in the central courtyard will give you a superb view of the ocean. .

Address: Jl. Segara Ayu (near Segara Village Hotel)

  • Pura Mertasari

Here is a temple that is worth the detour, especially after the spring equinox. Indeed, the Balinese attach great importance to this temple which hosts rites of black magic. During this annual ceremony, a warrior dance is performed, sometimes ending in a violent trance. This temple is located at the southern end of Sanur Beach. So you can easily get there after your walk on the beach. Indeed, the latter extends over more than 4 km and is very popular with joggers.

Address: Jl. Merta Sari

  • Pura Blanjong

A temple to go and see because of its age! Vestige of an ancestral era, this very old temple holds a column dating from 914, attesting that the Indian influence was already present at that time. It is still animated today by the Balinese who continue to perpetuate the tradition and to honor the deities with offerings.

Address: Jl. Danau Poso

8. Try the swings overlooking the sea at Dream Island Park

If you have prepared your trip to Bali, you must have heard of the famous swings in the ocean on the Gili Islands. Note that in Sanur, you can also test these pretty swings with your feet in the water at Dream Island, an ideal park to spend the day with the family. Located on Mertasari Beach, one of the locals’ favorite beaches, Dream Island is also the perfect place to try out various activities such as camel and horse riding, windsurfing, canoeing, diving and snorkeling. You can also enjoy authentic Indonesian meals in their restaurant and relax by the beach in their spa for an unforgettable day in Bali.

Dream Island

Entry: IDR 200,000
Address: Jalan Pengembak No.44, Sanur Kauh, Denpasar Selatan, Kota Denpasar, Bali
Hours: daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Telephone: +62 812-3629-7088

9. Visit the abandoned Festival Taman amusement park

If you have children who love ghost stories or if you are a big fan of all things scary yourself, be sure to visit the Taman Festival, one of the spookiest places in Bali! The Taman Festival is a large amusement park in Sanur whose works have never been completed. Since the park and its crocodile pit were abandoned 14 years ago, it has literally collapsed, leaving behind a huge amusement park potential that would no doubt have been very successful…

Today, with crumbling buildings threatening to fall at any moment, missing tiles and treacherous steps, locals refer to this park as a “ghost town”.

Taman Festival

Address: Jl. Padang Galak No.3, Kesiman, Denpasar Tim., Kota Denpasar, Bali.

10. Swim with sharks with Bali Sharks on Serangan Island

Give your children a unique experience while educating them about environmental conservation.

Unfortunately, unregulated shark fishing is still a reality in Bali, and it is now very rare to see the reef sharks that once prowled the coral-lined shores of the Island of the Gods. Bali Sharks is the island’s premier shark conservation program. The founders even created a man-made “shark island” in Serangan.

Reef sharks, mostly black and white tip sharks, are kept in large pens on the high seas. The sharks are brought near the sanctuary after being bought from fishermen or after being rescued from entanglement in nets. Eventually, healthy sharks are released back into the wild. Embark on this 3-hour ecological excursion that will make you overcome your fears by living an unforgettable experience!

Bali Sharks

Website: http://www.balisharks.com
Address: Jalan Tukad Punggawa No. 25, Serangan
Telephone: +62 361 9965101
Hours: daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

11. Enjoy an unforgettable underwater walk at Bali Seawalker

Treat your children to a unique water experience on the Island of the Gods with Bali Seawalker! The waters surrounding Bali are teeming with stunning marine life and with Bali Seawalker, even little travelers can swim with the fish or snorkel to admire the aquatic wonders that populate Balinese waters.

Bali Seawalker

Website: http://www.seawalker.co.id
Address: Puri Santrian, Sanur, Denpasar City, Bali 80228
Hours: daily from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Phone: 0813-3739-9432

12. Admire the kites at the Bali Kite Festival

Looking up at the blue skies of Bali, it’s rare not to spot at least one kite, and once a year during the month of July / August, the sky is filled with these colorful wonders, during the Bali Kite Festival in Sanur. The Bali Kite Festival brings together kite teams from all over the island on Padang Galak beach. Kites are an integral part of Balinese culture and the festival is accompanied by traditional gamelan music.

Morning in Sanur Beach, Bali
Morning in Sanur Beach. Danangtrihartanto, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Where to eat in Sanur?

There are many places to eat, here are some of our favourites:

Big Garden Corner

Big Garden Corner is a feast for your eyes and your taste buds! As well as serving delicious, mostly Western-style food, this restaurant also has a large park where your kids can have fun in whimsical huts perched in trees, with lots of colorful umbrellas.

Address: Sanur, Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai, Kesiman, Denpasar Sel., Kota Denpasar, Bali 80237
Hours: daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Warung Little Bird

This little warung is the perfect place to spend a relaxing evening listening to reggae music with a good beer and delicious local specialities! Food and cocktails are perfectly priced and all served by friendly servers. In this local restaurant with a friendly atmosphere, you can even play a piece on the guitar if you feel like it.

Address: Jl. Danau Tamblingan No.34, Sanur, Denpasar Sel., Kota Denpasar, Bali 80228
Opening hours: every day from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Warung Dapoer Oma

Located a little further than Sanur, this warung is totally worth the trip! This restaurant in the form of a buffet-showcase presenting a wide choice of local specialties, to accompany with white rice, yellow rice with turmeric or red rice. You have the choice between vegan/vegetarian dishes but also with chicken, beef or fish.

Address: Jl. Danau Buyan no. 34, Sanur, Denpasar 80228, Indonesia
Telephone: +62 361 4721864

Massimo Bali

Do you miss Italian food? So don’t hesitate, go to Massimo Bali: they serve the best pizzas and pastas in Sanur! Everything is homemade and the recipes have been carefully concocted by the Italian chef, Massimo, who has been living in Bali for several years. Everything is so good here that this restaurant is always full, so be sure to book a table in advance if you want to taste delicious wood-fired pizzas or real pasta cooked by an Italian starred chef.

Address: Jl. Danau Tamblingan 228
Opening hours: every day from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Telephone: +62 (0361) 288942

History

The word Sanur is made up of the roots saha and nuhur, a denomination echoing the passion for travel and discovery. Originally, it was a small fishing village populated by members of the Brahman caste.

It was at Sanur that the Dutch landed in 1906, and it was from this small village of fishermen and farmers that they reached Denpasar to cause the famous puputan (collective suicide) of sinister memory. Sanur was a small fishing and farming village where there was nevertheless a high proportion of Brahmins.

Later, in the 1930s, Sanur welcomed the photographer Jack Mershon and his choreographer wife Katharane, and several artists such as the Belgian Adrien Jean Le Mayeur de Merfrès who married a young Balinese dancer (Ni Pollok) from Legong dance, renowned for her talent and her beauty.

The German Neuhaus brothers also settled there and created an aquarium and an art gallery. These foreigners, all seduced by the Balinese way of life, are part of the wave of Europeans and Americans who, in Sanur as in Ubud, contributed to making Bali known as the last of the paradises. Tourists began to flock from all over the world and very curiously, like today’s tour operators, bought a 5-day package to visit the island. The Dutch East India Company decided to build a hotel in Sanur (the Sindhu Beach Hotel) and another in Kuta (the Kuta Beach Hotel) in the 1950s.

This is the first attempt to build a Balinese-style hotel relayed by a tourist agency. Under the impetus of President Sukarno, the Bali Beach Hotel was built as war reparations with Japanese capital in 1962, but was not inaugurated until 1966 shortly after the dramatic events that followed the coup d’etat.

Thereafter, in order to counterbalance the disastrous experience of the architecture of Bali Beach which moved the religious and administrative authorities of the island, the first hotel to create a Balinese atmosphere and to found a myth was the Tanjung Sari, became famous in France by Muriel Cerf’s novel, Le Diable vert.

He persisted in representing the model of indigenous tourist architecture, mixing traditional Balinese arts with elements of modernity. Gradually, land prices soared, as Sanur turned out to be Bali’s only resort town.

The Tanjung Sari, of modest size, remained for some time an almost cheap hotel, while the newcomers attracted rather an affluent clientele. Now, Sanur remains the village of Indonesian high society and jet-society, which sets its sights on the most chic hotels, the most southerly.

Its beaches aren’t particularly beautiful, with reefs erupting at low tide in the distance, but the village atmosphere gives off a slightly old-fashioned scent. The tourist manna, older than in Kuta, prefers a ceremonial tranquility. And, while the “summer visitors” are sunbathing in the sun, around certain temples, people still indulge in black magic, a common practice in this part of the island… Evoke Sanur to any Balinese: he will associate black magic and sorcerers with it. The wise advise not to venture late at night in its dark streets…

Who frequents Sanur?

Sanur is a small melting pot made up of locals, expatriates, tourists and other people living in Bali who come to spend an afternoon in Sanur.

Here are the people you will surely meet in Sanur:

Expatriate pensioners: the cliché of Sanur

Expatriate pensioners are a bit of a cliché in Sanur. Like every cliché, there is a part of truth. Many Western expatriates have indeed made Sanur their home.

They appreciate the calm and safety of its beach, the presence of many restaurants, the ease of access to the rest of the island and the unique atmosphere that reigns in this place which has kept its soul of a small village.

Families on holiday in Sanur

Sanur is frequented by many families, and it is easy to see why. Sanur is indeed one of the versatile destinations in Bali.

Parents can enjoy the calm of the beach, the good gastronomy, while the children can have fun safely in the swimming pools of the hotels, in the lagoon or during nautical activities. All in the comfort of a luxurious, even very luxurious hotel that quickly makes you forget the problems of everyday life.

Local tourists on resort in Bali

Sanur is a very popular city with locals. The luxurious hotels do not disorient the most urban tourists of Jakarta who appreciate the comfort between their Balinese escapades.

But Sanur is also popular with Balinese living in Renon or East Denpasar who often go there on weekends to fish, spend time on the beach with family or meet friends in a restaurant.

Divers passing through as expatriates

The east coast of Bali concentrates many diving spots. Many diving schools are based in Sanur and allow those who stay in Sanur to be taken to the most famous spots on the island.

It is also possible to scuba dive directly from Sanur into the lagoon, although most divers prefer to venture a little further north. In any case, you are likely to come across many divers in Sanur, whether they live here or are just passing through.

Which audience can Sanur appeal to?

Now that you have a better idea of ​​what Sanur looks like, here’s what kind of people the town is most likely to appeal to.

You’ll like if you like quiet places

If you are looking for calm during your vacation in Bali, then Sanur is a very good option.

It combines the calm of lost coves with the practical aspects of a seaside resort, all in a rather distinguished and discreet style.

This relative calm can therefore please almost everyone depending on their temperament: young people, couples, families and of course retirees.

Is a good base for divers

If you plan to dive often during your stay in Bali, then Sanur is a very good base.

The most famous spots on the east coast are only a few minutes away by car or boat, and it is even possible to cross to Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan or even Nusa Penida during the day.

Settling in Sanur allows you to be in a central place for diving, all in greater comfort than what is currently found near more famous spots.

If you want a central destination in Bali

This place is really easy to access, and this is a big advantage for an island like Bali that is often plagued by traffic jams.

Traffic jams are rare both in Sanur and its surroundings. It is therefore very fast to get to Nusa Dua, to Amed, to Kuta and Seminyak and even to Uluwatu. The only really bottled up point in Sanur is when you leave the “bypass” to cross Denpasar (to go to Canggu for example). Apart from these rare cases, all Bali is nearby or almost.

Is a versatile destination for families

Families often like Sanur very much because everything is possible there.

