Imagine intricately decorated gates with beautiful temples in the background, or a lush rice terraces or pretty beaches. Imagined? Now move a bit ahead and imagine a sunset against the backdrop of an infinity pool overlooking palm trees and jungle. Tempting isn’t it. Bali is just that as you imagined. A picture perfect postcard location. Right from watching daily offerings on the streets and temples on every corner to soaking up the beautiful tropical views, it is a visual treat.
And don’t think you will get these views uninterrupted for yourself. There will be hoards of people around trying to enjoy the view like you. The whole island is overrun by mass tourism but then if one wants then they can find their calm amidst chaos. Bali is a huge island and one can find the less touristy spot and enjoy the place.
The past few months I have been feeling unbalanced with whatever has been happening around with me. And I was looking for some solitude which I found here. Spending time in the temples trying to find solace to sitting by the beach listening to waves searching for myself.
First time went without planning anything and didn’t even take my camera along with me (separate thing that I forgot it :P). The locals took me around to show what they like in Bali. From having delicious homemade pancakes for breakfast to visiting the local neighborhood temple next door, everything had its beauty in simplicity.
My memories there are less from activities and touristic sites and more from feelings & moments I enjoyed there. What things to do or see in Bali you will get anywhere. This time won’t focus on that. This time I will focus on what make Bali, what it is.
Temples of Bali
There is one in every corner. You don’t need to visit all of them, but few should attract you. The most famous & impressive temples are Tanah Lot, Uluwatu, Saraswati, Bedugul or the Besakih temple. Choose one and just get lost in the calmness that surrounds it. I chose Pura Ulun Danu Batur, built in 1926- the second most important temple complex of Bali. a complex of nine different temples, this temple contains in total 285 shrines and pavilions dedicated to the gods and goddesses of water, agriculture, holy springs, art, crafts, etc. Luckily it felt like I got the whole temple complex to myself besides the prayer ceremony happening inside.
Then I decided to see the crowded and hyped Tanah Lot. It’s the most visited and photographed temple in Bali and apparently not many people know that the rock on which the temple is set, one third of that is artificial. For the Balinese, Pura Tanah Lot is one of the most important sea temples. You can walk over to the temple itself at low tide, but non-Balinese people are not allowed to enter.
Diving & Surfing in Bali
Another important reason to look at Bali as an option is the diving sites here. One can chose from various diving spots spread across the island and explore the undersea world. From Japanese ship wreck to some elusive sea creatures here one can see it all.
Surfing is very popular in Bali and one can learn Surfing here easily. Just rent a surf board and get started with in.
Love of Nature
If you’re looking for adventure on foot, head to the hills of Ubud which is known for its nature walks. Also the night trek to Mount Batur, an active volcano, for sunrise treks and walking the rims of the volcano. Bali is also famous for its famed rice terrace which the time I went didn’t look as good as the pictures.
Due to being with a local I also discovered some “hidden treasures” like Suluban Cave which is located directly below the famous Uluwatu Temple or village of Sambangan. Only the locals and a handful of tourists know about the jungles and waterfalls near Sambangan. This is what Bali we imagine in real.
Stay at Ubud or Seminyak when you planning to head there. Or head away from the touristy areas towards North of Bali.
For me, Bali was commercial but different too. Depending on one’s budget, you can enjoy Bali. What if I tell you I did 4 days in Bali for INR 20,000. Yeah if planned smartly it can be done with a limited budget. Bali is good, relaxing and full of small moments. You need to find a spot which make you at peace and makes you live the Bali life.
Have you been to Bali? Share your experiences and offbeat places in Bali.