In the last decade or so, this fabled tropical island paradise has seen an increase in mass tourism, which has sadly marred its rustic beauty. Thankfully, Bali still has much to offer those who make an effort to avoid the more touristy parts of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak in the southern coast.
Visit the tranquil village of Jatiluwih in Tabanan in the west, or Lovina Beach in north Bali. Or check-in to a luxury hotel in Manggis, explore three old Bali villages in Tenganan Pegringsingan, or the Tirta Gangga and Taman Ujung water palaces and gardens on the east side of the island.
Cuisine: Popular Balinese dishes include babi guling – whole spit roasted pig typically marinated with a spicy concoction of turmeric, coriander seeds, lemongrass, black pepper and garlic, bebek bengil – crispy fried duck, Jimbaran BBQ grilled seafood with spicy sauces, sate lilit – a variation of skewered BBQ meats made with minced meats or seafood mixed with grated coconut, thick coconut milk, lemon juice, shallots, pepper, urap – a salad of steamed shredded vegetables and grated coconut, or nasi goreng – spicy Indonesian fried rice. In the beach resort towns, you’ll find many chic fusion restaurants serving Asian-inspired noveau cuisine. The best grub however, is often found in local warungs (modest local, family owned cafes) that deliver all the flavour without the high price tags.