The activities are numerous, the access is simple, the accommodation comfortable and all the infrastructures are in place to spend a stay without organizational headaches.

Who is Sanur likely to displease?

Sanur may be a particularly versatile destination, as all tastes are in nature, not everyone will like Sanur. Here are those who may not find their account.

Sanur is not the most festive place in Bali

If you came to Bali for the party, you won’t find many in Sanur. Sanur is certainly relatively lively, but the entertainment is more like a good family man: “little pub, small restaurant”, than truly a party place with beach bar, big nightclubs and other wild parties.

If you absolutely want to party in Bali, Kuta, Seminyak and Canggu are three particularly lively cities, more or less young, each with their own style and specificities. But unfortunately, Sanur is likely to be too boring for you.

You won’t like it, if you want a rural Bali experience

We are not going to lie to each other, Sanur is a haven of peace in the seaside resorts of Bali. But it remains a westernized seaside resort.

Is therefore not quite the very authentic rural experience that some seek. That said, it’s far from the worst place to see some aspects of Balinese culture, despite the tourism.

Some places in Sanur are not very recommendable

It has a sometimes sulphurous reputation with locals and expatriates, even if the majority of tourists who pass there do not even realize it.

The city is indeed one of the hotspots of Bali for those, foreigners as well as locals, who are looking for “girls of joy”. Admittedly, we are still light years away from prostitution in the eyes of all as in Thailand, but it is possible to come across locals, tourists and even expatriates who are there for reasons other than the white sand of Sanur.

If you want to avoid these places, just don’t go to the (brothel) houses marked with an “X” and don’t go to the bars where there are – oddly enough – almost only women seem to be waiting for something or someone.

Notes: opening hours and rates are subject to change without prior notice.

Main photo credit: Wandemokkori via Pixabay

What to choose between Nusa Lembongan or Nusa Penida

We are often asked if it is worth choosing Nusa Lembongan or Nusa Penida. We were personally much more enamored (in love with) with Nusa Penida, but we will try to be completely objective in the arguments in favor of each of these two islands.

Nusa Lembongan or Nusa Penida or Ceningan?

Nusa Lembongan is part, with Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida, of an archipelago of three islands southeast of Bali, also called Nusa Penida. The area of ​​Nusa Lembongan is about 8 km2 and its permanent population about 5000 people. A yellow bridge connects Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, the smallest of the three islands. This bridge collapsed in 2016 but the Balinese government has since rebuilt it identically (more solid?). You can therefore move easily from one of the two islands to the other.

A mangrove with an area of ​​212 hectares occupies the entire east of the island. Tourism development, which began on the island about ten years ago, is therefore concentrated on a small part of the island. And the very many tourist establishments built over the past 10 years thus form a fairly dense network along the north coast. As a result, Nusa Lembongan is now a bit saturated. Tourism is therefore developing accordingly, especially in Nusa Penida, which is around 25 times larger.

So you are preparing your trip to Indonesia and Bali and wondering whether to choose Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan? It all depends on what you are looking for!

Tourist infrastructure

As tourism has been developing for longer, the tourism infrastructure is larger and more diverse in Nusa Lembongan than in Penida. The high-end offer is indeed more present today. There are thus 7 luxury hotels in Lembogan and still none, to date, in Penida, pending the opening of the Adiwana Warnakali hotel. There is also a larger supply of villas for rent in Lembongan.

Nightlife

Nightlife is also more developed in Lembongan. The northern coast of Penida, however, is beginning to host many bars. And new high-end projects are emerging there, such as the Amok sunset bar restaurant.

Scuba diving and snorkeling

Most of the scuba diving or snorkeling sites are in Nusa Penida (Manta Bay, Manta Point, Crystal Bay, Gamat Bay, Toyapakeh, etc…). A few are in Nusa Lembongan (Mangrove, Blue Corner). But in practice, the Lembongan and Penida dive centers go to the same dive sites. And you will be offered snorkeling excursions from each of the two islands. Each island also has very good French-speaking diving centers, in particular French Kiss Divers in Lembongan and Warnakali in Penida.

Beaches and surfing in Nusa Lembongan

A long sandy beach runs along much of the north coast of Nusa Lembongan Island. Where tourism has concentrated. Mushroom Bay Beach and Jungun Batu Beach are very famous. But the beaches of Nusa Penida are more varied, wilder, more spectacular, with a special mention for Atuh Beach and Suwehan Beach. But they are also generally less easily accessible, especially for children.

Surfing enthusiasts will rather choose Nusa Lembongan which has a few waves allowing it to be practiced. Examples include Shipwrecks, Playgrounds, Lacerations, Montags, and Ceningan.

The landscapes

The prize for landscapes unquestionably goes to the island of Nusa Penida with extremely emblematic sites such as Kelingking Beach, Broken Beach or Angel Billabong. As well as very nice excursions to do by scooter or even on foot. The very high cliffs on the west coast of Penida also offer a very good view of the sunsets. In my top 15 sites to see on the archipelago of Nusa Penida, the first 14 are also located on the island of Nusa Penida. And Nusa Lembongan is the 15th.

There are however also some spectacular places to see in Nusa Lembogan and Nusa Ceningan. The main ones are Devil’s Tears, the mangrove or the yellow bridge separating Lembogan and Ceningan. Half a day will however be more than enough to go around these two islands.

Boat connections between Bali and the two islands

Around 16 companies operate 40 daily speedboat connections between Bali and Nusa Penida. I haven’t done the exact count, but I think most companies go to both islands. The crossing time is about 5 to 10 minutes shorter for Lembongan but it is not really discriminating. The price for crossings from Sanur to Bali is also the same. To my knowledge, however, there is no connection by speedboat between Kusamba in Bali and Lembongan.

Finally, for travelers who would like to come with their own scooter, the Padang Bay ferry only goes to Nusa Penida. But it’s only really worth it if you come for more than a week because you can easily find one to rent on site. Read also: Tips for Scooter Travelers in Bali | Safety, Price, Road conditions, Driving license and Insurance

Culture

The culture and history of Bali are much more present in Penida than in Lembongan or Ceningan. This is indeed where the famous temple of Ped is located, which houses the spirit of the powerful demon Mecaling. And above all, for tourists, the temple of Goa Giri Putri, inside a very impressive cave to visit. Bali festivals and ceremonies also take place in most villages of Penida if you are lucky enough to be present for these occasions.

In the field of traditions, the cultivation of seaweed was one of the main activities of the two islands until recently. But it has practically disappeared everywhere following the development of tourism and global warming. You will still find some near Suana on the island of Nusa Penida.

So, Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan or Ceningan?

In conclusion, choose Nusa Lembogan:

  • If you are passionate about surfing.
  • Or if you are looking for 4 star accommodation and failed to book in Adiwana Warnakali or a private villa for rent.
  • Or if you want easy access to the beach for your children.

But if you want to rediscover the Bali of 30 years ago, enjoy fabulous landscapes, experience exceptional and varied moments on land, in water or under water, choose Nusa Penida!

And if, as we highly recommend, you decide to spend several nights in Penida, you can always take a short trip to Nusa Lembongan. The public boat takes you there in about fifteen minutes for the modest price of 60,000 rupees! And you can always rent a scooter when the boat arrives and go around Lembongan and Ceningan in two hours.

On the other hand, we do not recommend that if you have little time to spend one night in Penida and one night in Lembongan. You will waste time unnecessarily in transfers from one hotel to another.

1. Nusa Penida

The island is large and whatever the length of your stay you will have no trouble filling your days. These are most visited attractions in Nusa Penida:

Broken Beach

The place was named Broken Beach because it resulted from the collapse of part of the cliff. The collapsed part has a circular shape. And an arch has formed on the narrowest part that borders the sea. So the whole thing looks like a circular bay with an arch that overlooks the sea. Anyway, look at the pictures, it will be easier than trying to Explain yourselves !

You will probably go around the bay and you will surely take lots of photos. But watch out for the selfies! Several careless tourists backed up too far to take their picture and fell. Since then, signs warn visitors against the risk of falling. Contrary to what the name might suggest, there is no beach at Broken Beach.

Broken Beach
Natural bridge and archway on Nusa Penida Island. Aaron Rentfrew, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Kelingking Beach

Kelingking Beach is a spectacular rocky outcrop into the sea.
The rock of Kelingking Beach looks a bit like the backbone of a dinosaur coming to drink from the sea. On Google Map the bay is called T-Rex Bay. And if you are lucky you can also see Manta rays from the top of the cliff.

The esplanade overlooking the rock is now very popular with tourists and drone pilots. It is clearly one of the places that have contributed to the tourist development of Nusa Penida, in particular thanks to social networks. Kelingking also means little finger in Indonesian. But I find it hard to understand why. Or else it takes a lot of imagination…

The main attraction to see at Kelingking Beach is the view from the top of the cliff. The cliffs of this part of the coast of the island of Nusa Penida are very spectacular but this one is special!

Kelingking Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Nusa Penida. And in my opinion of Bali in the category of wild beaches. Even if you don’t want to go all the way down, take, at least for a few meters, the stairs that descend along the ridge line. You will be much calmer and the photos will be much better. Another tip, take your photos before going down, you will probably be less photogenic after going back up…

The trail then continues to Kelingking Beach (about a 20 minute walk). The fire also destroyed the somewhat complex system of ropes and wooden poles arranged to facilitate the descent. The path has been redesigned and is now more secure than before.

Don’t get discouraged halfway through. Because the ascent is easier than the descent. You are indeed facing the slope going up. It is therefore much more reassuring and therefore paradoxically less tiring.

It takes about 20 minutes now that the stairs have been set up to descend to Kelingking beach. Allow 30 minutes with a few breaks to come back up from the beach.

Kelingking-beach
Kelingking beach, Nusa Penida. Sasuke Shinozawa, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Crystal Bay

Crystal Bay combines the attractions of a sandy beach easily accessible by road, a spectacular rock planted in the middle of the bay and a renowned spot for scuba diving or mask and snorkel. The must see places in Nusa Penida.

Crystal Bay Beach is one of the most visited beaches in Nusa Penida. It is easily accessible by scooter from the port of Toyapakeh. The road has indeed been recently resurfaced and is very good. The sunsets, facing the beach, are among the most spectacular in Nusa Penida.
But you can also spend a pleasant day there. For the more athletic, there is no shortage of activities. Others may prefer to stay on a sun lounger under the shade of an umbrella.

And if you are very lucky you may see dolphins there. And finally, do not go swimming on the right side of the bay (when you look at the sea) because the waves could drag you on the corals. In short, if you follow all these instructions, swimming and snorkeling with mask, flippers and snorkel are very nice!

The beach is also an easy starting point to go and see the Manta rays while snorkeling. You can book with your hotel or otherwise try your luck directly with captains early in the morning.

Crystal Bay, Nusa Penida 2017-08-20 (1)
Crystal Bay in Nusa Penida – Bali. Magul, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Angel Billabong

A billabong normally refers to a body of water consisting of an oxbow that forms when the course of a river changes. Here, it is rather a natural pool that has formed in the cliff. The pool fills up at high tide and the water remains trapped at low tide. The water is very clear and it is quite fun to go swimming there when the sea is low.

