A Guide to Bali
Collected by Allison Murray, AFAR Contributor
Bali is among the most naturally beautiful destinations on Earth, with a spiritual culture that enlivens every corner of the isle. From ancient temples along the coastline, to the mountain lakes of Bedugul, Bali’s rich colors and traditions will make you long to return.
Pantai Petitenget, Jalan Kayu Aya, Kerobokan, Kuta Utara, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
One of the first upscale beach restaurants on the well-developed stretch of Seminyak beach (and now one of several fine Italian options in the area), La Lucciola draws crowds to its beautiful frangipani-tree-scented beachfront to enjoy...
Jl. Monkey Forest, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Spending an early morning with our family in the monkey forest was a nice way to avoid the crowds, and have fun observing the monkeys. We enjoyed exploring this amazing nature reserve and shoot some family pictures given the lovely morning light.
MAS, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia
Ubud & its neighboring villages have been known as the center of Balinese art for centuries. The most popular Balinese art form, which has gained world reputation, is wood carving. You can find rows of wood carving galleries in Mas, a village a...
Jl. Serma Cok Ngurah Gambir, Singapadu, Batubulan, Sukawati, Batubulan, Sukawati, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80582, Indonesia
I love birds, so when I heard that there is a great bird park on the island of Bali, I made sure to go. It ended up being my favorite day of the two weeks I spent there. The park provides sanctuary for more than 1000 birds, species not just from...
Jl. Segara Wangi, Gang 3 No. 1, Kedonganan, Badung, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
When we headed to Jimbaran Bay for a seafood feast, it was also the first time seeing one of Bali’s street food carts, situated right on the beach and overflowing with roasted corn on the cob. The moment I saw it I wanted to try my own, but I knew...
Jl. Raya Sampalan, Dawan, Kabupaten Klungkung, Bali 80761, Indonesia
Among the verdant rice fields, quiet villages and cerulean seas of eastern Bali lies the bustling Klungkung market. Here visitors will find large baskets of snake fruit, ginger, dried sardines, durian, boiled eggs soaked in lemongrass, garlic and...
Jalan Dewi Sartika No. 1, Tuban, Kuta, Tuban, Badung, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
While the food and drink to be had at the Boardwalk Restaurant is high quality, the contemporary tapas are complemented by live entertainment, ranging from beachside acrobatics, to fire dances, to musical performances. The menu features...
Jl. Pura Kulat, Pecatu, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Take a surf lesson with Impossible Surf School, located in Padang Padang, for a great introduction to a beautiful pastime in Bali. Lessons are taught in English & range from beginners workshops to expert surf guiding on the water.
Jl. Pantai Bingin, Pecatu, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
One of the best rewards after our daily surf sessions was enjoying a post-surf smoothie at Kelly's Warung in Bingin Beach. Many kinds and flavors, from berry smoothies to coffee milkshakes to detoxifying nutritious juices, all are ice-cold and...
Beraban, Kediri, Tabanan Regency, Bali 8217, Indonesia
Tanah Lot Temple is one of the most important and most iconic temples on Bali, which also makes it one of the most visited. It is one of the six cardinal temples, and on a very clear day you can see all the way to Uluwatu Temple on the very...
Jalan Batu Belig No.41, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
A stay in Ubud wouldn't be complete without dropping by Naughty Nuri's for a rack of ribs, smoking hot off the grill. Casual, open air dining with more pork than you can shake a rib at, burgers and steak as well. Nuri's is a "local's joint" often...
Jl. Raya Candidasa, Sengkidu, Manggis, Kabupaten Karangasem, Bali 80871, Indonesia
Visit this quiet village in eastern Bali for hand-loomed geringsing ikat weavings. Protected from outside development, the village still operates according to ancient traditions, and the residents are descended from one of the oldest Balinese...
Br. Padapdapan, Jl.Ke-cagaan, Pejeng, Pejeng, Tampaksiring, Pejeng, Tampaksiring, Ubud, Bali 80552, Indonesia
Our guide's Mom tried to teach us how to make these simple split palm frond baskets, which cooked up the softest, most succulent rice I've ever had. We made chicken kebabs (mashed chicken and fresh spices), corn fritters, a green jello-like...
