The mere mention of Bali evokes thoughts of a paradise. It’s more than a place; it’s a mood, an aspiration, a tropical state of mind. Bali is an island known for its forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, beaches and coral reefs. The island is home to religious sites such as cliffside Uluwatu Temple. To the south, the beachside city of Kuta has lively bars, while Seminyak, Sanur and Nusa Dua are popular resort towns.
Bali is located at the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. Its capital of Denpasar is located at the southern part of the island.
Denpasar – Denpasar is the capital of Bali and located on the south of the island. This town might not be a tropical paradise, but it’s as much a part of ‘the real Bali’ as the rice paddies and clifftop temples. This is the hub of the island and here visitors will find shopping malls and parks. Most enticing, however, is the growing range of authentic and tasty restaurants. You may also want to sample Denpasar’s markets, its important museum and its purely modern Balinese vibe.
Sanur – Sanur is becoming a popular choice for visitors – it is not as frantic as Kuta yet more lively than Nusa Dua. There is a good mix of restaurants and bars that aren’t all owned by resorts.The beach is protected by a reef and breakwaters, so families appreciate the limpid waves. Sanur stretches for about 5km along an east-facing coastline, with the lush and green landscaped grounds of resorts fronting right onto the sandy beach.
Seminyak – Seminyak is a beach resort area on the southern end of Bali, Indonesia, with abundant luxury hotels, villas and spas, as well as high-end shopping and restaurants. Sleek bars and clubs with busy sunset scenes line Seminyak and Petitenget beaches, which are wide, west-facing stretches of Indian Ocean shoreline with gray sand and good surfing conditions.
Kuta – Kuta is a beach and resort area in the south of the island. One of Bali’s first tourist developments, it’s best known for its Indian Ocean surfing and party-centric atmosphere. Kuta’s long, consistent waves make it a popular surf spot, particularly for beginners, and plenty of outfitters offer board rentals and surf lessons.
Nusa Dua – Nusa Dua is in the southern part of Bali and known as an enclave of large 5-star resorts. It is located 22 kilometres from Denpasar.
Ubud – The town of Ubud, in the uplands of Bali, is known as a center for traditional crafts and dance. The surrounding Ubud District’s rainforest and terraced rice paddies, dotted with Hindu temples and shrines, are among Bali’s most iconic landscapes. Ancient holy sites include the Tirta Empul temple complex, intricately carved Goa Gajah (“Elephant Cave”) and Gunung Kawi with its rock-cut shrines.
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