On the other hand, be careful, if the sea rises or if the sea is strong, as soon as the first wave enters the pool, it is imperative to get out. I’ve seen tourists get knocked off balance by a wave. And they were lucky not to be swept away by the wave outside the pool, because then it is almost impossible to come back. The next two photos were taken 5 minutes apart…

Angel-billabong
Angel Billabong in Nusa Penida. Sasuke Shinozawa, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

2. Nusa Lembongan

We often hear that Nusa Lembongan looks like Bali twenty – thirty years ago! The atmosphere here is very relaxed and away from the madness of Kuta. Nusa Lembongan is also famous for its seaweed cultivation on the beach which is very interesting to watch. The island also has great surf spots along its shores, for those who like to catch waves. Nusa Lembongan only offers a few underwater sites, but they are amazing! Most of the dive sites are actually located around Nusa Penida.

3. Nusa Ceningan

Currently Nusa Ceningan does not offer accommodation or diving.

In Ceningan you will also find many quiet little beaches, especially the first beach out of the bridge is very beautiful, with swings and hammocks all over the sea in the middle of the water. When the tide is high enough, the water is level and reveals a magnificent sandbar in the middle of the water, so you can walk with water 10 cm above your feet for more than 50 meters.

How to get to Nusa Penida by fast boat?

More than 8 fast boat companies cross from Sanur to Nusa Penida for a total of 18 connections per day. And 3 companies from Kusamba to Sampalan which provide 20 connections per day.

Fast Boat Nusa Penida – Prices at Traveloka (click here)

Angel Billabong fast cruise

Sanur Nusa Penida: departures at 7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 2:15 p.m. and 5:20 p.m.
return to Bali: departures at 7:20 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
+62 82 144 048 323

Maruti-Express

Sanur Nusa Penida: departures at 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
return to Bali: departures at 7:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
+62 81 246 892 524
+62 81 338 754 848

Semabu Hills Fast Boat

Sanur Nusa Penida: departures at 7:30 a.m., 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.
return to Bali: departures at 8 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Ax Stone

Sanur Nusa Penida: departure at 7:30 a.m., 8:15 a.m., 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
return to Bali: departures at 9:15 a.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 4:45 p.m.

The Tanis

Sanur Nusa Penida: departure at 8 a.m. and 12 p.m.
return to Bali: departures 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Funtastic Fast Boat

Sanur Nusa Penida: departure at 9:45 am
return to Bali: departures at 8:30 am

Rayfish

Sanur Nusa Penida: departure at 8:15 a.m.
return to Bali: departures at 4:30 p.m.
+62 82 339 616 768
rayfishfatscruises@gmail.com

Angel Billabong, Maruti Express and Semabu Hills are very reliable.

Idola Express

Sanur Sampalan: departure at 8:15 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Sampalan Bali: departures at 1:15 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
WhatsApp: +62 81 808 072 488
email: info@idolaexpress.com

From Kusamba to Sampalan

Gangga Express

from Kusamba to Sampalan (or Buyuk): 6:30 a.m., 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. (Buyuk), 12:15 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. (Buyuk)
from Sampalan (or Buyuk) to Kusamba: 6:30 a.m., 7 a.m. (Buyuk), 7:30 a.m., 8 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. (Buyuk)

The Angkal

Kusamba to Sampalan: 6 a.m., 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 1:45 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Sampalan to Kusamba: 6:30 a.m., 7 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 8 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Sekarjaya

from Kusamba to Sampalan: 7:15 a.m., 8 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
from Sampalan to Kusamba: 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m.

Schedules by departure time from Sanur

  • 7:30 am with Angel Billabong, Maruti Express, Ax Stone or Semabu Hills
  • 8h with Semabu Hills
  • 8:15 a.m. with Ax Stone or Ray Fish or with Idola Express to Sampalan
  • 8:30 a.m. with Angel Billabong
  • 9am with Maruti Express
  • 9:45 a.m. with Funtastic Fast Boat
  • 11 a.m. with Ax StoneMidi with The Tanis
  • 1pm with Semabu Hills
  • 2:15 p.m. with Angel Billabong
  • 3 p.m. with Maruti Express
  • 3:30 p.m. with Ax Stone or with Idola Express (towards Sampalan)
  • 5:20 p.m. with Angel Billabong

Schedules by departure time from Nusa Penida

  • 7:20 a.m. with Angel Billabong
  • 7:30 a.m. with Maruti
  • 8h with Semabu Hills
  • 8:30 a.m. with Funtastic Fast Boat
  • 9:15 a.m. with Ax Stone
  • 10 a.m. with The Tanis
  • 12:30 p.m. with Maruti Express
  • 1pm with Angel Billabong
  • 1:15 p.m. with Idola Express (from Sampalan)
  • 1:30 p.m. with Semabu Hills
  • 2:30 p.m. with Ax Stone
  • 4:00 p.m. with Angel Billabong
  • 4:30 p.m. with Angel Billabong, Maruti Express, Semabu Hill, The Tanis, Ax Stone or Ray Fish
  • 4:30 p.m. with Idola Express (from Sampalan)
  • 4:45 p.m. with Ax Stone

Please kindly note that in the event of bad weather the schedule may change.

How to go from Seminyak to Nusa Penida by fast boat?

The departure can be done from two ports: Sanur Port or Padang Bai Port. If you leave from Sanur, you will arrive in Nusa Penida on the port of Toyopakeh, in 25 minutes with a fastboat.

On the other hand, if you leave from the port of Padang Bai, the crossing will be done by ferry in 2 hours and you will disembark at the wharf of Sampalan, on the northeastern tip of Nusa Penida.

1. First from Seminyak you need to drive to the ferry terminal in Sanur (Sanur Port or Pelabuhan Sanur).

2. Once you’re in Sanur Port, then take a fast boat to Nusa Penida (around 40 minutes).

From Padang Bai Port to Sampalan Port (Nusa Penida)

If you stay near Candi Dasa (a small coastal town in eastern Bali), chose Padang Bay Port to go to Nusa Penida, it’s closer! From Candi Dasa to Padangbay Port (10,7 km) around 20 minutes drive.

On the other hand, if you leave from the port of Padang Bai (Pelabuhan Padang Bai), the crossing will be done by ferry in 2 hours and you will disembark at the wharf of Sampalan, on the northeastern tip of Nusa Penida.

Ferry companies and ports of arrival in Nusa Penida

If you have already booked your speedboat ticket, you can check below which boat company arrives at which port in Nusa Penida.

Ferry Companies to Toyapakeh Harbor, Nusa Penida

From Sanur (southeast of Bali): From Kusamba (northeast of Bali):
Angel Billabong Fast Cruise
Dwi Manunggal
Crown Fast Cruises
El Rey Junior
Sri Rejeki
Gogun Fast Boat
Angkal Fast Boat
Semabu Hills Fast Boat
Maruti Express
Semabu Hills Bateau rapide

Ferry Companies to Buyuk Harbor

From Sanur: From Serangan:
Caspla Bali Sea View Speedboat
Marlin Fast Boat Speedboat
Dream Beach Express Speedboat
 Gili Getaway

Ferry companies to Sampalan port

From Sanur: From Kusamba:
Idola Express
Caspla Bali
Mola-Mola Express
S’Gening Fast Boat
Gangga Express
Sekarjaya

Sources: CleverlySmart, PinterPandai

Main photo credit: Sasuke Shinozawa (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Wikimedia Commons

Useful Tips for Visiting Temples in Bali

With more than 50,000 temples (including those present in houses, caves, shops, restaurants, nightclubs (!), hotels, markets…), Bali deserves its nickname of “the island of the Gods”. Here are useful tips for visiting temples in Bali.

Some consider the island to be a high place of spiritual energies in Indonesia! So much so that many expats-dressed-in-sari will tell you that Bali is located at a point of convergence of particularly powerful energies!
So “spiritual energy” and “particularly powerful energies”, sincerely, I don’t know, but on the other hand what is certain is that the island is located in a very active seismic and volcanic zone and for once very powerful !

Finally, in any case, a visit to Bali would be incomplete if you failed to visit some of its temples. Indeed, the main religion on the island – Hinduism – is an integral part of the Balinese soul. It is so rooted in the culture that it is what gives rhythm to the life of the island, from the offerings placed in the early morning, to the processions to the temples at the end of the day…

And one of the strengths of the Balinese is their deep respect and attachment to religious traditions.
So much so that Bali is today the only place on earth where, for 36 hours, the inhabitants remain cloistered at home, just like tourists who are prohibited from leaving their hotels. The streets – like the beaches, mountains and rice paddies – are deserted. The island finds itself isolated from the world: no plane lands or takes off from the airport, no boat enters or leaves the ports.
And absolute silence reigns over the island…
This unique event in the world is called Nyepi: it is the Balinese New Year.

Read also: Tanah Lot Bali | Temples Bordering the Indian Ocean

It is also impossible to open a business without celebrating a blessing beforehand (as explained in this article: Blessing Urbi and Bali); or in any case, it is not recommended at all!

Finally, for many visitors visiting a temple in Bali (or “temples” for that matter, it’s true… why restrict yourself?) is one of the best things to do during your stay (it’s also widely recommended by the Lonely Planet guide) and you should read this useful tips for visiting temples in Bali.

“The Pura”: The Temple in Bali

Pura Uluwatu, Pura Ulun Danu, Pura Tirta Empul… So you guessed it: “Pura” (pronounced “Poura”, rolling the “r”) is therefore the name for the Temple in Bali.

Of Sanskrit origin, the word literally means “space surrounded by a wall”.

And while many temples are visible (and again, “many” is an understatement), their construction and meaning are no coincidence because, as with many things in Bali, many small details reveal big symbols.

Thus, the temple is always oriented along a mountain-sea axis; the part facing the mountain contains the sacred heart of the temple, while on the opposite (so, if you follow correctly: facing the sea) is the entrance to the temple.

The mountain they face is Mount Agung, Bali’s sacred volcano.

The temple, like the conception of the Universe in Balinese culture (note also that the houses follow the same architectural scheme), is organized in 3 levels with, from the outside to the inside:

1 > The “Jeroan”
Facing Mount Agung, it is the highest, holiest and holiest (hence the most important) part of the temple. It represents the World of the Gods, or Superior World (“Swah”).
It is here that the ceremonies are organized, that the Balinese come to pray and place the offerings on altars.

2 > The “Jaba Tengah”
Separated from the Jeroan by a large door (“Kori Agung”), this central part of the temple symbolizes the world of Men; the Intermediate World, or Center of the World (“Bwah”), therefore situated between that of the Gods and that of the Demons.
It is in this part of the temple that the Balinese meet to prepare the ceremonies.
Under the “Balés”, the beach (the Balés are a kind of shelter on stilts covered with a roof of tiles or palm leaves), the women make decorations and offerings which will then be deposited in the “Jeroan” during ceremonies.
There is also cooking, and secondary ceremonies can take place there.

3 > The “Jaba Pisan”
Separated from the Jaba Tengah by a door called “Candi Bentar”, it is the part which symbolizes the Lower World (“Bhur”), that of the Demons, outside the temple (although it is inside the walls…). It is therefore the part facing the sea and the lowest part of the temple.
In this area, there are mainly flower gardens, free areas that can be used for religious dances and Bale.
The Balinese also gather there to have lunch together, to play and to organize cockfights (even if they are officially prohibited).
Thus allowing to pass from one part of the temple to another, the different doors (“Candi Bentar” and “Kori Agung”) thus serve as a symbolic passage between the different “worlds” and represent the separation between the material world and the spiritual world.

The Candi Bentar gate would be a representation of Mount Meru, which would have been separated into 2 symmetrical parts by the God Shiva, thus becoming Mount Agung and Mount Batur (the 2 volcanoes of Bali).

