Category Archives: Diving

“Beautiful Bali” Tour

Enjoy a 9 day tour of “Beautiful Bali a little off the beaten track, exploring inland and north Bali.

Highlights of the tour:

  • explore the cultural heart of Bali in Ubud
  • visit tiny villages and learn age old craft-making
  • walk up volcanic slopes for sweeping views of valleys
  • cycle past majestic temples and verdantly green rice terraces
  • go snorkelling/diving in a coastal national park
  • meet the dolphins off Lovina beach
  • dine on sumptuous Balinese cuisine
  • get up close to Bali’s iconic Ulun Danu Bratan temple
  • and more

Fast Facts

Bali Tour Map

Tour: Beautiful Bali
Operator: Intrepid Travel

Length: 9 days
Group Size: 1-12 people
Cost: $1000+, €600+, £600+

Provinces: Bali
Towns: Ubud, Sidemen, Lovina, Seririt, Bedugul
Major Sights: Ubud markets/shops/temples, Mt Batur, West Bali NP, Seririt Market, Banjar Hot Springs, Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

Accommodation: 7 nights hotel, 1 night guesthouse
Transport: Mini-bus
Meals: 8 breakfasts, 1 lunch

Book this tour at Intrepid Travel

Itinerary

Ubud MarketDays 1-2: Ubud. Take in Bali’s cultural capital with trips to a night market and an evening performance. Visit the monkey forest, go rafting, or just browse around the many art shops.

Bali rice paddiesDay 3: Ubud & Sidemen. Go bicyling into the surrounds of Ubud through rice fields and by Hindu temples. Later head to the hilly village of Sidemen to meet some locals.

Songket WeavingDay 4: Mt Batur. Learn the art of golden thread ‘songket’ weaving. Later head into the mountains for some awe-inspiring views.

Mt BaturDays 5-6: Mt Batur & Lovina. An early morning start with a trek up Mt Batur to watch the sun come up. Afterwards head towards Lovina on the north coast for some snorkelling or diving. In Lovina take a boat tour to see dolphins while exploring this charming fishing village.

Banjar Hot SpringsDay 7: Bedugul. Leaving Lovina head to Seririt Market and Banjar hot springs. Further inland come to the mountain-top village of Bedugul.

Bedugul Lake & TempleDay 8: Bedugul & Ubud. Visit the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple in the middle of a lake. Back in Ubud do some further shopping and end your tour with a Balinese banquet.

Book this tour at Intrepid Travel

Need to book a hotel in Ubud? See ratings of Ubud hotels.

Great Barrier Reef, Maldives, Aceh

DivingThe BBC says Pulau Weh in Aceh is the next great location for diving enthusiasts.

As mentioned in my previous article, the BBC World News show Fast Track featured Indonesia recently.

A story about Acehnese tourism five years after the tsunami - watch it here - was surprisingly positive.

It featured some of the dive sites near Pulau Weh, a small island off the coast of Aceh, the northernmost province of Sumatera.

Pulau Weh Diving
Diving near Pulau Weh, Aceh.

According to the feature, unlike more popular locations, its relative isolation has helped it be preserved and not destroyed by pollution, overfishing or tourism. One of the unique attractions in the area is a very rare undersea geothermal vent. While the 2004 tsunami did damage the coral, it has subsequently recovered; some locals have also helped the undersea life by grafting and growing new coral.

During the report, we meet two dive operators: Pak Dodent, the director of one of only two local dive shops in the area; and Ben Stokes of Dive Safari Asia, an English-based diving company which leads groups to more remote/isolated Asian diving locations.

It also said while few people come specifically to see the tsunami sites, local residents are surprisingly happy to show you tsunami relics and discuss their experiences. A Tsunami Museum also recently opened in Banda Aceh.

Tsunami Museum
Tourists visiting another famous tourist attraction in Aceh


The question is: Having seen the report above, would you consider visiting Aceh on your next holiday, especially if it was for diving? Why or why not?

And regardless of your answer to the previous question, what could the Acehnese government do - in your opinion - to encourage more visitors?

Great Barrier Reef, Maldives, Aceh is brought to you by Indonesia Matters, which also features listings of Indonesia hotels, special discounts on Bali hotels, Kuta hotels, Sanur hotels, hotels in Jakarta, and more.