A WORLD OF ITS OWN
Bali has developed a world of its own. It captures not only what is special about Indonesia, but also has a uniqueness of its own. There is a great deal to experience Bali unlike in any other places.
Being one of the most magnificent island in Indonesia, Bali becomes a preferred tourist destination in Asia that offers countless of impressive beauty of natures and famous for its fabulous white sandy beaches. The uniqueness of Hindu culture is reflected in day-to-day life and can be seen in its numerous ceremonies, festivals, arts and crafts, traditional dance and distinctive music of the gamelan, array of architectural temples and palaces. With more than 50 international and domestic airlines, this complete beauty island is just a flight away from around the world and travel directly through the Ngurah Rai Bali International Airport. One may feel welcomed with warm and gracious innate friendliness of the Balinese that would not be easily forgotten.
ATTRACTIONS AND ACCOMODATION IN BALI
Accommodation all over Bali ranges from homestays and guesthouses to luxurious hotels and resorts.
Few visitors spend much time in the traffic-congested capital Denpasar when there are so many attractions, restaurants, shopping malls and facilities near the famous beaches of Kuta, Seminyak, Legian and Sanur. South of Bali’s Denpasar (Ngurah Rai) Airport are more tourist areas on the Nusa Dua Peninsula and Uluwatu.
About a half-hour to an hour’s drive north are several fair-sized towns including the famously unique ‘arty-crafty’ Ubud and its surrounding villages and resorts like Payangan.
There are also Tabanan and Gianyar. Driving north past the rice fields and terraces to dormant volcanoes and picturesque lakes, after a few hours you will reach the less-populated north coast and Singaraja, with nice beachside hotels and resorts at Lovina and Anturan. The road to the west of Bali, either from the south which passes through Negara or from the north, leads to the port of Gilimanuk and the ferry to East Java – about 3km distant. The west of Bali is relatively undeveloped and there are limited tourist attractions.
Heading east from Singaraja, the road mostly follows the coast towards the eastern side of Bali where there are quieter beachside resorts and diving spots near Amplapura (Amlapura) and Candidasa (pronounced CHAN-didasa) and to the south, the peaceful fishing village, port and beach at Padangbai where there are ferries to Lombok and other Indonesian islands further east of Bali.
BALI’S UNIQUE HINDU CULTURE
One of the chief attractions of Bali is Balinese culture with its Hindu religious ceremonies and rituals that are an integral part of the daily lives of most Bali natives. This is even more apparent in the outlying villages and smaller towns than in Denpasar itself, which as the main commercial centre, is inhabited by several different ethnic groups, including Muslim Indonesians from Java and other islands, Chinese and other nationalities.
Culturally, Bali differs from most of the rest of Indonesia which is the largest Muslim-populated country on earth with some 213 million of them. Bali is also a province, so has its own local government authorities, but the economy is controlled to a great degree by the Islamic-majority government based in Jakarta.
Bali ceremonies (including cremations) are a famous tourist attraction on their own, and many spectacular performances of dancing and local culture demonstrations are put on specially for the visitors. However, as a resident who has ‘seen it all before’ they can intrude into normal daily life; even be an annoyance, especially for those not really interested in religion or ‘pagan rituals’ like these offerings to the gods.
ART GALLERIES, ARTISTS, STONE AND WOOD CARVERS
Not all ex-pats come to Bali to find their ‘inner spiritual selves’, most preferring the beaches, water sports and nightlife. However, there are many that do and there is a smaller community some distance inland in the mountains that will suit these people better. It is called Ubud, a refuge for both foreign and local artists and art students, and where there are many art galleries with paintings and shops selling handicraft, handmade hardwood and cane furniture, and wood and stone carvings to tourists who flock there daily. The areas of Ubud and Payangan are also known for their luxurious and extremely expensive villas and spa resorts, with beautiful panoramic views over rice fields and over steep ravines, with even a Mt Fuji-type dormant volcano on the horizon.
BALI IS EXCELLENT FOR A HOLIDAY, VACATION OR ROMANTIC HONEYMOON
Bali is a popular honeymoon destination, with many hotels and resorts at beaches like Legian and Seminyak that cater to newly-weds and romantic couples.