Elizabeth Gilbert’s famous book “Eat, pray, love” was one of the reasons I have added Bali to my trip list. According to the main character, this small Indonesian island was the magical place which offered her the chance to rediscover herself.
Another reason why I wanted to visit Bali so much was the fact that I considered this exotic destination a small paradise defined by an overwhelming beauty.
I must confess that after my visit there I see things in a different way. I cannot deny that Bali is a beautiful place from many points of view, but it’s far away from being a piece of heaven.
Despite all my expectations, Bali is first of all a very dirty place. If you are ready to look beyond this aspect, this is the type of place which will offer you a lot of interesting experiences. In a nutshell, if you plan to visit Bali just to rest and relax or to let yourself delighted by spectacular places, maybe it would be better to choose another destination.
Many people associate Bali with the image of the beautiful and exotic beaches, but this is a totally wrong perception. Bali is about unique experiences, a different culture and a very simple lifestyle. If you’re one of those people who love new experiences, I’m sure that Bali will be the right choice.
As you have probably understood, even though Bali disappointed me to a certain extent, it is also the place that delighted me with a few memorable experiences. It goes without saying that I don’t regret at all my trip there. It’s all about the way you set your expectations and manage to get over the negative aspects.
On this note, I want to talk about the places in Bali where I had the chance to live a few amazing new experiences.
The Balinese temples are extremely interesting and the island is blessed with a lot of such religious edifices. Hinduism is the religion of more than 80% of the Balinese population and according to this religion they believe in different deities and symbols. Everywhere you look you will see a multitude of altars which are adorned with a lot of offerings used as a way to worship their gods.
The Uluwatu Temple is one of the most famous and beautiful temples in Bali. Situated on top of a cliff, this temple offers an insight into the Hindu religion, but also some spectacular views. In case you want to admire a beautiful sunset from the top of the cliffs, you should visit this place in the evening.
Taking a lot of pictures of the kleptomaniac monkeys which can be found in the area was a really nice experience. You should be very careful when you visit the Uluwatu Temple, in case you don’t want your bag, glasses or your jewelry stolen by these thieving monkeys.
The Taman Ayun Temple and the Batukaru Temple are other two interesting temples which will make you plunge into the Balinese culture and religion. My favorite temple is the Ulun Danu Bratan Temple which is a floating temple situated on the lovely Beratan Lake.
Rice cultivation is one of the most common occupations in Bali and this is one of the reasons why Bali has so many rice fields. Located in the area of Tabanan, Jatiluwih Green Land is my favorite rice terrace thanks to its natural beauty. The image of this rice terrace is one of my precious memories in Bali.
You can also admire lovely rice fields in Ubud, another beautiful area in Bali. This area hosts an interesting Elephant Safari Park, where I had the chance to ride an elephant for the second time in my life.
Another place that I liked very much in this area was the Ubud Traditional Art Market. As the name suggests, this is a market where you can buy fresh fruit, vegetables, clothes, souvenirs and a lot of other goods at very good prices. It is a delight to taste the delicious passion fruit, granadilla, rambutan, mangoes and bananas. When it comes to food, I must confess that I’m not a big fan of the Asian cuisine but the exotic fruit were indeed a real treat.
Bali is the place where I have drunk the famous Kopi Luwak coffee for the first time. Made of coffee beans which were eaten and defecated by the Asian palm civet, this is actually the most expensive coffee in the world. Enjoying a cup of Kopi Luwak coffee, in Ubud, was indeed an interesting experience especially that I also had the opportunity to find out a lot of details about the entire production process of this type of coffee.
Situated in the area of Ungasan, the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park is the place where you will have the chance to admire a few beautiful temples and statues of deities. Here, you can take a couple of pictures of a few Balinese women wearing their traditional costumes and also enjoy a lovely Balinese show.
As I have already told you, you should not expect to find amazing beaches in Bali. Even though the Balinese beaches are common and usually very dirty, there is one I really want to mention. I’m talking about Jimbaran Beach, a very clean and beautiful beach with greenish water and fine sand.
The Gitgit Waterfall is a place which made me experience the Balinese jungle. In order to reach this waterfall, I had to follow a path through the jungle and even if this path was man-made, the scenery was really natural and wild. The Gitgit Waterfall is not something extraordinary, but the road that leads to this place is definitely worth experiencing. I had the chance to see banana flowers, cocoa trees and jackfruit trees with my own eyes.
To conclude, Bali is a place where you can experience a lot of interesting things. In my opinion, the most important aspect about a place is its ability to make you feel a variety of emotions and Bali is the type of place which has this ability.
1.The Uluwatu Temple
2.The Uluwatu Temple
3.Monkeys in the area of the Uluwatu Temple
4.Monkeys in the area of the Uluwatu Temple
5.Lovely sunset seen from the top of the cliffs, in the area of the Uluwatu Temple
6.Lovely image seen from the Uluwatu Temple
7.The Taman Ayun Temple
8.The Taman Ayun Temple
9.The Taman Ayun Temple
10.The Taman Ayun Temple
11.The Taman Ayun Temple
12.The Luhur Batukaru Temple
13.The Luhur Batukaru Temple
14.The Luhur Batukaru Temple
15.Image seen from the Luhur Batukaru Temple
16.The Ulun Danu Bratan Temple
17.The Ulun Danu Bratan Temple&Beratan Lake
18.The lovely Beratan Lake
19.Rice terrace in Tabanan-Jatiluwih Green Land
20.Rice field in Ubud
21.Kopi Luwak coffee
22.Passion fruit, granadilla, rambutan and bananas
23.The Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park
24.The Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park
25.The Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park
26.Balinese show in the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park
27.The Elephant Safari Park in Ubud
28.The Elephant Safari Park in Ubud
30.The Gitgit Waterfall
31.Cocoa trees in Bali
34.Barong, a Balinese symbol
35…and Bali is about a lot of green…