Travel Postcard: 48 Hours in Bali

Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:33pm EST
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By Elaine Lies

SANUR, Bali (Reuters) - Lush tropical landscapes, intricate Hindu temples, long stretches of beach fringed with palm trees, and traditional dances both graceful and furious are all part of the charms of this resort island that keep visitors coming.

Yet venture away from the main tourist drag and it's still possible to spend hours strolling through rice fields, stopping in villages along the way to chat with locals.

Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors get the most out of a 48-hour visit.


5 p.m. - Check into your hotel and head out for a drink. For a quiet alternative, try Sanur on the island's eastern side. Though it lacks the western view and sunsets of its raucous rival Kuta, Sanur has a long beach walk that hugs the coastline, lined with bars and small restaurants. Buy a beer and watch the pastel light fade from Nusa Lembongan, an island crouching on the edge of the horizon, and listen to the sound of the waves.

7 p.m. - Stroll the beach as the evening cool brings Balinese out for soccer on the seashore or wading in the ocean.

There are any number of dinner options along the waterfront, including "Stiff Chili," an informal Italian restaurant at the southern end, or its fancier -- and pricer -- compatriot "Isola," about halfway up. A more local option is "Kami Sama," which features Indonesian food, including the Balinese "Siap Sambal Matah" -- shredded fried chicken dressed with chopped chilis, shallots, coconut oil and lemon grass.

For grilled fish, try the popular "Bonsai Cafe," where you buy your seafood by weight and have it grilled over a coconut husk fire. And yes, there are bonsai trees in the garden.   Continued...

<p>Tourists watch the sunset from Kuta beach in Indonesia's resort island of Bali February 2, 2010. REUTERS/Murdani Usman</p>