Visiting Bali can vary in experience, from staying in luxury rooms to hiking a forgotten path to discovering inner peace at an ancient temple. Wildlife, listed heritage sights, oceans, jungles, and white water rapids are but a select few of the Bali pickings on offer to tourists, and there are many more. Below is a list of the top 7 locations you should consider on your next trip to the Indonesian island.
Pay your Respects to Ganesh – Goa Gajah
This eerie Elephant Cave is an 11th-century construction that will leave you wondering in awe and admiration. The cavernous mouth of a demon extends its welcome to you as you enter its belly, all the while you’re eyeing the rock face carvings around you.
Hindu symbolism marks your way into the cave, with Shiva and Shiva’s son, Ganesh, the elephant-headed deity, the central attraction. Ganesh, being the remover of life’s obstacles is representative of a cave once used for meditation.
It wasn’t until 1923 that Goa Gajah was discovered, and is considered a precious if not priceless archaeological heritage. This site comprises of three areas: the Hindu sacred buildings of the 10th century, the Hindu sacred buildings of the later centuries, and the Buddhist heritage buildings, estimated to be built around the 8th century. If you’re looking for some spiritual enlightenment, then Goa Gajah should be number one on your ‘to-do’ list when visiting Bali.
Trekking down to Gitgit Waterfall
Bali offers an abundance of tranquillity if you know where to look for it, and one of these locations is the Gitgit Waterfalls. You don’t need a guide to take you for the walk as the direction along the concrete path is obvious, but the walk is a moderate distance.
Once you reach your destination, you will see fresh waterfalls dropping into pristine waters surrounded by jungle. Reward yourself with a refreshing swim in the waterfall’s pool and admire Mother Nature’s splendor before returning for another walk under the jungle’s canopies.
Water Rafting the Rapids of Ayung River
For those seeking an adrenalin rush, try Ayung River’s Grade 2 and Grade 3 rapids. Fun for the whole family, depending on your level of experience, you can opt for the wild vortexes, ramps, and drops, or the lesser Grade 2 white-water adventures.
Over 33 mighty rapids are on offer in the Ubud region, giving you the chance to thrill your way through the day. Return to nature with your discovery of hidden waterfalls along the way, and a lush green scenery forever imprinted in your soul.
West Bali National Park
This particular natural conversation area still consists of an ecosystem natural to its surroundings with minimal impact by humans. Different types of mammals, birds, reptiles, and species of flora are in the hundreds, including those endangered.
It’s the alternative destination in Bali for those wanting to get away from the typical tourist attractions, and the ultimate location for an eager backpacker or those who love wildlife. Other activities you can contemplate at the National Park are snorkeling and diving activities around the beautiful coral reefs, trekking, fishing at Gilimanuk Bay, and camping in tranquillity.
Visit a Balinese Temple
One of the more important attractions in Bali is the temples. Some are heavily commercialized, such as the frequently featured Tanah Lot Temple, and then there are others, equally beautiful and sometimes forgotten.
Ulun Danu Beratan Temple is picturesque as it sits in the central highlands with the mountain ranges in the backdrop. In contrast, Besakih Temple in East Bali is located 1,000 meters above sea level and requires an entire day dedicated to exploring the site. If you want scenic sunsets, visit Uluwatu Temple in the evening, where you can enjoy the cliff tops, as well as the local monkey forest nearby.
The Rice Terraces of Tegallalang
Dramatic yet peaceful views of an age-old culture will leave an impressionable memory. This remarkable vision is a must-see. Not only does this location deliver what it is to be a local, as you wander through the fields, but it also offers insight into an important history inherited from an eighth-century holy man.
Taking the opportunity to walk through this landscape comes highly recommended, particularly if you’re looking to capture a moment with the camera, or just simply find some inner peace.
Visit Ubud Monkey Forest
With over 700 monkeys and 150-plus species of the tree spread across the 12.5 hectares of Ubud Monkey Forest, your day will be filled to the brim with sights and educational points of interest.
The monkeys living in the area are grouped around the temples and cemeteries, generally consisting of up to 120 monkeys in each group, with infants, juveniles, and adults maintaining their own hierarchy.
Three temples, built around the middle of the 14th century, rest amongst the canopies; the Pura Dalem Agung, the Beji Temple, and Prajapati Temple are said to belong to the Pejeng and Gelgel Dynasties.
The forest itself is considered sacred, representing the balance between humanity and nature, with the temples a point of contact with the spiritual world. This is one spiritual place where you’ll truly find a rejuvenating experience.