The interior walls of the door being smooth, the Candi Bentar door would crush the demons who would like to enter the sacred part of the temple…
– Do you know the story of “Paf le Démon”?
– Uh no…
– So, it’s the story of a demon who wanted to enter the temple and bang the demon” (Balinese variant of “Bang the dog… here, here, here… Sorry!”).

Thus, the most sacred temples are built on the highest parts of the island, therefore in places corresponding to the Swah, or the World of the Gods.

And thanks to the trees, the flowers, and the various offerings placed, the temples are very colorful and fragrant. Symbol carriers, parasols and various fabrics add a little more color. Symbols of the Hindu trinity, 3 colors dominate moreover:

Red, which represents Brahma, the creator God of the universe
Black, which symbolizes Vishnu, the guardian God, the one who maintains and protects the universe
White, which is the color of Shiva, the destroyer God of the world but obviously also of recreation and fertility.
There is also Yellow, to symbolize the God Iswara (it is he who would have given birth to Vishnu, according to Hindu mythology… but at this level, I am a little lost in their Gods and their roles).

Throughout the temple, there is an interwoven black and white checkerboard fabric, the “Poleng”.

Decorative, the Balinese use it to surround, among other things, trees, altars, temples… This motif symbolizes the fact that in life, good and evil, splendor and evil are closely intertwined.

And so for harmony to reign, it is important to maintain a balance between the 2 forces.

Finally, there are also many umbrellas whose color is just decorative white.

Parasols and yellow and white sheets in a temple
Originally, the temples were built of red bricks and white stones. For a long time they were maintained using the same materials. But techniques, materials and technologies are evolving… But now red bricks and white stones are being replaced by new materials: lava stones! These have the significant particularity of being much more resistant to time. But they are also much darker (the aesthetics of the temple is therefore not the same, while the symbolism remains the same).

This is also part of a founding principle of the Hindu religion: construction – maintenance – and destruction (to then be rebuilt)… A symbolism carried by the 3 Gods.

The Meru (towers) of the Temple

In addition to the altars, one of the most important buildings of the temple, and particularly visible (often from outside the temple) is the Meru (pronounced “Meru”, yes, like the fish).

Located in the most sacred part of the temple, the Jeroan, it is a wooden tower erected on a square base built of bricks. Like an arrow pointing towards the sky, the tower is made up of multiple overlapping roofs, made of palm fibers. It symbolizes the mythical Mountain of the Gods of the Hindu religion: Mount Meru.

The number of roofs is always odd and varies according to the importance of the God or the person to whom it is dedicated. This goes up to a maximum of 11 floors. It is located at the Ulun Danu Beratan Temple and is dedicated to Mount Agung – the Sacred Volcano of Bali – and to Shiva (while the Gods Brama and Vishnu are only entitled to 9 floors).

In temples, the Meru is therefore dedicated either to the Supreme Gods of the Hindu pantheon, or to a deified local personality. According to the Balinese, the Meru serves as a “temporary palace” for the gods when they visit for certain ceremonies. However, one does not find in the temples of the statue of the God, or the Goddess, venerated.

Finally, because of its sacred character, the construction is erected on a very, very solid base to prevent the Meru from blowing up (yes, I know, I already made that joke in a previous article, but I got involved in an ecological approach: I recycle the jokes…)!

And as “life is a celebration and a disaster” (Jean d’Ormesson) and the temples in Bali are considered as living beings, each temple celebrates its “semi-anniversary” every 6 months. This is the Odalan ceremony, during which multiple activities celebrate the descent to earth of ancestors from the Odela (uh… beyond, sorry!).

In addition to family temples, each village has 3 types of temples:

1. The Temple of Origins (Pura Puseh), the most important, dedicated to God Brahma (the Creator God) and to the founders of the village. It is located towards Mount Agung.
2. The Village Temple (The Pura Desa), dedicated to Vishnu (the Protector God) is located in the heart of the village; the inhabitants come there to venerate the spirits who protect the community.
3. The Temple of Death (the Pura Dalem), located at the end of the village, towards the sea. It is also the temple of “evil” spirits (not those who make jokes in bad taste) and demons. Indeed, the Balinese also respect the demons in order to maintain a balance between positive and negative energies. It is dedicated to Shiva, the destroyer and regenerator God.

Surprisingly, temples in Bali never have a roof that covers the entire structure. Indeed, the temple is a link between the beyond and the world of the living: it therefore allows the Gods and ancestors who would like to visit the living, to come directly from the beyond. Where a roof would therefore cut communication…

There are also more important temples: some are located in the mountains (like the temple of Besakih, called the “mother” temple, because it was built on one of the slopes of Mount Agung) and others located by the sea (like by example Uluwatu, or even Tanah Lot), which therefore create a kind of spiritual protection that encircles and protects Bali.

The temples in Bali are therefore important places for the life of the village: well decorated, adorned with flowers and trees, they are places of rituals where daily processions take place. Through the various temples and the offerings deposited daily, the Balinese thus attract the good graces of the Gods and also appease the Demons.

The Human Body as a Temple

In the Balinese-style Hindu religion, the Human Being is an integral part of the Cosmos, of which he is both a constituent element and a mirror.

Thus, just as the cosmos is divided into 3 parts, the human body is therefore also (and like the temple) divided into 3 parts:

The Head (directed towards the sky, therefore the Gods; the Swah), therefore the purest (this is why it is recommended not to touch someone’s head);
The Trunk (intermediate zone), “neutral” part;
From the Waist to the Feet (directed towards the ground, therefore the Demons, the Bhur), the impure zone (this is the reason why it is recommended to hide one’s legs during visits).
In Balinese culture, the Universe (and therefore the world) is considered as a living whole.

The material (feminine principle) and spiritual (masculine principle) elements are linked there within an eternal transformation process that unifies 3 forces:
– those of creation (via the God Brahma),
– that of balance (the God Vishnu)
– and that of destruction (the Goddess Shiva).

We also find this balance in a symbol very present in Bali: the swastika, or Hindu swastika.

Still according to Balinese belief, the condition of the human being evolves during cycles of reincarnations, conditioned by karma. These cycles of transmigration of the soul, succession of birth, death, then rebirth (the soul finds itself linked to the body) are called: “Samasara”.

In this way, the human being is fully integrated into the process of transformation of the Universe.

The incarnation is therefore experienced as a condition of suffering that man must strive to overcome, to reach the “Moksa”, namely the ultimate deliverance – or revelation – (the equivalent of Nirvana among the Buddhists): soul and body then return in peace to their cosmic equivalent.

The practice of Yoga, meditation and the respect of certain rules would make it possible to reach this awakened state.

Some Tips before Visiting a Temple in Bali | Useful tips for visiting temples in Bali

When visiting temples in Bali, remember that these are sacred places, and that the Balinese consider them to be “alive”. In addition, remain silent during ceremonies, respect water sources (basins, fountains), offerings or any religious artifacts, because religion is extremely sacred for the Balinese and you should read useful tips for visiting temples in Bali.

In order not to offend the Balinese, here are some rules of good conduct and ethics to follow, whatever the temple:

Shoulders and upper arms covered (therefore: no bare torso or “marcel”),
Knees covered, either by trousers, or otherwise wearing a sarong tied at the waist (no shorts above the knee therefore). The sarong is a kind of sarong to tie around the waist. You can easily buy one in Bali, otherwise you can always rent one at the entrance of the temple (if you don’t mind that it has been worn by several people before you…).
Ideally, tie a scarf or shawl around your waist (like the belt of Balinese outfits: the “sash”)
Wear shoes or flip flops, but don’t go barefoot.
Do not step on the offerings placed on the ground.
Of course: do not spit, do not throw your waste on the ground, do not smoke, do not shout or swear.
Do not walk in front of the faithful during prayers, to avoid disturbing them and disrespecting them. So stay back, or to the side.
Do not place yourself above the priest during the ceremonies, because to put yourself higher than him is a singular lack of respect.
Finally, if you are a woman, two more specific rules apply to you:
During periods of menstruation – which is considered impure (risks inducing an imbalance of the world, according to the Balinese) – it is possible that access to the temple is simply forbidden to you (so calculate your shot ladies to visit the temples at the right period… or in any case between 2 periods!).
You cannot enter a temple compound if you are pregnant.

Note: during ceremonies and processions, Balinese men cover their heads with an “udeng”. A sort of hat, or turban, it prevents hair from falling and thus defiling the temple.

I hope this information concerning the useful tips for visiting temples in Bali will be useful to you in order to visit the temples in Bali while respecting the beliefs of its inhabitants.

And in a future post we will list my favorite temples, those that I consider essential during your stay in Bali!

Sources: CleverlySmart, PinterPandai, Bali Holiday Secrets

Photo credit: Author: Sean Hamlin from Wellington, New Zealand (CC BY 2.0) via Wikimedia Commons

Photo description: the Mother Temple of Besakih, or Pura Besakih, in the village of Besakih on the slopes of Mount Agung in eastern Bali, is the most important, the largest and holiest temple of Agama Hindu Dharma in Bali, Indonesia and one of a series of Balinese temples.

Tirta Gangga Palace | The Royal Baths in Bali

Tirta Gangga Palace is a former royal palace located in East Bali, between Candidasa and Amed (30 minutes drive from Amed). It is particularly known for its water palace. Try to visit the water gardens of this palace during our stay in Bali and spent a small part of the afternoon there.

Where is Tirta Gangga located?

Tirta Gangga is a village located in eastern Bali, near Mount Agung. Our stay in Bali was based on “star” trips from the villas or hotels we had rented. We visited the eastern part of the island for one day, going back and forth from Kuta. This day also included the visit of the temples of Besakih.

This place is also known by the English name of Tirta Gangga Water Palace. It is under this name that you will find it on Google Maps.

This region of the island is also famous for its beautiful rice fields.

History of Tirta Gangga Palace

Tirta Gangga Palace is a water palace built between 1946 and 1948 by the then ruler of Karangasem. Karangasem is a kubapaten (administrative subdivision in Indonesia) of Bali. It bears the name of an ancient kingdom of Bali. For information Indonesia has about 400 kubapaten, including 8 in Bali.

The springs of Tirta Gangga are considered sacred. The village bears this name because it refers to the sacred river of the Hindus: the Ganges. Indeed, in Hindu, Tirta Gangga means the “water of the Ganges”. This sovereign also appreciating the aquatic environment, therefore decided to build this palace by including some basins. As well as luxurious gardens, many statues, and fountains.

Read also: Places to Visit in Ubud | What to do in Ubud – Bali?

The palace was built on a plot of approximately 1 hectare. Unfortunately almost all of the palace was destroyed in 1963 during the eruption of the nearby Agung volcano. It was subsequently renovated and then opened for visits.

The walk in the gardens

When you are in the park you will immediately notice that water occupies an important place. And in particular the central element that immediately emerges from the decor: a magnificent 11-storey fountain. In addition to this sculpted fountain, the park is also planted with dozens of Balinese statues.

The different basins have some particularities. There are those in particular in which you can contemplate very beautiful aquatic flowers, or carp. We can thus discover water lilies and lotus flowers. There are also those with a slightly more playful aspect, such as this basin near the entrance to the park, on which flat stones are placed. It is then possible to walk on the basin, stepping over these stones.

Note that a pool is also intended for swimming. You can also meet locals there, and it is not forbidden to enjoy it either if you wish…

The gardens are open daily from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. For the price it is around one euro per person… Note also that this park is not a temple, therefore is not a religious site. It therefore does not require the wearing of the sarong. Count an hour for the walk, because the gardens are still not very big.

