With the scent of frangipani flowers mingling with incense from temple offerings, inviting beaches stretching into the distance, green rice terraces stacked up into the hills in serene formations, and colourful traditional temple processions at regular intervals, Bali is simply magical. Whether you're having a relaxing massage under a thatched beach hut, soaking in a spa or coming face to face with Komodo dragons, Bali holidays stay with you forever.
Things to do
In Bali, you can dive with schools of tropical fish, then surf, swim and sun yourself all day. Stock up on peanuts at Ubud's Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary and have them stolen out of your hand by the cheeky critters, then lose yourself in the local art galleries. The Balinese are the best beauticians, so be sure to get a vigorous spa treatment on the beach.
Food & restaurants
Eating in Bali is a joy. Seafood fans shouldn't miss the legendary grilled platters in beachfront Jimbaran. In artsy village Ubud, Ibu Oka Warung is the place to taste the tempting suckling pig, a Balinese speciality, and there are tasty duck dishes galore at Bebek Bengil where you can eat in little bamboo huts. For a bit of Mexican/Indonesian flavour, check out TJs in Kuta and explore Seminyak's for glitzy bars.
Bali accommodation is outstanding. You can hide out in luxury thatched abodes with private pools at the breath-taking Kayumanis Jimbaran, relax in a spacious villa amid lush jungle at the classy Ubud Hanging Gardens, or settle down in boutique resort Amanusa, with its golfing green and Nusa Dua beach just moments away. The Watergarden in Candidasa provides a peaceful escape.
Being such a popular destination means shopping in Bali is robust. You can stock up on surf wear from the big sporty labels at Kuta Square, and then get down to some bargaining at Kuta Art Market. For high-end designer names, try the Bali Collection, a large, well-stocked department store in chic Nusa Dua. Precious silver and gold items abound in Celuk Village, near Denpasar, where the streets are lined with smiths running tiny independent shops.
Lots of visitors to Bali are keen to get off the beaten track, especially where beaches are concerned. Pretty and petite Bias Tugal Beach is a secluded spot surrounded by lush jungle, and great for diving without the tourist crowds. Go to Padang Bai and ask a local for the best way to get there.