Places You Must See in Bali
1. Barong Dance - This is approx. 1 hour long religious dance representing the eternal fight between the good - Barong and the evil symbolized by a horrible looking witch called Rangda. The costumes and set are elaborate and nice. The trick is to get there early, so that you get front seats and be close enough to see the facial expressions of the dancers.
2. Celuk (Gold & silver smith), Mas (wood carving) and Stone carving villages - You would drive past these 3 villages and see the array of shops selling the gold, wood and stone. As you get into Celuk, all the gold and silver smith shops flank the roads, you can also drop by their factory to take a look at the production process. The same goes for the wood carving and stone carving.
3. Mount Batur (Kintamani) - This is the second largest active volcano in Bali. It is 1,717 meters from sea level, and bears the remains of the black lava from it's eruption in 1917 and 1927. There is a nice scenic crater lake there. You can do buffet lunch at one of the restaurant and admire the breath-taking view as you eat. The buffet lunch cost about S$10 and has reasonable spread.
4. Trita Empul - Tirta Empul means " bubbling water " and is a holy water temple built in 960 AD. The temple is beautiful temple and has holy water fountains for different purposes of purification and blessing. There were people in the fountains doing their purification when I was there. Further inside the temple area, you can see the source of the water - a spring where water is bubbling up through the black sand. A total make of nature. Legend has it that one of the gods shot an arrow from heaven to look for water, and the spot where the water is bubbling up now is the exact spot where the arrow hit.
5. Goa Gajah - Means "elephant cave". Found in 11th century, this cave was dug in the peaceful riverside valley in a hard sand stone. Entering the inside T-Shape cave, there are some niches used by Buddhist Monks for meditation. Among the many historical remains found around this cave is the holy Ganesh Statue (a human body with elephant head) which is believed as the God of Purification and Evil Controller. The cave can be quite claustrophobic for some people but is well worth a quick look inside.
6. Sebatu Holy Spring Temple - Is named " Gunung Kawi " in Balinese. It is a very beautiful village temple located in a peaceful valley with its holy spring. Somewhat similar to Trita Empul, there are large fountains outside the temple area, where villagers use to take a bath. However, my driver told me that this place is not as 'holy' as Trita Empul.
7. Taman Ayun - Is the largest Royal Family Temple Complex built in 1934 in the village of Mengwi, Badung Regency. The area of this temple is surrounded by moat with some water lilies and lotuses. The place is still used during prayer sessions and important ceremonial events.
8. Tanah Lot - One of the most famed temple in Bali. Tanah Lot means " the land of ocean" is a fascinating Hindu Temple built on a piece of cliff in Indian Ocean shore. This temple is dedicated to the God of Ocean "Baruna" built by a high Hindu Priest name Dang Hyang Dwijendra in the 16th century. During high tide, the cliff is surrounded by water and the temple looks like it is floating. In the bottom part of the cliff there is a fresh water holy spring while on the beach cave there are some holy snakes that guard the temple. In the South and North part of the temple is absolutely beautiful view and best for watching sunset.
9. Uluwatu Temple - Also built by the same Hindu Priest who built Tanah Lot, Uluwatu temple is also another magnificent temple built perched on a cliff. The whole temple stretches across a large area and it is flanked by the fabulous India Ocean. Here, you also see large numbers of monkeys, mostly mischievous ones, who snatches food from visitors.
10. Lake Beratan & Pura Ulun Danu - Beratan is a name of the Lake and Village. There is a spectacular floating temple called "Ulun Danu Temple" and is an absolutely interesting sight. The weather at the lake is cool, which is a nice break from the mostly hot sun during my trip. There were people who hired a traditional paddle boat or speed boat to go around the lake, although my driver said there really is nothing much to see around the lake.
11. Jatiluweh - A place where you see lots of terraced rice paddy fields. The sights are breathtaking as you see the green terrace, meandering around you. This place is supposed to one of the few in the world that has such nice terraced paddies. Those terraces are probably cut decades ago, and now resulting in the fascinating view today