Bali, the island of Gods needs no introduction. After all, it is the most visited island in South East. In fact, I had almost written Bali off my travel bucket list assuming that every corner here will be touristy, but I couldn’t help being excited when I received an invitation by the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia.
Late one night in November 2016, I landed here after changing two airplanes from Raja Ampat – tired but ready to fall in love with Bali.
You know what’s the best part about Bali? It is jaw dropping gorgeous! My excitement started right from the airport where I saw an elaborate Hindu temple. It continued as soon as I reached my hotel – De Vins Sky Hotel in Seminyak and saw a roof top pool and yet another temple!
As we travelled around the island the next morning, I was happy to notice that the typical Balinese temple like architecture is everywhere, even at the gas stations. (Btw, the name of the hotel was earlier Golden Tulup but has changed to De Vin Sky Hotel Seminyak. If you want to book the same place, you can click here to check the availability and the best deals)
I visited Bali as a social media influencer, so of course Instagram was very high on my list. I did a little bit of research about a few spots to visit and want to share them with you. No doubt there are more than ten beautiful spots in Bali (obviously), but here are ten of our favorites.
UPDATE in 2018:
I recently discovered that there is a very popular “Instagram tour of Bali” that includes some of the best places that I have mentioned here, waterfalls and also the Instagram-famous jungle swing!
This tour includes hotel transfers, entrance fees, water, etc. This tour makes it super easy for you to visit most of the places on this list and a few more. Check it out and make your Bali pictures memorable to rock your Instagram.
Bali’s most beautiful spots –
01 | “Doors of Heaven” at Pura Lempuyang
Not just in Bali, but this is definitely one of the most beautiful temples of South East Asia. There are total seven temples in this complex, out of which the first one is the biggest and the most beautiful one. They all offer good views but the first one is the most photographed one, for obvious reasons.
All the shots below are pretty similar, but the lighting is different, which causes a dramatic effect. To know more about Pura Lempuyang, you can click here check the details on TripAdvisor.
02 | Penglipuran Village
Penglipuran in North of Bali is a beautifully preserved village which appeared to be unaffected by modernization. For me, this was the most beautiful spot in Bali and I did not want to leave.
It is the perfect place for photos because of the backdrop of little houses that are lined up next to the main street. What makes it even better is that the street is sloped and provides a view till the end.
Out of all the places that I visited, my pictures in Penglipuran Village turned out to be the best ones. Here’s my picture which was clicked by the talented Japanese photographer, Genta. If you ever wonder where to stay in Bali, i’d recommend you pick the North or Ubud area, just so that you’re close to this spot.
Every corner in this village is pretty! Look how cute this picture is –
This village is so pretty, that every corner is instagram-worthy! Look how cute this picture is:
The same background as the first picture, but it’s a portrait.
This is the same spot as the first picture, but a portrait.
03 | Bamboo Forest in Bangli
Don’t you just love the roads that are surrounded by perfectly arched trees resulting in a “tunnel” effect? Well, you can find a few of these streets in the village of Kubu Bangli regency. This forest area is very close to Penglipuran village, so you can do #2 and #3 together on the same day! Planning on visiting? Check out the reviews on TripAdvisor before you go.
The below picture is by one of my favorite photographers, Larissa Dening:
Here’s another one by Hikari – a talented Japanese photographer, who is as beautiful as the pictures she clicks.
The next one was clicked by Trishita (Overrated Outcast), who’s just 20 but does some serious magic with her GoPro. She’s also a GoPro brand ambassador.
Here’s one by Daniel Tran. I love how all of his pictures have a lot of magic, that they look surreal.
04 | Ubud’s Rice Paddies and Cafes with views
You can’t leave out Ubud’s pretty rice paddies when you visit Bali. Some people rent bicycles to explore the paddy fields, while others just find a chic café with a view to enjoy Ubud’s beauty. I recommend Desa Tegalalang or Kampung Café for your dose of Ubud.
To make the most of it, you can also book yourself a room at Kampung Resort. This place is in a stunning location on a height and with an exceptionally breathtaking view of the rice paddies. A room here is usually between 40 − 50 USD. If you’re not staying here, then at lease consider visiting this place for an amazing lunch with a view of the paddy fields.
