Also known as the Island of Gods and the Island of love, Bali in Indonesia is perfect for Indians looking for something of everything like heritage, culture and tradition, adventure, relaxation, shopping as well as clubbing. With‘free visa on arrival’, you just have to pack your bags and get there.
1 Feel very much at home
As you step out, the grand statue of Arjuna and Krishna (characters from Mahabharata) just outside the Denpasar International airport is a treat for the sore eyes. From the traditional attires to the way people greet each other, everything seems similar to India. You cannot help but notice the beautiful long curved bamboo Penjor poles outside almost every house during the Galungan celebrations – a festival where Hindus celebrate the victory of good over evil – just like Diwali is celebrated in India, giving a close hint how deep rooted Balinese people are in their tradition.
2 Stop at the rice fields
In the town of Ubud, the highland of Bali, you will find rice terraces that are one-of-a-kind attraction for the tourists. Stopping your vehicle at one of the high roadside spots and gazing at the impeccable rice paddies from the top is something you wouldn’t want to miss. It makes for a perfect frame to capture those beautiful moments having the rice paddies sprawling across the valley in the backdrop. There are numerous eateries and cafes around where one can nibble on some exotic snacks or gorge on a full-fledged meal as the time permits. Rice is considered as a goddess and is worshipped by the Balinese people.
3 Visit the Pura Luhur Batukaru Temple
An early morning drive to this serene Hindu temple gives a perfect start to your day. Located on the southern slope of Mount Batukaru, the temple, with lush green trees and a beautiful lake inside, is nothing less than a paradise. Thousands of temples in Bali have the same set of four courtyards. You have to be careful about your attire as women and men alike are supposed to enter the temple draping a sarong on their waists in order to maintain the sanctity of the place. You will witness some amusing moments; men, around 50 years old with bulging bellies in sarong, obliviously enjoying the beauty of the temple.
4 Stay at Beach Resort Towns
Seminyak, a beach resort town on the southern end of Bali, gives you an urban feel in the otherwise traditional Bali. It is home to some of the most luxurious hotels, shopping complexes, spas and clubs and lively bars for a perfect night out. They are part of a high street that youngsters will immediately fall in love with, and provide unlimited options to have a drink, eat local food, and buy essentials from the local supermarkets. Nusa Dua, in the southern part, has five-star hotels lined up in a territory surrounding the beaches. No matter which of these hotels you choose for your stay, you will have a private beach adjacent to the resort. You can also entice the adventurer inside you by picking up from numerous water sports on offer; be careful about the timings as they close water sports quite early in the evening. At Bali Convention Centre, find souvenirs for all age groups.
5 attractions Go for the local
Located in the centre of Ubud, the art market is the place to look at the rich Balinese arts and crafts famous for its wide range of handicrafts, majority of which are made of bamboo. You will find numerous options for bags, scarves, accessories, home ware, sarongs, t-shirts, paintings, wooden toys and much more – all with a tinge of local craftsmanship. Also consider the nearby royal palace of Ubud, where the royal family, that used to govern the area, still lives. Another interesting element nearby is the Museum Puri Lukisan that houses traditional Balinese artworks. Entry to the museum is paid, however, the outer surroundings inside premises are free for the tourists to roam around and click pictures.