Balinese cuisine is packed with vibrant flavors and is closely linked with the community's way of life. Cooking schools are widely available throughout the island and offer a variety of classes. Classes include learning how to prepare food to cooking traditional dishes as well as food shopping at the local markets. Classes provide a valuable insight into traditional and modern Balinese cooking techniques.
Ancient temples are scattered throughout the highlands and coast of Bali and have become the island's most iconic landmarks. The temples feature age old architecture set against picturesque backdrops. Popular temples include Besakih, Goa Gajah and Tanah Lot. Temples are best visited during anniversaries and festivals, however remember that proper attire must be worn.
Everywhere in Bali holistic healing services are offered, known as Bali Usada. Traditional Balinese healers will use natural remedies, massage and energy healing to get results. The holistic and alternative healing is a large part of Balinese culture and can be a life changing experience for some visitors.
Bali is scattered with yoga studios and holistic retreats offering yoga and meditation providing total relaxation and rejuvenation. Bali promotes healthy living and prides itself on being a destination of wellness. Ubud is known as the best yoga destination in Bali, where visitors can immerse themselves in the healing energies and vibrancy of Balinese culture.
Traditional Balinese Performance
Balinese dance is an ancient art form where dancers are kitted out in elaborate costumes. Dances tell stories using movement usually based on Hindu and Indonesian myths and legends. Traditional dance shows are held regularly for tourists to enjoy and are sometimes combined with a dinner.
Visiting Bali's rice fields is one of the most unique experiences the island has to offer. As well as rice being a dietary staple, rice is an important part of Balinese culture with many ceremonies and rituals based around the crop cycle of rice. Busungbiu and Jatiluwih rice terraces are the most impressive, however others around the island are also worth a visit.
Trogir is one of the smaller towns in Croatia however it is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe. This town gets very popular during summer where visitors gather in bars and cafes along the waterfront. The Romanesque and Renaissance architecture is a popular attraction for most visitors along with the Roman ruins, art galleries, ancient streets, unique restaurants and boating activities.
Located on the Island of Korcula, the town is rich in olive groves, vineyards and dense pine forests. Korcula is full of rustic charm and age-old traditions with tourists enjoying religious ceremonies, festivals, music and dance. The town is laid back and offers some great beaches and Venetian architecture. The views from the top of the town are unforgettable and a visit to the old town is a must.
This hilltop medieval town is home to rolling olive fields and truffle- rich forests along with modern homes and shops that lead to the gates of the old town. Visitors come to Motovun for the incredible food and wine and artist studios. The town has a strong Italian influence and popular activities include olive oil tasting, biking and wine tasting. For one week every summer the town celebrates its annual film festival dedicated to independent film makers which is open to the public with outdoor screenings taking place.
Known as the greenest and sunniest island off the Croatian coast, Hvar is characterized by fields of lavender, olive groves and vineyards. The town is full of marble streets, Gothic palaces as well as beautiful clear water beaches. Hvar has become a popular stop over for boaters as it offers swanky hotels and elegant restaurants and bars. Hvar also has a buzzing nightlife and party atmosphere drawing in younger crowds.
This small town and fishing port is wedged between the end of the Istrian peninsula over water. The town is characterized by cobblestone alley ways and beautiful waterfronts that are lined with seafood restaurants and specialty coffee cafes. The town is sprinkled with hotels and resorts making it a busy destination in the summer. The St Euphemia Church is the most popular attraction, and while there are not a large number of activities within the town it still remains a charming place to visit.
The port town of Split has a very deep and present history. The array of marble arches, tight-knit alleyways and glimmering piazzas draws large numbers of visitors each year. The dramatic coastal mountains provide the perfect backdrop to the dozens of thriving bars, restaurants and shops. Diocletian's palace is one of the most impressive Roman monuments and is a must visit.
Situated at the mouth of the Cetina River and at the end of a picturesque canyon, Omis is located on Croatia's Dalmatian coast. The town is full of rich history and culture and is characterized by the rugged mountains. Beaches are also found in and around the small town of Omis with a number of beach and water activities available. Visitors can enjoy exploring the number of forts and churches as well as tasting the Dalmatian cuisine.
A popular holiday resort town in Istria with hundreds of accommodation options widely spread throughout the town. The Ancient basilica and Gothic, Romanesque and Baroque architecture are popular sites for tourists as well as the marina and shopping facilities. The town also has a buzzing nightlife with young crowds coming in from around the world to party.
Dubrovnik has become a very popular holiday destination, especially during summer. Dubrovnik is medieval in character with a number of baroque churches and stunning architecture. Dubrovnik is also packed with laid back cafes, trendy bars and restaurants and the famous city walls which encompass the Old Town are not to be missed. The endless views of the Adriatic sea make this pedestrianized town one to add to the bucket list.
