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Visit Candi Dasa – A Real Bali Experience

by Matt

The Candi Dasa Lagoon in Bali

The Candi Dasa Lagoon in Bali

One of our favourite spots on Bali island is the little coconut village of Candi Dasa in the Karangasem regency in East Bali. It has some great accommodation options, wonderful restaurants and is ideally placed to observe the daily chores of the friendly Balinese.

Just to get there from the south of the island is already a memorable experience. We often drive from Kuta to Ubud and then head onward to Gianyar from where it gets really interesting. Here you'll pass through stunning rice fields and villages where it seems time has stood still.

Once you arrive high up the mountains at the village of Duda you have an amazing view of the Bay of Amuk and from here it's only 20 minutes before you reach Candi Dasa.

So which hotel to pick when you set foot in this fishing village? Well that's not an easy task since over the years we have found too many places that we love to come back to. When we're travelling on a budget we opt for Ida's Home Stay where everything is made of wood and from where you have amazing views over the lagoon.

When we like to meet other travelers we would choose the mid-range Alam Asmara Dive Resort which has deluxe bungalows set among tropical flowers and fish ponds. Additionally, this is one of the places where you can easily access the beach and swim around when you feel like it.

When we love to splurge, we would head over to the luxurious and romantic Villa Rumah Kecil with its classy Balinese furniture, indoor/outdoor bathrooms and great sea view from the bale (small pavilion).

Then it's time to eat; one of our favorite restaurants is Vincent's, located on the main road through town. Here you can relax and dine to the tunes of Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra while enjoying their fish of the day in the decorated garden. Another favorite of ours is Toke's, Lotus bungalows restaurant and RendezVous at the above mentioned Alam Asmara resort.

So what is there to do in Candi Dasa? Well, when we're not tired of staring at the sea, we like to strap on our flippers and snorkel set and start enjoying the underwater world at the Mimpang Islands or we visit the Blue Lagoon in Padangbai.

Another great activity is hiking around the area and best to start at Tenganan village to the village of Macang and Ngis before heading back to Tenganan again. This is where the original inhabitants of Bali live and they have different customs and traditions compared to the rest of the island. This is a great place to buy local double weaved ikat cloths too.

The hike will lead you through rain forest, rice fields, hills and along the way you will see many Balinese working in their fields.

Just by spending a couple of days in Candi Dasa will let you see what Bali really is about-- something you can't do in the southern part of Bali in places such as Nusa Dua or Kuta.

After a couple of days in Candi Dasa it's very easy to travel to the beautiful interior of Bali and stay in Munduk or to keep on travelling along the coast towards the diving village of Amed.

This article is written by Matt Verbaan, who has his own website with loads of Bali travel information. If you want to know more about Bali then you can find great travel tips on his website.

Plan ahead and chose the best Bali attractions.

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