Bali is a special place, for so many reasons. It has charm oozing out of every orifice, seriously. But you have to get out of the tourist drag to really find it.

I could go on and on about the language, the people, the food…. which are all equally exciting, indulging, charming and incredible.

But instead I thought I would just explain to you two of my favourite Bali tourist destinations and how to find the calm, in all of that madness.

The Pura Luhur Uluwatu temple – Stand on the edge of the world

“It just takes a quiet moment, a beautiful place, a taste of Bali charm and someone special to share it with.”

Bali has a lot more to offer than cheap beer, cheap night clubs and cheap tacky souvenirs. It is a beautiful island and to escape the madness that surrounds Kuta, all you have to do is hire a bike and head down the coast.

Just before the sun set I stood on the edge of the island of Bali, next to a temple, breathing fresh salt air. I stood on what felt like the end of the world, it doesn’t take much to find perfection. It just takes a quiet moment, a beautiful place, a taste of Bali charm and someone special to share it with.

Perched high on a cliff, looking down on the sparkling blue ocean with ancient history under your feet, there is no better place to find yourself, find the charm of Bali and find a moment to just exist in this hectic world. The Pura Luhur Uluwatu temple stands on the south western tip of the island of Bali and is designed to protect the island from evil spirits that might try to enter. This temple is famous for its cheeky monkeys and spectacular views of the ocean.

The temple can be busy, but if you walk along the left-hand pathway and just keep on going up and up, you will find the path ends and a large green grassy clearing opens up. There is never anyone else up there. And you can walk through the grass to the cliffs and stand there, on the edge of the world, the beautiful temple off to your right and nothing but ocean in front of you, in silence. All the world was still, all the world was silent and it was just us, the cliffs and the crashing water below us. And it occurred to me that day, it’s really not so hard to find perfection at all.

The Tanah Lot temple – Just breathe it in

“It’s spectacular, peaceful, and silent. Just sit in silence. Just breathe it in.”

Another wonderful day trip of discovery is getting out of Kuta and heading up the coast to the Tanah Lot temple. Forget tours, they bring too many people, this is one of those times to go solo. Hire a bike, get a map, and get out there for sunrise or sunset where it is quiet, calm and spectacularly charming.

Tanah Lot is a unique temple is built on a rock out in the ocean, built in honour of the snake gods, this temple and the snakes that are said to inhabit it are said to be there to protect the holy land from bad influences. At low tide you can walk out to the temple or at high tide you can marvel at the crashing waves creating a salty moat around the temples island structure. It’s spectacular, peaceful, and silent. Get away from any crowds that might have followed you in and again, just get off the beaten path; climb up and around the rocks and just sit in silence. The culture, the charm it’s all there. Just breathe it in.

Bali is a charming place, full of beauty and serenity, and if you take just a little time and get out of the tourist centre, you will find that what makes this island so special is not so hard to find.

You might also be interested in our guide to Bali’s temples.