Why is Bali often voted the top travel destination in the world?
Ash O’Neill, Wanderah Founder and Tour Director
Did you know Bali was voted the world’s best travel destination by Tripadvisor? With so many stunning locations why does this island take the top spot? Here’s why I believe this accolade is well deserved.
Sunrise views at Tanah Lot Temple
Bali is home to some of the most stunningly beautiful landscapes. You will witness acres of cascading rice terraces and lush tropical jungles. Bali’s active volcanoes, mountain lakes and picturesque villages add visual variety to your holiday. The island is home to sacred forests and temples, as well as chic nightspots and decadent turquoise beach clubs. It is hard to take the beauty of this island for granted. I, for one, have been in awe and felt so grateful each day living at one with nature in beautiful surroundings. If photography is your thing, you will be in your element on the island, it is a real-life picture postcard.
“Bali is a bubble of beauty, peace, and calm that belongs on another world”
– Marbree (US)
Variety of Activities
There is so much to do and experience in Bali. Want to ride some of the most famous surf breaks in the world? Soak up the rays with a cocktail as you listen to ambient beats at a world-class beach club? Take part in a purification ceremony at a sacred water temple? Scooter through rolling hills and palm-tree-lined winding roads? Would you like to reconnect with your creative side at an art class, silver-making or pottery workshop? Or whip up a Balinese meal like a local? Maybe you’d love to get your groove on at an ecstatic dance class or your zen on at a yoga class at the world-renowned Yoga studio The Yoga Barn. Wherever your passions lie and whatever you want from a holiday, whether it be wellness, pampering, adventure or party, Bali has something for everyone. Get ready to fall in love with a destination you will want to experience again and again.
Setting out for a surf at Echo Beach
Architecture in Bali ranges from the tradition to tropical luxury.
Traditional Balinese architecture is unique and carefully thought out to incorporate the island’s ancient culture and artistry, largely influenced by the locals’ Hindu beliefs. Balinese family homes, known as ‘compounds’ are built in harmony with the environment and made from organic materials, including bamboo poles, thatched roofs, coconut leaves and stones. These homes adhere to strict and sacred laws of building, allowing lots of open space and consisting of a spacious courtyard with many small pavilions, ringed by a wall to keep out evil spirits and decorated with guardian statues. The Balinese people are skilled craftsmen and you will often see intricately carved wooden and stone sculptures adorning buildings and temples. One of the sacred laws of building is the traditional philosophy of ‘Tri Hita Karana’, which refers to the 3 principles of wellbeing: Harmony among people, Harmony with nature and Harmony with God.
Interior meets exterior at Clear Cafe
Balinese culture is witnessed daily on the island – through daily offerings, traditional gamelan music, local processions and large scale events. Pretty early on you will notice the colourful little parcels known as ‘Canang Sari’ in the streets, on offering tables and outside temples – you may also witness the ritual that takes place as the women of the island offer up these Canang Sari to the Gods. Traffic is often at a standstill as a procession makes its way through the streets to the nearest temple. If you are lucky, your trip will coincide with a major event, such as a Balinese cremation – an impressive display of Balinese culture – or Galungan, a ceremony that takes place every 6 months and lasts for 10 days. It’s little wonder that Bali is often referred to as the island of the Gods.
Did you know that Bali is the only location in the world to shut down completely for 24 hours? During Nyepi (The Balinese Hindu New Year’s Eve) the island is in darkness, locals and tourists are confined to their homes or hotels, even the airport is closed.
Women carrying fruit in traditional dress during a procession.
A Tangible Energy
Many visitors to Bali report feeling a tangible energy, that takes your experience to new heights. I have felt it myself, Bali offers magic that has to be experienced to be believed. Ubud stems from the Balinese word ‘Ubad’ meaning ‘medicine’ and it is the cultural heart of Bali. Many come to Ubud to find clarity, seek answers, to heal, to dive into wellness, yoga and meditation, and to reignite passions and find inspiration. You will not only see new sights, taste amazing food and learn about the culture – you will also feel this town’s magic.
Romantic path in Ubud
Deliciously Nourishing Food
Who doesn’t love a Balinese meal of Nasi Goreng (fried rice) Mie Goreng (fried noodles) and Satay Ayam (Chicken Satay)? Delicious! However, you might be surprised to find the array of delicious, nutritious and stunningly beautiful plates to be sampled on the island. Whether you are vegetarian, vegan or a meat lover, you won’t be disappointed. From the fresh fish restaurants of Jimbaran to the hipster cafes of Canggu, the stylish restaurants of Seminyak and the array of wellness and wholesome eateries in Ubud, you will certainly be spoilt for choice.
Nourishing smoothy bowl at Mudra Cafe, Ubud