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Kelingking Beach, Bild: Igor Tichonow / shutterstock

Bali – Indonesia’s superstar

When it comes to exotic long-haul destinations, no conversation can do without the Indonesian dream island of Bali. With around 5 million guests in 2018, it is one of the most visited destinations in the entire Southeast Asian region – and rightly so. From jungles and volcanoes to beautiful beaches and culinary highlights, the island has everything to offer that makes the traveler’s heart beat faster. From Germany , a flight to Bali takes about 13 hours, but most of the time you have to change planes, for example in Dubai or Singapore.

The most famous sights in Bali

The heart of the island – picturesque Ubud deep in the jungle

Uluwatu cliff
Uluwatu cliff, Image: Vixit/shutterstock

The cultural heart of the island beats in the city of Ubud, located deep in the dense green jungle of Bali. Known from the Hollywood film “Eat, Pray, Love”, a center of yoga lifestyle has developed here in recent years in the middle of the rice terraces and surrounded by jungle. There are countless yoga studios, hip shops and the culinary world is nowhere as diverse and exciting on the whole island as in Ubud.

Among the sights of the area is the Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest, a reserve for the monkeys, to which 3 temples are dedicated within the grounds. In the meantime, the animals are very well adapted to humans and caution is advised when handling them. When visiting Ubud, you should definitely make a detour to the nearby night market, which is currently still mainly visited by the locals. The rice fields in Tegalang are also very beautiful. Known from countless postcards, the picturesque rice terraces are located deep in the jungle.

Gunung Batur

Tegenungan Waterfall
Tegenungan Waterfall, Image: Cocos.Bounty / shutterstock

Gunung Batur is the second highest volcano on the island with its 1717 meters altitude. But even if the mountain poses a certain danger, it is also one of Bali’s landmarks. According to the legend of the locals, a giant is buried in it, who once came into conflict with the islanders.

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Today, sunrise tours on Gunung Batur are particularly popular with Bali visitors, because from here you can experience the sunrise over the island from a sublime position and the ascent is very manageable even with moderate fitness. In the caldera of Gunung Batur is Lake Batur, which is up to 100 meters deep and has a temperature of about 20 degrees, which is quite cool for Bali.

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Temple

Gardian Statue Bali
Gardian statue, Image: Cocos.Bounty / shutterstock

Probably the most picturesque temple on the Hindu island is the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan. Located at a lofty 1200 meters altitude on the southern shore of Lake Bratan, this temple offers a breathtaking picture against the background of the lake and the surrounding mountains. The landscape around the temple is also worth seeing and is characterized by strawberry fields, which thrive in only a few places in Southeast Asia. A visit to the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple can be perfectly combined with a fresh strawberry smoothie.

Tanah Lot – the famous temple in the ocean

On the southwest coast of Bali is another landmark of the island: the Tanah Lot Temple. It is a comparatively small temple, which was built on a rock washed by the sea. Nevertheless, the temple has great significance for the devout Balinese, because it is believed to be in direct contact with the spirits of the sea. Non-believers are forbidden to enter the temple, but there is a path that leads around relatively close to the temple. At low tide, it is also possible to reach the temple from the beach without getting wet. However, this is not absolutely necessary, as the temple can also be seen very well from the beach.

The Gili Islands

Bali Beach
Image: Cocos.Bounty / shutterstock

The three Gili Islands are almost tiny tropical dream islands, which can be reached in about 2.5 hours from Bali by speedboat. They are characterized by their white sandy beaches, coconut palms and picturesque underwater world. The islands are so small that everything on them is within walking distance. The smallest and most relaxed of the islands is Gili Air. If you’re looking for a little more action and parties, you’ll find it on the busiest of the islands, Gili Trawangan. The third island is Gili Meno, it is especially popular with divers.

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The most beautiful beaches in Bali

Balangan Beach

Ubud, Image: CherylRamalho / shutterstock

The 800-meter-long Balangan Beach is the all-rounder among Bali’s beaches. Surfers as well as those who just want to relax on the beach and go for a swim will get their money’s worth here. The beach has a yellowish-white sand, which is a bit coarse in places, and is surrounded by inexpensive warungs, small shops selling food, souvenirs and knick-knacks. From its slightly elevated position, the view of the bay is fantastic and the sunset over this beach is second to none.

Jimbaran Beach

Jimbaran Beach is one of Bali’s longest beaches and stretches for several kilometers on the southern tip of the island. Backpackers, locals and visitors to luxury hotels meet here and so Jimbaran Beach is also one of the most expensive in Bali. The beach is protected by a reef in the sea and is one of the few beaches in Bali where you can swim and bathe without danger, on the other beaches there is usually a very strong surf and current.

Padang Padang Beach

Also on the southern peninsula of Kuta Selatan is the famous Padang Padang Beach. Somewhat hidden in a bay, this beach is reached via a narrow stone staircase that leads down through the jungle and the rocks. The beach itself is almost white in color and the turquoise blue water invites you to swim. Unfortunately, the beach is now very popular with tourists and often very well filled.

Special features of Bali

Bali, unlike the rest of Muslim-dominated Indonesia, is a stronghold of Hinduism, which is why the culture in Bali differs significantly from that of its neighboring islands. The island is dotted with temples and religion is omnipresent – whether as small house temples, in the form of small sacrificial plates on the street or scented sticks in shops and restaurants. Bali is also by far the most touristy region of the island state, which is why the price level here is a bit higher than in the rest of the country, but compared to your European prices, everything is still very cheap here.