Ubud Travel

Ubud is located 35 km northeast of Bali's International Airport. It is attractive to tourists for a variety of reasons. On a relatively small island with a horde of attractions, Ubud is centrally located, and even the closest beach is only 15 minutes away.

Ubud is arguably the best place to use as a base if you're visiting Bali; if you're looking for culture, comfort, nature and inspiration. Ubud is surrounded by most of the things that bring people to Bali -- scenic rice fields, small villages, art and craft communities, ancient temples, palaces, rivers, cheap accommodation and unique luxury hotels. And it's central location makes it easy to get from Ubud to the mountains, beaches, and major towns.

Ubud is popular in part today because it is the best place in Bali to break out of the tourist mode and get off the beaten path, although far from undiscovered. Hotels are plentiful; home stays and Indonesian guesthouses (losmen) are easily available to the foreign tourist. Many tourists simply base their entire stay in the city and travel to other destinations from Ubud.

Accommodations in Ubud are also somewhat more reasonably priced than in the beach towns of Bali. But atmosphere is perhaps the major attractions. One visitor summed it up this way: Kuta is madness, Sanur is sterile, and Nusa Dua is culturally isolated; Ubud is the place to go.


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Nusa Lembongan

Nusa Lembongan is a small island, 20 km off the east coast of Bali. Its local population is less than 4000 people whose major industry is that of fishing and seaweed farming. Have you ever wondered where the seaweed of your sushi might come from?

Known for its great surf, the excellent crystal-clear waters also make it a perfect place for snorkelling and diving. It’s still a basic place, but interesting, and there are some lovely places to stay.

After a 50 min ride on the Bali Hai II, where you can have snorkeling and scuba diving demonstrations, you arrive at the floating pontoon where you are shuttled by smaller boats to the island of Nusa Lembongan

There are 5 main breaks in Nusa Lembongan:
1. Shipwrecks – a fun, workable right that breaks on the mid to high tide.
2. Razors – a rarely makeable, left barrel, that on it’s day is a long full suck turbo tube.
3. Lacerations – A high speed, hollow right barrel.
4. Playgrounds – a mellow left and right peak that provides a wave when the swell is small and the tide is low.
5. Cheningan’s – a rarely surfed left off the temple on Nusa Ceningan that is surfed when the swell is small and the winds light.


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Trunyan Village

Trunyan Village is located between Lake Batur and the outer crater rim of Mount Batur, and only accessible by boat. It is a Bali Aga village, inhabited by descendants of the original Balinese, the people who predate the arrival of Hindu Majapahit Kingdom in the 16th century.

Trunyan Village is well-known for its Pancering Jagat Temple, but visitors are not allowed to enter. There are also a couple of traditional Bali Aga-style houses, and a large banyan tree which is said to be more than 1.100 years old. In Kuban Village, close to Trunyan Village, there is a mysterious cemetery, separated by the lake and is only accessible by boat.

Unlike the Balinese people, the people of Trunyan do not cremate or bury their dead, but just lay them out in bamboo cages to decompose, although strangely there is no stench. A macabre collection of skulls and bones lies on the stone platform and the surrounding areas.

The dead bodies don't produce bad smells because of the perfumed scents from a huge Taru Menyan tree growing nearby. Taru means 'tree' and Menyan means 'nice smell'. The name of Terunyan was also derived from these two words.

You can visit the village of Trunyan by chartered boat from Kedisan. Sadly, nowadays the boat trips are now blatant tourist traps, as touts and guides strongly urge you to donate your cash to the temple project or leave a donation for the dead. These touts ruin an otherwise fascinating experience.


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A Cool Break at Ulundanu Temple

Cool and sometimes misty are predominant features of the place where Ulundanu Temple, one of Kahyangan Jagat or universal temple locates. It nestled on the side of lake Beratan, Bedugul in Tabanan regency, some 48 km from Denpasar. Actually this temple lies at strategic destination among the Candikuning agro market, botanical garden and the route to some fascinating destinations in northen Bali. Uniquely, one compound of temple is located on the land of the lakeside and another within the lake. However it is still within the reach of a temporary bridge or by a transfer of an outrigger. Devotees find no difficult accessing the latter.