Sources: PinterPandai, CleverlySmart, Wanderers & Warriors

Photo credit (main picture): Author: S A B R I N A B A L I (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Wikimedia Commons

The Rich Bali Heritage and Culture

Bali may well receive more than 3 million tourists each year, but it has not been distorted. Everywhere on the island – except perhaps around Kuta – you can attend processions, ceremonies or traditional shows. Bali heritage and culture remains extremely lively, coexisting and/or adapting to the new tourist situation, and that’s good!

Dances and musics

Balinese dances are the finest and best-known expression of this cultural vitality. There are some 2,000 troupes on the island, which perform in temples, because dance in Bali is linked to the divine and the sacred: many shows are inspired, for example, by the Hindu epic Ramayana .

Under no circumstances miss a performance of legong or kecak (very spectacular): bewitchment guaranteed to the haunting sound of the gamelans (traditional instrument). Another show to discover: the wayang kulit puppets.

Read also: Bali Arts Festival in Denpasar | The Biggest Annual Cultural Event in Bali

The beautiful traditional dance costumes of leak dance
The beautiful traditional dance costumes of leak dance from Bali. Mufidqa91, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Temples and ceremonies

Temples are the other major expression of Balinese cultural vitality. Throughout the year, even every day, ceremonies take place there. Tourists can attend with respect and discretion.

Cremations (in public) are among the most amazing ceremonies in the eyes of Westerners. Generally taking place 6 weeks after the death, they take on a certain splendor, as they constitute a crucial rite of passage for the deceased towards the afterlife.

Another surprising ceremony: the filing of teeth, which marks the adolescent’s entry into the adult world. Finally, there are lots of religious festivals throughout the year, bringing villages and temples to life, but also games, such as cockfighting, bird singing or kite flying competitions…

Tanah Lot Bali | Temples Bordering the Indian Ocean

Pictorial and culinary arts

Bali is also renowned for its painting, and in particular its naive paintings in an easily recognizable style, combining vegetation, animals and humans.

Finally, last but not least, Balinese cuisine will delight gourmets: try the traditional babi guling (stuffed suckling pig cooked on a spit), urab and bebek betut (duck). From warung to trendy designer restaurant, the island offers a very wide range, within reach of all budgets!

The peaceful and relaxed life in Bali

Nicknamed the Island of the Gods, this Indonesian island is perfectly suited to locals and foreigners eager for cultural heritage, respect for traditions, water sports enthusiasts, scuba diving enthusiasts, adventurers of all kinds as well as retirees in search of calm and tranquility, Bali is intended as much for shopaholics as it is for lovers of relaxation.

Bali Montage
Sunset over Amed beach with Mount Agung in the background, Garuda Wisnu Kencana monument, Tanah Lot temple, view from top of Besakih Temple, scuba diving around Pemuteran, The Rock Bar at Jimbaran Bay, and various traditional Balinese people activities. File:Amed banner sunset.jpg: borntosleepFile:GarudaWisnuKencana head.jpg: SankoFile:Tanah-Lot Bali Indonesia Pura-Tanah-Lot-01.jpg: CccefalonPanorama of Bali from Besakih – Mother temple.jpg: PopaneshFile:Snorkeling Pemuteran Bali 2.jpg: Ennio morriconeFile:The Rock Bar Bali (7188376333).jpg: Simon_seesFile:Balinese Dancer (Imagicity 1248).jpg: Graham CrumpFile:Balinese vrouwen in een processie bij een festival in Ubud, -7 Aug. 2009 a.jpg: Jean-Marie HullotFile:Balinese girl with offering.jpg: John Yavuz Canderivative work: Badpuccini, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Traditional philosophy

Tri Hita Karana is a traditional philosophy of life on the island of Bali, Indonesia. The literal translation is roughly the “three causes of well-being” or “three reasons for prosperity.”

The three causes referred to in the principle are as follows:

  • Harmony between humans
  • Harmony with nature or environment
  • Harmony with God
Culture value

By implementing Tri Hita Karana steadily, creatively and dynamically, a harmonious life will be realized which includes the development of a complete human being who is devoted to God Almighty, loves the environment and is in harmony and peace with others.

Sustainable-Development-goal-Kura Kura bali
Illustration of the Tri Hita Karana using the Sustainable Development Goals. Furyanto, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Offerings in Bali

It is a must in Bali, one of the first things you notice on the whole Island of the Gods. Everywhere in the streets, we see sorts of small baskets filled with flower petals. These small colorful baskets, made of coconut or banana leaves, are called “Canang Sari“.

The Balinese Hindu custom consists of depositing daily offerings everywhere. It is in a way a ritual to give back, to share, what has been given by the Gods…

This ancestral Balinese rite has existed for several centuries and continues to this day. These pretty colorful offerings are not created for the pleasure of tourists. They are an integral part of local culture and beliefs. For the Balinese, these offerings help preserve and maintain balance and peace in the world.

Canang sari
Offerings for prayers in Bali with: flowers, fruits, food, perfume scent. Canang sari is one of the daily offerings made by Balinese Hindus to thank the Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa in praise and prayer, as a form of thanking for the peace had given to the world; it is the simplest daily household offering. We will see them in the Balinese temples (pura), on small shrines in houses, and on the ground or as a part of a larger offering. The philosophy behind the offering is self-sacrifice in that they take time and effort to prepare. Canang sari is not offered when there is a death in the community or family. Dennis Sylvester Hurd, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Segehan, the offerings to the Demons

These offerings are simply placed on the ground to appease the demons. Unlike the “Canang Sari” which will always be placed high up to thank a deity.
Indeed, the Balinese think that if they pay homage to the Gods, they must also be careful to satisfy the demons! Belief in evil spirits therefore remains as important as belief in benevolent spirits.

It is therefore to maintain the “balance” of these forces and not to offend them that, every day, they place offerings on the ground.
Segehan can contain spoiled food. Indeed, the demons, very voracious, do not even know the difference with good food, unlike the Gods, who are very delicate! Some will tell you that the Segehan are less pretty than the Canang Sari, a matter of taste…

Demons, named Bhuta and Kala, are monsters. Through the offerings presented, the goal of the Balinese is not to make these demons disappear. Indeed, it is impossible since they are part of the universe. All they want is for them to be happy enough and avoid coming forward, to let the population live in peace.

To sum up, you will have understood it, it is enough to walk in the streets in Bali to find yourself in a completely different universe… Here, approximately 90% of the population is Hindu and, consequently, the occasions for celebrations and processions remain endless for Bali heritage and culture…
You have to come to the Island of the Gods to understand this atmosphere and this very special atmosphere. You will see how rituals and temples punctuate the daily life of the majority of Balinese.

Art & Culture - Segehan
Segehan is one of many kind of offering in Balinese Hindus. Puri Lumbung Cottages, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Temples in Bali, an ancestral cultural heritage.

More than 10,000 Balinese temples, including the very famous Pura Batukaru Temple, located on the southern slope of the mount of the same name, surrounded by lush vegetation, bordering a lake.

According to the inhabitants, it is a Paradise, nothing is more wonderful than getting up early for a visit to the temple in order to start a magnificent day.

The Balinese tradition imposes appropriate clothing for visiting the temples, the body must be covered with a sarong, this makes it possible to keep the body intact. sacred side of the place. Read also: Useful Tips for Visiting Temples in Bali

Crafts, arts and shopping in Bali

The center of Ubud is the ideal place to discover Balinese art and the wealth of local crafts.
Bamboo work, household furniture, traditional clothing, Sarongs, toys, artistic paintings, everything that Indonesian craftsmanship can produce can be found in the Ubud market.
Visitors take the opportunity to admire the royal palace located a few steps from the center, where the royal family usually resides.
The most interesting works of art are in the Puri Lukisan Museum, which has a remarkable park.

Rattan craftman
Rattan craftman. Wiaskara, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The ancestral culture of rice

In the most mountainous regions of the island, the cultivation of rice is a curiosity, terraces are laid out on the sides of the hills allowing the main agricultural activity of rice. Tourist attraction that fascinates apprentice photographers who park their vehicle as close as possible to the summit and thus enjoy the idyllic setting of the rice fields with the valley in the background. Bar, cafe and restaurants offer exotic dishes made from rice which among the Balinese is the equal of a goddess very appreciated by the population of Bali.

Battage du riz
Threshing rice and harvest in Bali. Eric Bajart, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Bali and its beaches

The most famous beach in Bali is of course Kuta Beach, which is often overcrowded, it is nice to know that a few steps from Kuta Beach is Seminyak Beach, which is less popular and therefore less crowded with tourists.
If you have a vehicle or scooter, Sanur beach, known for offering magnificent sunsets, is half an hour away, for peace and quiet, Nusa Dua beach, for privacy, the beaches near Kuta less accessible but delicious, Seminyak beach is glamorous, water sports enthusiasts will find themselves on the beach of Tanjung Benoa where water activities are numerous.

Seminyak Beach Club | Chic, Glamorous and Flashy | Perfect For Both Day and Night

Traditional Balinese dishes

Balinese gastronomy is particularly rich and varied. The national dish is nasi goreng, made from fried rice with pieces of meat, vegetables and eggs. In bakmi goreng, rice is replaced with fried noodles. Sates are small skewers of meat, grilled over a wood fire.

They are usually drizzled with a sauce made from peanuts. We also eat fresh tuna, crab, lobsters, avocado salads, as well as babi guglin [roast suckling pig], bebek betutuh [honey duck] which are the specialties of the island. The fruits are plentiful and tasty: mangoes, pineapples, papayas (which make excellent juices!), guavas and lychees can be found along the busy streets or in the markets.

Nasi campur bebek 2
Duck nasi campur. The Balinese version of this dish may contain grilled tuna, fried tofu, cucumber, spinach, tempeh (fermented soybeans), beef, curried vegetables, corn and chili. Midori, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Traditional Balinese clothing

Bali an island full of colors. You will never cease to be in awe of the Balinese wearing their most beautiful traditional outfits to go to religious ceremonies or attend a wedding, for example, etc.

For women, or little girls, the hair is important. The favorite hairstyle is the chignon which is reminiscent of that of the pretty princess Drupadi, the wife of one of the Pandawa brothers, in the Mahabharata. Women who have short hair often add false locks in order to be able to wear it. But it is important that those with sufficient length of hair tie it up and be neatly combed so that the strands of hair do not fall into the temple area and the sanctity of the temple is maintained. And for special events, such as their wedding, their teeth filing, or when they dance, a multitude of gold metal flowers are stuck in the girls’ hair, it’s very pretty, but it’s very heavy!

A long time ago, to dress themselves, women wrapped a long piece of cloth called sabuk all around their bust. It was narrower than the saput, but much longer, measuring more than three meters. Dancers and brides today still wear it, but other women wear kebaya. They are very beautiful long-sleeved shirts, mostly in colored and transparent lace and under corsets. Nowadays the fashion is to have our shirts at elbow length or even shorter). They then wrap around their waist a sarong, it is a piece of cloth about two meters long, usually in printed batik that extends to the ankles. And finally, above, they tie a belt: selendang. The set is very colorful, but still well matched. Children dress like adults, but there are ready-made outfits for them bought in the markets, where the sarong is replaced by a long skirt, which is much more practical!

