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Things to do in  Bali

Welcome to Bali

With its lush rice terraces and ancient mysticism, Bali is an Indonesian island that emanates tranquillity. Nature lovers seek out the jagged cliffs and pristine beaches of Uluwatu, while travelers desiring solace flock to the Hindu temples and shamans of Ubud. And in Denpasar, Bali’s underappreciated capital, testaments to ancient culture reign supreme. Undisputed highlights come in the form of Ubud’s Sacred Monkey Forest, Tanah Lot Temple, and the sacred peak of Mt. Batur, all of which rank among Bali's most popular things to do; while local villages, deserted hiking routes, and roadside restaurants reveal a muted yet equally majestic charm.

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Top 10 attractions in Bali

Ubud Monkey Forest (Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary)
#1

Ubud Monkey Forest (Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary)

The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is a Balinese Hindu site at the bottom of Monkey Forest Road and populated by cheeky long-tailed macaques. It's a popular site with visitors to Ubud who come to see the monkeys and the temples within the sanctuary. There are hundreds of monkeys living in and around the monkey forest. You can purchase food for them at the entrance gate but be warned that the monkeys are aggresive opportunists - particularly in their pursuit of food. They will think nothing of climbing on you or raking through your bag in search of something edible. There are 3 temples within the forest, Pura Dalem (death temple), the Holy Bathing Temple and Pura Prajapati (funerary or cremation temple). All 3 of these temples are sacred, as is the forest and the monkeys, who are believed to protect the area from evil spirits....
Tegenungan Waterfall (Air Terjun Tegenungan)
#2

Tegenungan Waterfall (Air Terjun Tegenungan)

Not far from Ubud, Tegenungan Waterfall foams in a white cascade over black stone cliffs into a quiet pool. At around 66 feet (20 meters) high, it’s an impressive flow, and that’s not all the site has to offer. Besides climbable cliffs, a secret smaller waterfall, and simple food stalls, a charming grotto houses a sacred spring....
Elephant Cave (Goa Gajah)
#3

Elephant Cave (Goa Gajah)

One of Bali’s holiest Hindu sites (and one of its most popular attractions) is a grotto with a history dating back more than 1,000 years. Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave) has uncertain origins, but it's believed that it once served as a sanctuary for Hindu priests to meditate or even sleep. Goa Gajah's entrance makes a menacing first impression, carved in the likeness of a gaping mouth of a demonic creature. The façade of the cave entrance features several relief carvings of various mythological creatures, and while no one is sure what they represent, local lore says that an elephant was the protagonist of the drama depicted in the carvings; hence, the nickname Elephant Cave. The courtyard just outside the cave has more recently excavated decorative bathing pools, adorned with carvings of partially clad females pouring water from urns. The cave itself is rather small, a T-shaped space with several small ledges and a statue of Ganesh, added after the cave was excavated....
Campuhan Ridge Walk
#4

Campuhan Ridge Walk

The classically Balinese combo of rice fields and river gorges is what makes Ubud’s landscapes so beloved, and the Campuhan Ridge Walk, the best-known walk in Ubud, is the perfect way to appreciate them. Starting at Pura Gunung Lebah, choose between a 2-hour circular route around Campuhan and Sanggingan or a longer hike to Keliki and Taro....
Mt. Agung (Gunung Agung)
#5

Mt. Agung (Gunung Agung)

Hikers love the challenging mountain trails of Mount Agung, the tallest active volcano in Bali. Its most popular routes—one starting from Besakih, and the other from Pura Pasa Agung—take trekkers through mountain temples and truly rugged terrain. Loose pebble paths and steep cliffs end with epic views of Bali countryside, and a view that visitors argue may be the best place to watch the sunrise in the country. Guides are recommended—as well as sturdy hiking boots and a warm coat—since navigating the daylong hikes on these uneven vertical trails can be difficult. And with no water along the routes, following an expert beats getting lost....
Ubud Palace (Puri Saren Agung)
#6

Ubud Palace (Puri Saren Agung)

Home of Ubud’s royal family since the late-19th century, Ubud Palace (Puri Saren Palace or Puri Saren Agung) sits in the heart of downtown Ubud near the traditional art market. Explore the pavilions and gardens. There are also traditional Balinese dance performances in the courtyard each evening, a must for any visitor to Indonesia....
Saraswati Temple (Pura Taman Saraswati)
#7

Saraswati Temple (Pura Taman Saraswati)

Dedicated to the Hindu goddess of learning, wisdom, music, and art, Ubud’s Saraswati Temple is a beautiful spot for worshippers and visitors alike. Water gardens and lotus ponds flow up to the elegant structure, which is enriched with ornate carvings. The temple makes an atmospheric setting for Balinese dance performances....
Telaga Waja River
#8

Telaga Waja River

The Telaga Waja River is one of Bali’s two top white-water rafting destinations (the second is the Ayung River). The rafting route covers around 8 miles (13 kilometers), mainly of Class II–III rapids, with the option of shooting a 6-foot (2-meter) man-made dam at the end. The scenery is rural, but less dramatic than the Ayung River gorge....
Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA)
#9

Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA)

Ubud’s Agung Rai Museum of Art, or ARMA as it’s more popularly known, is a museum, gallery space and cultural center founded by Agung Rai, a Balinese entrepreneur who got exposed to the world of Balinese art while selling souvenirs in Kuta. Inspired by visits to the Puri Lukisan and Neka museums, Agung Rai began collecting paintings to which he felt a spiritual connection, including works by Balinese and international artists. Today, that collection makes its home in ARMA, a series of traditional buildings in a vibrant garden setting. It is divided thematically into four sections: Kamasan, Pre-war, European Living in Bali and Modern Traditional. Of particular note is the collection by Russian-born German painter Walter Spies, who came to Bali in 1927 and greatly influenced the 1930s Balinese art movement with his primitivism-style paintings. Also on display are works by Raden Saleh, a pioneer of modern Balinese painting....
Museum Pasifika
#10

Museum Pasifika

Nusa Dua’s answer to Ubud’s art museums, Museum Pasifika, which opened in 2006, is dedicated to the art of Asia Pacific. Balinese artists and expatriates working on the island are well-represented, but galleries showcase art and sculptures from Papua, Vanuatu, Polynesia, historical Indo-China, and beyond....

Trip ideas

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How to Spend 2 Days in Seminyak

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