Kuta is Bali's most dynamic tourism district that continues to reinvent itself year after year. It has evolved from a sleepy fishing village that once attracted travelling hippies to become a bustling resort area catering to needs of visitors from around the world. Kuts is a vibrant mix of accommodation options, restaurants, cafes and colourful markets with a few modern shopping malls thrown in.
Just a 10 minute drive from the international airport, Jimbaran is a traditional fishing village overlooking the coastal waters of a natural bay. It is the preferred address for many top hotels and resorts. A section of the beach has been allocated to an array of open-air cafes specializing in grilled seafood for a casual Balinese dining experience.
Sanur is Bali's original holiday resort that embraced tourism during the 1960's with the island's first high-rise hotel built with Japanese war reparation funds. A white sand beach is sheltered by a coral reef making it a safe haven for families and mature travellers. A meandering pathway runs for several kilometres along the Sanur foreshore passing casual cafes, market stalls and a comprehensive range of accommodation options.
As a narrow peninsula on Bali's southern shores, Tanjung Benoa overlooks the Indian Ocean and is home to a number of top name resorts. It is a popular spot for guests to experience different water sports including parasailing, jet skiing and banana boat rides.
Known as Bali's vibrant playground for stylish travellers, Seminyak is all about living life to the very fullest. The area is a network of streets and hidden lanes bursting with private villas offering all levels of luxury and personalized hospitality. Seminyak is home to an endless choice of cafes, restaurants, spas, bars and trend-setting boutiques.
As the capital of Bali, Denpasar is much like any other Asian city and is a combination of government offices, schools, businesses and residential homes. The main attractions include a museum, art centre and a traditional marketplace that is the hub of local trade. An entire street is dedicated to textiles and runs into an area that specializes in gold jewellery.
The spiritually charged village of Ubud is the cultural and artistic pulse of Bali. The main streets are lined with galleries, cafes and small shops selling exotic gifts and unique trinkets. A traditional marketplace in the centre of town is a famous stop for day-trippers seeking inexpensive handicrafts. Ubud is the best place to see the most comprehensive selection of classic Balinese dance and music.
Besakih is an extensive complex of temples and tiered shrines spread across the side of Mount Agung some 1000 metres above sea level. It is considered the Mother Temple for all Balinese Hindus and every clan has its own special place of worship. Guests are reminded to respect local customs and dress appropriately when visiting this sacred site.
Candidasa is a sleepy seaside town on the east coast of Bali in an area that is blessed with a verdant landscape and rich marine ecosystem. It is the preferred destination for diving enthusiasts with plenty of underwater sights to explore. Snorkelling and fishing are also popular pastimes for those with a sense of adventure.
The east part of Bali has some historic attraction including Taman Ujung. This site shows the crumbling ruins of what was once a grand water palace complex built by the last king of Karangasem. It was extensively damaged by an earthquake in 1979 but it is still a place of great beauty with scenic rice terrace views.
Taman Ayun is a picturesque temple compound surrounded by a moat that captures the former glory of a bygone era when Bali was divided into royal kingdoms. It features a series of courtyards and multi-tiered shrines with tropical greenery adding to the charm of this holy Hindu site.
Located on the outskirts of Ubud, Gunung Kawi is one of Bali's largest and most ancient monuments. It consists of 10 shrines cut into a rock face standing some 7 metres high in sheltered niches. Each shrine is believed to be a memorial for members of Balinese royalty during the 11th century.
Pemuteran is a small fishing village on Bali's north coast. It is a great place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of mainstream tourism. The area is a popular snorkelling destination and is the chosen site for an innovative coral regeneration project that is slowly bringing the sea back to life.