Bali's 'Mother Mountain' Mount Agung dominates the landscape in Eastern Bali, providing a focus for travellers photos, a challenging trek, and fertile soils which lend themselves to create some of the lushest, greenest scenes in Bali. Eastern Bali is the spot to kick back & relax, whilst also getting in touch with the traditions and heritage of the island of the Gods. Mount Agung tops an impressive 3,150m (that is if you don't belong to the tribe who believe the summit to have been blown off in a 1960s 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 Lake Batur. 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.
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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 offshore 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.