UBUD 

The area to the north of Denpasar and toward the city of Ubud is traditional artisan country, and many of the communities en-route host a great many of Bali’s world famous art and craft workshops. 

Of these, Batubulan is famed for its stone-carving, highly regarded for its Barong Dance performers, and also home to Bali Bird and Reptile Parks, which make for an enjoyable trip, especially if you are travelling with children.  

In the vicinity, the village of Celuk is known for its silversmiths, the town of Sukawati for its daily art market and shadow-puppets, and Mas, the famous woodcarving centre. 

Closer to the town of Ubud, Sanggingan is worthy of a visit for the Neka Art Museum, Bali’s best, and Ubud itself is home to the collection of Seniwati Gallery of Art by Women and the Threads of Life Textile Arts Centre.

Rice terraces, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

The evocative shapely rice paddies and lush countryside around Ubud is the place to find the Bali's most exotic and beautiful hotels. 

THE VOLCANOS 

Bali, along with most of Indonesia is a very seismically active area of the globe, and a particularly active stretch of the ‘Ring of Fire’ encircling the perimeters of the Pacific Ocean. Bali’s two major volcanoes, Gunung Agung and Gunung Batur, are very popular excursions for visitors, held by the fascination of these powerful manifestations of nature. The routes to these majestic features, through Bali’s interior, are a classic drive through craft villages and rice paddies.  

Dominating many of Bali’s long-range views, Gunung Agung, is the island’s highest peak at 3142m and a comfortable 4 hour ascent for a fit person, which rewards with the stunning views one would expect from its commanding position.

Gunung Agung, framed by temple gate, Bali, Indonesia

Gunung Batur is also an active volcano, and in many ways a highly complementary visit to Gunung Agung. At one time, Mount Batur at 3800m was originally higher than that of its illustrious neighbour, before a series of eruptions over millennia formed what is now one of the world’s most impressive calderas.

Lake Batur, Bali, Indonesia

There are numerous good walks around the rim of the caldera, encircling Lake Batur, the highest peak of which is Mt. Penulisan at 1746m. Despite its continuing activity, the volcano remains surrounded by peaceable Balinese villages and temples. 

SIGHTS OF INTEREST 

Bali is a feast of temples, which are everywhere, in every village and at many of the island’s prominent natural features. The most famous, photogenic and popular is that of the iconic seafront temple, Pura Tanah Lot, north of Kuta, but its fame ensures a busy and rather commercial experience, though the visit is nevertheless wholly worthwhile.

Pura Tanah Lot, Bali, Indonesia

Other favourites of Bali’s sites of veneration are the likewise often photographed Ulu Danu at Lake Bratan and the previously mentioned Pura Luhur Uluwatu, popular for its evocative sunset views. 

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, Bali, Indonesia

Of Bali’s sheer abundance of many worthy sights, the Water Palace at Tirtagangga and the ancient cliff carvings, ornate pools and lush verdant vegetation of Gunung Kawi Sebatu deserve special mention. 

Water Palace, Bali, Indonesia


In central Bali, the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces are a UNESCO World Heritage site, at once beautiful and culturally charming.

There are a number of Monkey Forest areas in Bali, which are ‘ruled’ by groups of Balinese Macaques, which are great fun to visit but, as with the monkey temple, Pura Luhur Uluwatu, the animals are not shy and a cautious sense of humour and a tight grip on your monkey-irresistible belongings is recommended.

Monkey Forest, Bali, Indonesia
   

 

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