Winking awkwardly, the dude at the travel fair said, “You have to visit Bali at least once in your life because the island is so green and culturally rich you won’t encounter such things elsewhere.” You bought the idea and it eventually made your way to Bali.
Featured photo courtesy of: kunyar.wordpress.com
Now, having been wandering for several days on your flip-flops around Kuta Lanes you start wondering where the culture is and the only green you see comes from painted walls. Instead, you see a jungle of clubs and pubs along the way.
Did I take the wrong plane? No, you didn’t. You’ve taken the right one. You just haven’t visited the right region, North Bali. Check out these must ‘go-to’ list of North Bali.
The must ‘Go-To’ lakes
I think it’s not gonna help much if I write “In order to get to North Bali you have to head north.”
The best way to reach the northern region of the island is via Tabanan. This route will get you through breathtaking sceneries of hinterland Bali, such as lakes and waterfalls surrounded by unspoiled forests. (Make sure you wear proper outfits on the way to North Bali because you’re gonna ride through mountains. Wearing mere pants or bikinis will ruin your future holiday plans.)
Two legendary lakes of North Bali are Buyan and Tamblingan. I bet you’ll find these lakes alluring. But if you want to swim, consider these two facts beforehand: it is cold there and the lakes are sacred. Camping is allowed and it will be interesting to spend a night or two either in Buyan or in Tamblingan. Since the air around this part is free from pollution, the night sky will be full of stars.
The must ‘Go-To’ hidden waterfalls
Unfortunately, Sir Isaac Newton was born in Lincolnshire, England. If he were born in Buleleng, instead of founding an ephifany about gravity from a fallen apple, it would had to be one of the wonderful waterfalls you’ll come across. Namely Git-git and Sekumpul waterfall.
Git-Git consists of small, multi-levelled waterfalls surrounded by enchanting bamboo trees. (Sadly, there is no panda.) To warm yourself up, you can take a hike circling the area.
The other waterfall, Sekumpul, reminds me of the colossal waterfall in Pixar’s Up which is so high that it seems to fall directly from the sky. But this one is smaller in size, yet much bigger in number—there are seven separated, 100-meter-high waterfalls. If you are a drone pilot, you’re gonna get great aerial montages here.
The must ‘Go-To’ museum
Eventually, you arrived in the sleepy town of Singaraja, the capital of Buleleng Regency in North Bali. After spending days around Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak, at first, you are going to feel like lost and find the tranquility unbearable.
Strolling along the hushed pedestrian, you’re gonna think that you are in the middle of one of the Walking Dead scenes, especially when it rains. You wouldn’t believe that Singaraja used to be a packed region when the seaport of Buleleng had been operating back then. To get to know the history of the region, spend some time in Museum Gedung Kerthya which preserves ancient manuscripts of Bali.
The must ‘Go-To’ beaches
The aquaphiles can enjoy scuba-diving in Pemuteran Village beach among transplanted, bio-rock corals. If you have no idea what to do for the rest of your days in Bali, consider moving your base here and contribute something to coral transplantation. Anything means a lot here.
The diving experience would be more authentic if you spend a day or two on Menjangan Island, Bali Barat National Park, several leagues from the northwestern shore of Buleleng Regency. A boat to Menjangan Island can always be arranged by some local operators.
The spotlight of this region goes to the legendary dolphins of Lovina beach. Early mornings in good season (usually from May to September) people will gather around the shore of Lovina to wait for their turn to board a small boat to see dolphins. They will circle the area, waiting for the dolphins show themselves on the surface. Even the most cold-hearted person can’t help cracking a smile seeing the schooling of dolphins swimming and jumping into the ocean as if expressing their joy to meet the rising sun.
The must ‘Go-To’ puras
You’re going to make a fortune if you design postcards from the photos of beautiful Puras of North Bali.
Renowned as one of the best destinations for spiritual purposes, Bukit Batu Kursi in Pemuteran Village has a lovely Pura from which you can gaze at the sea. An avid runner can also jog through the hills, but make sure to step aside every time you come across the pilgrims. Pura Beji in Sangsit is one of the Balinese masterpieces. From above it looks like jagged rocks put together in a grass field. But if you look closely you are going to find compact structure adorned with detailed relief only a maestro can create. In Pura Pulaki you can contemplate life while looking at friendly monkeys inhabiting the area. The adorable Pura Ponjok Batu in Pacung Village is located by the sea, from which you can enjoy both sunrise and sunset.
The must ‘Go-To’ festivals
Held every Agust in Bebetin Village, Buleleng Regency, Sampi Gerumbungan is the cow version of “Miss Universe Pageant.” It is a contest to seek for the best cows in plowing business. Another interesting event is Gebug Ende, a Balinese-style Aikido held on the peak of a long dry season. Though it looks like Aikido, it is not a martial art. It is a ritual to ask for rain.
So what are you waiting for? Go north!
Text by: Fuji Adriza