World's Best Islands 2012
David Noton Photography / Alamy
It may be one of 17,500 islands in the Indonesian archipelago, but this paradise known for its temples is the country’s crown jewel, offering travelers glimpses into Balinese Hindu history thanks to a vibrant cultural scene filled with music and dance.
Best Beach: To watch the sun come up over the water, head to Sanur. For gorgeous sunsets, upscale resorts, and lively nightlife, stay along Seminyak.
Where to Stay: Amandari, the only Indonesian resort ranked in the 2012 T+L 500, is near a sacred river outside Ubud and arranged like a local village—albeit one with 30 suites that feature private plunge pools and rice-paddy views.