In terms of its function, Ulundanu temple is a house of worship to honor the Lord of Vishnu along with his consort Goddess Danu or Sri that considered administering fertility and the agricultural field. Subak or Balinese irrigation cooperative members consequently also pay homage at this temple.

Ulundanu temple as well features harmonious life between Hinduism and Buddhism during the period. In front of the temple or outside the main temple complex, there is a stuppa (a buddhist shrine). This indicates high tolerance or harmony of both religions as could also be found during the previous ages in Majapahit Kingdom in East Java.

For visitors, this destination is something like an “all in one� destination. Outside the complex of temple there are myriad of attractions that will make the journey more memorable and refreshing in a short break for the next journey. Those who like water spoerts can rent a jukung� outrigger or speed boat to experience the stunning view of the lake under cool temperature. Similarly, enjoying fishing is available to take out white water fish in the Lake. For this purpose, visitors are not necessary worry about the bait or angle. Just order and the equipment needed are already prepared at sufficiently reasonable rental.

On the other area of the complex, visitors will find a portrait painting service. Guests, who would like to have self-portrait painting, just make a reservation on the pavilion near outrigger jetty, or kid playground. There are many spectators at all times who want to see curiously the expertise of the painter and order self-portraits to bring home. Last but not least, some tame animals like big snakes, birds, and iguanas are available for rent for some minutes if visitors would like to have their photograph taken with them. Prices usually can be negotiable accordingly.


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Tanah Lot Bali

Tanah Lot, one of the most popular places of interest in Bali, is located on the coast of West Bali, at the village of Beraban in the Tabanan Regency.It is also called Tanah Let which means ancient land and also Tanah Lod, which means the land to the south.

The temple Pura Tanah Lot, simple in its construction, is dramatic in its ocean-front location and is one of the main temples in the worship of Balinese gods.

From the village of Marga, the trip west returns to the main route leading to Tabanan. At the crossroads of Kediri, a side-road branches to the sea, ending on a green hill which slopes down to the beach and to the remarkable temple of Tanah Lot, suspended on a huge rock offshore. Set apart from the land by a stone basin, the rock has been carved by incoming tides. Tanah Lot, with its solitary black towers and tufts of foliage spilling over the cliffs, recalls the delicacy of a Chinese painting. If hearsay is to be believed, there dwells inside one of the shrines at Tanah Lot a huge snake, discreetly left undisturbed by the Balinese.

In the story of Dang Hyang Nirartha (a Hindu high priest), when he traveled around Bali, he came upon tanah lot which is located in tabanan and here, he decided to stay the night. It is said that this very important priest came to bali in about 1411 according to the balinese icaka calendar, or 1489 AD by the western calendar.

After pending some time in the temple of Siva's Hair, he moved on going further east. The esteemed priest and his devoted followers followed the southern coastline of Ball on their journey. For the entire trip along the shores of Bali, he was accompanied by the sound of the crashing waves in his ears and the sharp breeze penetrating his body. It was through this closeness with nature that, he thought of the power of God and God's power to create all of nature and all the contents of the world. It also occurred to him that, as God had created humankind, humans should give thanks and pay respect to God. The priest Dang Hyang Nirartha always carried a special carving knife, with which he could carve Inscriptions and notes on the long "lontar" palm slabs, and wrote what he saw, felt or thought of as important.

The recordings were made in verse form. This priest was such a great man, that when he was totally involved in something. he forgot about all else and never tired in his journey. His feet virtually floated above the ground he traversed. It wasn't long before he arrived at a small Island almost, Joined to the shore that was made of coral. Here he stopped a moment to rest. The people here were all fishermen and they gathered together to pay their respects. The fishermen wanted Dang Hyang Nirartha to stay at their modest homes, but he refused their invitation. He wanted to spend the night on the small island because the air was cool and fresh. He also had a wonderful view from this vantage point.

