An island of Indonesia, Bali is the largest tourist destination of the nation and it deserves to be so. It is a picturesque island and is often called as paradise. It is true; the island enthralls its visitors with its long white sandy beaches, coral reefs, warm azure waters, crashing surf, dense tropical forest, high mountains, paddy field steps on the hills and lot more. People are friendly and are highly proud of their culture; it is the home to well preserved small Hindu minority of Indonesia. It is renowned for its various forms of art, including painting, sculpture, dance, music, leather work and metalwork. Festivals are the part of life of the people of Bali, which fill its air with fun and frolic. It is heaven for shoppers; there is so much to shop for on this island, that too very cheap. Seafood of Bali is one thing you would love to come back to.
Geography and Climate
Bali is a tropical island of the Indonesian archipelago; one of the 13000 islands of Indonesia. It is the westernmost island of the Lesser Sunda Islands. Located at a distance of just about 3 km from the eastern tip of the island of Java, the island is about 153 km from east to west and about 112 km from North to south. Its landscape is marked with hills, mountains, rich rice fields, rugged coastline and barren volcanoes. Mount Agung is the highest mountain and is an active volcano. There are many shallow rivers on this land, which overflow in rainy seasons and Sungai Ayung River is the longest one. It is one of the 33 provinces of Indonesia with Denpasar as its capital.
Bali enjoys the tropical climate; it’s warm and humid all the year round. It is wet all the year round with dry spells in between. The temperature ranges between 30C to 35C all the time. It is more humid and cloudier in winters and can experience thunderstorms. Months of July, August and Christmas season witness the most hectic tourist activity.
Culture in Bali:
It has a unique culture of its own. People take pride in their culture and heritage. Every facet of culture is infused with spirituality here on this island. People are friendly and hospitable. Population here is largely Hindu but there is no similarity between Hindu culture in India and Bali; it’s completely different.
There are varied forms of art are pursued here. Visual art forms like painting, sculpture, handicraft, metalwork, and woodcarving are veins of Balinese culture. Gamelan, the Balinese orchestra music is a unique kind of music which is highly developed. Hindu epics like Ramayana are depicted by Balinese dancers in ballet form; it mesmerizes the onlookers.
The Balinese are very religious and follow their Hindu values with utmost sanctity. They celebrate numerous festivals throughout the year. They avoid eating food or doing any auspicious task with the left hand as it is thought to be impure in Bali’s culture.
This tropical island, Bali, is just a perfect destination for the people of all the ages; there is something for everyone.
Sanur beach is very popular with visitors. People throng to this beach for pursuing water sports like windsurfing, boating and others. This beach is protected by offshore reefs against the waves; that’s why water sports can be easily performed. This beach offers all the touristy facilities like restaurants, hotels and shops.
Kuta is a tourist spot, favorite with youngsters. This beach gives tremendous opportunities of water sports for adventurous people as surfing through currents makes swimming a tough job sometimes. One should visit Kuta, for watching a truly romantic sunset. Kuta is the best place to watch Balinese dance and music performances.
Nusa Dua is located on the Bukit Peninsula in Southern Bali and is known for clear, transparent waters and peaceful, white beaches. Menjangan Island deserves a visit for its stunning coral reefs, and tropical fish. Landscape on Terima Bay is just captivating.
Batuan, Celuk, Ubud and Batubulan are the villages in Bali known for varied forms of craftsmanship.
Goa Gajah is an 11th century structure. It is highly carved one where a demon head is constructed over the entrance. There is Lord Ganesha’s statue, standing inside the cave and another six nymphs holding the water spouts in a bathing place.
The island has a number of temples which draw the visitor’s attention. There is sacred spring Tampak Siring, around which Pura Tirta Empul Temple is built. Water of two bathing places of the temple is thought to have healing powers. People visit here for health and prosperity.
Bangli is the second largest and a very impressive temple. It has three terraced courtyards. Third courtyard has the shrines which welcome gods and ancestors.
The sanctuary of Besakih is the largest, the grandest and the holiest temple in Bali. It is located on the slopes of Mount Agung. It is a thousand years old and carries Trinity Shrines in the main courtyard. People make a pilgrimage to this temple. There are three main temples devoted to Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma and Lord Wisnu. Besides these main temples, there are 18 small sanctuaries dedicated to other deities.
Transport in Bali
Though traffic at Bali is chaotic, but public transport is easily available at cheap rates. You can get a metered cab or prepaid taxi from the airport. Bemo or the minibus is the most common and cheapest mean of transport in Bali. Buses and Bemo run on set routes in and around the town. You can also rent a car, motorcycle or bicycle if you want to drive on your own. Visitors can take tourist buses also for more convenient and joy ride though these are slightly expensive.
Airport in Bali
Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar is the major airport in Bali. This airport is connected to all the major cities of Indonesia such as Jakarta, Makassar or Surabaya and it is also connected to Asia and Australia. The airport is located between Jimbaran and Kuta. It takes hardly 30 minutes from Denpasar.