The former royal palace of Tirtagangga (which means water of the Ganges, Hinduism's holy river) features tiered fountains, gardens, and stone sculptures of mythical creatures spouting water into bathing pools. Just outside the palace grounds, the views of the lush rice paddies of northeastern Bali are stunning.
A very active temple built around a bubbling spring, Pura Tirta Empul is an interesting place to observe Hindu devotees purifying themselves by means of ritual bathing. It is especially recommended to visit on a full moon day, which has special significance in the local religion.
Tenganan is an ancient Balinese village that dates back to the island's pre-Hindu culture; its layout and architecture are unique. Its many shops feature some unique crafts, including prized, labor-intensive ikat fabrics.
This East Bali beach town is known for excellent SCUBA diving and snorkeling. New hotels are springing up on this coast, especially in Candidasa, a scenic 40-minute drive to its south. Amed is also a great place to admire Bali’s colorful outrigger boats.
Hikers will enjoy climbing this volcano, and the rewards of the views into the crater and of the crystal clear waters of Lake Batur. (Note: visibility may be limited during the rainy season, Dec.-March.)
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
Award-winning journalist Buzzy Gordon has covered Asia as a travel writer for more than 30 years. He is the author of Frommer's Jerusalem Day by Day Guide.