That evening before he retired for the night, he was able to teach the people who came to see him moral ethics, religion and welfare. Dang Hyang Nirartha advised the people at this time to build a Parhyangan (temple) at this place where he had chosen to stay for the night. Because of the feeling this holy man felt in his inner soul, and other strange, mysterious and miraculous happenings that occurred there, the priest knew that this was the right place to praise God (Sanghyang Widhi Wasa). From there on the Balinese would have a place at which they could praise God and request salvation and safety for the world.

When Dang Hyang Nirartha finally left this place, the people with whom he had spoken, indeed built the holy temple and gave it the name "Pura Pakendungan" which nowadays is better known as "Tanahlot". This temple is well know throughout not only Indonesia, but the entire world. Why is this temple one of the favorite tourist attractions for people from around the world ? You should go and see for yourself - it is beautiful and unique. You will have to arrange to travel 31 Km from Denpasar and that will take about an hour. Ran port is no problem as tourist buses go there all the time if you won't have some other private transport arrangement.

The best time to see it is in the afternoon when the sun setting in he west splits the shore line in half along a north-south axis. His spectacle will live on long in your memory. There is a religious ceremony coming up on the 7th of August 1996. The atmosphere will be even further enhanced as the Balinese Hindus in their ceremonial rests go to the temple to pray.


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Tulamben - Bali's Diving Site

Tulamben is Bali's most famous diving location. Located on the North East coast of Bali, Tulamben receives very plankton-rich waters from the major oceanic currents in the area. These plankton-rich waters have created one of the most diverse regions on the planet. That is why, every year, a multitude of international photographers and videographers visit the area to dive their favorite dive sites and to explore for some new ones.

Underwater, the Tulamben diving area is awesome. However, the natural beauty of the area above the surface really lends to Tulamben popularity. Tulamben is situated under the foot of Mt Agung which offers some superb scenic views for when you are out of the water. The local Balinese culture is in full swing and offers a real edge to your time in the area.

The main attraction is the wreck of the USS Liberty, famous for the amazing variety of marine life found there. This is a must-dive site in Bali , and a photographers' paradise. Other sites include a great drop-off, a shallow coral garden, and a deep coral reef. Tulamben is the best place to night dive in Bali and, being on the East coast, you can take an unforgettable sunrise dive.

The Diving:

Kubu Reef

These two dive sites lie between the wreck and the drop off. I usually started at the drop off (have the Diving Helpers Club carry the tanks there) and went down to 25m to see the cleaning station just slightly to the left of the drop off on the sand. Then I would head towards the Paradise Reef. If you are good on air, you can leisurely dive the whole stretch, otherwise you just get out, before you run out of air and walk back. Most of the dive is shallow (3m to 15m). Specially the River is a great place to do so called muck diving and find rare animals such as the harlequin and the robust ghost pipefish, several species of eels and even the mimic octopus, boxer crabs or the harlequin shrimp! If you are lucky as we were, you might also see an eagle ray or a couple black tip reef sharks, a big barracuda or Spanish mackerel! Also very good for night dives.

US Liberty shipwreck
The Liberty was originally a cargo steamer built in New Jersey, USA in the early 20th century. She was pressed into service during W.W.II and armed with guns fore and aft. On 11th January 1942 the ship was cruising off the Lombok coast when she was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine causing major damage to the hull, but not sinking. The US Navy decided to try and salvage her and subsequently sent two destroyers to tow her to Bali. However, she was taking on too much water and it was decided to beach her at Tulamben.

In 1963 Bali's highest volcano, Gunung Agung, erupted causing major damage and loss of life on the island. This eruption also managed to push USAT Liberty to her final resting place 40 meters off shore, in between 9 and 28 meters of water.

Liberty is now Bali's most popular dive, encrusted with many different varieties of soft and hard coral and a very large concentration of fish and other marine life. A must do dive.

A resident school of bigeye jacks often lurks here-unafraid of divers, you can approach them and enter the school to have them whirl around you. The ship is also a haven for emperors, parrotfish,batfish and sweetlips. Look for anemones and nudibranchs in the coral-rich areas.

