As Valentine’s Day approaches & since many parts of Asia are having a long weekend due to Chinese New Year being on the same day this very year, many are planning on a sexy destination for vacation. I just made a list of the Top 10 sexiest destinations for Valentine’s Day and Bali is one of them. It is not simply a sexy destination, it is also on an island where one can immerse oneself in its distinctive culture & religion. Bali is definitely a unique island packed with promises of a paradise. One can simply relax, suntan, swim, spa, golf, dance, hike in the mountain, visit a temple, talk with an artist or simply gaze at a lake!
Bali is not quite Indonesia. It's out of this world & for most of the locals, it's an island where you meet more Australian & Japanese visitors than the Indonesians.When one envisions Bali, one thinks of padi fields, beautiful beaches, hindu temples, exotic dances & many expensive 5* resorts. If you are not beach goers you'll probably get to see more of Bali & that's precisely what I did :D
A land of mystic; temples & palaces, dance & music, rites & festivals. It is also an island of legends, arts & nature. Most importantly, it's a land of enchantment!
By the Sea
Beaches: Nusa Dua, Kuta & Jimbaran
Pristine beaches and warm water make Bali an ideal beach vacations for many families & lovers. There are stretches of sandy beaches along the island and resorts simply sprung up one after another. Many 5* big names can be found along the beaches of Bali, each with its own distinctive styles and theme. Some of the very best are Aman Resorts (3 properties at different locations on the islands; Aman Nusa, Aman Kila & Aman Dari), Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons & the latest Bvlgari (yes, the famous brand from Italy)
Just as spectacular as those from Santorini (Greece), Maldives, Hawaii and Bora Bora. The most romantic time of the day in Bali!
Yes, this is one of my favorite activities while on an island getaway. Spa, spa, spa... simply heavenly! Indeed, there is a Balinese style massage and it's one of the very best among those in the world. You also have the luxury of getting it on the beach! Isn't that wonderful?
Snorkeling & Scuba Diving
From April to October, Bali is packed with divers who come for the biodiversity around the islands of Bali & Lombok (sister island next to Bali). Bali is renowned for its impressive dive sites.
Probably one of the most renowned temples in Bali. Perched on an eroded outcropping rock of the volcanic sand shore in Kintamani, it is one of the many sea temples in Bali dedicated to the guardian spirit of the sea. Tanah Lot is best visited just before sundown & one of the best locations to view a Balinese sunset. The temple of Tanah Lot (Pura Tanah Lot) celebrates Odalan (temple festival) once every 210 days. Each temple celebrates Odalan on its anniversary.
Pura Uluwatu has one of the most awesome views of the sea. Perched on the top of a cliff, it is a popular tourist attraction.
Around the Lakes
Danau Batur (Lake Batur) is Bali's largest lake within the spectacular caldera of Gunung Batur (Mount Batur), an active volcano which last exploded in 1917. We drove & circled around the crater & found it one of the most pleasant experiences in Bali. At high altitude, the weather is cooling & much more pleasant than the heat in Denpasar, capital of Bali. The panoramic view is ever changing! Just awesome!
Danau Bratan is a lake in Northern Bali. Most tourists or beach goers to Bali don't venture as far as this. But, to me, this is one of the best sights of Bali. The weather here is very pleasant as well since it's on higher grounds & surrounded by mountains. Bratan is one of the very reasons that makes Bali so enticing!
On the Mountain
The mountains of Bali are the end of the string of volcanoes that make up the ring of fire, stretching all the way from the Asian continent to Sumatera to Java. The beaches are at the south while the mountains at the north. As with the two lakes I mentioned earlier, the mountains in Bali are on high areas and weather is very pleasant up here. The highest mountain found in this area is Mount Agung at 3100 m. The Balinese believes it to be the center of the world and worship it by having all its temples point towards this mountain. This is where the mother temple of Besakih is located too (at its foot).
In the Temples
Mother temple of Bali. Most important temple in Bali. A must see. It had been nominated as a World Heritage Site in 1995.
Pura Taman Ayun
Pura Taman Ayun is one of the most attractive temples in Bali. Built in 1634, the name Taman Ayun translates to beautiful garden. Located in Mengwi, do try to make a stop here. You will certainly enjoy this temple.
Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave)
Built in the 9th century & served as a sanctuary back then. It has a an extensive bathing place & reminded me a little of the Roman public baths in Bath, England.
A marvel to look at, the terraces are a photographer's favorite!
For those who are interested in architecture & resorts, Bali is definitely the place for you. Make sure you remember your camera! There are hundreds of them here. The Amankila has individual chalet with a pool of your own overlooking the sea. It's designed such that the pool seems to merge into the sea. Awesome!
Culturally, Bali is truly one amazing island. It has many type of dances and you'll be hard pressed not to see them all. Very professional and each dancer actually start learning as young as 4 or 5 and takes years of practice before they perform on the stage. Every movement of the fingers and feet mean something. Some of the best dances in the world. Make sure you check out the Barong Dance, the Legong Dance & the Kecak Dance.
Aside from performing arts, Balinese are also known for their talent in paintings, wood carvings & stone carvings. Ubud is the place to go if you are interested to explore more of Balinese Art.
There is a lot to be covered in Bali and a week stay is not nearly enough. Many return often and some even took up residence here. It is an island that has a charm of its own and is not merely an island where tourists flock to. Bali has natives of its own, languages specific to itself and arts of different forms originating from its locals. Bali is a living paradise and one which is well preserved. Bali thrives despite having been a target of terrorists. Bali is a most charming & spiritual vacation getaway. Be there!
Some of the best diving can be had in this island of Indonesia west of Australia. Many 5* hotels have been built on this island where its inhabitants are Hindus and not Muslims. Bali is exotic, fun and captivating. One of the best places to go on a honeymoon!
Bali is an Indonesianisland located at the westernmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. It is one of the country's 33 provinces with the provincial capital at Denpasar towards the south of the island.
With a population recorded as 3,551,000 in 2009, the island is home to the vast majority of Indonesia's small Hindu minority. About 93.18% of Bali's population adheres to Balinese Hinduism, while most of the remainder follow Islam. It is also the largest tourist destination in the country and is renowned for its highly developed arts, including dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking and music.