Exploring east Bali is one of the island's great pleasures. Rice terraces spill down hillsides, wild volcanic beaches are pounded by surf and traditional villages are barely touched by modernity. Watching over this region is Gunung Agung, the 10,308ft (3142m) active volcano known as the 'Navel of the World' and 'Mother Mountain'.
Temples, palaces and whimsically designed water gardens are dotted throughout the landscape. Two of the temples – Pura Besakih and Pura Lempuyang – are among Bali's most important pilgrimage sites, and evocative reminders of the island's royal dynasties can be found in Klungkung (Semarapura), in Amlapura and at Tirta Gangga.
Up on the northeast coast, Amed and Tulamben are laid-back beach destinations for those keen to escape the crowds on the south coast. Diving, snorkelling, enjoying yoga and lazing by swimming pools are the priorities up here, and can be enjoyed by travelers on every budget.