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experience

Bali

Bali is a tropical paradise situated on the Indonesian Islands north of Australia. It is affectionately known as the Island of the Gods for its welcoming combination of spirituality, cultures and natural beauty.

A visit here may include immersing yourself in its abundance of spas, wellness temples, massage and beauty parlours, yoga, meditation and retreat centres. And when you are not relaxing and rejuvenating, your time can be spent exploring its breathtaking natural beauty. The island’s landscapes are truly awe-inspiring, from pristine beaches with crystal-clear waters to lush rice terraces and majestic volcanoes. Explore the iconic rice fields of Ubud or relax on the sun-kissed shores of Kuta and Seminyak. For adventure enthusiasts, hiking to the summit of Mount Batur for a sunrise view is an unforgettable experience.

It might mean kicking back to relax on the beach or immersing yourself in Balinese culture and spirituality. Visit ancient temples adorned with intricate carvings and take part in traditional ceremonies. Witness vibrant dance performances showcasing the island’s rich artistic heritage. Bali is also renowned for its wellness retreats, offering yoga and meditation retreats, rejuvenating spa treatments, and healthy cuisine to nourish both body and soul.

And for the shopaholics, Bali doesn’t disappoint. The vibrant markets and boutique shops offer a wide range of handicrafts, textiles, and artwork. From traditional batik fabrics to intricate silver jewellery, you’ll find treasures to take home as souvenirs of your unforgettable journey.

With its warm climate, Bali is an ideal year-round destination. Bali delivers on all fronts, whether you’re looking to find yourself or immerse yourself in the ultimate destination for complete relaxation.

Time zone: UTC + 8

Currency: Bali’s currency is the Rupiah (IDR or Rp). Rupiah comes in banknote and coin forms, and cash is the preferred currency in Bali, especially at local markets and attractions. Cards are accepted in larger cities, but smaller villages trade in cash. Tourists can use international ATMs in larger cities. Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted, and only a few hotels and restaurants accept Diners and Amex. However, hotel accommodation and tour operators accept card payments. Australian Dollars (AUD), American Dollars (USD), and Euros (EUR) are accepted currencies on the island.

Language: Balinese is the official language, but English is also widely spoken, especially at hotels and restaurants.

Transportation: Potholes and narrow lanes make driving hazardous, so renting a car is probably not your best option in Bali, but if you insist, car rental companies offer a driver. Taxis are relatively inexpensive and a good option if you travel in a group and prefer not to drive. Motorbike taxis, also known as ojeks, are easy to book on apps – simply drop a pin of your destination to show the driver where you want to go.

Cuisine: Travellers can expect to be served rice – lots of it. Nasi Goreng (fried rice) is cooked with meat or veg and is usually served with a fried egg. Sate (satay) is grilled chicken, pork or beef skewered on sticks. A vast array of flavour-packed vegetarian meal options will delight your senses and change how you eat. Most dishes are free of pork and alcohol.

Safety: Bali is considered a safe place to visit. Travellers are advised not to carry handbags and to avoid credit card scams. The biggest danger in Bali is the risk of natural disasters like tsunamis. Travellers are advised to visit in the safe months between May and September.

Tipping: Tipping is very much at your discretion in Bali. Hotels and restaurants usually include between 17% to 21% service fees in their bills, so tipping is not required but is always appreciated. Housekeeping staff should be tipped daily at approximately USD 1 per day. Drivers and freelancers do not expect tips but are always welcome.

Social: The Balinese people are more conservative than Westerners, so public displays of affection are frowned upon. Dress modestly and pack comfortable clothing suitable for the hot and humid climate.

What to See
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Bali is the quintessential picture-perfect holiday destination. There is no contest regarding our top spot on the list of places to see in Bali – The Temple in the Clouds; Pura Lempuyang is known as the “Gateway to Heaven”, and it’s a fair assumption to make. Perched on Mount Lempuyang in Karangasem, this is the oldest temple in Bali. Once you’ve ascended the 1 700 steps to get there, you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of valleys, volcanoes, and ocean views.

Experience the magnificent sea of green and gold at Besakih, where fields of marigolds stretch for miles to create a golden horizon. These fragrant flowers are pivotal to Balinese culture and are widely used in Hindu ceremonies.
Visit Kintamani to see an active volcano up close and personal, or try something less explosive and take in the emerald green rice terraces of Jatiluwih.

The mystical floating temple on Danau Beratan will take your breath away. When the early morning or late afternoon mountain fog creeps through, this sacred and spectacular temple looks like it’s floating – pure magic.

What to Smell
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It’s no wonder the people in Bali are so sweet; they float on a cloud of gardenia, lily-of-the-valley, jasmine and spice, the unique fragrance of Frangipani. The flower is ubiquitous around Bali and is used as a decoration, for religious offerings and at spas.

When you wander the plethora of wellness retreats, you’ll be greeted by the soft scents of Harum Bali Aromatic Incense Sticks. Made from naturally selected powdered roots and woods, fragranced with traditionally formulated perfumes made of essential oils, all designed to calm the senses, the smell is uniquely Balinese.

What to Taste
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Watch out for the deliciously spicy sambal, a fiery red condiment served alongside many traditional dishes. It is symbolic of Bali in that it, like the active volcanoes that dot the landscape, is a surprising contrast to the tranquillity of the island.

Balinese cuisine is fragrant and spicy but dominated by rice and vegetable dishes. It is a healthy and comfortable blend of flavours and textures that symbolise Bali in every way.

Regardless of your preferences, Bali offers a rich tapestry of natural beauty, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality, which make for magical getaways that will refresh and revitalise you.

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Bali
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