Mount Agung tops an impressive 3150m (that is if you don't
belong to the tribe who believe the summit to have been blown off
in a 1960's eruption), and the views from the summit are simply
breath taking on a clear day, and not just because of the altitude.
Bali's 'Mother Mountain' is also home to Bali's 'Mother Temple' -
Besakih - a conglomeration of 23 individual temples cascading down
the mountainside, and for the volcanophiles among you, Eastern Bali
also harbours Mount Batur, a volcanic peak cradled by the deep blue
But enough about Bali's peaks. For those of you not inclined to
pack hiking boots amid the bikinis and boardies, lush river
valleys, emerald rice paddies and charming villages can be explored
without the exertion of a volcano trek. For example, the winding
Sidemen road snakes through a beautiful river valley, and is the
perfect stomping ground for a scenic amble or leisurely cycle.
Villages in Eastern Bali have seemingly escaped the rapid
development of the South, continuing the traditions of their Bali
Aga ancestors, who inhabited the island pre Majapahit rule. Perhaps
visit the village of Tenganan, where many of the villagers are
skilled weavers, and produce some of the most exquisite (and
pricey) double Ikat cloths - the kamben gringsing cloth produced
here is even said to ward off black magic.
Now whilst the East doesn't offer endless stretches of picture
perfect sand beaches (though there are a few chalk white sand coves
we *might* share with you), the volcanic sand beaches vary from
biscuit to black, dotted with mica which glistens in the sunlight.
The off shore snorkelling and diving in the East is great too, from
the relatively shallow WW2 shipwreck SS Liberty near to the divers
haven of Amed, to the beguilingly named Blue Lagoon.