Bali, Indonesia: Travel/Tourist Information Guide
Bali is an island and a province that is part of the Lesser Sunda Islands. It was colonized by a prehistoric race that arrived from Asia, and later on was influenced by Hindu people, a Muslim kingdom of Demak and later on the Dutch; the blend of cultures, arts, literature and traditions is extraordinary and unbelievably rich. Ever since the 1950’s Bali has been known throughout the world as an exquisite travel location and also as an international business site. Tourism has improved the lives of the locals and has become a travel location sought by people from all over the world. Bali is a cultural hotspot that brings in different forms of art, religion, languages and traditions practiced by the locals, a combination of peoples that are the product of over 3,000 years of social interaction of old and new arrivers.
Similar with Java, Bali offers many delicate culture and arts to travelers including dance, painting and a very unique musical style, among other forms. In addition to man-made tourist attractions, Bali is a tropical delight with pure white sands on the south and pitch black sands on the north, a vast turquoise sea and a breathtaking volcano. The island has beautiful beaches, steep hills on the northern side of the volcano and a gentle downslope that extends into floodplains and shallow rivers on the south. Bali is surrounded by coral reefs, replete with marine life and it is an excellent location for scuba diving and underwater sightseeing. The Island-Province surely offers plenty of things to do. As the sun comes down, Bali offers the best beach nightlife for tourists. Aside from the seaside bars, chill out bars and hype dance clubs are often located in some of the high-end hotels and resorts. Hotels, from luxury to budget ones, are abundant offering the best accommodation that could fit every tourist's cup of tea. Additional features of the hotels are the tours and excursions to several places at the outskirts of Bali. These hotels may either be organizing their own tours or these are affiliated to some tour companies and operators.
Major Tourist Destinations
Kuta is located at the southern tip of Bali.This was the first place in Bali to become a tourist destination. Its most famous attraction is a long sandy beach. Along this beach there are many resorts, hotels and places to have meals and drinks. Kuta is an eminently touristic destination. Surfing is a major activity in Kuta, allowing the place to be filled with a young crowd. There are places in and around Kuta that cater to people with other tastes. Kuta is known as the Island of the Gods and one can visit ancient temples covered in green moss with a mysterious atmosphere redolent of ancient rituals.
Denpasar is Bali's capital. The most populous city in Indonesia, this bustling, multicultural locale is home to a host of businesses, temples, palaces and museums. A tad off the normal and beaten tourist track, true travel aficionados will find a range of activities, local delicacies, and a melting pot of cultures from all over Indonesia. There are various attractions in Denpasar, including palaces, the well-known white sand beaches, and various shopping activities and centers. As with any place in Bali, Denpasar is also decorated with many Hindu Temples. Among some of the renowned temples in Denpasar are the Pura Agung Jagatnatha (adjacent to the Bali Museum), Pura Maospahit, and Puri Pemecutan. Thanks to the recent and rapid growth of Bali's tourism industry, Denpasar encourages and promotes business activities and ventures more than most travel destinations, which has contributed to it holding the record for the highest growth rate within the Bali province.
This part of Bali is located at the east of Bali and is part of the city of Denpasar. It is a beach resort area, which is not as congested as Kuta. Sanur is the oldest tourist resort area in Bali and has lots of things to offer visitors. It is a quiet and peaceful place in Bali that has lots of expats from Europe living here. Things to see in Sanur are the International Kite Festival which takes place on the Padang Galak beach which is north of Sanur near the Jalan Ngurah Rai bypass road. This event takes place on windy days in July. This is a tradition dating back to antiquity when Balinese people wanted to send a message to the Hindu gods to ensure abundant crops and fertility. During August and July there are many kite fliers besides those in the Festival itself which features teams of professional Balinese kite makers and fliers. The kites can measure 10 meters in size so they are really gigantic.
Ubud, located in the uplands of Bali, is the cultural center of the Island-Province. The history of Ubud is the very history of Bali itself. As an arts and crafts hub, Bali's most iconic landscapes including Hindu temples, shrines, and museums are housed here. Ancient religious sites are the Empul Temple, Goa Gajah, and Gunung Kawi. As the tourism grows, the central district has been heavily commercialized, but terraced rice fields along the rivers and the lush green forest away from the city center are left untouched. The quiet and peaceful village life in these areas are still undisturbed. With the attractions in Ubud, tourists are advised to take at least a week for the visit in this town to see all the beauty of nature and the key historical sites.
Most tourists arrive at Ngurah Rai International Airport, also known as Denpasar International Airport. It is the 3rd busiest international airport in the country after Jakarta and Surabaya. The airport is well-connected to Australia, Southeast Asia, and the rest of Indonesia.
Another option is by ferries from Java and Sumatra to Bali. These are available 24 hours per day with an interval of 15 minutes. With a cheap fare, travel time only takes 30 minutes. Speedboats are also available from Lombok. These are convenient for some travellers but are frequently priced much higher than the equivalent air crossing.
Direct bus services from all the major cities in Java are link with ferries for sea crossings. Although very cheap and easy, it's a slow mode of transport and may take hours.