Top cultural attractions on the island of Bali

Photo by CC user CEphoto, Uwe Aranas on wikipedia.org

If you are planning a trip to Southeast Asia later this year, there is no better destination than Indonesia in which to base yourself. Boasting more than 18,000 islands, a variety of cultures, and a food scene that is the envy of the region, travelers that end up coming here rarely go away without being completely enthralled by what they experience here.

Throughout Indonesia, there are a wide variety of historical sites and cultural highlights that make multi-destination tour of this country a very good idea for the traveler that has the sufficient time for such a trip.

If you are staying in Bali exclusively though, there are enough cultural attractions situated here that it will make your holiday in this part of Indonesia enriching enough on its own.

Tanah Lot

Photo by CC user James Mason-Hudson on wikimedia commons

If Bali is known for one thing, it’s the many intricate temples that are situated across its territory. One of its most picturesque can be found along the southern coast of Bali.

Tanah Lot is one of several directional temples that purportedly ward away evil from the island. Spectacular to photograph due to the crashing of waves on its shores, it can also be accessed during low tide.

Try to come near sunset, as the cliff top restaurants directly across from Tanah Lot are a great place to have a sundowner beer as the sultry sun sinks into the horizon.

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

Photo by CC user Kostasplus on wikipedia.org 

Another photogenic temple that you shouldn’t miss while on Bali is Pura Ulun Danu Bratan. Located in the central highlands more than 3,500 feet above sea level, the climate up here is refreshing, so be sure to bring a sweater before setting out on a tour to this landmark.

Its importance is underlined by the fact that it graces the back of the 50,000 rupiah bill, and whether the weather is misty or brilliantly sunny, the beauty of its pagoda sitting before a lake surrounded by flowers will be one that will lodge itself in your travel memory bank for the rest of your life.

Agung Rai Museum of Art

Photo by CC user Shoestring at wts wikivoyage

When you find yourself in Ubud, make time to see the Agung Rai Museum of Art. Consisting of the private collection that was started by the man that gave his name to this institution, you will not only find Balinese works here, but plenty of sculptures and paintings from elsewhere in Asia and Europe.

Make time to stroll through the exterior garden as well, as it stands out in a place that already has so many amazing examples of greenery cultivated in an artistic manner.

Balinese cooking classes

Photo by CC user 70957207@N00 on Flickr

Finally, some think that the best kind of art out there is the type that you can eat when you have finished creating it.

If you are of the same mind, don’t just content yourself to dine on the food that other chefs make for you in Bali, but also learn how to make these meals for yourself.

To that end, there are plenty of cooking schools that will teach you how to make Babi Guling and other Balinese specialties in tourism hotspots such as Kuta and Ubud.

If you staying at Citadines Kuta Beach Bali for example, be sure to ask the front desk about the best schools that will help you take home some serious Balinese cooking skills.

Spots to enjoy a coffee or a beer on Little Corn Island

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As paradises go, Little Corn Island is one of the best of them out there today. While its profile is slowly increasing on the world stage, the difficulty incurred in getting here has shielded it from over-development to date.

However, it has developed enough that there are a number of excellent places where one can have a coffee or a beer during the course of their stay.

Below, we will discuss the best venues to have either of these stimulating drinks while on Little Corn Island

1) The Lighthouse

Want to have a coffee or a beer at a place with a view, or want to have the convenience of having your morning caffeine a few short steps from one of the cutest bungalows that you seen on your travels?

Heading up to The Lighthouse will help you achieve this goal. Situated high up on the hill above town past some of the best building lots on Little Corn, this property is a hotel that has an attached bar and cafe.

Growing in popularity over the short time that it has been open, it is a favorite among the local expat community for late-night parties, so if you wish to mix with this crowd, head up here in the evening.

Otherwise, it is a great place anytime during the day for an epic view of the Caribbean Sea from one of the highest points on the island.

2) Cafe Desideri

Being an Italian-themed restaurant situated in the heart of the main village, if there’s any place you can trust to get coffee right, it’s here.

With online rankings exceeding 9/ 10 on sites like TripAdvisor, and local residents swearing by this place, it is highly likely that you will have a quality experience here.

On a scorching day in April, be sure to try their iced coffee, as it will satisfy your craving for java and cool you down at the same time.

3) Tranquilo Cafe

Situated right next to Cafe Desideri on the main drag, Tranquilo Cafe is one of the oldest mainstays of the travel scene on Little Corn Island.

Having been around for a long time and still garnering some of the highest rankings here courtesy of its customers, it can also lay claim to making a fantastic cup of coffee, and come sunset, it is a great place to have a Sundowner beer as well.

Keep an eye out for daily specials, as they offer spectacular value for the quality of the food that you get.

4) Driftwood Beach Bar

Located on the property of Yemaya Resort on the Eastern side of the island, the Driftwood Beach Bar is located on one of the most spectacular beaches on Little Corn.

Specializing in upmarket cuisine, it is one of the best places for fine dining on the island, but if you just want to have a beer or a nice cup of coffee, it is certainly possible to do so here as well.

A caffeinated holiday in Kona

Photo by CC user cmichel67 on Flickr

There is no better place to go on holiday in the United States of America than to the big island of Hawaii.

It is on this island where the growing region of one of the world’s best-loved coffees can be found. Kona is home to these plantations, where coffee trees soak in over 300 days a year of sunshine due to volcanic mountains that rise to the east.

If you want to enjoy a caffeinated holiday in Kona, this guide will tell you everything you need to know in the paragraphs below…

Rent a villa in the centre of it all

If you don’t want to be in a hotel that is far away from the coffee fields, there are plenty of Big Island vacation rentals available in the Kona area where you can relax in style.

With poolside villas that contain all the amenities you could ever want, it will provide you the veneer of luxury that is currently absent from your daily life.

Tour the fields where the world’s best coffee is produced

As soon as you get over your jet lag, make arrangements to take a coffee tour to one of Kona’s many plantations.

Before one of this area’s many blends find its way into the pretty artisanal bags that you have seen at the grocery store, the “beans” grow as fruit on trees before they are harvested, dried, and re then packaged for shipment and sale.

You can see how this process all unfolds by joining a guided tour, as they will show you how everything is done the moment the fruit is picked from the tree to the journey it embarks on as it makes its way through the local mills.

From the misy mountainsides to small farms in the artsy town of Holualoa, there are many venues that you can explore in the Kona area.

Get a strong cup of coffee in town

With so much amazing coffee being available locally, it is no surprise that many outstanding cafes have sprung up in the towns of Kona, Holualoa, and Kailua.

After exploring the plantations earlier in your trip, you’ll want to make daily runs down to the main drag that passes through these centers to sample some of the best java that can be found there.

Personally, we recommend the The Coffee Lounge, as they use cubes of frozen coffee to cool your java, and they also offer a delectable menu with standout dishes such as chorizo burritos, as well as yogurt parfaits that are stuffed to the gills with berries.

Check out the area’s other top attractions

There’s more to do in the Kona area than drink coffee, tour plantations, and admire the view of the ocean from your luxury villa.

Start with Hulihe’e Palace, which once served as a vacation home for Hawaiian royalty. Filled with unique antique furniture and other objects that tell the story of Hawaii’s royals in the 19th century, it is a great place to go when you want to take a break from the beach.

The Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center (honors Hawaii’s first astronaut), The H.N. Greenwell Store Museum (shows how period general stores looked on the Big Island in the past), and the Moku`aikaua Church (highest structure in the area and crafted with local wood and volcanic rock) are other attractions worth a look when you aren’t snorkeling, surfing, swimming, etc.