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About Bali

Where is Bali?

Bali is an Indonesian island located at 8°25'23?S, 115°14'55?E, the westernmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to the east and approximately 8 degrees south of the equator. The population of Bali is 3,151,000. The highest point is Mount Agung at 3,142 m (10,308 feet) high, an active volcano that last erupted in March 1963. Mountains cover centre to the eastern side, with Mount Agung the easternmost peak. Mount Batur (1,717 m) is also still active. About 30,000 years ago it experienced a catastrophic eruption as one of the largest known volcanic events on Earth.

What is Bali?

Bali is surrounded by coral reefs. Beaches in the south tend to have white sand while those in the north and west black sand. The beach town of pristine Padang Bai in the south east has both: the main beach and the secret beach have white sand and the south beach and the blue lagoon have much darker sand. There are major coastal roads and roads that cross the island mainly north-south. Due to the mountainous terrain in the island's center, the roads tend to follow the crests of the ridges across the mountains. There are no railway lines.

Economy

Tourism is the economy’s largest industry, agriculture is still the island’s biggest employer [citation needed], most notably rice cultivation. Crops grown in smaller amounts include fruit, vegetables and other cash and subsistence crops.[citation needed] A significant number of Balinese are also fishermen. Bali is also famous for its artisans who produce batik and ikat cloth and clothing, wooden carvings, stone carvings and silverware. The main tourist locations are the town of Kuta (with its beach), and its outer suburbs (which were once independent townships) of Legian and Seminyak, Sanur, Jimbaran, Ubud, and the newer development of Nusa Dua. The Ngurah Rai International Airport is located near Jimbaran, on the isthmus joining the southernmost part of the island to the main part of the island.

Religion & Culture

Unlike most of Muslim-majority Indonesia, about 93% of Bali's population adheres to Balinese Hinduism, formed as a combination of existing local beliefs and Hindu influences from mainland Southeast Asia and South Asia. Minority religions include Islam (5.7%), Christianity (1.4%), and Buddhism (0.6%). The Hindu New Year, Nyepi, is celebrated in the spring by a day of silence. On this day everyone stays at home and tourists are encouraged to remain in their hotels. On the preceding day large, colorful sculptures of ‘Ogoh – Ogoh’ monsters are paraded and finally burned in the evening to drive away evil spirits. Other festivals throughout the year are specified by the Balinese pawukon calendar system. Bali is famous for many forms of art, including painting, sculpture, woodcarving, handcrafts, and performing arts. Balinese gamelan music is highly developed and varied. The dances portray stories from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana. Famous Balinese dances include pendet, legong, baris, topeng, barong, and kecak (the monkey dance).

Language

Balinese and Indonesian are the most widely spoken languages in Bali, and like most Indonesians, the vast majority of Balinese people are bilingual or trilingual. English is a common third language (and the primary foreign language) of many Balinese, owing to the requirements of the large tourism industry. Staffs working in Bali's tourist centers are often, by necessity, multilingual to some degree, speaking as many as 8 or 9 different languages to an often surprising level of competence.

Why Bali?

Bali on the map seems such a small island. Indeed it covers a small area of just 5,620 square kilometers, and is one of the smallest islands in the Indonesian archipelago. The island is home to the vast majority of Indonesia's small Hindu minority. It is also the largest tourist destination in the country and is renowned for its highly developed arts, including dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking and music.

A good map is an invaluable tool, whether on tour or venturing out unescorted. The best and busiest roads connect Denpasar with the main towns and tourist resorts. Tour buses and taxis generally limit themselves to these routes, and travel agents can arrange hire of motorbikes bike or jeeps for those who wish to explore further off the beaten track. Bicycles are also available for hire for the more adventurous explores.

Your destination may be volcano, temple, palace, dance performance of craft centre. Or a number of these combined to make up an exciting half-day or full-day tour. Bali is crisscrossed by amaze of inter-connecting routes that range from modern highways to narrow roller-coaster routes and unsealed back-country paths passable only by motorbike or jeep.

Hiking is another experience altogether. Paths should be worked out well in advance and an experienced tour guide is needed, as the best routes follow the natural terrain, passing cross-country through terraced rice-field, traversing gorges to isolated villages where the local people can be seen at their daily work.
For those who love the sea Bali has an off-shore playground comparable to none. Scuba diving and snorkeling tours are available with a number of tour agencies to the many and varied dive sites which have been carefully selected for their special attributes. Sailling tours on local outrigger sailboats can be arranged departing from Sanur, Benoa Harbour and Nusa Dua, as well as on the north coast, and keen fishermen can arrange the hire of equipment.

Besides lounging under the palm trees and sipping delectable tropical cocktails at your hotel & villa bar, recovering from pre-holiday pressures and jet-lag, there is a whole new world discover in Bali. So much to see in fact that advance planning is well advised.Pristine Collections | Bali Villa s will more than happy to assist you!