Bali is not only the name of the island but also that of the province that includes the island of Bali, that of Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. It has an area of 5636 km. Its climate is tropical monsoon, with the rainy season from October to March.
The Indonesian language is the official language, although Balinese is also spoken.
Unlike the rest of Indonesia where the predominant religion is Islam, more than 90% of the Balinese are Hindu, practicing a Hinduism known as Balinese Hinduism that mixes the belief in Hindu gods and doctrines alongside animistic beliefs and worship of Saints Buddhists.
The island is a popular tourist destination and is known, like Java, for its delicate arts. Apart from being a tourist destination, it is a meeting point for wholesalers; Fashion, jewelry, footwear, furniture or decoration from around the world, which they buy on the island to then export to their countries of origin. I assure you that I couldn’t imagine the many shops and factories and businesses that I got to see during my route through Bali.
If you move through Kuta or Denpasar it is like being in any modern city with all kinds of services and activities to entertain yourself. Let’s not forget the stores, for all tastes and pockets. Also are shopping centers, markets, restaurants, nightclubs. There are countless places and things to do. There is also an entertaining nightlife. I recommend you try the Arak Madu, yes, be careful, which enter very well and goes up a lot. It is the local drink Arak, which is very strong rice water. And when we mix the Arak with honey, lemon and water, we have the delicious Arak Madu.
From here you can hire excursions to different points of the island, or to other islands. Or, as I did, rent a motorbike and start your own adventure on the island of Bali.
Further north of Kuta, you can visit the Pura Tanah Lot temple. An incredible place for its beauty and for its history since it represents one of the most famous places in the mythology of Bali. The temple is built on top of a rocky compound located in the middle of the sea. So access on foot is only possible if the tide is low. Formerly the Balinese worshiped the god Tanah Lot, the god of the sea. It’s an essential place to visit in the island. I recommend visiting it at sunrise or sunset.
South of Kuta, we find one of the few wild beaches that remain in this area. If you go when the tide is high, you will find that there is no beach. But if you wait for it to come down, you will have the idyllic corner you expected to find on the island of Bali. Topan Beach is one of the hidden paradises on the island due to its location that is not yet known as a tourist destination. And, be careful with the monkeys, they tried to steal my backpack!
Near Topan Beach we have Pantai Suluban Uluwatu, or Blue point, or Uluwatu beach. This beach is located in the town of Pecatu, about 45 minutes from Kuta, on the road that leads to the Uluwatu temple.
To access the beach you must cross between shops and restaurants which offer fantastic views. It creates a very special atmosphere between music, views and people.
If you continue in the direction of the path under the restaurant, it will take you to the secret cliff and if you go down the stairs, you will finally reach the rocky beach with white sand. It is a fascinating place. Even small natural pools are formed where you can bathe.
It is also the entrance to the sea for surfers who head towards the center to get the best waves.
For safety, unfortunately there are no lifeguards here, so do not do strange things like take a surfboard where you do not even know the terrain.
It is an amazing place to watch the sunsets and surfers in action.
And further away from the area of Kuta and Denpasar, reach Padang Bai, a small village in a bay from which ferries also leave to other islands. It is a much quieter place tan Kuta area. However, it is also a tourist area where you will find a variety of hotels, diving centers, restaurants and wonderful beaches. There is Bias tugel Beach (secret beach) and Blue Lagoon Beach, ideal for swimming or snorkelling. In addition, Blue Lagoon Beach has a restaurant which you must cross through the terrace to get to the beach. I fell in love with this hidden corner so wonderful and special.
Near this beach is the Pura Peyogaan Temple. I admit that I am impressed. Of course one of the things that left me speechless from this temple is its location. It does not surprise me at all that such a place is special and sacred. It is pure beauty that gives off love. The other thing that surprised me was the austerity of the temple. How many other temples should this characteristic apply, austerity!
I was staying in a hotel called Harmony Guest House; I found it after taking a couple of laps around the town and asking before in two more hotels. It’s a quiet place, clean, very attentive and helpful. It’s just the necessary to have a pleasant stay.
Passed Padang Bai is Candidasa, a town with a wide range of hotels as well. It was here that when I stopped with the motorbike to take pictures of some rice fields, a boy approached me. He asked me many things, where I was from, my name, if I liked to take pictures … a man full of curiosity and kindness. He invited me to go to his house to meet his mother. And I neither cut and I said yes. He got on my motorbike and … be careful Anna, slowly Anna … hahahaha said that I run a lot! … What a great truth!
I do not remember well why we turn in one street and start driving and driving and driving…. And it’s suddenly…. It’s a wonder of rice fields distributed by terraces throughout the valley. Green, green and more green … A fairytale!
First we stopped at the older sister’s house and then we went to her parents’ house. An adorable family the house had a very large garden where her sister had built a house with her husband. They live sharing what they have. It’s as a true family. In their looks they give off kindness.
From here I left for Amlapura, as my friend had told me that from there I could start a beautiful path.
This road is very special, it is amazing, wonderful. It runs through the jungle following the coast. It is a very narrow road, fortunately very little crowded. Along this road you will find small towns. There are not many hotels or tourists around here. Only local people. More towards the northern part, you start to see a more tourist area, or you try to be touristy. So you’ll start to see more hotels and restaurants. It is the best place on the island where I have been.
It took a long time to me drive the path, because every moment I stopped to take pictures or talk to a local.
I made a night near here, right next to the temple of Tamantirta Gangaga. You will find a hotel offer for all pockets, restaurants and you will have the temple to take advantage of and visit. You can also from here hire a tour of the rice fields.
My next destination was the Gunung Batur, passing through the Gunung Agung. These are some of the volcanoes on the island of Bali, both active. The Gunung Agung is the highest point of all in the island. The Balinese believe that the Gunung Agung is a replica of Mount Meru, the central axis of the universe. So the most important temple in Bali, Pura Besakih, is on its slopes.
Both mountains are often covered with clouds.
Being close to the Gunung Batur, on the road I found some men who stopped all vehicles with tourists to charge the price of the entrance to the volcano. And just before I could go down to Lake Batur, I found two other men charging the same entrance.
Gunung Batur is located in the center of two concentric boilers northwest of Gunung Agung. And it contains a boiler lake. It is impressive to go down that slope when descending towards the lake. The truth is that this whole area is impressive and I was a little scared by the great degree of mystery that i was breathes in the environment.
There is a wide range of hotels and for all budgets. That always asks if they have light or at what time they have light. When I was in the hotel the first night we were without electricity. They also did not have Internet, perhaps over the years the services have improved. The hotel is called Volcano 3 Bungalows.
My last stop before my return was Ubud. You must not miss this charming town. This is Rich in its crafts and rice fields. It’s a quiet place to stroll through markets, crafts, artists’ shops and rice terraces.