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Destinations:

Bali, Indonesia

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Bali Overview

Bali is an island surrounded by coral reefs and lined with beautiful beaches, offering great tropical weather year round. The words “paradise” and “breathtaking” are adjectives often used when describing Bali; however, most adjectives pale in comparison to the experience of witnessing Bali’s beauty first hand.

Bali is an Indonesian Island, west of the lesser Sunda Islands, between Java and Lombok. The south is known for white sandy beaches, and it’s the place for visitors to enjoy snorkeling and surfing. Kuta, in the South, is home to some of Bali’s best shopping and restaurant hopping. The Northern regions on the other hand are known for black sandy beaches, active volcanoes, treacherous ravines and tropical forests. It’s also the favorite region for divers who come to enjoy the numerous coral reefs and marine life.

Bali is truly an island of contrasts; while you can relax on a pristine beach, you can also enjoy a climb to Mount Batur, still one of the few active volcanoes in the world. Walk along the rim of the volcano’s caldera and visit one of the most important and impressive Hindu temples in Bali.

But Bali is also known for painting, sculpture and other types of art, including the performing arts. Visitors can enjoy Balinese dance performances, an important part of the island’s culture. Dances portray stories taken from Hindu legends, tradition and beliefs. The Fire dance for example, represents an exorcism to defeat the spirit of possession, while the Barong dance represents a competition between chaos and order. Temple festivals also play an important role in Bali’s rich culture; here, visitors can appreciate creativity and humor in shows like shadow puppets, a favorite of children.

Hindu temples are everywhere in Bali, and are seen as very important icons of their faith. The most important of these are the Nine Directional Temples, a must for anyone who visits Bali.

Bali’s beliefs are not only reflected in their temples and dances, but in monuments throughout the island like the Statue of the God Vishnu, an important icon.

Bali’s museums present visitors with not only its peoples’ history and development but its roots. To enjoy the entire experience, one must include places like the Bali Museum, the Museum of Archeology, the Taman Bullaya Cultural Center, the Ganesha Gallery, Agung Rai Museum of art and many other such places.

Bali’s cuisine is another positive in this Island’s list of treasures. Though Indonesian spices boast among the hottest spices around, visitors can request milder versions. Specialties of its gastronomy include dishes such as roast pig, chicken in spicy red paste, grilled seafood and duck, and for vegetarians, an array of salads with fresh local vegetables, coconut and spices. Bali is home of Arabica coffee, a world-class coffee produced from mild, yet aromatic beans.

Though visitors don’t come to Bali to shop, it’s one of the island’s best features. You’ll find beautiful fashion and impressive crafts; you’ll also find that Balinese art is a true representation of its people’s spirit. Bali is an amazing destination.
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