If you’re anything like me, you’re going to want to explore the Balinese folklore on your trip. With stunning beaches and lush tropical forests, it’s no wonder that Bali is on so many travelers’ dream destination lists. However, there’s more than meets the eye in this incredible little corner of the world. Bali is a place full of mystery and adventure if one knows where to look. Here are five mysterious hidden gems to discover in Bali, for a vacation that will make you feel like you’ve fallen into a fairy tale.
Check Out This Balinese Folklore
The Mysterious Abandoned Plane
In a world that prioritizes safe air travel, it can be hard to imagine mystery planes appearing anywhere. Yet, Bali isn’t the only country that’s home to an abandoned airplane in a random place; one of Iceland’s hidden gems is an old Russian aircraft that’s been on the beach since the 1970s.
The airplane in Bali isn’t just a little two-seater that went astray – it’s a fully intact Boeing 737. No one seems to know who it belongs to, how it got there or why it exists. It’s located a quick zip away from Pandawa Beach, a well-loved tourist destination. Exploring here will make you feel like you’ve somehow ended up in the television show Lost.
What’s weirder is that there’s another one down the road behind the Dunkin’ Donuts. No one knows the details on that one either.
Ghost Palace Hotel
You’ll be glad you invested in Bali travel insurance before exploring this next hidden gem. Picture this: a beautiful luxury hotel on the side of a picturesque mountain range. It’s in pristine shape, yet dark, empty, and has a dark, menacing history which echoes through the empty rooms. As far as Balinese folklore goes, this is certainly modern day folklore.
Visitors at the Ghost Palace Hotel once called the Bedugul Taman Rekreasi Hotel & Resort, say that even in the daylight, the emptiness of the place spooks them. Weeds overrun the once-grand corridors. Wind trickles through the open windows and doors, sounding like the whispers of guests who once were. If you thought the Overlook Hotel was scary, you haven’t experienced the Ghost Palace Hotel.
Sacred Monkey Forest
Monkeys are to Balinese folklore as rainbows are to rain. For citizens of Bali, macaques are pests that are similar to raccoons in the Western hemisphere. In Mandala Wisata Wenara Wana, however, monkeys are granted sanctuary to roam and live as they wish.
The Sacred Monkey Forest covers 27 acres and is home to 500 monkeys and various types of trees and birds. Within the forest is Pura Dalem, a Hindu temple dedicated to the dearly departed. It’s believed that the temple was built sometime in the 13th century. Many Balinese people bury their dead in the surrounding area or come to pay tribute to Dewa Siwa, a deity that passes judgment on departed souls.
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan
There are a lot of beautiful temples and astounding architectural delights throughout Bali. Pura Ulun Danu Bratan is a small, picturesque temple that seemingly defies gravity and rises out of the lake. This is a fitting arrangement, as the temple is dedicated to a water goddess known as Dewi Danu.
The humble size of the temple almost creates the illusion of an iceberg and leaves visitors wondering if there’s more hidden in the depths of the lake. Those who have played The Legend of Zelda will know that water temples are always more than they seem and that there are surely many mysteries below the surface.
Tanah Lot is another temple that is not only beautiful to behold but is enshrouded in legends that make it irresistible to explore. Most notably for this seaside temple are the stories of powerful sea monsters who protect the sacred space.
Tanah Lot is one of seven sea temples that are visible from one another, said to stand guard against dark forces of the sea. To add to the air of mystery, Tanah Lot can only be approached at low tide when the path to the peak is exposed. When the tide is in, this ancient fortress sits on an island surrounded by crashing ocean waves. Or perhaps that’s just the sea snakes frolicking among the rocks.
While it’s nice to relax on the beaches, exploring the folklore of Bali has incredible hidden gems. Go with an open mind, a brave heart, and an adventurous spirit.