australia & south pacific

Baliis the perfect place for families, a magical world where you can listen to frogs chirping in the dark, mingled with the the sounds of the gamelan in a nearby village.

South Bali
East Bali
North Bali
West Bali
Temples in Bali - Bali has scads of wonderful temples and they are always having festivals. Smaller festivals in the villages have a homey, intimate feel to them. Wearing a sash and sarong is appropriate to enter the temple and part of the fun is dressing in Balinese clothing. Stopping to watch the processions is always exciting too.
A great festival for the splendor and splash, is Kuningan at the Pura Taman Pule in Mas. We did have to wait to go inside the temple courtyard, but while we were waiting, I had great conversations with Balinese families standing in line with their kids too.
My favorite temple is Pura Batukau, off the beaten track on the edges of the mountains high above the lowlands. Few tourists go to Batukau (the roads are pretty bumpy), but it is a large, temple complex with an artificial lake and island in the middle, and is surrounded by dense, dark green jungle.
Fun food
At any roadside stall (warung), stop in for peanuts, pisang susu (milk bananas), crackers and bottled water or soft drinks. There are also delicious tropical ice tea, milkshakes, lassi (yogurt fruit shakes) and coconut ice cream in the restaurants. (Adults, if you are a coffee drinker, Balinese coffee is excellent. Drink it at a warung in Balinese style, a glass filled with finely ground coffee that sinks to the bottom, with or without milk and plenty of sugar.)

Bali is full of wonderful things to shop for souvenirs - fans, sarongs, sashes, carved wooden owls, frogs, ducks, kites, musical instruments such as bamboo flues, drums and gangsa (small xylophones), toy outriggers, and CDs of Balinese music. Kids will have a great time picking out their own treasures to take back home

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