North Bali includes most of the Buleleng district, around
Singaraja. It has a rich history of Bali behind its casual
daily life. In Singaraja you can find remnants of Dutch
imperialism as it was the administrative center of the Lesser
Sunda Islands then. Horse-pulled carriages (dokar or sado)
gallantly walk the pleasantly tree-lined streets, landscaped
by Dutch colonial houses. Lovina Beach, a group of small
villages west of Singaraja, offer popular beach resorts,
with many of the amenities of Kuta but without its crowdedness.
Spectacular sunset as in Kuta, dolphin watch out into the
sea, snorkelling and diving in the clear water, and active
social and night life scenes can be found in Lovina.
The Eastern part of Bali is the most mountainous area
of the island. The highest point in Bali, Gunung Agung (literally
means Holy Mountain), is located here. And the Mother Temple
of Bali, the Besakih Temple, is located at the foot of Mount
Agung. This is the Mount Olympic of Bali, and you can find
here various manifestations of Bali's religious beliefs.
The Klungkung area is also historically significant, having
served as a focal point of art and culture in the Gelgel
dynasty. The roof of Kertha Gosa, the court room of the
Klungkung kingdom, is dramatically painted with thousands
of panels, telling the story of justice.
A long stretch of beaches marks the East side of Bali
- diving, snorkelling, spectacular sunset, sun bathing,
etc. Tenganan, a village of the Bali Aga people, is also
here, just west of Candidasa, where you can see a mysterious
water temple submerge from the water.
Central Bali, predominantly around Ubud, is the central
of art in Bali. Ubud is the birthplace of Bali's modern
paintings. And Puri Lukisan Museum (Palace of Fine Arts)
and Museum Neka are two excellent museums with permanent
collections of paintings that will tell the evolution of
Balinese paintings. Galleries are practically everywhere.
A little South of the city you can find Celuk where silver
and gold jewelry has been perfected to the very details,
and Mas where masks for dances and other performances are
made. And further North you can enjoy the panorama of the
highland of Bali, in Kintamani by Lake Batur or in Bedugul
by Lake Bratan.
In South Bali, from Denpasar to Kuta to Nusa Dua, you can find a wide variety of things. Traces of the Badung Raja of Puputan War fame still exist. Beautiful, tranquil beaches gracefully integrate with the world's most sumptuous and luxurious hotels in Nusa Dua. And then there is Kuta, where everything you want as a tourist and everything you hate about tourists coexist.
Most of West Bali areas are not as popular as the other
parts of Bali. (Hint: for those who truly say that they
want to get away from other tourists...) Gilimanuk, at the
Western tip of Bali, is the gateway to Java. The wildlife
of Bali is preserved in the Bali Barat National Park. Also
found here is the tomb of Jayaprana, a 17th century king
whose Romeo and Juliet style lovestory is immortalized by
folklores in Bali.