Visitors to Bali are not short of places to visit or things to do. One of our favourite things to do in Bali is to get out and away from the usual tourist destinations and see some of the lesser-explored parts of the island, where the pace of life is slower and Bali still retains its inherent natural charm.
Here are some less well-known places you should try to add to your itinerary when visiting the Island of the Gods.
Sidemen, Klungkung Regency
One of Bali’s most beautiful, and still relatively unknown beauty spots, and only around an hour on a bike from the bright lights in the south of the island. Great for those who want a bit of peace and quiet surrounded by some of the best scenery on the island, the village and surrounding area comprised of a number of small, rustic guest houses, rudimentary hotels and decent cafes, small restaurants and warungs.
Most people, having approached Sidemen from the south, turn left at the main junction in Sidemen village (by the market) to a small street leading down a hill where most of the guest houses are based. However, the best views are to be had if you drive through Sidemen village for another couple of kilometres. Here, in the hills on the right, you’ll find a number of more discreet guest houses, all enjoying spectacular views of the rice field and palm tree canopy leading all the way to the awesome Mount Agung right in front of you.
Pemuteran, Buleleng Regency
While Lovina is often seen as the ‘got to’ place on Bali’s quiet north coast, Pemuteran, home to the largest artificial Biorock reef project in the world and just 45km to the west, is a haven for divers, snorkelers and those who appreciate a slower way of life. Escaping the mass development seen in the south of the island, accommodation options are mainly limited to large, spacious resorts on the beach side of the road, private villas and quiet home stays.
Pemuteran is an ideal place to explore the Barat National Park, Menjangan Island, whose marine fauna incorporates one of the best-preserved coral reefs in the area, and just kicking back and relaxing under a palm tree after enjoying one of the best underwater eco-systems the island has to offer.
Munduk, Buleleng Regency
High above the central Bali tourist destination of Bedugul lies the less visited village of Munduk. When it’s not amongst the clouds, Munduk offers sensational views, not only of lakes Tamblingan and Buyan, but remarkably both the north and south coasts. Being so high, it can get comparatively cold for those who are used to the balmy weather on the beaches in the south, so pack some warmer clothes as a precaution.
There’s lots to see and do near Munduk, and photographers, in particular, will love Banyumala Twin Waterfall and Munduk Waterfall, one of Bali’s most famous temples at Lake Tamblingan, and the tremendous views at Munduk Moding Plantation.