One of the largest cities in Croatia, the capital of Zagreb is full of gorgeous buildings and multi-cultural charm. The town is heavily influenced by Austria and Hungary and is filled with historical and Gothic cathedrals and churches. The city is best discovered by foot by walking through the cobblestone streets while admiring the abundance of colorful street art. The town is also filled with quirky cafes, interesting museums, underground bars and incredible architecture.
In Ancient Greece, temples were the most important and widespread building. The purpose of these temples were primarily to be monuments to the gods, where religious statue or cult emblems are usually housed. Now many of these temples are in ruins but some remain as reminders of the beautiful architectural of the ancient world.
1. Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens
Known as the largest temple in Greece, but unfortunately only 16 of the once 104 grand column now remain of this gigantic temple. Construction of this temple began during the rule of the Athenian tyrants in the 6th century BC but was not completed until 638 years later during the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD. The temple is located approximately 500 meters southeast of the Acropolis, in the center of Athens and is part of an important archaeological site, enclosed by Hadrian's Gate.
2. Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounio
The temple of Poseidon is located at the southernmost tip of the Attica peninsula in Greece and surrounded on three sides by the sea making it fitting for the God of the Sea. It was built over the ruins of another temple dating from the Archaic Period and now only some of the columns remain of the construction in approx. 440BC.
The name of this ancient Greek Temple is derived from a shrine dedicated to the Greek hero Erichthonius. Built between 421 and 407 BC by architect Mnesicles, this temple can be found on the northern side of the Acropolis of Athens. The temple is most famous for it's iconic southern porch which displays six sculpted female figures serving as architectural support.
4. Temple of Apollo Epicurius
One of the more remote temples in Greece, the Temple of Apollo Epicurius is hidden away on a mountain in Peloponnese near Bassae. But because of it's isolation the temple has stayed well preserved as it's one of the few temples that escaped being destroyed by war or reconverted into a Christian temple. As well as being remote the temple is also unusual in it's alignment of North to South as majority of Greek temples are aligned east to west. Currently the temple of Apollo Epicurius is covered in a tent in order to protect the ruins from the elements.
5. Temple of Hephaestus
This temple is the best-preserved Greek temple in the world but less known than it's more famous neighbors in Athens. The temple was built in the 5th century BC and was surrounded by many foundries and metalwork shops. These lend to the logical choice of the temple being dedicated to Hephaestus, god of metalworking and fire.
6. Temple of Aphaia, Aegina
The temple of Aphaia perched on top of a hill is unique in it is dedicated to the goddess Aphaea (or Aphaia) which is a deity almost exclusively worshipped on the island of Aegina. The temple was built in 480 BC, and today 25 of the original 32 Doric columns still remain. Though the goddess Aphaea was only a local deity associated with fertility and agriculture she quickly became identified with the goddess Athena under Athenian hegemony, and that is why some call it the temple of Athena Aphaia.
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Greece and a visit to Athens is not complete without visiting this temple. The purpose of the Parthenon was to house a statue of Athena Parthenos made from ivory, silver and gold but sometime in the 5th century the statue was looted by one of the Roman Emperors. The Parthenon has gone through many changes over the years from it's constructions in 447 BC, replacing older temples that were destroyed by the Persians to serving as a fortress, a church, a mosque and as a powder magazine.
8. Tholos of Athena, Delphi
The Tholos of Athena is the first temple travellers who came by foot from the eastern road would come across as part of the famous Tholos of Delphi. It was constructed between 380 and 260 BC and comprises of Doric and Corinthian columns though only three of them remain fully intact today. Excavations have proved that at this spot may lay an older cult site, possibly dedicated to Gaia.
9. Temple of Hera, Olympia
The Temple of Hera was built in approximately 590 BC, but was destroyed by an earthquake in the early 4th century. As well as being dedicated to Hera, the queen of gods, the temple was also used to store items important to Greek culture as well as other offerings of the people, but today this is where the torch of the Olympic flame is lit every four years.
8. Temple of Apollo, Corinth
Halfway between Athens and Sparta, the ancient city of Corinth was once a powerful city state and was home to the Doric-style temple dedicated to Apollo. Though it is unknown when the temple was built, it is also clear that the temple has been remodeled over the years, and the temple which stands today is not architecturally identical to the one which was originally built.
It may of been more than a century ago since the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898 but if you are a history buff now is your time to relive it in Alaska and Canada's Yukon Territory.
Visit Skagway, Alaska
Many of the Cruise ships dock in Skagway on the northeastern tip of the Inside Passage, just like the many steamships that transported gold-hungry prospectors from Pacific Northwest ports in the late 19th century. Today the town retains some of its 19th century charm with shops and bars in vintage style and original buildings.
Hike the Old Prospector Trail
You can relive some of the original journey that gold rush seekers would of had to do on foot, heading up north from Skagway. Parts of the original trail can be done on the Chilkoot Trail (which requires preparation and a permit from the National Park Service) or parts of the White Pass Trail.
