Formerly a laid-back surfers' stop-off, today Bali has evolved into a mecca for every kind of a travelling couple. Yogis will find sanctuary in Ubud's tropical rainforest setting; challenge seekers can look into scaling the 3,142 metre strato-volcano Mount Agung on the island's highest point; couples who love to dive together can explore world-class sites below the waves, and culturally curious duos can get their fix at Manggis' spiritually significant temples. Bali is the perfect romantic holiday or honeymoon location for any couple, regardless of what makes them tick.
Sacred Hindu temple Tanah Lot – located in Tabanan on a large rock out in the ocean – is one of Bali's most revered (and most visited) sites, believed to have been constructed by a 15th-century priest and said to be guarded by sea snakes. Tanah Lot is a must-do photo location for honeymooning or couples on a romance holiday – particularly when the sun sets.
And shoppers, too, have plenty of reasons to celebrate. Jenggala's jade green and white crockery routinely tempt visitors into purchasing extra baggage. Then there is upscale Seminyak's litany of luxury boutiques (many of which are Australian brands manufactured in Indonesia and sold here on the island much more cheaply). Here in Seminyak couples will discover innumerable opportunities to shop – all the more fun after an evening eating and drinking in one of the many chic Seminyak restaurants or bars.
Honeymooners will love Bali's long list of trendy hot spots that are perfect for romantic sunset cocktails. Be sure to check out these must-visit places:
Asian-fusion eatery Sarong
Ku De Ta's low-slung, plushly cushioned Sunset Box
The rooftop bar at S.O.S Supperclub
Rock Bar, perched on a cliff where mixologists pour Rockitos (Grand Marnier, mint sprigs, fresh lime and soda) for couples reclining in booths carved into the stone.
Foodies will love the restaurants set in the rice paddies, such as Sardine, constructed using more that 120,000 bamboo shingles and 10 types of bamboo. Or the wonderful French-Mediterranean Metis where you can discover dishes like steamed black cod with linguini pasta and the 14-hour crispy pork belly with swiss chard and white wine poached apples. Divine!
PERFECT FOR COUPLES WHO:
Like glamorous spots to shop, dine and lie supine.
MOST BEAUTIFUL BEACH:
Ungasan on the southern most point of Bali, for its fine, delicate sand and swimmable turquoise waters. If you're not staying at the Karma Kandara resort or Banyan Tree resort, access it at the popular Nammos Beach Club by paying an entry fee of 250,000 rupiah (US$27) which is redeemable for food and drinks. It's worth it.
Day into night at Bali's beach clubs. Hip hangout Potato Head Club – accessed by a huge semicircular façade made out of reclaimed doors – has a pool bar and striped cabanas for daytime sun worshipping, and three outstanding restaurants to ensure that you'll linger after dark.