Bali, a tropical island in the Indonesian
archipelago, is so picturesque and immaculate
it could almost be a painted backdrop.
It has rice paddies tripping down hillsides
like giant steps, volcanoes soaring
up through the clouds, dense tropical
jungle, long sandy beaches, warm blue
water, crashing surf and friendly people
who don't just have a culture but actually
live it. In Bali spirits come out to
play in the moonlight, every night is
a festival and even a funeral is an
opportunity to have a good time.
Bali Island, the perfect holiday destination
for all ages offers something for everyone.
This tropical paradise has a unique
blend of modern tourist facilities combined
with wonderful shopping and a rich past
and heritage. The Balinese people are
proud of having preserved their unique
Hindu culture against the advance of
Islam, the dominant religion throughout
Indonesia. This is still reflected in
day to day life and can be seen in the
numerous ceremonies, Balinese festivals
and magnificent temples and palaces.
Some of the best surfing beaches in
the world can be found on the western
side of the island whilst conversely
the eastern side is a wonderful haven
for families, with beautiful white sand
beaches and gentle seas.
Bali Island is a shopper's paradise
particularly for casual and tailored
clothing, locally made jewellery, handicrafts,
antiques and artifacts. Leather ware
is one of the unexpected local bargains
with everything from handbags through
to tailor made leather jackets and coats,
all at unbelievable prices. In fact,
prices are so inexpensive, you're sure
to need more room in your suitcase!
Try bargaining at the street markets
of Kuta, Sanur of Nusa Dua or fixed
price shopping at a Denpasar department
store. Bali has it all.
For those that want to stay wet, Bali
Island has world class scuba diving,
snorkelling and wonderful day trips
out to Nusa Penida for beach sports
and coral viewing.
When the sun sets, the choices are still
hard to make - a quiet romantic moon
lit dinner or watch the spectacular
Balinese Fire Dance or Kecak Dance.
For those that want to party, Bali Island
has it all with bars, discos and nightclubs.
As a truly international destination
attracting visitors from all over the
world, restaurants in Bali are extremely
cosmopolitan yet inexpensive. Experience
not only local delicacies like Nasi
Goreng and Sate Campur but also Chinese,
Malaysian, Japanese, Italian/European
Greek, Moroccan and even Mexican cuisine.
We must not forget Bali's wonderful
seafood - local lobster at such prices
that you will want to keep coming back
For those more culturally inclined,
Bali can offer the peace and tranquility
of Ubud high in the hills; the spectacular
Mother Temple at Besakih; the ancient
capital of Bali, Singaraja and the floating
palace at Ujung near the pretty beach
area of Candi Dasa. The Scenery is nothing
less than spectacular. Jungle, picturesque
hillside rice terraces and the awesome
magnificence of Kintamani Volcano.
The more active, wanting a break from
the idyllic beaches, can experience
wonderful golf courses in the mountains
at Bedugul and beachside at Nusa Dua,
the thrill of white water rafting or
kayaking down the beautiful Ayung River;
mountain cycling amid scenery you will
never forget and organized rice paddy
and jungle treks to see the side of
Bali most tourists never encounter.
Bali Island, a truly international destination,
offers every standard of accommodation
ranging from charming yet modest bungalow
style hotels in lush tropical gardens
for the budget minded through to arguably
amongst the most exclusive and sophisticated
hotels in the world!
is no trace of the Stone Age in Bali
although it's certain that the island
was already populated before the Bronze
Age commenced there about 300 BC. Nor
is much known of Bali during the period
when Indian traders brought Hinduism
to the Indonesian Archipelago. The earliest
records found in Bali, stone inscriptions,
date from around the 9th century AD
and by that time Bali had already developed
many similarities to the island you
find today. Rice was grown with the
help of a complex irrigation system
probably very like that employed now.
The Balinese had also already begun
to develop the cultural and artistic
activities which have made the island
so interesting to visitors right down
to the present day.
Hindu Java began to spread its influence
into Bali during the reign of King Airlangga
from 1019 to 1042. At this time the
courtly Javanese language known as Kawi
came into use amongst the royalty of
Bali, and the rock-cut memorials seen
at Gunung Kawi near Tampaksiring are
a clear architectural link between Bali
and 11th century Java. After Airlangga's
death Bali retained its semi-independent
state until Kertanegara became king
of the Singasari dynasty in Java two
centuries later. Artists, dancers, musicians
and actors fled to Bali and the island
experienced and explosion of cultural
activities. The final great exodus to
Bali took place in 1478.
Marco Polo, the great explorer, was
the first recorded European visitor
to Indonesia back in 1292 but the first
Europeans to set foot on Bali were Dutch
seamen in 1597. Setting a tradition
that has prevailed right down to the
present day, they fell in love with
the island and when Cornelius Houtman,
the ship's captain, prepared to set
sail, half of his crew refused to come
In 1710 the capital of the Gelgel kingdom
was shifted to nearby Klungkung but
local discontent was growing, lesser
rulers were breaking away from Gelgel
rule and the Dutch began to move in
using the old policy of divide and conquer.
On 17 August 1945, just after the end
of WW II, the Indonesian leader Sukarno
proclaimed the nation's independence
but it took four years to convince the
Dutch that they were not going to get
their great colony Back.