Monday, January 15, 2007

A Must Visit.....

Some MUST Visit Places of interest in Bali

1. Kuta Beach
Once a lonely little village on the road from Denpasar to Bukit Peninsula, Kuta is now the tourist mecca of Bali, popular mainly among the young and adventurous. Coconut trees line the sand beach as far as the eyes can see towards the north stopped by the runway of Denpasar's airport far in the west.The Sunset in Kuta is most breathtaking.

The street of Legian, situated directly behind the row of hotels that face the beach, is lined with shops of all varieties. You can find any Balinese handicrafts here, from the least expensive to the most exquisite; or unique stores such as the leather store staffed by two young Balinese men that will perfectly sculpt for you a leather jacket. (They are all extremely talented artists, remember?)

At night, Kuta is alive with night life. Western influences create discotheques, dance clubs, and pubs. Gastronomical demands inspire a multitude of restaurants, serving traditional Indonesian and Balinese food to various ethnic meals from Japan, Switzerland, etc. As if these were not enough, various Balinese dance performances are staged in Kuta every night. One of the best Kecak performances is to be found in Kuta.

2. Tanah Lot
One of Bali's most important sea temples, Tanah Lot temple is built atop a huge rock, surrounded by the sea. Build in the 16th century, Tanah Lot's rituals include paying of homage to the guardian spirits of the sea. Poisonous sea snakes found in the little caves at the base of the rocky island are believed to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruders

3. Puri Besakih
The sanctuary of Besakih on the slopes of Gunung Agung (Mount Holy) is over a thousand years old and is known as the Mother Temple of Bali, the biggest and holiest of all Balinese temples. Steps rise through split gates to the main courtyard where the Trinity shrines, dedicated to Shiva, Brahma, and Wishnu, are wrapped in cloth and decorated with flower offerings. Around them, stand eighteen separate sanctuaries, belonging to different regencies and castes.

4. Bedugul
The mountain resort of Bedugul is well known for its golf course and Ulun Danu, a temple which seems to rise out of the lake to present itself beautifully. Boats, water skiing, and parasailing are among the many watersports available in this area

5. KintamaniThe villages of Kintamani and Penelokan give a view of the active Mount Batur and its lake. Seven miles in diameter and sixty feet deep, the caldera of Batur is pretty impressive. From Penelokan, a road lead to Kediasan on the shores of the lake where boats can be rented to cross over to Trunyan

6. Tampak Siring
Pura Tirta Empul is the temple of Tampak Siring, built around a sacred spring. The temple and its two bathing places have been used by the Balinese for over 1000 years for good health and prosperity; the spring water has curative powers. Regular purification ceremonies take place here. Additionally, the people of Tampak Siring produce artistic bone and ivory carvings

7. Sangeh
The ten acres of nutmeg trees in the Sangeh forest are considered sacred. Two temples stand in the middle of the forest, and another at the edge. Monkeys heavily inhabit this forest, and are also held sacred. They will come to you when you visit the temples. Make sure you protect your handbags, etc as the monkeys will steal them.

8. Ubud
Ubud is the art center of Bali, which maybe a hard concept to understand, given the artistic nature of the entire living in Bali. But the Raja of Ubud, historically, strongly encouraged artistic development, especially in painting. Ubud's Museum "Puri Lukisan" houses a permanent collection of Balinese paintings, dating from the turn of the century. Dutchborn Hans Snel and American Atonio Blanco, among other internationally prominent artists, had both called Ubud their home.

The Neka Museum is another excellent museum, with marvelous collections of traditional Balinese paintings by local artists as well as foreign artists who lived in Bali.

Ubud today expands to other arts. You should not be surprised to run into a foreigner who happens to be living in Ubud, meditating or soul searching for his next book or poetry collection. Most hotels in Ubud are small, homely hotels and homestays that will provide you with a room that faces the ricefields with bird sonatas togently wake you in the morning.

Those are very beautiful places for those who like the mixture between beach and mountain....modern and classic...entertainment and art...