Drop Off
about 500 m to the east of the wreck and close to the temple, the underwater wall drops to a depth of 60m (the top is around 3 to 5 m), sometimes there is a slight current. There are three coral covered lava spurs that reach down to 50 or 60m but usually you dive at the one that lies to the west of the temple. The other two reefs around the corner are also worth exploring. On the first spur at 30m is a huge Muricella gorgonian fan, it must be over 2m in diameter! Just beautiful!

Batu Kelebit
This deep coral site is is just round the corner from the Tulamben Drop Off. The coral starts from about 25m, down to past 70m. Lots of big Triggerfish, Sweet lips, Midnight Snapper and colorful Clownfish & Angelfish. Big pelagics & Sharks. Access just a few minutes by traditional boat from Tulamben it self. This long stretch of coast is all diveable so you can take multiple dives along here.


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Nightlife on Sanur

Bali is a Great full Paradise on earth. Everyone love of Bali, love with the beach, with mountain, with the temple, with the culture and with the mages of Bali. Not excepted Nightlife in Bali. Which we can saw the great things moment and the magis culture on night. So when you go to bali for vacation, busines etc. with your friend, lover or partner. You can visit on Sanur and enjoyed bali nightlife on:

Lava Lounge
Enjoy a cocktail in this cool setting. Located on Jl Danau Toba. Your hosts are from Australia and will make you feel most welcome.

Located with Bali Hyatt, a sophisticated cocktail bar, serves up live jazz every night except Wednesday from 8pm-1am.

Head down to Pergola on a Thursday evening for their Salsa night from 8pm onwards. Enjoy a drink or two at the bar!

Jangger Disco
Formerly Subec if you're after a friend for the night this just might be the place to go.

Jazz Bar & Grill
Sanur Raya Complex serving great food and Monday night Jazz session is excellent. Jazz and cover bands 7 nights from 9.30pm

Kafe Wayang
Greatest jam session on the Island every Friday night. Good food and bunch of people hang out there. Located opposite the Radisson Bali hotel in the Sanur Raya shopping complex.

Koki Pub
Missing the pub dinners while on holiday this is the place to go. Pool table and cable TV. Located on Jalan By Pass Ngurah Rai Sanur. Open till late.

Trophy Bar
Good place to have pre-dinner drinks located next to Sanur Beach Hotel.

The Wine and Cigar Bar at Pala
Bringing air-conditioned elegance to Sanur. A large range of moderately priced wines from allover the world can be drunk in comfort here or taken home.


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Belulang Hot Spring: The Mountain Natural Hot Spring

There are two locations of hot spring bathing places in Tabanan Regenct, namely the one that is located at Penatahan and Belulang Village-Mengesta. Both nestle in the teritory of Penebel sub district, north of Tabanan, right at the foot of Mount Batukaru.

Hot springs, located at the foot of Mount Batukaru, are part of the natural heat source emanating from within the Batukaru's crust which keeps the forest luxuriant. The hot spring contains a sulphureous element that is advantageous for health and can cure several kinds of skin illnesses.

Penatahan hot spring is well known. It is some 33 km north of Denpasar, while that of Belulang is 40 km away. Many visitors, particularly those who suffer from skin illnesses, visit both hot springs often.

Other than skin illnesses, the hotspring is also capable of curing rheumatism. Illnesses can be cured after staying submerged or having a bath in the water having temperature 47'C.

Next to the hotspring lies the Batupanas Temple and Puseh Temple of Belulang Village that make the location more sacred and enchanting with its mountainous panorama. Its sorrounding air is extremely cool and removed away from pollution, therefore you will definitely be comfortable and satisfied to enjoy your leisure there.


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Wayang Wong

The heroes of the great Hindu epics, the "Ramayana" and "Mahabharata", have served as role models for the Balinese for many generations. In the Wayang Wong, the ancient stories of the Ramayana are converted to mask dramas enacting the battle between truth and justice and the forces of evil. Also providing the Balinese with positive images of behavior, Wayang Wong nurtures the belief that acts of courage, love, fidelity, and endurance are rewarding and lead to individual fulfillment. In the story dramatized in the Wayang Wong, Rama, the virtuous hero and the incarnation of the God Wisnu, represents the spiritual world.

