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Sightseeing in Bali

You will have a wonderful time during Bali's sightseeing tour. Housed in an ancient temple, the Pura Jagatnatha Temple in Denpasar is the main museum of Bali. Architecturally, the building looks more like a palace than a traditional Balinese temple; but it was a temple at one time, dedicated to the deity, Sang Hyang Widi Wasa, the Supreme God. Worth seeing is the museum’s collection of Balinese art- ranging from traditional and pre-historic to contemporary- you’ll see some good instances of Balinese culture here.

Kuta is strictly for the sun-sea and sand brigade; it’s a beach resort, on the road to the Bukit Peninsula, and is well known amongst surfers- the waves are perfect for it (swimming isn’t actually advised, as the currents can be quite strong).

The resort has lots of hotels (some of the locals also let out rooms for home-stays, which can be a good idea if you’re planning to spend a day or two in Kuta), and there are restaurants, nightclubs and shops galore. One particularly noteworthy thing about Kuta is the range of cultural performances you can see here- probably the best in Bali; there’s something or the other happening virtually every night.

Part of southern Bali, and not too far from Denpasar is Nusa, Dua generally regarded as Bali’s premier beach resort. It has the cream of tourist accommodation- if you can afford it, you can actually live in the lap of luxury. Even if you can’t, it’s close enough to Denpasar for you to just drive down and drink in the beauty of the place- clean white sands, deep blue seas and coconut trees. It’s a nice place to spend your day, though it’s a trifle crowded at times.

Northwest of Denpasar is the temple of Tanah Lot, supposed to have been built by the last priest who came to Bali from Java (in the 16th century).

The temple stands on a rock surrounded by the sea, and part of the ceremonial worship includes ritual offerings to the spirits of the sea. The rocky island on which the temple stands is overrun by poisonous snakes, which the locals believe to be the guardians of the temple, shielding it from evil spirits and intruders.

Both Batubulan and Celuk lie to the northeast of Denpasar, and are worth visiting from the point of view of culture. A good excursion can be planned around Batubulan, where you can spend part of the day looking at the beautifully carved stone ornaments (many of them in the form of deities and demons), which are a specialty of the village. Many of the local artisans have workshops where you can watch them at work- and buy ornaments too. After Batubulan, you can carry on towards Celuk, which is known for its distinctive gold and silver jewellery.

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