From the lively, fashionable shopping strip of Legian and Seminyak to the quiet traditional coastal villages curving northwest towards the sacred Pura Tanah Lot, Bali sunset coastline is a varied and fascinating one, attracting visitors in their thousands.
The Legian-Seminyak area is perfect for a dose of retail therapy with a dazzling range of innovative Balinese products offered in an impressive array of export-quality stores.
Legian and Seminyak also offer a happening and persuasively bohemian atmosphere with non-stop nightlife. Jalan Laksmana, (Eat Street) provides a kaleidoscope of regional and international cuisines-Indonesian, Indian, Italian, Mediterranean, Thai or Turkish-its all there for the discerning diner.
In the area just north of Seminyak, luxury villas and resorts abound, many of which are discretely located along the roads that converge on the breezy beachfront. Further north in the sleepy villages of Canggu and Brawa, amongst picturesque rice paddies, community life is still prominent and there is a high chance of seeing a traditional ceremony or procession. A series of beaches, their black volcanic sands sparkling in the tropical sun, snake up the coastline towards the Java Strait. Renowned for their pounding waves, Canggu and Soka beaches, in particular, are popular with surfers. In the late afternoons, locals and visitors congregate on the beachfront, anticipating another of Bali postcard-perfect equatorial sunsets.
This splendid west-facing coastline is also dotted with a number of temples in breathtaking locations. Pura Petitenget and Pura Rambut Siwi are both dedicated to the benevolent spirits of the ocean, but the most celebrated is the mystical site of Pura Tanah Lot. Built atop a huge, eroded offshore rock, this magically-charged temple, inhabited by huge writhing snakes, is one of the most photographed religious sites on earth.