What does the island of Bali have to offer?

They live in paradise on earth – the Balinese are convinced of that. They call their island in the Indian Ocean Pulau Dewata (“Island of the Gods”)

Man and nature together form a huge diversity on just 5600 square kilometres.
Tropical temperatures prevail both in the deep green terraced paddy-fields in the south and in the inaccessible jungles in the west. In the highlands with their mist-enshrouded mountains and ravines it’s moist and fresh. In some parts, glowing streams of lava have devastated everything. The ashes have coloured the beaches in the north black. Yet connoisseurs know to appreciate this coastal area, for it’s not so frequently visited by tourists as the bustling south with its white beaches, coral reefs and often stormy surf.

In hardly any other part of South-east Asia, art and culture have so richly displayed themselves as here. Bali is the last Hindu enclave in the Islam dominated Indonesian archipelago. Thousands of temples testify the importance of their religion in the alinese way of life. Everywhere, one comes into contact with religion and rituals. The silence of meditation is as natural as the turbulent festivities – contrasts that the Balinese don’t seem to mind.

Vakantie Villa - Map Bali

Some remarks about Bali are:

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  • The land of smiles
  • Indonesia’s supplier of rice
  • The new paradise on earth
  • Artists of the Far East.
[/Icon List](Bron Deltas Bali ontdekken en beleven)

First of all we have a number of books about Bali in our holiday-villa, so there’s no shortage of information but still, here are a few musts:

PURA BESAKIH, mother temple of the Balinese. It’s the largest and most sacred temple of Bali and lies at a height of about 1,000 metres beside the highest mountain Gunung Agung.

Between Padangbai and Kusamba is the cave of the bats called GOA LAWAN. On its walls hang thousands of bats, sleeping there by day and flying out in the evening, just before darkness falls.

At 30 minutes from Candi Dasa is TENGANAN, an original Balinese village. Through a narrow gate one enters a still untouched world. By means of the village wall the inhabitants, members of a Bali Aga-tribe, have managed to keep modern civilization
outside their village.

Also visit Bali’s capital, DENPASAR. As the name (pasar=market) implies, the town is a great centre of commerce. The market is situated in the centre of the town and everything the island has to offer in both arts and crafts and fruit can be bought here.

KLUNGKUNG is well worth a visit too for once this place was a glorious residence of monarchs. What has outlived the colonial time from this period is clearly a must see. Tips are Taman Gili and Kerta Gosa. The lakes and islands of Taman Gili ( Garden of the Island) in Klungkung were artificially laid out. To the immediate left of the entrance to this complex is the Kerta Gosa, the court of justice. It was built at the end of the 18th century and consists of two buildings. The court of justice properis in an elevated position and is worth seeing on account of paintings of its ceiling in Wajang-style. On the lower half the accused, while waiting for his verdict, was shown which punishments were in store for the “poor sinner”. On the upper half the heavenly joys for the “good souls” are depicted. The second hall was meant for the judges.

KUTA/LEGIAN/SEMINYAK. Bustling with life every hour of the day. Those looking for “action” will be pleasantly surprised on beaches, in markets and in the many shops and disco’s. A paradise, both for shoppers and party-goers, for which you’ll have to plan a full day, despite the fact that you have rented our villa in the quiet north.

MENGWI, 20 km north of Kuta. The state temple, Pura Taman Ayun, is the largest but one and also one of the finest. It was built by the king of Mengwi in 1634 and expanded in 1937.

SANGEH, 11 km north of Mengwi, is visited by many tourists for its “monkey forest”. Hundreds of half-tame monkeys live here, according to legend the army of monkey-general Hanuman as described in the Ramayana epos.

PURA TANAH LOT is one of six national temples on Bali, worth seeing for its idyllic location. The sanctuary was built on a rock, enclosed by the sea at high tide. Late in the afternoon the sun sets behind the temple – a spectacle most visitors won’t be
eluded from, and rightly so.

NEGARA. When you want to discover the beauties of the national park, come to Negara, a dreamy little town, forgotten by mankind. Negara lies in the west and is the capital of the province of Jembrana. In Taman Nacional Bali ( West Bali National Park) you will find monkeys, hornbills, porcupines, wild boars and rare species of birds. A jungle area covering 80,000 hectares, founded in 1983, the peninsula of Teluk Kelor as well as the island of Menjangan also form part of this park.
Diving also is a favourite pastime there and you might encounter turtles and stingrays.

SERANGAN TURTLE ISLAND, which is small and palm-covered, can be circled on foot in approx. 2 hours. Swimming is very pleasant there too. Giant turtles are bred in the island’s only village.

UBUD is an artists colony and starting-point for trips to the beautiful natural scenery. Like it was in the past, this place still forms Bali’s artistic centre. Ever since the German painter Walter Spies settled there in the 1930s, lots of European artists have influenced the art of painting. Be sure to visit the Neka Museum.

GOA GAJAH (elephants’ cave) can be found in the vicinity of Ubud. This cave is one of Bali’s most ancient monuments. dating from the 8th century. Near the Goa Gajah are the GUNUNG KAWI ( graves of the kings). They are the resting-places of king Anak Wungsu and both his wives and sons. The king reigned over Bali from 1049 to 1077.

You are also advised to visit Bali Zoo, make an elephant safari or book a wild water rafting trip. Also have a look at http://baliadventures.com where lots of such trips are mentioned, e.g. a helicopter flight over Bali.

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