10 Things you Must See in Bali
- 1. TANAH LOT TEMPLE: Tanah Lot means "Land and Sea". The temple sits on a large offshore rock which has been shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tide.
Tanah Lot is claimed to be the work of the 15th century priest Nirartha. During his travels along the south coast he saw the rock-island's beautiful setting and rested there. Some fishermen saw him, and bought him gifts. Nirartha then spent the night on the little island. Later he spoke to the fishermen and told them to build a shrine on the rock for he felt it to be a holy place to worship the Balinese sea gods.
The Tanah Lot temple was built and has been a part of Balinese mythology for centuries. The temple is one of seven sea temples around the Balinese coast. Each of the sea temples were established within eyesight of the next to form a chain along the south-western coast.
Go at Low Tide to get blessed from the Holy Springs underneath the Temple.
Also a very beautiful spot to see the Sunset.
- 2. TIRTAGANGA WATER PALACE IN EAST BALI: Tirtaganga, a beautiful water garden located near the village of Ababi about 18 km from Candi Dasa and 83 km from Denpasar. Tirtaganga meaning blessed waters of the Ganges (holy river in India) was built in 1948 by the late Raja Karangasem, Anak Agung Anglurah Ketut Karangasem.
The source of the pools is an underground spring, considered holy, just under the giant Banyan tree. Religion rites and ceremonies were performed at the spring. Temple priests used these holy waters for their offerings and prayers. Inspired, the Raja built a water garden nearby for his family and his subjects.
The water garden consists of three ponds and dozens of sculptures. The top level, just under the banyan tree is for swimming. The second has a beautiful tower with water gushing out. The third level is for bathing, but only for the local Balinese. An expat built a country home nearby and there is also a restaurant above the springs and an accommodation nearby.
- 3. BALINESE DANCE AND MUSIC PERFORMANCE TUESDAY OR SATURDAY NIGHT IN UBUD: Dance and drama have played an important role in Balinese culture throughout the years. Through dance we can see how the Balinese look at nature, and how they regard their fauna and flora. The core of Balinese culture is dance and drama, which is traditionally performed during temple festivals. Dancers may be channeled by visiting gods or demons. Or they may perform to welcome or entertain the visiting gods. Balinese dance cannot be separated from their religion called Agama Hindu Bali. Many dancers pray at their family shrine for taksu (inspiration) from the gods before they perform.
- 4. UBUD MUSUEMS AND ART GALLERIES:
- Agung Rai Museum of Art
Jalan Pengosekan, Peliatan, Ubud.
Open daily from 9.00 a.m. to 6 p.m. except holidays.
- Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA)
Jalan Bima, Pangosekan, Ubud. Tel. 0361-974 228
One of the most distinguished galleries in Bali, where you can see works of some Bali's celebrated names like Spies, Bonnet, Hofker and Affandi. They also hold high profile events such as national art competitions and rotating exhibitions.
- Antonio Blanco Renaissance Museum
Jalan Raya Campuhan, Ubud. Tel. 0361-975 502
Dedicated to the life and work of famed Philippino artists Antonio Blanco, the space includes his original studio, gardens and family temple.
- Neka Museum
Jalan Raya Campuhan, Ubud. The Neka Art Museum was opened in 1982 and is named after a Balinese teacher Suteja Neka who collected paintings as a means of artistic documentation. Nowadays the museum has a great selection of works from many famous Balinese artists and expats who have lived here and influenced local artists.
Open daily 8.00 to 5.00 p.m. except holidays.
- Museum Puri Lukisan
Jalan Raya Ubud, Ubud. Open daily 8.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. except holidays.
Museum Puri Lukisan was officially opened for public 31st of January, 1956.
The collection started with a donation of paintings from Rudolf Bonnet. Eventually more had to follow, which were donated by different artists themselves and friends who want to help the museum.
Museum Puri Lukisan shows with its collection (painting and woodcarvings) the important developments of Balinese arts which is unique and priceless. Nowadays within the rapid changes in the art world the museum is active in organizing exhibitions of local artist.
- 5. TEMPLE FESTIVAL (ASK WHERE ONE MIGHT BE WHEN YOUR IN BALI): There are thousands of temples from the state temples Bali's (Sad Kahyangan) 6 major temples honored by all the Balinese to Village temples, every village has three the Puri Puseh or ancestor temple nearest the mountains, the Puri Desa the central village temple and the Puri Dalem or temple dedicated to Siwa, or the god of dissolution, usually nearest the cremation ground. Then every home has temples and shrines. Finally there are temples in the rice fields dedicated to Dewi Sri, goddess of Rice. Of course the Balinese honor nature, and power spots like Banyan trees, Caves, and rivers they bring offerings to. Attending a temple festival is an unforgettable site but remember to honor proper temple etiquette.
- 6. SNORKELING AT MENJENGAN ISLAND, in AMED OR NUSA LEMBONGAN ISLAND: There are many spots all along the coast of Bali but my favorite is Pulau Mdnjangan, a small island off the northwest tip of Bali. This is an underwater reserve protected by the government. Early morning is the best time. Another great spot is on the Eastern end of the island at Amed beach. Here you can take the dive trip to the "ship wreck". Another one day dive trip is to Nusa Lembongan, a small island about about an hour from Benoa harbor in South Bali.
- 7. PURA ULUN DANU IN BEDUGUL: Bedugul is a mountain resort with the beautiful lake resort Bratan and a wonderful flower market is nearby. The temple sits on the western shore of Lake Bratan in a very serene, yet stunning setting. This temple is the second most popular temple in Bali for tourist to photograph. It's a popular weekend destination so to avoid the crowds go during midweek. Built in 1633, the temple is devoted to Ida Batara Dewi Ulun Danu, goddess of the lake
- 8. WALK THRU THE RICE FIELDS IN UBUD: There isn't a better way to slow down to Bali's pace than a walk thru the rice fields. Ubud has some beautiful 1/2 hr to hour walks that are beautiful. Be advised depart on your walk early early morning or later in the afternoon, but remember darkness comes quick in Bali and there are no street lights in the rice fields.
- 9. SUNRISE WALK ALONG SANUR BEACH: I often walk the early morning in Sanur, the volcanoes in the East can be scene as the sunrises behind them. Or Sunset walk along the south shore beaches of Kuta. Legian, Seminyak or Canggu. What a fantastic setting for beautiful sunsets and great restaurants along the beach are a favorite spot for tourist to enjoy a cocktail while watching the sun go down.
- 10. WOMEN'S KECAK PERFORMANCE IN UBUD ON WED NIGHT: Kecak was originally a trance ritual accompanied by male chorus. This woman's version is absolutely magical. The Kecak is based on the Hindu Ramayana and including dance to interpret the story. They have a program at the performance to explain the story. See a sample on YouTube.