Explore Dawson City, YT
The heart of the Klondike Gold Rush was in Dawson City, where $29 million worth of gold passed through. At it's peak the town was dubbed the "Paris of the North," for its vibrant community. Though it is no longer in it's heyday it still has an old, wild west charm to it and a popular place to experience it is Diamond Tooth Gerties. It was a former community gathering space-turned-retro-gambling hall, where one can still drink and gamble while watching a cancan girl show, as prospectors did more than a century ago.
The dogs were an integral part of cargo transportation during that time and still remain an important part of Dawson City today. There are plenty of places in the Yukon and Alaska to try dog sledding or for a real dogsledding spectacle check out the Iditarod, which takes place from Anchorage to Nome each March.
See Chicken, AK
While a lot smaller than Dawson City, the town of Chicken (population between 17 and 37 people) oozes with quirky charm. Chicken has remained an active mining town since the Klondike Gold Rush and has also become a tourist attraction when people are passing between Fairbanks and Dawson City to buy souvenirs and eat the famed chicken pot pie.
Visit Dredge No. 4
This National Historic Site near Dawson City is a big pull for history buff with much of the big metal gears still remain in what was once the largest wooden hulled dredge in North America. While gold is no longer dredged and processed here, the old industrial mining site is still impressive.
Look for Gold at the Discovery Claim
The Discovery Claim near Dawson City is where the whole Klondike Gold Rush began, when prospectors Skookum Jim, Dawnson Charlie, and George and Kate Carmack struck gold on August 17, 1896. The area is now open to the public for gold panning at Bonanza Creek, provided you have your own gear. Otherwise the Klondike Gold Fields in Skagway is always a good stop for tourist panning.
Everywhere around the world people love to celebrate and let their hair down at a crazy party. Whether its culture or food, religion or art these festivals are the best celebration of the past and feeling connected in the present with thousands of strangers. If you are looking for your next bucket list festival check out the list.
1. Carnaval - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
One of the world's largest party, this event attracts nearly 5 million people every year for lively music and dance. The festival takes place in February or March, over the 5 day period preceding the Catholic season of Lent. This crazy and colorful event sees over 70 samba schools compete in the carnival parade wearing elaborate, creative costumes for a cash prize and national fame.
2. La Tomatina- Valencia, Spain
Known as the worlds biggest food fight, La Tomatina is one of the oldest festivals and also one of the messiest. The food festival is held on the last Wednesday in August every year in the town of Bunol. Thousands of people gather together and over one hundred metric-tons of over ripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets.
3. Holi Festival- India
Known as the 'Festival of Color', this Hindu festival celebrates the end of winter and takes place between late February and mid March and lasts for one night. People fill water balloons and water guns and cover each other in an array of colorful powder. The festival welcomes everyone and is filled with music, dance, marching bands, food and drink.
4. Burning Man- Black Rock Desert, Nevada
Taking place on the last Sunday in August, Burning Man attracts a tight-knit community of misfits and bohemians. Not your usual festival, Burning Man is created entirely by its participants and a temporary city is created within the Black Rock Desert. Described as an experiment in community and art this unique event is unlike any other.
5. Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival- Harbin, China
This one month long festival starts in early January and displays the largest ice sculptures in the world taking over the entire city. The two main exhibition areas are home to giant sculptures and illuminating full sized buildings made of ice. Other activities include alpine skiing, ice lantern exhibitions and for the more adventurous, swimming in the freezing lake waters.
6. Oktober Fest- Munich, Germany
Every September Wiesn park is filled with over 6 million people across two weeks celebrating the world largest folk and beer festival. Guests from all around the world dress in lederhosen or dirndl and participate in drinking, eating, music and dance. Along with the beer tents visitors can enjoy an abundance of amusement park rides, parades and other shows.
7. Tomorrowland- Boom, Belgium
One of the biggest music festivals in the world, Tomorrowland displays an array of electronic music, art and performance across 20 stages. Taking place over the last 2 weekends in July, each year presents a new theme with the best electronic music DJs.
8. Carnival of Venice- Venice, Italy
This traditional carnival dates back 900 years and takes place in the days leading up to Lent. This is one of the biggest celebrations in Italy with around 3 million attendees taking part in masquerade balls and parties. Entertainers, jugglers and bands also fill the streets and the canals are full of colorful boats.
9. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta- New Mexico, USA
This yearly festival takes place in early October and is the worlds largest hot air balloon festival. The event takes place over 9 days and sees around 750 colorful balloons throughout the sky. The balloons float above the city over the Sandia Mountains as dawn breaks each morning.
10 . Salon du Chocolat- Paris, France
The largest chocolate festival in the world takes place during the first week in November. The French festival features 200 chefs taking part in pastry and chocolate workshops, chocolate sculptures and even a chocolate fashion show.