Their adversary, the demon King Ranawa, embodies greed and selfishness. Including these and other characters, the Wayang Wong combines narrative literature, dramatic spectacle, and elements of Wayang Kulit shadow puppet drama. The name "Wayang Wong" literally translates as "shadow men," and the movements of the dancers in many ways imitate the jerky animation of the Wayang Kulit puppets. Although there is no recorded information about the origins of Wayang Wong in Bali, it is thought to have been performed in the seventeenth or eighteenth century during the Klungkung regency as part of a fertility dance called Barong Kedingling. Held in conjunction with the Balinese festival of Galungan, the dance was performed during a ceremony that repelled evil spirits and chased destructive pests from fruit trees.

The Raja of Klungkung ordered his court dancers into a new drama, using the "Ramayana" as a script source and the shadow puppet theater as inspiration. The Wayang Wong is performed annually, usually in conjunction with the birthday celebration of the "pura desa", the ancestral temple in each village. There are currently nineteen places in Bali where the Wayang Wong is performed: Batuan, Mas, Pujung, Blahkiuh, Kaler, Den Tyis, Marga, Klating, Apuan, Tunjuk, Sulahan, Bualu, Teja Kula, Telepud, Bangbang, Kamasan, Wates Tengah, Batuagung, and Perancak. Each village possesses a set of sacred masks used in the dance, which are stored somewhere in the temple complex, awaiting their annual performance.


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Getting Around Bali Island

Public Buses & Bemos
Getting around Bali is easy. Public buses and bemos, chartered bemos, shuttle buses, taxis and private cars, rented cars and motorcycles: even eco-friendly bicycles! If you really want to see the sights and make the most of your time, a well organised tour is a good choice.

The budget-friendly bemo is Bali's main public transportation and every town has a bemo or bus station. The capital of Bali, Denpasar is the hub of these unique forms of transport and it's good to know that Gilimanuk, Singaraja, Amlapura and Gianyar have major regional terminals, so you can get from one corner of Bali to another. Full-sized buses and larger minibuses travel along the longer routes from the same stations as the bemos.

It is quite impossible to be exact about fares, and unfortunately all tourists and visitors are regularly overcharged. The thing to do is to observe the amount other passengers paying and do as the Balinese do. But do remember to pay the fare before getting off so as to prevent the bemo driver from driving off with your change. It is normal to be charged extra for a large bag and also for a bemos to depart only when the vehicle is full - even though this can take quite a while.

Shuttle Bus
Tourist shuttle buses travel along Bali's main tourist several times daily. These are faster, more comfortable and convenient than the public bemos, although also more expensive. It is, after all, cheaper than chartering a car or renting a jeep, unless you're visiting Bali in groups of 3 or more. There are several operators of these shuttle busses, with Perama being the most established. Tickets are on sale at any of shops-cum-travel agencies scattered conveniently throughout Bali.

Taxi & Private Car
There are many metered taxis in Denpasar, Kuta, Sanur, Ubud, and Nusa Dua. Finding a taxi is extremely easy as taxis usually crawl along the main road beeping at tourists. Try to use the meters if possible.

There is an option of renting a car with driver, but there are no set rates. Negotiation is the key. It is interesting to note that these cars are not licensed to carry tourists, so don't be surprised at the detours around police stations.

Car Rental
The 4-seater Suzuki jeep is very popular vehicle in Bali - with the tourists, of course. These hardy yet comfortable roadsters are known as jimmy on the island. Local rentals usually include insurance, but often exclude petrol.

You will need an International Driving Licence to hire a car and drive in Bali. There is a steep fine for unlicensed driving. Also if you do not have a licence your insurance may be invalidated. Do take note that driving in Bali is hazardous and parking can be difficult, especially near a tourist attractions, with varying costs.

Remember: Wearing a seat belt is compulsory.

