There is so much more to Bali than Kuta’s shops, Uluwatu’s surf breaks, Seminyak’s party spots and Nusa Dua’s lavish hotels. Find out about enchanting destinations on the island that are worth the drive to explore.
For Bedugul, we suggest you spare more than one day and spend the night as the area offers so much. The first thing you have to see while in Bedugul is Eka Raya Botanical Garden, just before Bedugul market. The vast garden is ensconced amidst a lush forest, and comprises verdant flora and foliage categorised based on species, as well as Bali Treetops Adventure with elevated rope-walking courses.
A journey to Bedugul wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Lake Beratan, where you can see the much-photographed Pura Ulun Danu Beratan. Come before noon so that you can bask in the view in all its glory before the fog rolls down later in the day. Drive slightly further north to find Lake Buyan and Lake Tamblingan sitting majestically side by side. If you know where to go, you can stand on an elevated vantage point that’s sandwiched between the two lakes.
Continue to the northwest of the lakes and find your sanctuary for the night at one of the villas or resorts in Munduk area. One of the most well-known ones is Munduk Moding Plantation, famous for its infinity pool overlooking the hills and valleys – it’s like swimming among the clouds. Spend the next day on a scavenger hunt to see how many of the waterfalls in Munduk you can discover and reach, like Munduk Waterfall and Banyumala Twin Waterfalls.
This highland area is located in the north of East Bali, and while it is quite a drive to reach Kintamani from the busier southern area of Bali, it is worth the distance. The air is fresh and cool, making the area a refreshing change from your usual Bali beaches. The main point of interest in Kintamani is Mount Batur, popular for nature lovers who are up for a hike, with rewarding views from the top, including a breathtaking sunrise.
If you’re not keen on hiking or waking up before the sun rises, Kintamani is still a darling to visit. Roam around Lake Batur and make a stop at one of the nearby coffee shops, like Montana del Café and Tegukopi. The former is a chic, minimalistic establishment, while the latter exudes an industrial rustic vibe. Both serve great coffee and photo-op spots. Oh, and the lake and Mount Batur views as the backdrop definitely don’t hurt. If you’re feeling a bit cultural and spiritual, make some time to visit the picturesque regional pura (temple), Pura Ulun Danu Batur, which has shrines to both Balinese and Chinese deities.
Karangasem regency takes up most of the eastern area of Bali and it’s one of the most popular getaway destinations on the island. The drive from the southern area of Bali to Karangasem is a smooth and scenic one along Ida Bagus Mantra bypass, and once you’ve arrived, it’s a whole new paradise to discover.
The most popular beach area in Karangasem is Amed, which is also a world-famed dive spot thanks to the USS Liberty shipwreck underneath the Tulamben waters. That being said, closer to the southern side are the Blue Lagoon Beach, which lives up to its name, and a hidden gem called Bias Tugel Beach. Bias Tugel, roughly translates to a beach that has been cut short, due to its location sandwiched between two large reefs.
On the cultural front, Karangasem has a lot to offer. Two of the most popular temples are Pura Besakih and Pura Lempuyang. A Karangasem excursion wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Pura Lempuyang and a picture of yourself centred between the gate pillars with the clouds in the background and your reflection on the (doctored) water surface beneath. The region is also home to two famous former royal palaces: Taman Ujung and Tirtagangga. Trust us when we say, bring your camera.
Klungkung is a relatively small regency in Bali, but it holds old-world charms that portray the elusive and intriguing Balinese culture. The most popular attraction in Klungkung is Klungkung Palace, which dates back to the early 18th century, or more specifically, the Taman Kertha Gosa. Also known as the Kertha Gosa Pavilion, this is where the king of Klungkung used to meet with his ministers to discuss justice matters.
A short walk away from the pavilion is Monumen Puputan Klungkung. The monument has a design that resembles phallus and yoni, and inside is a museum of historical information and stories about the regency. Take your time in this area as it’s near Klungkung market, where you can find many street vendors selling delicious local food. Don’t forget to visit the Kamasan Tourism Village to really immerse yourself in the traditional Balinese way of living.