Many might say that a three-day stay on the Island of the Gods is not enough to take in the unique atmosphere of life in Bali, but in fact it hits you right from your arrival at the airport: the Balinese are famous for their warm welcome, and you will most likely be struck by their delightful friendliness even as you get your passport stamped at immigration.
It’s customary all around Bali to see exquisite flower-petal offerings laid out delicately for your arrival, and this is just one of the traditions that contribute to a uniquely colourful and almost magical environment. The centrepiece of the island is its tallest peak and spiritual figurehead, Gunung Agung, surrounded by the dramatic volcanoes and historic temples which dot the hillsides just beneath. Lower down, at sea level, beautiful villas are set right on the sand against a backdrop of lush, tropical green.
All this is waiting to be explored, but if you’re keen to just kick back on the golden sands and enjoy the sea breeze with a tropical cocktail in your hand, there are few places that hit the spot quite like Bali. If you’re just passing through on a wider personalised trip through Asia, here are three destinations you should make sure to include on your itinerary.
For an enthralling insight into the Balinese culture, make sure to head for the Nusa Dua Bali theatre on the coast at the southern tip of the island. Here, you can enjoy the Devdan Show. Subtitled ‘Treasure of the Archipelago,’ it is a spectacular stage performance that takes you on a whirlwind tour through the country’s rich culture and history. Full of energy and dazzling visuals, the 90 minutes of the performance absolutely fly by. Beautiful costumes, music from around the whole of Indonesia and a mix of traditional and modern Balinese dance all feature. There are four performances per week, so it is unlikely that you’ll miss out, but do try to book tickets in advance as this is a very popular attraction.
Bali is much more than just beach and sun, of course, but if that’s what you are looking for, then there are few better places to soak up the rays and feel the sand beneath your toes than here. The Bukit Peninsula is home to some of the island’s best beaches, including the turquoise waters of Balangan, and the iconic cliff-hanging temple of Uluwatu. Check out the Kecak Fire Dance here if you can – the sunset show is one of Bali’s most famous art performances. If what draws you to the beach is surf, The Bukit is also where you can find some of the best waves in Bali.
To round off your trip in style on your final day, try out the diving opportunities that have made Bali a real hotspot for those who like to explore underwater worlds. The waters are warm, the wildlife is plentiful and there are so many reefs and wreckages to discover. With both established dive spots and new sites still being discovered every day, Bali is one of the best places to dive in the world. And even if you’ve never worn diving equipment before, there are lots of tourist-friendly dive schools where you can quickly learn.