Off-beat ideas to explore Bali
Northern Bali has a lot in store
June Mukherjee, 30-11-2021
When Bali is suggested as a holiday getaway, most people instantly think of its lively beaches in Sanur, the glamorous nightlife in Seminyak, the lush and peaceful Ubud, or the luxurious Nusa Dua.
As Indonesia is also opening up under the new normal, and Bali is welcoming the vaccinated foreign tourists, some out-of-the-box trip ideas may be a good read. Not many people know that the northern area of Bali also dwells many pleasant surprises which are worth discovering.
Spot the dolphins at Lovina
Approximately a two-hour drive from Denpasar, Lovina beach is a coastal area on the north-western side of Bali that is perfect for those who love to snorkel and deep dive for the underwater scenery. This beach has recently become more popular with tourists but nevertheless still remains less crowded than the island's southern side. On its lovely black sand beaches, other than a leisurely walking exploration and peaceful swimming, you can also take a dolphin-watching tour. Compared to the beaches around southern Bali, Lovina has frequent sightings of dolphin pods due to the calm waters. There will be many boats with seats up to five or six that are ready to set sail and serve you for a dolphin-watching journey in Lovina.
Chase the waterfalls of Tabanan
Beaches, forests, and rice terraces are not the only natural attractions in Bali. There are also stunning waterfalls lying in the landscape of Tabanan Regency. Go hunting for stunning sights and capture every corner with your lens to achieve an extraordinary moment. Four major waterfalls not to be missed for their unique characters are - Sing Sing Angin waterfall in the Manikyang village at the centre of Tabanan; Blahmantung waterfall in the Pujungan village on the south-western side of Tabanan; Pengempu waterfall in Cau Belayu village; and the hidden Leke Leke waterfall in Antapan village.
Sunrise hike to Mount Batur
Wake up early and make your way to the summit of Mount Batur for a sunrise view. There are many travel agents/tour operators that offer interesting packages for this trip; hence you can find the one that suits your need. Mount Batur is only a two-hour drive from Denpasar, so whether you want to find a nearby place to stay or travel from your hotel in the southern part of Bali, it’s your choice.
Relaxing retreat at Amed Beach
Amed Beach offers a laid-back atmosphere that is perfect for all occasions. However, since it has a quiet and peaceful vibe, this is mostly suggested for honeymooners and long stay visitors. This area is not as crowded and lively as the beaches of the southern side but surely has its own charm, especially for those who fancy diving and snorkelling. A lot of dive operators have set up their base here due to its undisturbed coral reefs. There are also many accommodation options ranging from simple home-stays to luxury resorts.
Visit the iconic Ulun Danu Temple
Other than the famous Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue, Ulun Danu Bratan Temple in the Bedugul area is also known as Bali’s tourism icon. Considered as the safe keeper of harmony and stability in Bali, the name 'Ulun Danu' means lakeside, while 'Bratan' is the name of the lake where the temple is situated. The breath-taking lake is found on a highland approximately 1,200 metres above sea level. There is also another Ulun Danu Temple in the tourism area of Kintamani named Ulun Danu Batur.
The iconic Handara Gate
You must have seen tourists posting their pictures in front of a huge, majestic gate when they are on a trip to Bali. It is the iconic Handara Gate, found in Handara Golf & Resort area in Buleleng Regency. If you are not staying in this property, you can still choose to take some pictures in front of the gate for creating beautiful memories.
Experience the coffee plantations in Munduk
If you’re looking for a different but luxurious stay experience in north Bali, then pick a resort amidst the Munduk coffee plantation area which will add to your social distancing lifestyle as well. The surrounding jungle will give you freshness while the chirping birds and crickets will serenade you to sleep. The smell of coffee in the air will make your stay warm and cosy.
While planning your next trip to the island of the Gods, think of exploring the less crowded north Bali. But, before heading to Bali, don't forget to check the newest regulation of entering Indonesia depending on the country from where you are originating.