Bali. A.k.a. Island of the Gods, Land of a thousand temples or the World’s last paradise. As superlative as these monikers may sound, they do not do justice to the actual reality of the island. Bali is as good as everyone says – verdant mountains with terraced rice fields in one direction, black sand beaches in another and captivating people that will leave even the most seasoned traveller humbled. If you’re looking for a Garden of Eden that really does have it everything, Bali ticks all the boxes.
The rich and diverse culture of the island is what sets Bali apart from Indonesia’s (many) other tropical paradises. The country’s estimated 10,000 Buddhist-Hindu temples, with their daily offerings of lotus flowers and fruit are testament to the gentleness of the islander’s belief. Then there is the vibrant arts and crafts scene, notably in Ubud in the centre of the island, but prolific everywhere. Ideal souvenirs to bring back range from gorgeous silver jewellery to intricate wood carvings. Additionally, do try to see a traditional dance if possible, particularly if accompanied to local gamelan music.
No one could mention Bali without mentioning the food. Dishes range from elaborate meals to street food bites, but all are without exception ambrosia. Do not miss out on tasting a succulent chicken satay, betutu (apparently the King’s favourite meal) and sambal matah. But whatever you decide to discover, you can be assured of a taste sensation that will remain with you long after you have returned home.