According to Google, the top travel-related search term from U.S. users in 2016 was "Where is Bali?" It seems like many vacationers have heard of the Indonesian island, but aren't quite sure where it actually is. If you've heard about the awesome sights and experiences that Bali has to offer and you want to learn more, keep reading.
So, where is Bali?
Bali is an island in the Indonesian archipelago. In more general terms, it's somewhere between Australia, to the south, and central Asia, to the north. But it isn't exactly an isolated place. Bali is situated directly between the much larger island of Java, to the west, and the equal-sized Pulau Lombok, to the east. Many of the major resorts in Bali are located in the southern part of the island, near the city of Denpasar, though you can also find a few on Bali's northern shore.
Here are four wonders you shouldn't miss out on when you visit the beautiful island of Bali this winter:
1. Tanah Lot
Bali is home to a number of beautiful temples, but Tanah Lot stands out for it's unique location and amazing architecture. In Balinese, the name Tanah Lot roughly translates to "Land in the Sea," which is an accurate description of the huge slab of rock jutting from the ocean on which the temple sits. Accessible by a thin land bridge, the small temple sits above the blue waters amongst the vibrant foliage which clings to the rock. It's one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bali and for good reason. There's nowhere else like it on earth.
2. Ubud Monkey Forest Sanctuary
North of Denpasar is the Ubud Monkey Forest Sanctuary, a temple with hundreds of monkeys living among the 14th century temple buildings. Here, Buddhist monks pray to the gods Shiva, Gangga and Prajapati. The temple also serves as a major economic resource for the locals who care for the ancient buildings as well as the animal inhabitants. Visitors can walk through the forest and take pictures of the play monkeys and feed them bananas.
3. Mount Batur
Near the northern shore of the island is an active volcano called Mount Batur, which last erupted in 2000. Tourists can hire a guide at one of the nearby villages to take them hiking around the mountain and the nearby caldera lake. A visit to Mount Batur makes is perfect day trip between lazy days on the beach. While exploring the area, you're likely to see colorful birds and butterflies.
4. Gunung Kawi Temple
Located in the forest north of Ubud is Gunung Kawi, an 11th century temple which consists of 10 shines cut into the face of a cliff. According to Lonely Planet, not much is known about this ancient temple - the oldest in Bali - but it is believed to be a memorial for members of Balinese royalty. It's a steep hike to the monument, but well worth it for the breathtaking view.
Now that you know where Bali is, and what's waiting for you in its splendid forests, it's time to book your cheap tickets and start planning your winter getaway.