Bali really is as alluring as everyone says. This island, slightly bigger than Delaware, has it all: beaches, volcanoes, terraced rice fields, forests, renowned resorts, surfing, golf, and world-class dive sites. But what sets Bali apart from other nearby tropical destinations is Balinese tradition, and villagers dedicated to celebrating it. The hundreds of temples, dances, rituals, and crafts linked to their ancient Hindu faith aren't a show for tourists, but a living, breathing culture in which visitors are warmly received by the Balinese, who cherish their own identities. - Copyright © 2014 by Fodor’s Travel, a division of Random House, LLC. All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2014 by Fodor's Travel, a division of Random House, LLC. All rights reserved.
Things You Can't Miss
Religious rites infuse life on this Hindu “Island of the Gods” with more than a thousand temples. Tanah Lot, on a cliff over the sea, is a stunner.
Dennis Walton / Lonely Planet Images/ Getty Images
Elizabeth Gilbert celebrated Bali in her memoir Eat, Pray, Love. She stayed in cultural capital Ubud, with its temples, paddies and arty attractions.
Men in sarongs perform the fierce kecak monkey dance. Girls in elaborate costumes demonstrate the hand-fluttering legong. There’s dancing islandwide.
Cultura RM / Alamy
Try nasi goreng (fried rice with savory meat or veggies) and bebek betutu (roast duck). Dine with locals at tiered, hillside Murni’s Warung in Ubud.
Bon Appetit / Alamy
Eschew spring-break-style Kuta Beach for sandy, family-friendly Sanur Beach, not far from the Denpasar airport. Get a beachside Balinese massage.
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