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Bali for beginners: ten tips

SAM HOFFMAN outlines ten places visitors to Bali should aim for (if they’re not going to Bali to party, that is)

Bali is a magical Indonesian Island, most known for its temples, rice fields, volcanoes and of course, beaches. Though hardly undiscovered, this is a destination that ought to be on everyone’s luxury holiday bucket list.


This article covers the best of Bali through ten must-go locations. Whether you’re looking to go east to the majestic mother temple of Besakih or simply head to the heartland for some scenic snaps among the rice paddies, this list has you covered:


Tanah Lot


1. Tanah Lot Temple

Located on a huge rock island, you’ll love the feeling of the waves crashing at the base of one of Bali’s most iconic temples. Notably, Tanah Lot pays homage to the sea’s guardian spirits. So if you’re looking for the most picturesque sunset for your holiday, this temple will offer you the ideal background.


2. Tegallalang Rice Terraces 

Ubud is famous for its scenic rice fields, and you can find one of the best vantage points of the paddies just north of Ubud’s main centre on your way to Tegallalang. 

In Tegallalang, you’ll also find art shops and roadside stalls of all kinds offering curios that can only be traced to Bali. In addition to this, there are various restaurants dotted across the region that not only offer sumptuous dinners, but great views too.




3. Ubud Monkey Forest 

If you love primates, the Ubud Monkey forest will most likely tickle your fancy. Located on the fringes of the centre of Ubud, the forest is home to Bali’s various grey long-tailed macaque. This park is also known as the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal.

For many years, the forest has served as a prominent centre for scientific research as well as being a site of cultural and spiritual significance, which is evidenced by the temples deep within its grounds.


4. Ubud Art Market

For lovers of art, this market is a must-see. Known locally as Pasar Seni Ubud, it also sits just opposite the Royal Ubud Palace and is open everyday. If you’re looking for handmade woven bags, silk scarves, lightweight shirts, statues, baskets or any other form of handcraft, this place is your best bet. 


5. Kintamani and Mount Batur

Situated in the Karangasem Regency, Kintamani is home to both Caldera Lake and Mount Batur. This is one of the most famous stopovers for anyone on a tour to the region, especially at Penelokan, which can be loosely translated as ‘a scenic stopover.’ 

According to Volcanic Discovery, Mount Batur is still the most active volcanic mountain in Bali and is believed to have erupted at least 24 times since the 1800s. Its eruptions have significantly reshaped the surrounding landscape.


Mt Batur


6. Sekumpul Waterfall 

Secluded from the rest of the surrounding tourist attractions, Sekumpul Waterfall stands out for its natural beauty. After taking a 40-minute hike down to the foot of the waterfall, visitors are rewarded with a rainbow when the sun shines, giving you the perfect backdrop for photos.


7. The Diamond beach

A trip to Bali wouldn’t be complete without experiencing its beaches, and Diamond beach offers some of the province’s best waterfront attractions and activities. Here, one can relax under palm trees in the shadow of limestone cliffs or go freediving and explore Bali’s underwater world. The choice is up to you.


8. Bali Safari and Marine Park

This is another destination for wildlife lovers. One of the largest animal theme parks in Bali, it boasts over 100 species of fauna, including endangered species, that roam in natural and comfortable surroundings.



9. Kecak Fire Dance

This is one for music and art lovers. The Kecak Fire Dance is a special performance, where more than 65 vocalists rhyme together to form an instrument that tells a story in the form of dance.


10. Goa Gajah

Known as the ‘Elephant Cave’, Goa Gajah is a notable archaeological site, and so is a special place to visit if you love history. Situated just on the western edge of Beddu village, it will take you less than one hour to descend to its relic-filled courtyard, where you can look at rock-wall carvings, fountains and bathing pools.


General Tips

Be sure to hire an accredited travel agency to help you book accommodation in the best hotels. A professional travel guide will also come in handy.


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Written by: Sam Hoffman
Published: 17 January 2019

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