Here’s a picture from Kampung Cafe by Jongbeom Lee:
I love this bird’s eye view of the rice paddies by Will Cho.
Or this green overdose by Michael Turtle:
This shot by Emily makes me want to want to get lost in these rice paddies!
05 | Pura Ulun Danu Bratan
Ulun Danu Beratan Temple is perhaps the most iconic landmark of Bali. It has been used for years as a cover image for Bali related things such as in flyers, travel articles, picture postcards, etc. This temple is located at the edge of Beratan Lake and you can often catch the reflection of it in the water.
Everything is perfect about this shot, specially the reflection.
Here’s the same temple but from a different angle. Don’t you just love the sky?
06 | Pura Tirta Empul
Yes, you must have guessed it by now that everything that starts with “Pura” is a temple. This temple is famous for its bathing area and a dip in its waters is supposed to cleanse you spiritually. The words “Tirta Empul” stand for holy spring in Balinese language.
If you want to know more about Tirta Empur temple, you can read the discussions on Tripadvisor about this place. Here’s a shot of Tirta Empul Temple’s stunning door.
This is inside the temple, where people bathe inside the water for ritual purification.
07 | Banyumala Twin Waterfalls
What’s better than a waterfall? Two waterfalls together. Banyumala Twin Waterfalls waterfalls are in North Central part of Bali and getting there is definitely not easy. Many people say that these are the best waterfalls in Bali, but why don’t you see the pictures and decide for yourself?
Look how green everything around this waterfall is!
How blue is that water!
08 | Tanah lot temple
Yes, another temple on the list, but I promise it’s the last one. Visit Tanah Lot temple a little before the sunset and find a nearby café that overlooks the temple for some stunning photos! Doesn’t the ocean backdrop look stunning?
09 | Tibumana Waterfall
This waterfall is in Bangli area and not so far from the Bamboo forest in point 3. Getting here is not as difficult as Banyumala Waterfalls. The trail that leads to the waterfall is small and is a delight in itself.
What makes the Tibuamana waterfall stunning is the jungle around. You will hear the sounds of birds and the water – how cool is that! Tibumana waterfall itself is small but it is the green area around that makes it very special.
10 | Ku-De-Ta Lounge and Around
Ku-De-Ta is one of the most famous bars in Bali. The view of the ocean from here is breathtaking, especially around the sunset time. There is a swimming pool inside Ku-De-Ta, which looks very beautiful when the sky turns orange before it gets dark. Not just the bar, but even the beach right outside this place gave us many photo opportunities.
Here’s a picture of the bar and swimming pool inside Ku-De-Ta:
The below three pictures were shot right outside Ku-De-Ta. Look how beautiful this spot looks when sun goes down.
Where to stay in Bali
I stayed in Golden Tulip Devins, which is in Seminyak. It is a very beautiful hotel with a rooftop pool and bar. The rooftop area is amazing for watching sunsets. Some of the rooms here also feature an outdoor Jacuzzis. My room was very comfortable and had everything that I needed (like a hairdryer). The hotel is less than 5 minutes walk from Seminyak beach and the nearby Petitenget Temple. This temple is right on the beach and I got to watch a colorful prayer ceremony here one morning.
Seminyak is Bali’s hip and upscale area and is famous for its nightlife but thankfully is not as crowded as Kuta. To be honest, I didn’t party much except on just one occasion and we found a very cool nightclub near our hotel. If you’re heading to Bali, I strongly recommend you stay here. If you like big breakfasts (like I do), you will really enjoy their buffet – especially strawberry waffles, eggs Benedict, and coffee.
You can read the reviews about Golden Tulip Devins on TripAdvisor and find the best deal to book a room. Or, you can click here to find deals for Golden Tulip Devins, Seminyak in Bali on Booking.com. I generally prefer Booking.com because of their free cancellation (on most of the hotels) that has saved my life many times. A room at Golden Tulip Devins, Seminyak can cost you anything between $100 to $200 depending on your choice. Or, you can check on Agoda where I usually find prices that are cheaper than the other websites.
Have you ever been to Bali? If so, I would love to know about your favorite photo spots, so please do let me know in the comments.
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Where to go after Bali?
Disclaimer: I was paid and invited by the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia to their beautiful country on a content creation campaign called “Trip of Wonders”, but as always, all thoughts in this article are mine.