The island of Bali located in Indonesia is voted year after year by the readers of all major magazines as ‘the most enchanting travel and holiday destination in the whole world. Bali is a beautiful and lovely island in the Indonesian archipelago. The island of Bali boasts of a wide variety of attractions. The sheer physical beauty of the island coupled with pleasant climate year round makes Bali a preferred tourist destination.
The island of Bali is a part of the Republic of Indonesia. It is one of the 17,000 islands of Indonesia. The island of Bali has an area of only 5632 square kilometers. You can takea flight from Singapore, Sydney, Hong Kong or Tokyo. There are direct connecting flights from Europe, North and South America and Africa to Bali islands.
The island is gifted with lush tropical forests, pristine crater lakes, fast flowing rivers and deep ravines, fertile vegetables and fruit gardens, picturesque rice terraces and white sandy beaches in the south and gray and volcanic sand covered beaches.
The wide variety of tropical plants in the island surprises the tourist. Huge banyan trees in villages, tamarind and clove trees in highlands, acacia trees, flame trees, and mangroves in the South abound in the island. Bali is also well known for different species of coconut palms and varieties of bamboo. The fragrance of flowers can be found almost everywhere on this island. Hibiscus, bougainvillea, jasmine, water lilies, magnolia, frangipani and a variety of orchids can be found in the gardens, along roads and in temple grounds.
Wildlife in Bali includes various species of monkeys, barking deer, civets, mouse deer, wild fowl, dollar birds, blue kingfishers, sea eagles, sand pipers, white herons, egrets, cuckoos, wood swallows, sparrows and starlings. Dolphins can be found near Lovina, Candi Dasa and Padangbai. Coral fish, small reef fish, moray eels, whale sharks, sponges and colorful corals can be seen along the east coast and around the islands of Menjangan and Gilinamuk. The North Bali Lovina area is rural in nature with fishing, farming and rice fields, plantations, mountains, rivers, lakes and waterfalls.
Bali islands enjoy pleasant day temperatures between 20 to 33 degrees Celsius year round. The west monsoon brings heavy showers and high humidity during December to March months. Usually the days are sunny but night has rains. Bali has cool evenings between June and September months. In the hilly regions of Bali, cloudy skies and showers can be expected throughout the year.
There are beautiful privately owned villas in Bali ranging from two to seven bedrooms. In house spa therapists are also available. Balinese massage, a body scrub, a flower bath or a manicure and spa and beauty treatments can be arranged at the villa for nominal cost. Private Balinese dance performances, tennis lessons, cooking classes ‘Bali wine club’ lunches are all arranged in the mountain top villas.
Balian leisure cruises
The tourists of Bali can enrich their experience by sea safaris and cruises that help catch a glimpse of pre-historic times taking them to a journey into regions of Indonesia little known to the rest of the world. The cruises offer new experiences and unforgettable impressions to every tourist traveling to Asia. There are plenty of scheduled regular cruises and leisurely chartered boats available that take the tourists to remote areas of the islands of Bali.
- There are cruises that have been custom designed for western travelers. The boats have been built by traditional craftsmen in Kalimantan. Each sailor has 12 twin cabins, shower and toilet facilities, air conditioner and can take about 15 passengers.
- There are visits to Lesser Sunda Islands located east of Bali where the tourist can swim and snorkel at pristine beaches and explore villages, with women weaving traditional ikat.
- Especially popular is a seven day cruise trip to Bali-Komodo-Bali to visit the famous dragons that seem to have survived from the Jurassic age.
- In Lesser Sunda Island and around Sulawesi, the tourist can view coral reefs that are amazing in color and in the variety of life they sustain. In south Sulawesi, the historical colonial buildings and forts evoke shadows of the past.
- Sea safaris sail through the exotic Moluccas which is a sun drenched group of islands. The historic Dutch and Portuguese forts evoke shadows of the past.
- Luxury yacht cruises for sailing to Indonesia are also available. The luxury yachts offer the tourist the choice to have a quiet beach cruise in the Andaman Sea and in Komodo National Park, a cultural trip visiting the tribes of Irian Jaya, attending the Asmat Art Auction of tribal art and visiting the remote and rich Spice Islands to discover the trade ports.
- The tourist can also choose from a range of different charter yachts, sailing boats and traditional schooners with expert crew and western tour guides for chartered cruises from Bali through Lesser Sunda Islands to Sulawesi and through the Moluccas.
Bali by air
- Uluwatu meaning the ‘head of stone’ is one of the most popular Hindu temples along the Bali coastline. Built in the 11th century, this beautiful temple is located atop a limestone cliff towering 90 meters above the Indian Ocean. The tourist can fly south past Jimbaran bay and Dreamland surfing beach to view this ancient monument.
- A panoramic flight to the west and south coasts of Bali highlights the beaches of Kuta and Legion, the mysterious Tanah Lot temple and remarkable rice terraces.Tanah Lot temple founded in 1481 AD is situated in the ocean and can be reached only during the low tide. The trip becomes sensational during sunset.
- The tourist can also fly over the straits of Badung and reach Nusa Penida after 15 minutes of over-water flight. Beautiful lime stone cliffs and the contours of the coastline are a delight to watch.
- Flights are available to the breathtaking volcanic crater of Mt.Batur. This is the remains of the huge volcano that exploded thousands of years ago. Bali’s largest lake is situated within this crater recreating itself in periodic eruptions of ash and rock. Gorgeous rice fields can be found south of this sometimes smoking volcano.
Shopping in Bali
Bali is often called the ‘shopper’s dreamland’. The main tourist roads are lined with stores, shops and stalls selling all types of crafts. Some of the popular shopping items are:
Balinese souvenirs: Widest collections of souvenirs can be found in Legian in Kuta, Ubud and the Sukawati Markets.
Balinese carvings: Mas and Kemenuh are the main spots for polished wood carvings. Tilem gallery in Mas Batuan is famous for wooden panels. Painted carvings and giant statues can be bought from Ubud, Pujung and Sebatu. Masks are sold at Mas, Singapadua and Batuan. The traditional Balinese stone carvings are made from volcanic pumice called paras in Batubulan.
Balinese textiles: The Batik woven by Balinese is found everywhere in Java. The batik is hand drawn or stamped employing traditional designs. Balinese batik is lighter and brighter, much of it on cool crinkled cotton.