Motorcycle Rental
Prices normally include insurance and some petrol. Moving around Bali on two wheels is fun, more convenient and faster BUT, remember to check the motorcycle before use and ride safely and sensibly. Helmets are compulsory, of course.

If your International license does not include bikes, try to get a local 3-month licence valid for Bali, Lombok and Sumbawa. You can expect help from the person renting out the bike, but be prepared to part with around 150,000rp or more.


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The villages of Kintamani and Penelokan provide a great view of the still active Mount Batur and its fantastic lake. Seven miles in diameter and sixty feet deep, Batur caldera is simply astounding. From Penelokan, take the road Kedisan on the shores of the lake where boats can be rented to cross over to Trunyan. The spectacular mountainous region around Kintamani with its deep Crater Lake and bubbling hot springs, make this region a must to visit. Batur Lake is the largest lake in Bali and the region offers some of the most spectacular views to be found anywhere on the island. Batur Lake also provides water for an underground network of streams and springs across the southern slopes of the mountain. Kintamani is really great for day trips, trekking or simply for getting away from it all for a few days.

Kintamani can run through Payangan or from Denpasar through the Sangeh monkey forest, Plaga and Lampu, arriving to the north of Kintamani. Bemos to Kintamani are available from Ubud via Sakah (notable for its huge "Baby" statue). They also run via Tampaksiring and Bangli. From Denpasar bemos leave for Kintamani from the Batubulan terminal until late afternoon.

Tour to Kintamani is a very impressive experience where Kintamani Area have very beautiful panorama located in plateau and also encircled by mountain atmosphere with the windblast from Mount Batur. Carpet of Batur Lake seen far below and also there are local resident house beside of Batur Lake. Beside of that, Mount Batur which to date still be active growing its beautiful for Kintamani Area.


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Lovina Beach

Six km west of Singaraja, three hours drive from Denpasar, the popular beach resort of Lovina is a long stretch of black sand with crystal-clear water.

It takes about 3 to 5 hours from the Ngurah Rai airport to Lovina beach. You can go straight up from Kuta to Singaraja, passing Bedugul, or might prefer to take a rather longer road through Kintamani, head west and feel the cold breeze at Mount Batur before you arrive at Lovina beach.

Actually, Lovina is a generic term for a whole line of six small villages and palm-fringed beaches. From east to west it includes: Pemaron, Tukadmungga, Anturan, Kalibukbuk, Kaliasem, and Temukus. The strip starts at about six km mark west of Singaraja to about five km past of Kaliasem. Kalibukbuk has the highest concentration of restaurants and accommodations while the fishing villages of Anturan and Temukus are less densely packed and thus quieter.

Here in Anturan, there are more than 20 small cottages and bungalows to choose from. It also has the one and only petrol station along the way. Slightly more developed, note that the bungalows are also more pricy than others. Look carefully though, you just might find one that suits you beyond your dreams.

If you do not want to leave your night life behind this holiday, staying in the Kalibubuk area is a great choice and expect teeming restaurants and bars along the way. Considered as one of the most crowded area at Lovina beach it is similarly filled with services such as dive centers, car rentals, money changers and such. Let’s casually make out to say that this is the ‘Kuta’ of Lovina.

Kaliasem & Temukus
Heading west from Kalibubuk (about 1 km away), you will reach Kaliasem & Temukukus. Kaliasem & Temukus is certainly not going to be as packed as Kalibubuk but yet with still many bungalows to choose from, most facing the beach and at a rather affordable price.

Lovina has a lot to offer. The beach is better than most of the beach in eastern part of Bali with a string of nine hills on the background creates a pretty view to behold. Glass-clear water of this beach and the proximity of the reef to the beach make Lovina a perfect place for snorkeling and diving and also excellence for swimming. Beautiful sunset can be enjoyed simply while walking on the beach. Visitor can also find good trekking paths, temples, and hot sulphur pools in the hills. Lovina is also a convenient base point for day trips to Tulamben, West Bali National Park, Pemuteran, and Menjangan Island. Do not miss the Lovina’s Dolphin Trip where you can breakfast with hundreds of wandering dolphins, just few hundreds meter off the beach.


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