Bali is one of the most sought after tourist destinations in the world, known as a veritable paradise. Its pristine beaches, temperate weather, and rich cultural heritage make it the ideal place to relax, but there are also opportunities for arts and culture buffs. However, like every other tourist spot, you don’t want to get bogged down by the typical tourist traps. There are lots of cultural sites as well as beaches that boast fascinating features and discoveries to be made. Here are four of the most interesting places you’ll find near Kandara Bali.
1. Uluwatu Temple
Built on an overlook with unparalleled views of the Indian Ocean, Pura Luhur Uluwata is one of Bali’s most beautiful temples. According to Haute Living, the 11th century structure is built from black coral and dedicated to benevolent ocean spirits, positioned dramatically on a sheer cliff face to protect the island from evil spirits that hail from the southwest.
During your visit to Uluwata, don’t forget to attend a Kecak dance performance. These performances happen on a nightly basis, and provide fascinating insight into Balinese cultural traditions unseen outside of the island. According to Cornell University, this dance is classically a religious ceremony performed on a series of nights for several months to ward off evil during periods of danger and hardship. Typically, the dance includes a male chorus instead of orchestral accompaniment, and is not open to outside audiences. However, luckily for Bali’s visitors, a shortened version of Kecak is performed for those who wish to immerse themselves in local culture.
2. The Beach Less Traveled
There are innumerable beaches in Bali, and while all of them are breathtaking, many are incredibly crowded. CNN Travel describes Ungasan beach as one of the most beautiful on the island. This picturesque destination of glistening white sand and brilliant blue water is also conveniently adjacent to the 5 star resort karma kandara which allows direct access to the shoreline. The average coastal water temperature in Indonesia is 70-80 degrees, according to The Huffington Post, so be prepared for a day of fun in the sun. Bali offers a huge array of diverse culture, cuisine, and historical spots, but its beaches are what makes it one of the world’s most popular destination for vacationers. There are opportunities if you’re staying at a resort with multiple amenities to travel to other more remote beaches by boat, and enjoy activities such as snorkeling. Ungasan is also a literal paradise for surfers.
3. Tirta Gangga
Tirta Gangga is a beautiful water palace located only eight miles from Ngurah Rai International Airport, and holds religious resonance for the Hindu faith. According to Asian Correspondent, the palace was built in 1948 by the King of Karangsem, and is comprised of an idyllic sprawl of sculpture, fountains, pools, and elegant gardens, surrounded by the verdant hued rice paddies for which Bali is known worldwide. This is a wonderful destination a little off the beaten track, and conveniently accessible by car. Asian Correspondent also notes that visitors are able to bathe at Tirta Gangga for a nominal fee. If you’re looking for a day of supreme relaxation combined with a feast for eyes, this palace should be first on your list of destinations.
4. Luwak Coffee Plantation and Ubud
If you’re interested in getting even more off the beaten path, you’ll want to pay a visit to the Luwak Coffee Plantation. According to the Herald Sun, this destination includes a guided tour of how world-famous Luwak coffee is made and prepared for consumption. This offers a fascinating look into the agriculture of Bali, as well as providing a fun afternoon that can be complemented with a visit to nearby Ubud. Visitors may also taste the variety of coffees and teas available.
Ubud is one of Asia’s number one spa and massage destinations, according to Trip Advisor, and home to some of the best Balinese massage on the island. Visit one of the spas located throughout Ubud proper and experience a variety of therapies, such as acupressure and aromatherapy, in combination with the firm massage that Bali is reputed for. This is also the perfect place to tour Bali’s renowned and protected rice paddies, since they surround the town. Trip Advisor also suggests checking out the art scene in Ubud, since there’s a burgeoning collection of museums and galleries along the way.
Whether you’re planning a once in a lifetime vacation, or you take an island getaway once a year, there’s always more to discover in Bali. The island is small, but the huge variety of local culture and beaches that span hundreds of miles always leave something new to be discovered. Make sure you cover all the typical spots, but also go off the beaten path. Although it might be tempting to spend your entire time on the same beach with a fruity drink worthy of the tropical atmosphere, you should experience everything Bali has to offer.