Among the more than 17,000 islands in Indonesia, Bali still shines the brightest in terms of tourism. There are countless other tropical destinations, but for millions of tourists each year, this fascinating island is the favourite. Here’s why you should visit Bali.
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The unending list of stunning beaches is probably the most obvious reason to visit this tropical paradise in the Indonesian archipelago. Each beach has its own charm, from soft white sand and limestone cliffs to extreme water sports and diving. From the mainstream Kuta and luxurious Nusa Dua neighbourhoods to hidden, remote beaches away from the crowds, there’s a beach for everyone, every need and every mood. You can visit several of them with Culture Trip by joining our epic 12-day Bali adventure, which includes Ubud, Candidasa and Canggu among numerous other alluring destinations.
Bali’s beauty goes way deeper than its beautiful appearances. The island is also home to many traditional cultural traditions that are still practiced. The Balinese hold many ceremonies and celebrations throughout the year, lots of which can be enjoyed by curious tourists, from the Omed-Omedan kissing festival to the monster parade before the day of silence (Nyepi). Tourists can also enjoy Bali’s culture through music, dance and architecture.
The Balinese are spiritual people, predominantly Hindus, and their houses are furnished with a small temple, at which they pray every day. Temple tours are particularly popular among tourists, not only for the religious value but also for cultural insights and aesthetic pleasure. From majestic sea temples overlooking the ocean to a soul-soothing grand temple complex up on the mountain, Bali’s temples shouldn’t be missed.
There’s an activity for every adventurous soul in Bali. Catch the surf breaks at Bali’s most popular surfing spots or rent a board and start learning to ride the waves. Jump from the cliffs and slide down a natural waterslide in Aling-Aling Waterfall, or enjoy intricate artificial slides and other activities at the Waterbom. Descend into the sea inside a submarine, dive by yourself or experience walking on the seabed. You name it, Bali has it.
Beyond stunning beaches and magical temples, Bali has virtually every kind of natural beauty. Glorious mountainous areas with lush greenery, scenic lakes, gorgeous waterfalls, iconic rice fields, flower gardens, gushing sacred rivers and secret canyons all make up the island’s landscape.
Matching Bali’s natural wonders are its ever-growing choice of awesome accommodations. From lavish resorts to affordable hostels, developers go all-out to create outstanding, well-equipped and enjoyable places to stay. Private villas can even be rented at unbelievably affordable prices. Many resorts and hotels have splendid swimming and infinity pools, most of which are attractions in themselves.
Bali’s rich and fertile soil, and also its fascinating traditional recipes, have created a distinctive cuisine. Bali’s traditional meals can be enjoyed as street food or fine dining, and you can learn how to cook them yourself by taking part in a culinary masterclass in Ubud as part of Culture Trip’s immersive small-group Bali tour. Many international chefs are drawn to Bali to learn, create and modify recipes, resulting in neighbourhoods lined with restaurants, each with their own concepts. Bali also has no shortage of restaurants with international menus — American, Mexican, Greek, Chinese, French, Indian… There are also many restaurants serving organic, vegan or even raw food.
The Balinese create art wherever and whenever possible. Luckily for tourists, that means galleries in every neighbourhood, traditional art products in many stores, murals on every corner, and an overall artistic vibe throughout the island. So many people on the island are involved in artistic pursuits, as dancers, traditional instrument players, painters, craftspeople, designers and more. Tourists can shop for handmade arts, from humble wood key chains to high-end artistic pieces.
From homemade traditional souvenirs to high-end designer clothing, the shopping scene in Bali extends from traditional markets to stylish boutiques. Tourists from countries with strong currencies will benefit the most, so bring an extra suitcase, or be willing to pick one up along the way!
Most people who have been to Bali will agree that the Balinese are the friendliest people. Making new friends is easier here than anywhere else, as locals are often interested in engaging in a conversation with anyone, including tourists. Their friendliness and genuine warmth have made tourists feel at home for decades.