Jl. Srikandi No. 9, Nusa Dua, Benoa, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
The roast pig (babi guling) served in small warungs, or casual roadside restaurants, throughout Bali is justifiably lauded. With a mix of juicy meat and crispy, caramelized skin, all flavored with turmeric, lemongrass, galangal, coriander seeds,...
Jl. Pantai Cemongkak, Pecatu, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
The bar at El Kabron restaurant, right on the beach in Pecatu, is known as a great place to have a drink as the sun sets. Chill out by the pool on the bean bags. Hard to imagine a more relaxing place to be!
Jalan Kebun Raya, Candikuning, Baturiti, Kabupaten Tabanan, Bali 82191, Indonesia
While quality time on the beach might be the first thing that comes to mind for many visitors to Bali, Bedugul—a mountain lake resort area at the heart of the island—is an experience not to be missed. There are three major lakes (Bratan,...
Jalan Raya Ubud No.35, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Every morning, before the day has truly begun, Balinese women come to the market shrine in the center of Ubud, Bali. They light incense and leave their offerings, origami folded banana frawns bearing crackers and cookies and flower petals for the...
Jl. Ayodya No.10, Mengwi, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80351, Indonesia
The temples in Bali, Indonesia are famous for their multi-tiered thatch roofs. This was taken at Pura Taman Ayun in the village of Mengwi. Visitors are not allowed to enter the temples - we could only view from outside the walls. Thankfully the...
Jalan Raya Uluwatu, Yoga Perkanthi Lane, Jimbaran, Kuta Selatan, Jimbaran, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
With its smoky air, bustling energy, and beachside line-up of grilled seafood restaurants, eating at Jimbaran Bay is a unique dining experience. Choosing Nyoman Cafe from the myriad of restaurant options, we sat at our table front and center on...
Jl. Sulawesi No. 1, Dangin Puri Kangin, Denpasar Barat, Dauh Puri Kangin, Denpasar Bar., Kota Denpasar, Bali 80233, Indonesia
Badung is a traditional marketplace in Bali. This is the least expensive place to bargain for handcrafted objects to take home with you, as well as to buy spices (cinnamon, cloves, saffron, and sea salt). Making your way through these bustling...
Tanjung, Jl. Pratama, Benoa, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Complex Bali Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC) Area Block P, Kuta Selatan, Benoa, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Discover the art, history, and culture of the Asia Pacific region at the Museum Pasifika in Nusa Dua. The collection gives an idea of the geographically diverse influences of Asia-Pacific art, including Indonesian, Italian, Dutch, Indo-European,...
Jalan Bong Bidadari I / 1, Perum Puri Gading Jimbaran, Jimbaran, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Dreamland Beach (now commonly called New Kuta Beach) has long been a popular destination for surfers from around the globe, with white sands set against dramatic limestone cliffs overlooking the ocean, and tourism in the area is beginning to grow....
Jalan Raya Sibang Kaja, Banjar Saren, Abiansemal, Sibang Kaja, Abiansemal, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80352, Indonesia
When he sold his jewelry company in 2007, Canadian expat John Hardy and his wife reinvested much of the money into the Green School, an innovative K-12 school in Sibang Kaja, Bali. The curriculum is very experiential—the international and...
Sayan, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Strap on a helmet, grab some friends and let the awesome guides at Banyan Tree Bike Tours show you a side of Bali you'd never see on your own. Take a ride through rice paddies, where the ducks do all the work (ok, not ALL the work, but they do...
Abiansemal, Badung Regency, Bali, Indonesia
If you call ahead and make reservations, you can still eat lunch at the "Big Table" with the staff at John Hardy's Jewelry compound outside of Ubud. With a showroom built entirely of bamboo, surrounded by rice fields and a state-of-the-art...
Jalan Suweta No.5, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Our friend Caroline has lived in Bali for 25 years. On the second morning of our visit, she cooked up some nasi goreng. It entered the breakfast hall of fame and was without a doubt the best fried rice I've ever had.
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