Until the 1930s Balinese women went to ceremonies topless but this changed because of the Dutch who managed to convince them to cover up

COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Een vrouw draagt offers op het hoofd Bali TMnr 10003317
A woman carries offerings on her head, Bali. Tropenmuseum, part of the National Museum of World Cultures, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Weefster Bali TMnr 10014459
Woman weaver (a person who makes fabric by weaving fiber together) in Bali. Tropenmuseum, part of the National Museum of World Cultures, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Normally women should be dressed simply and correctly to go to the temple, but in recent years there has been a change in fashion in the traditional outfits of women who wear kebaya with mid-length or very short sleeves. This is starting to bother some who take a dim view of this change considering that it almost becomes a beauty contest to go to the temple and it’s too sexy. For example, at the Shiva temple in my village, it has been forbidden for a few months for women to wear kebaya with sleeves shorter than the elbow.

Colors of the kebaya

As for the colors of the kebaya originally, we expect them to be the color of purity and glory: white which symbolizes purity and yellow which represents triumph and prosperity.

During cremation the Balinese will wear black or dark colored kebaya, the highest castes can sometimes wear white if they wish.

Unfortunately in Bali times are changing and from now on the Balinese do not pay too much attention to the meaning and philosophy of all this. Today it’s more about fashion trends, luxury etc. and sometimes there are differences in social status.

Three Balinese girls wearing kebaya
Three Balinese girls wearing kebaya. Anne-Mette Jensen, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Balinese rites of passage

From its conception until its death, many ceremonies punctuate the life of a Balinese. Existence is a succession of lives and deaths. The newborn (reincarnation of an ancestor) must not touch impure soil before its 42nd day. On his first birthday (oton – 210 days), a ceremony marks his entry into the community. The filing of the teeth then marks the entry into adult life. This ritual is generally performed at puberty, when the front teeth are filed to counter the animal side in humans.

Marriage represents a sacrifice to lower spirits in order to purify the sexual act. Cremation, on the other hand, allows the soul to reincarnate. It is a question of freeing the soul by destroying the carnal envelope which imprisons it. It is the most important ceremony in the cycle of life which gives rise to great celebrations.

Important days and events in Bali

The Balinese use two traditional calendars. The main one is the Pewukon which regulates a large part of Balinese life. It superimposes various cycles over a period of 210 days. The saka calendar, on the other hand, is inherited from the Indian system. Each month begins after the new moon, which gives rise to great ceremonies.

Odalan

Every 210 days (one year according to the Pawukon calendar), the whole village comes together to commemorate the founding of the temple (the odalan). It is then the occasion to pay homage to the divinities by offerings and prayers. With more than 20,000 temples in Bali, the opportunities to attend a ceremony are very numerous!

Odalan procession
Odalan temple anniversaty procession. Balinese women dressed in traditional costume on their way to the temple. Midori, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The inhabitants wear the traditional dress and the women carry the offerings on their heads to take them to the temple. The temples are decorated with many flowers and offerings.
After the prayer, water is sprinkled on the faithful and blessed rice is distributed to them. The faithful then apply it to the temples, throat and forehead.

Tanah Lot odalan ritual
The Odalan ritual on Tanah Lot temple. Okkisafire, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Galungan and Kuningan

Every 210 days, Galungan celebrates the creation of the universe. The Balinese believe that the gods and the souls of the ancestors descend to the temples. Bali then comes alive to give rise to countless ceremonies and the festivities culminate ten days later for Kuningan.

On the eve of Galungan, penjor (bamboo arches decorated with coconut leaves) are erected in front of the houses. The altars of domestic temples are dressed in yellow ornaments. Many shops are closed, the administration is idling but the big hotels remain open.

Kunigan1
Placing offerings in a temple -Kuningan celebration at end of Galungan festival. Spencer Weart, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Saraswati

Festival dedicated to the goddess of knowledge. The Balinese pay homage to books by sprinkling sacred water. It is the name of the goddess of knowledge. This event is also celebrated every 210 days. As the “patron saint” of schools, she is celebrated primarily by children who pray and bring offerings to the school temple in her honor. The Balinese also pay homage to the goddess and to the books by sprinkling holy water.

Raja Ravi Varma, Goddess Saraswati
Goddess Saraswati, Goddess of knowledge. This print from the Ravi Varma Press derived from a painting by Raja Ravi Varma follows the iconographic description of Saraswati as found in the 50th chapter of the Agni Purana. She is described in the Agni Purana as being attired in white and playing the Veena with two arms and holding an aksha-mala (a string of pearls) and a pustaka (book) in the other hands. Raja Ravi Varma, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Tumpek

Every 35 days, the Balinese make offerings to precious goods such as iron objects (Tumpek Landep), animals (Tumpek Kandang), shadows (Tumpek Wayang), trees (Tumpek Uduh) or musical instruments , masks and other objects used during ceremonies (Tumpek Krulut).

Pagerwesi

This day is dedicated to spiritual strengthening, called Iron Gate, prayers and offerings are directed to save mankind. This Iron Gate has the meaning of a firm attitude of faith and knowledge possessed by humans, because without science human life will experience darkness.

It is the third most important festival in Bali after Galungan and Nyepi. The Balinese celebrate Pagerwesi every 210 days, always according to the Balinese calendar. The word Pagerwesi comes from “pager” (barrier) and “wesi” (iron) or “the iron barrier”. This day is dedicated to spiritual strengthening, to solidifying one’s strength against evil. On this occasion, we seek to save humanity, many offerings and prayers are made to ward off evil from men and the dead.

If they can, the Balinese will go to the big temples such as the Pura Besakih (national temple) or the Pura Jagatnata (large public temple which each kingdom has) or if they cannot go there, they will pray to the evening in their family temple to protect themselves from the negative elements.

Pagerwesi is closely related to Saraswati (day dedicated to the goddess of knowledge) since it is celebrated a few days later. The Balinese mainly honor Shiva on the day of Pagerwesi who transmitted his knowledge during the Sarawati festival. Therefore, it should also be seen that the Balinese also want knowledge to be protected from bad influences and abuse.

Melasti

An important ceremony for us Hindus is Melasti which consists of the purification of the Pratima (representations of all the gods of the village) as well as other Hindu religious symbols which are carried in procession to the sea for those living not far from it. or to the lake for mountain people. The purpose of this ritual is to purify all impurities but above all to purify Bhuana Alit (the little world) and Bhuana Aung (the universe) from bad influences, sins and bad thoughts. Bhuana Alit (the small world) is actually the heart/mind of every individual who lives in this world. This Melasti ritual is important because it reminds us of the value of life and how important it is and that we need a day to purify ourselves and the universe. So with this ceremony all the components of the universe have a pure spirit so that the world can survive against the threat of evil.

Melasti ceremony

This Melasti ceremony is one of the Bali heritage and culture and takes place 3/4 days before the Balinese New Year: Nyepi it depends on the rules of each village. This day we must dress in our traditional white outfits: symbol of purity.

Several men must thus carry the Pratimas to the sea or lake where they will be cleaned and then blessed, they are accompanied by gamelans who follow them during the procession, pretty umbrellas, standards, banners, barongs and rangda. One can sometimes walk for several kilometers in order to join the stream to carry out the purification of the pratimas because it is believed that these waters purify all the elements of the universe.

Sometimes during the procession it happens that some people are suddenly in a trance, it’s really an impressive thing to see and which never ceases to surprise us despite being used to it.

Many offerings were prepared for this special day as well as a beautiful traditional welcome dance for the gods.

Our advice: go to any beach that day in Bali to observe these processions.

Ritual Melasti - Bali heritage and culture
Melasti ritual is usually carried out to welcome the Nyepi day in Bali. This ritual is carried out in water centers such as lakes, springs and beaches. Imadedana, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Nyepi

A few days before Nyepi, Melasti is celebrated all over the island. This is the great purification. The Balinese then converge on the sea to purify themselves there. On the eve of Nyepi (New Year of the Saka calendar), all major crossroads receive large offerings that are believed to exorcise evil spirits. In the evening, large processions wander through the streets displaying the ogoh-ogoh. Nyepi is the day of silence, no one has the right to go out in the street or turn on a light.

Ogoh-ogoh statues in front of the Puri Lukisan Museum in Ubud
Ogoh-Ogoh, demonic figures, are paraded in Bali on the eve of Nyepi (Day of Silence). Ngrupuk-Ngrupukan, also known as the Ogoh-Ogoh parade celebrated on the night before Nyepi. MagdaLena7, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

August 17

Bali gathers to celebrate Independence Day. This national holiday is important and allows everyone to remember the hardships they have gone through.

Sources: PinterPandai, CleverlySmart

Photo credit: Mikhsan via Pixabay

Things To Do in Bali

Are you going to visit Bali soon or do you dream of going there? The number one tourist destination in Indonesia, Bali is a beautiful island full of must-see places to do and see! Here are things to do in Bali, to help you do this and so that you know what to do and what to see in Bali, here is a complete guide to 30 must-see places to visit in Bali.
Bali is known for its volcanic mountains, its paradisiacal beaches, its coral reefs, its rice fields, its tropical forests and its typical villages with incredible charm.

It is not easy to prepare an itinerary in Bali as there are so many things to discover.

This list of things to do and see in Bali best for 2 weeks. We have also supplemented this list with must-see places recommended by our travel community.

So, what to do and where to go in Bali? Here are Things To Do in Bali

This “list” is of course not exhaustive, and remains very subjective, but I hope it will be useful to you! Do not hesitate to complete it in the comments…!

1. Ubud, the cultural and spiritual center of Bali

Ubud is a city located towards the center of Bali where about 35,000 people live. It is considered to be the cultural and spiritual center of the island.

As you walk around Ubud, you will appreciate the many handicrafts and you may have the chance to experience ceremonies with traditional dances.

Located on high plateaus, Ubud has a very rich surrounding nature. You can easily escape to the tropical forest, discover the famous rice fields on the plateau or the beautiful Ayung River!

Many majestic temples stand in the surrounding area and you can’t wait to discover them on foot or by bike.

Visiting Ubud in Bali is the feeling of being in osmosis with Balinese nature, culture and traditions. An authentic Bali tour for sure!

Here are some places to discover near Ubud:
  • The Monkey Forest of Ubud, another must-see in Bali
  • The Ubud Art market
  • Ubud Palace
  • Monkey Forest Road

Ubud Complete Guide: Top 10 Places to Visit in Ubud

2. Denpasar, the largest city in Bali

Denpasar is the capital of Bali, located in the south of the island. Denpasar is the major center and offers many activities to tourists who go there.

In Denpasar, it is possible to find wonderful beaches on the east coast towards Sanur. You can also immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere of Kuta further south.

There are many traditional and beautiful sites. We advise you to visit the temples of Pura Blanjong and Tanah Lot or the Bali Museum to immerse yourself in Balinese traditions.

Denpasar is definitely one of Bali’s must-sees, although it is a more touristy region where it is difficult to rest.

Here are some ideas of places of interest to visit around Denpasar:

Tanah Lot Temple
Seminyak Beach
Sanur Beach
The Bajra Sandhi Monument

3. Kuta and Seminyak, one of Bali’s main resorts

Kuta is considered Bali’s main resort. It is located south of Denpasar, in the south of Bali.

Who says seaside resort, says paradise beach, tourists, nautical and sports activities, festive atmosphere etc. We are far from authentic Bali but Kuta remains a magnificent region of Bali.

Its beaches have become surfing spots and many amateurs go there to learn about the sport. Moreover, you can find many surfboard rentals in Kuta.

Here are some places to visit in the Kuta area of Bali:

Seminyak Beach
The city of Denpasar
Kuta Beach
The Legian district

4. Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple

Here is a wonderful temple to discover in Bali. The Pura Luhur Uluwatu temple is located on the cliff of Uluwatu in the far south of Bali. You just have to follow the end of the cliff to see it.

