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InterContinental’s unique brand concept 'In The Know' will help you get the most from your stay here in Bali. With our savvy local know-how, our team invites you to experience what defines their island home. Delve into the soul of Balinese culture and heritage.
Brightly painted traditional jukung fishing boats dot the white sand in the early morning, fishermen coming into shore with last nights catch. Hire a fishing boat to take you out into the bay to give you a glimpse of the village way of life. Visit Kedonganan Fish Market, this daily market sells fresh seafood straight off the boats. Taste the succulent catches of the day, freshly grilled over coconut husk barbecues when night falls and the beachside restaurants serve up. Dine under the starry skies to the sounds of the waves, the ultimate toes-in-the-sand dining experience.
Tanah Lot, which translates to ‘small island floating on the sea’, is an apt name for this ancient sea temple that balances on a rocky, wave-lashed islet off Bali’s south-western coast. This temple should be visited in the late afternoon, in time to catch the sun setting behind its silhouette, while the traditional Kecak and fire dance performances start as daylight fades.
One of Bali’s most revered temples, the majestic Pura Luhur Uluwatu is dramatically positioned on Bali’s southernmost cliff tops, above the famous surf breaks of the Bukit peninsula. Empu Kuturan, a Javanese Hindu priest, is said to have founded the sprawling temple complex in the 10th century. Once again, this sea temple should be viewed at sunset, where in the cliff top auditorium you can watch traditional Kecak and fire dance performances.
Known as Bali’s ‘Mother Temple’, and the largest and most important one on the island, it is a symbolic centre for those of the Hindu faith. Standing 900m above sea level, on the active volcanic slopes of Mount Agung – Bali’s biggest volcano and holiest site – the temple offers sweeping panoramic views across southern Bali. Besakih dates back to the 8th century, and encompasses over 30 public temples and hundreds of shrines. The temple is busiest during the month-long festival held every April when the island's gods are believed to take up residence in the main shrine.
Bukit is a 140sqkm rocky peninsula on Bali’s southernmost tip, characterised by a limestone plateau and dry, Savannah-type vegetation, ringed by steep limestone cliffs. Some parts of Bukit are sacred, particularly areas along the sheer Uluwatu cliffs and the Uluwatu Temple.
The peninsula boasts several world-renowned surf beaches, best left to more experienced surfers for the sharp reefs that lie below the pounding surf. The area is also known for some of the island’s most pristine – and secluded – white sand beaches and coves like Padang Padang, known for its shallow left-hand reef breaks. Bingin Beach, a stunning spot with powerful waves, and Balangan Beach, situated under a rocky hill, blessed with stunning views of the Indian Ocean, and another famous surf point. While Green Bowl, otherwise known as Hidden Beach, remains a true Balinese surf beach for adventurers and can be reached by a temple staircase, with a collection of caves at the bottom.
Ubud is without a doubt the island's cultural and artistic centre. Nestled in Bali’s central heartlands, surrounded by lush rice fields and rainforested river valleys, Ubud overflows with music, dance, fine arts and crafts. With a tangible traditional air and countless Hindu shrines and temples, this is the best place to experience Bali’s unique cultural heritage. Scheduled performances of Balinese dance, music and shadow puppets happen daily under the stars.
The outlying artisanal craft villages, merging to create Greater Ubud, are defined by their various crafts, such as Celuk for silverware, Batubulan for stone carving and Mas for wood carving. The area around Ubud is bursting with archaeological sites, ancient palaces and temples, which can all be easily reached by car. Many flock to Ubud to take in the quintessential Balinese rice field landscape and Subak culture, you can also cycle or walk through the endless rice fields if you want something a little more adventurous.
Sit-up at the Teppanyaki Counter and prime yourself for a mouthwatering culinary experience with theatrical flavours.
Enjoy the famous Jimbaran seafood feast at Jimbaran Gardens.
Experience Bali’s legendary Kecak Dance, unique to the island and performed by local village performers.