Friday, October 18, 2013

Best of Bali

The Island that has it all just keeps getting better from the best BABI GULING to the most scenic spots for a sunset cocktail. Here's what not to miss.

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan
Hot destinations come and go, but some like Bali, are perennial favorites. The Indonesian idyll has never been more popular. With good reason. A rich culture still permeates all aspects of life, lending an allure that makes the Island of the Gods a place people return to again and again. Close your eyes and think of a crimson bloom tucked behind a waiter's ear; a rhythmic gamelan tinkling from a distant temple ceremony, rising above the hum of the ordinary; the scent of sweet incense wafting from a household shrine all of these weave together to from a compelling and colourful tapestry of life.

On Bali, the traditional and modern collide. The southern side of the island offers edgy bars that wouldn't be out of place in Sydney; quirky boutiques showcase curios both local and from around the globe; world class spas pamper at competitive prices; and beach side cabanas tempt you to sit back in the sun and do nothing at all.

But Bali is much more than this and deserves exploration beyond the busy palimpsest of its south. Retreat to the cooler hills of Ubud, beach hop along the east or west coasts, or snorkel in the protected national park in the northwest. Succumb to the slower pace elsewhere on the Island, and you to will realize that one trip just isn't enough.

Even without the views, sardine is worth seeking out for fresh cuisine. Never pass up the grilled sardines, salads are a highlight too.

Flee the crowds in the seaside village of pemuteran, where you can snorkel off the beach or head by board to menjangan Island.

On Bali's southern tip pura luhur uluwatu offers spirituality with stunning ocean views. The best time to visit is just before sunset.

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