If you are lucky enough to go there at the end of the day to enjoy the sunset, then it will be a feast for your eyes and your camera!

It is a temple dedicated to the God of the sea, hence its geographical location at the end of a cliff and surrounded by the sea.

5. Amed and the fishing villages

A much more authentic destination in Bali, Amed is located in the northwest of Bali.

Here, you can conquer the seabed thanks to the many diving and snorkeling spots. Amed is full of secrets buried at the bottom of the sea. One of the secrets to be discovered is the wreck of the USAT Liberty in Tulamben. You can scuba dive there… Thrills guaranteed!

If you dream of charm and authenticity, calm and serenity, then Amed is the must-see destination in Bali that you must add to your list!

Here are some places to visit near Amed in Bali:

The wreck of the USAT Liberty at Tulamben
The small fishing villages
coral reefs

6. Jimbaran, another seaside resort in Bali

Jimbaran is another resort located in the south of Bali, below Kuta and Denpasar.

It is a city and a fishing village which have made tourism profitable thanks in particular to the many paradisiacal beaches of the region.

It is an ideal destination to taste fish in the many restaurants.

The sea of ​​Jimbaran Bay is particularly calm and will make you want to rest in an idyllic setting.

At night, the festive atmosphere takes precedence over the sound of the waves because yes, Jimbaran is also lively at night!

Here are places to visit around Jimbaran in Bali:

Jimbaran Beach
Uluwatu street
Uluwatu Temple
Garuda Wisnu Kencana Park
Jalan Tegal Wangi Beach

7. Mount Batur Volcano

Mount Batur is the best known volcano located in the north of Bali in the Kintamani area. Considered a sacred mountain in Indonesia, Mount Batur is perched over 1717 meters above sea level.

The volcano is still active but it is possible to climb Mount Batur.

If you are lucky enough to experience a sunrise or a sunset, then the experience is unique and you will be amazed! The Mount Batur hike is extraordinary and we highly recommend you do it!

8. Canggu, a charming village in Bali

Canggu is a small village bordered by a magnificent beach. Located in the southwest of Bali and west of Denpasar, tourists like to relax in peaceful nature.

Canggu is indeed quieter and less busy than Kuta which is a few kilometers to the south.

Canggu is a fashionable destination for tourists seeking authenticity in Bali. There is a surf spot, a heavenly beach, temples and rice fields.

Here are some places to visit around Canggu in Bali:

Canggu Beach
Batu Bolong Beach
Tanah Lot Temple
Mejan Stone Beach

9. Benoa, a seaside resort in Bali

Benoa is another seaside resort which was built on an old fishing village towards Kuta Selatan. It is located in the southeast of Bali and offers many activities for tourists.

In particular, there are many luxury hotels that are located on the edge of the beach. The beach is also magnificent with transparent and calm water.

This seaside resort differs above all from the others for its calm and relaxing side. Here, no party until no time and the music at full blast.

Everything is done so that tourists can enjoy the surrounding calm and tranquility.

Here are some ideas of places of interest to do around Benoa in Bali:

  • Pasifika Museum
  • Waterblow Beach
  • Jimbaran Beach
  • Penangkaran Penyu Bali Tanjung Benoa Turtle Reserve

10. Tanah Lot Temple

The temple of Tanah Lot is very well known thanks to its geographical layout. It stands in the middle of an islet called Pura Tanah Lot.

This Hindu temple is located on the west coast of Bali near the small village of Canggu.

It is a high place of pilgrimage for believers and a place of photographs for tourists and photographers.

If you can have the chance to visit the temple during a sunset, then you can make great photos!

11. Nusa Penida, a paradise island near Bali

Nusa Penida is an island that belongs to the province of Bali. It is located southeast of Bali, a few kilometers.

It is a fashionable destination to immerse yourself in a small paradise island, without volcanic mountains on its edge.

When you visit Nusa Penida, you fall under the spell of its paradisiacal beaches, its tropical forests and the seabed with incredible coral reefs. Difficult to find such turquoise water on Bali.

Nusa Penida is definitely an island you must visit if you go to Bali!

Here are places to see around Nusa Penida towards Bali:

  • Nusa Lembongan Island
  • Kelingking Beach
  • Crystal bay
  • Nusa Ceningan Island

12. Nusa Lembongan, neighbor of Nusa Penida

Once on Nusa Penida, it would be a shame not to take advantage of the very small neighboring island that is Nusa Lembongan. Located north of Nusa Penida, it is a magnificent destination.

A real natural reserve of fish and underwater species, bring your mask and snorkels to discover the beauty of the seabed!

You can also do the third island which is called Nusa Ceningan.

13. Jatiluwih rice fields

If you want to immerse yourself in the heart of the most beautiful rice fields in Bali, then you have to go to Jatiluwih!

The Jatiluwih rice fields are located in the heart of Bali.

There are hectares and hectares of rice plantations arranged in plateaus in the heart of lush and incredible nature. The scenery in the rainforest and the steep ravines are just beautiful to see.

Moreover, to prove to you the beauty of the place, it is enough to translate “Jatiluwih”. You have it ? Well, that simply means “wonderful” like the place you are about to set foot in.

14. Bedugul, the mountain resort in Bali

Bedugul is an atypical seaside resort since, unlike the others, there are no heavenly beaches or diving spots. It’s a mountain seaside resort!

It is located in the north-central region of Bali towards the beautiful Lake Bratan. There are many villages in the region and many hiking departures for sports and nature lovers.

It is also the place where we find an incredible temple under the name of Ulun Danu.

Here are some ideas of places to see around Bedugul in Bali:

  • Lake Bratan
  • Ulun Danu Temple
  • Candi Kuning market
  • Jatiluwih rice fields
  • Banyumala Waterfall

15. CandiDasa, a haven of peace in Bali

Discover a very beautiful city located on the east coast of Bali: CandiDasa.

This region has magnificent beaches bordering a freshwater lagoon. It is one of the must-see places to visit in Bali.

We discover landscapes isolated from all tourist constructions in Bali. It is a real haven of peace with an authentic side of Bali.

However, there are many things to do and see, such as exploring the superb seabed, discovering unknown beaches, visiting the Goa Lawah temple, or even meditating at the Lotus Lagoon.

Here are some places to visit around Candidasa in Bali:

  • Goa Lawah Temple
  • The Lotus Lagoon
  • Go rafting on the Telaga Weja River
  • The village of Tenganan
  • Mount Agung

16. Padangbai, a small village in Bali

Padangbai is a small fishing village located in the south of Bali. It is a village known mainly for its gateway to another tourist island: Lombok. Many ferries run back and forth between Bali and Lombok.

By going to Padangbai, you can go diving and snorkeling on a superb paradise beach with turquoise water. This beach is called Blue Lagoon.

Another even more discreet beach, Bias Tugel Beach is less easy to access but is definitely worth the detour. Finally a beach on which you can rest quietly away from the tourist influx!

Here are the places to see around Padangbai in Bali:

  • Blue Lagoon
  • Bias Tugel Beach
  • Padang Bai Beach
  • Silayukti Temple

18. Tirtagangga Palace

Located in East Bali, Tirtagangga Palace stands in a stunning area surrounded by lush nature. Tirtagangga means “water of the Ganges”, thus taking up the sacred Tirtagangga springs that can be found there.

A 35-minute drive from Candi Dasa (18 km), this palace is a delight. The Tirta Gangga Water Palace in Bali, set on the sacred waters, is a veritable Garden of Eden where all is beauty. The nature that surrounds the statues, baths and fountains is wonderful. We didn’t swim but you can take your bathing suits to dive into a swimming pool at the palace if you’re not chilly.

Here, there are baths, gardens, water sources, rice fields and a palace. It is an old Water Palace surrounded by parks and gardens with many water sources.

Do not hesitate to walk there because here, the environment is very soothing. So walk through the park, passing many Balinese statues and flowers, each more beautiful than the other.

You can even swim in a sacred spring in the park!

19. The mountainous region of Kintamani

Kintamani is the mountainous region of Bali located in the north of the island. There are therefore mountains and volcanoes that surround small Balinese villages.

There is notably the famous Mount Batur and its Lake Batur. We strongly advise you to go for a walk there because the trails are magnificent!

You can go to the village of Penelokan to enjoy a superb view of the region. This is one of the most beautiful panoramas to do on Bali, landscape guaranteed!

In this region of Kintamani, there are also some temples including the Pura Ulun Danu Batur temple which was destroyed by an eruption. This temple is considered sacred by the Balinese community.

Here are some places to do and see in the Kintamani area of ​​Bali:

  • Mount Batur
  • Lake Batur
  • Kintamani Village
  • Village of Penelokan
  • Pura Ulun Danu Batur Temple

20. Tampaksiring Town and Gunung Kawi Temple

The town of Tampaksiring is located in the center of Bali, in the Gianyar region. There is notably the famous temple of Gunung Kawi and its archaeological site.

This area is located about 18 kilometers north of Ubud. The two main places to visit here are the Tirta Empul springs and the Gunung Kawi temple.

It is a famous pilgrimage site for Indonesians. Considered a true jewel of the Island of the Gods, Tampaksiring is definitely worth a visit.

The Tirta Empul springs have made their reputation thanks to their therapeutic virtues. Pilgrims come to bathe there to purify themselves.

Here you are in authentic Bali!

Here are the things to do in Bali, main places to visit around Tampaksiring in Bali: 

  • Gunung Kawi Temple
  • Titra Empul Springs
  • Mengening Temple

21. Lake Bratan and its Ulun Danu Bratan Temple

This is now one of our favorite places in Bali. Lake Bratan is the second largest lake in Bali, located in the Bedugul area in the north.

The Ulun Danu Bratan temple was built on this lake in the 17th century so that the faithful could place offerings there intended for the goddess of the waters: Dewi Tanu.

Lake Bratan is Bali’s main source of irrigation and water. Being located in north central Bali, it can irrigate many lands around.

If you see Indonesians taking pictures in front of the temple with 50,000 rp bills, don’t be surprised. The Ulun Danu temple is represented on the ticket, which is to say the enthusiasm that the Indonesians have…

22. Lovina Beach

Lovina beach is another resort in Bali located on the north coast. Its black sand beaches have made its reputation.

You can witness the most beautiful sunset in Bali, while eating local fruits while sitting on the beach. Lovina is small but you can spend a week relaxing there.

In addition to the black sand, it is also the place where you can observe dolphins and corals while diving.

If you like hiking, you can take a trail that starts from Temoekoes village and takes you to Singsing waterfall. There is also a superb Dutch monument.

You can also bathe in the thermal springs of Banjar. In this park, there are hot water pools and tropical forests.

It is a very beautiful region of Bali that must be visited. Even though it is a very popular tourist destination, there are many activities and many must-see places for Bali to visit.

Here are some places of interest to go to in the Lovina Beach area of ​​Bali:

  • The Dolphin Statue
  • Lovina Beach
  • Pantai Lovina Beach
  • Pantai Lingga
  • Banjar thermal springs
  • Singsing Waterfall
  • Brahmavihara-Arama Buddhist Monastery

24. Lake Batur

As mentioned earlier in this article, Lake Batur is an essential place to visit in Bali. It is located at the foot of Mount Batur in the Kintamani region of northern Bali.

Backed by the volcanic slabs of Mount Batur and Mount Abang, Lake Batur (Danau Batur) is a striking crater lake considered sacred by the Balinese. Besides sunrise trekking, Mount Batur offers hot springs, canoe trips, and visits to Trunyan village, where Bali Aga residents expose their dead to rot in the open air.

