Indonesian island Bali offers great beaches, barren volcanic hillsides, iconic rice paddies and amazing coral reefs.
The nature’s marvels provide a scenic backdrop to Bali’s intriguing, profoundly spiritual and exclusive culture. No wonder it is called the paradise on earth.
Bali captivates you with dramatic dances and colourful ceremonies as well as arts and crafts and intricately carved temples. Apart from the cultural, historical and archaeological attractions, its luxurious beach resorts and exciting nightlife make it an attractive destination to a broad range of tourists.
Bali is situated 1.6km east of the island of Java, separated by the narrow Bali Strait and covers an area of 5,780 square km. A tourist’s expedition to the gorgeous island can be about nature, art, culture spiritual, or all of these.
Bali is an all-year destination but the best time to visit is generally during the summer months of April, May, June, July and August when the weather is dry and sunny. Between November and March, it is generally the rainy season. For water adventures the best time to visit Bali is during the dry season.
Accommodation is no issue in Bali as it is known for its budget hotels, luxury villas, holiday resorts and spas. It is advisable to book your luxury, mid-range or budget accommodation online before you reach there.
There are many means of transport to help you discover Bali. An assortment of excellent half-day, full-day and overnight tour packages are available from your hotel desk or travel agents and tour operators who abound in Bali. You can also book your private car with a driver who can act as your guide.
Something that may be worth when planning your trip to Bali is a bit of reading on Mount Agung, a volcano which erupted in November 2017. The volcano’s activity had forced local authorities to close Ngurah Rai International Airport in November. However, Indonesian authorities have now lowered the alert status after scientists found a reduction in its activity.
My favourite place: Uluwatu Temple, also known as Pura Luhur, is a must visit. Perched on a towering sea cliff with waves crashing below, it offers a stunning view for miles and miles. The temple is an architectural wonder built on a black coral rock and is considered a popular place to enjoy the sunset. It is in the southern tip of Bali in Pecatu Village, Kuta South District of Badung, and is known to tourists as the Bukit peninsula. It takes about 45 minutes to get there from Nusa Dua Bali. You can use a taxi or public transportation.
Highlights: Its residents are one of the friendliest people you will ever meet in any tourist destination.
Lowlights: Bali can get very crowded in August and September and again at Christmas and in New Year. Plan your trip well ahead.
Souvenirs: Don’t forget to pick up unique wooden crafts of cat or frog motifs and wooden masks of Barong — a mythological creature in Bali. Hand-knitted crafts made from dried Ata, a plant found in Indonesia, make interesting gifts. Beautiful fabrics such as Ikat, a traditional weave, or Batik, a wax-resist textile, are a great souvenir to take back home. An amazing range of aroma oils is available in plenty to buy. Garam Kusamba, salt produced near the Kusamba coast, is unique in taste and when used in bath makes the water moisture-rich — it’s a product you won’t regret buying.
Getting there: From Muscat, travellers can take convenient connecting flights on Oman Air via Kuala Lumpur. Flying time from Muscat is 11 hours and 15 minutes including stopovers.
Where to stay: Every hotel category is represented here and is ideally located. It is advisable to make the bookings online before you get there.
Top five things to do:
- Visit the iconic temples
- Capture the scenic expanses of rice fields
- Shop at the art markets
- Indulge in water activities
- Enjoy the traditional dance shows