It is a crater lake between Mounts Batur and Abang. It is the largest lake on the Island of the Gods with an area of ​​10 kilometers in diameter (6.2 miles in diameter). The color of the water varies according to the color of the sky.

You can reach the lake by a small road that leads to the Batur volcano. This road starts from the village of Penelokan.

You can then start your ascent to Mount Batur!

25. Tuban in South Bali

Tuban is a village located in the south of Bali, between the city of Denpasar and the peninsula of Bukit. It is particularly known for being not far from Ngurah Rai International Airport.

This may be the opportunity, if you are waiting for a plane, to enjoy Tuban Beach. It is a beach located not far from the famous beaches of Kuta and yet it has nothing to see.

It is mainly used by the local population for fishing, swimming or spending time with family. It is also a surf spot for the most seasoned.

The beach hotel is luxurious and the rates are quite expensive! We advise you not to stop there to eat.

Here are some places to visit around Tuban in Bali:

  • Circus Waterpark Kuta
  • Tuban Beach
  • Satria Gatotkaca Park
  • Pantai Kelan Beach

26. Sidemen Rice Fields

Sidemen is a village located in the eastern region of Bali. This small village enjoys an incredible environment since it is surrounded by mountains and rice fields.

Considered a cultural and artistic center, Sidemen enjoys serenity and absolute calm. You can discover magnificent rice fields surrounded by lush nature.

What we really appreciated while being in Sidemen, is that it is possible to walk many trails that leave in the middle of nature. There are plenty of opportunities for hiking!

You can also visit the Besakih temple about a good hour’s drive from Sidemen. Besakih is a set of twenty temples built at the foot of the Agung mountain.

27. The Temples and Springs of Banjar

Banjar is a province located in the north of Bali in the Buleleng region. This area is known for its temples and hot springs.

There are beautiful waterfalls like the Singsing waterfall. Series of magnificent waterfalls in which one can bathe.

In the pools of Banjar, several dragon statues spit hot water. In a green setting surrounded by nature, these pools will do you a lot of good!

28. Klungkung, former royal capital of Bali

Klungkung is also called Semarapura and is located in eastern Bali a few kilometers from Denpasar.

This is the former royal capital and it is an essential stopover to go to the east coast of Bali. There are many monuments in memory of the Gegel dynasty which reigned at the time.

Here are the places that we advise you to visit near Klungkung in Bali:

  • Courthouse
  • The floating pavilion
  • The Klungkung Museum

29. Tenganan Village

The village of Tenganan is one of the oldest in Bali. Located in the east of the island, it is known for its art of weaving and its traditional ceremonies.

If you want to find authenticity in Bali, you will be served at Tenganan!

You can attend dance performances, traditions, customs of the time. It is a village still spared by mass tourism.

To disconnect for a few hours or a few days, why not visit the village of Tenganan in Bali?

Here are some ideas of places of interest to discover around Tenganan in Bali:

  • The ancient village of Tenganan Pegringsingan
  • Virgin Beach
  • Bale Agung Tenganan Dauh Tukad Museum
  • The nature reserve of Pulau Paus

Sources: PinterPandai, CleverlySmart

Photo credit (main photo): Thutruongvn / Pixabay

Ujung Water Palace

Taman Ujung or “water palace” is located near the village of Seraya in the Karangasem region, east of Bali. It is the sister site of Tirta Gangga, also built by the late King of Karangasem. The Ujung water palace consists of several large pools and historic structures set against the backdrop of Mount Agung to the north and the coastline to the south. The site was devastated by fiery clouds following the eruption of Mount Agung in 1963 as well as an earthquake in 1979. Restoration efforts over the past 10 years have given way to its present splendor for the greatest pleasure of visitors.

A real architectural gem as you only see in Bali! In the background, the sea, the mountains and the rice fields provide an extraordinary setting for this refined park. A decor that looks like paradise.

Water Palace Ujung Soekasada Bali decorated with large water pool, garden with beautiful mountain & sea view. Construction started in 1909 and finished in 1921.

Ujung Water Palace - 2015.02 - panoramio (1)
rheins, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Away from the main road in East Bali is the magnificent Soekasada Ujung Water Palace (or Taman Soekasada Ujung in Indonesian; or Soekasada Ujung Water Palace in English). Built in 1919, this palace is much less known to tourists than that of Tirtagangga. His visit, very pleasant, is free. Its geographical location adds a plus to the beauty of the site: on one side you can see the blue of the ocean, and on the other the Gunung Agung volcano. Paid access IDR 50 000 (around € 3 + parking € 0.50).

History and architecture of the Ujung Water Palace

Bali’s Ujung resort has the official name “Taman Sukasada Ujung”. It is the private property of the royal family of the late King of Karangasem.

This water palace was built in 1909 by a Dutch and Chinese architect, for the raja of Karangasem. The complex therefore combines Balinese and European architecture through its three ponds connected by bridges, steps and paths. It was founded in the same period as its neighbor the Tirta Gangga Water Palace.

COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Het waterpaleis bij Oedjoeng TMnr 60045218
Tropenmuseum, part of the National Museum of World Cultures, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In 1963, the eruption of Mount Agung then in 1975 the earthquake severely damaged the palace which was renovated to perfection. In 1921, the Taman Ujung Royal Estate became officially open to the public and became known as a Royal Water Garden Complex.

The Ujung Water Palace has undergone many changes over time, various expansions and additions around Kolam Dirah Basin, the only pool existing at the time. This basin was a place of punishment for partisans accused of witchcraft. The Dirah pool takes its name from the legendary witch of Calonarang.

Location

Situated in Karangasem, east of Bali.

Visit the Ujung Water Palace

The Ujung Water Palace is one of the most beautiful sites in Bali with its green garden and its large lawns, its large pools, its many statues and open-air sculptures, its parasols and the palace’s play of light and shadow.

Taman Ujung Soekasada’s main pool has a sculpted bridge that provides access to the “Gili Bale”, the main building set over the water.

Step inside the palace to marvel at the vistas from the windows, doorways and many walkways.

Full View of Ujung Water Palace - 2015.02 - panoramio
rheins, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Ujung’s Taman Sukasada Palace is set against the backdrop of the majestic Mount Agung volcano to the north, the sea to the southwest, and an expanse of verdant rice fields to the east.

Many Balinese newlyweds go here for their photographs and many lovers come to hug as the breathtaking decor inspires romance. The park has very beautiful panoramas that can be reached by climbing up the steps.

Ujung Water Palace - 2015.02 - panoramio
rheins, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can easly spend 2 hours there or you can relax a whole afternoon there, there are even pedal boats and boats to relax on the pools.

The entrance to access the Ujung Water Palace is IDR 50,000, approximately € 3.5. It is open from approximately 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Sources: CleverlySmart, PinterPandai

Photo credit: Manuae (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Wikimedia Commons

Bali Local Ecosystems

Popular with surfers, divers and yoga enthusiasts, known for its magnificent rice terraces, its ubiquitous Hindu culture, its white and black sand beaches, the island of Bali is one the most touristic islands in Indonesia. But Bali local ecosystems are now a victim of its own success.

Since the 1970s, tourism activity has grown faster than the Indonesian government expected, especially in the south of the island. With the added bonus of global warming, Bali is suffering from this situation.

Waste treatment is a first pet peeve (problem). Previously the Balinese used palm leaf packaging that they could throw anywhere because it was biodegradable. Today, with nearly 10 million plastic bags distributed in Bali every day, it is no longer possible to maintain these habits. The boom in the tourism industry adds to this problem. Today, more than half of the 10,000 cubic meters of waste produced in Bali is simply dumped along roads and rivers, at the bottom of a ravine or in an illegal dump. The lack of infrastructure dedicated to waste management leads to soil, water and air pollution dangerous to health.

Water resources and the marine ecosystem are also in danger. Global warming has shortened the rainy season, intensified rainfall, prolonged droughts, and also warmed the oceans slowly killing marine reefs. The sharp increase in demand for water to water the 4 million Balinese, and almost as many tourists, is drying up the clean resources of the North and Center of the island. Tensions between hotel owners and peasants begin to emerge.

Long-term work must be carried out to make the Balinese, but also tourists, aware of respect for the environment of Bali. Fortunately, a strong community of locals and expatriates are implementing solutions to deal with the urgency of the situation. The Green School Village goes in this direction with its construction of a place quite out of the ordinary, ecological, close to nature and made 100% in bamboo!

FAUNA AND FLORA OF BALI | Bali Local Ecosystems

One of the particular characteristics of the Balinese fauna and flora lies in their diversities. Climate, geography of Bali, characteristic of the landscapes, always it is that one can admire in Bali marvelous animal and vegetable species. With its beautiful natural parks, Bali is a paradise where many animals such as monkeys can move freely!

THE FLORA OF BALI

The flora of Bali is characterized by its great diversity with in particular very many species of tropical plants. It is in the natural park of Bali Barat that one will be able to observe the greatest quantity of different species.

Trees

Among the varieties of trees, the most representative of Bali are the mangroves of the South, but also the coconut palms made up of a dozen different species or the spectacular bamboos. Considered a sacred tree, the Banyan is one of the most imposing trees in Bali. It is adorned by the Balinese with a checkered fabric as a sign of veneration and religious contemplation.

Many species of trees have a utility, sometimes even an economic purpose. Bamboo, for example, with its robustness and its imposing diameter, is used in decoration, furniture or for the production of musical instruments. Lontars (borasse palms) are transformed into paper.

Plants and flowers

In Bali, the floral scents are very subtle and mix according to the plants and flowers that can be seen. Magnolias, hibiscus, jasmine, bougainvillea, so many varieties of delicately scented flowers that perfume the nostrils. One also finds in many gardens, such as those of the temples, sumptuous flowers such as orchids, lotuses or even frangipani.

Flowers are very present in the decoration especially in that of temples, in that of statues or in that of all other monuments. They are also used as offerings during religious ceremonies.

WILDLIFE IN BALI

Wildlife in Bali can be both terrestrial and aquatic. At the bends of the hiking trails you can discover macaques, buffaloes or even black pigs. The marine species, for their part, are most spectacular!

Macaques

Important animal and very present in the Hindu religion, monkeys and more particularly long-tailed macaques are very numerous in Bali. Moreover, it is in the monkey forest of Ubud that their concentration is the most important. They evolve freely in the middle of trees and temples. They also populate the temple of Pura Pulaki in large numbers.

Other animals

The natural parks of Bali, such as that of Bali Barat is a place of reception for species of animals said to be more “domestic”. Thus, you will be able to see buffaloes, reptiles, black pigs and roosters. The island of Bali also has about 300 different species of birds.

Marine species

Bali’s seabed is of great purity, which, in addition to coral, constitutes a rich ecosystem for many marine species. The island of Menjagan is the refuge of turtles which have now become a protected species. Manta rays for their part, evolve in the waters of Nusa Penida. The waters are also populated by Mola Mola, moon fish or by fish with spectacular looks such as toad fish, leaf fish or even mandarin fish (dragonets).

Read also: Bali Weather | When to go to Bali? Monthly Bali Tropical Climate

If Bali is a heavenly destination for travelers who come to discover it, it is also so for its extremely rich fauna and flora. Evolving in a privileged setting and environment, its species live freely and are even for the most part protected species. Diving enthusiasts will be able to discover beautiful fish with very special looks!

Sources: CleverlySmart, PinterPandai, Green School Bali

Photo credit: Pxhere (CC0 Public Domain)