Oct 12, 2019

Bali Indonesia Land of the Gods

Also known as the Land of the Gods, Bali appeals through its sheer natural beauty of looming volcanoes and lush terraced rice fields that exude peace and serenity. It is also famous for surfers’ paradise! Bali enchants with its dramatic dances and colorful ceremonies, its arts, and crafts, to its luxurious beach resorts and exciting nightlife. And everywhere, you will find intricately carved temples.
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The Handcrafts of the Gods
There are thousands of gift shops in Bali. From Denpasar to Ubud, you'll find many things you'd like to bring back home. Balinese signature souvenir range from delicious snacks and beverages, to the exquisite handcrafted goods like Tenun Bali.

If you are thinking of bringing home souvenirs, your best bet is the souvenir market at Sukowati, where you may be overwhelmed by choice.
Most of the starred hotels are located near the beach. Some even have their own private spots at certain beaches, where you can splurge on exclusive privilege. You can find them easily at popular spots like Kuta, Sanur, and Seminyak.
Land of the Gods

Kuta has a large variety of boutiques and shops, selling everything from bright T-shirts, surf-wear, flip-flops to creative trinkets. If you wish to buy dried foodstuffs, Bali coffee is the most aromatic one. You may also want to buy aromatherapy essential oils to sprinkle your bath with.

Savor the Atmosphere
As Bali is located 8 degrees south of the equator, you will find the climate to be the typical tropical, warm and humid all year round with two main distinctive seasons: Dry Season and Rainy Season. Some of the areas around Bali's central mountains (volcanoes) have several peaks over 3,000 meters above sea levels. Up here the temperatures are considerably cooler, and there is much more rainfall than in the coastal areas.

Bali’s white beaches are certainly a favorite destination for family holidays. There are a variety of watersports available, such as banana boats, parasailing or jet skiing, go swimming or you may just linger and enjoy good sunbathing by the sea.

Kuta is one of the most well-known beaches in Bali. Along with this stretch are an array of hotels, restaurants, shops, and cafes. In the evenings the area throbs to the beat of disco music.
For a quieter evening enjoy the beach at Jimbaran, a popular spot to eat fresh barbecued seafood. Seminyak is home to five-stars International hotels and luxurious accommodation studded with fancy dining spots. Sanur Beach also dotted with hotels and restaurants. You can also visit Nusa Dua, where more private beaches front super deluxe hotels.

Consume your Vitamin Sea
Surfers love the waves at Nusa Lembongan near Nusa Penida. These islands are a 45 minutes boat trip from Nusa Dua or from Sanur.
At Nusa Penida’s southwestern coast are the Manta Point and the Malibu point where divers can swim with Travally, big rays, and even sharks. Kelingking beach, Atuh beach and Broken beach among the most famous spots of Nusa Penida.

The best dive spots can be located at Menjangan island, with its reef flat, anchor wreck, eel garden and caves to explore. Located in the western part of Bali, you can enjoy the rare sight of deer swimming near the beach. Pemutaran is also famous for its diving activities renowned for reef conservation.
Try exploring or trekking the West Bali National Park, where you may get up close and personal with Bali’s rich flora and fauna, such as Jalak Bali or the Bali Starling.

Bali offers first-class adrenaline pumping white water rafting down the spectacular Ayung River by Ubud. If you enjoy cycling, Ubud and its surrounding is a wonderful town to bike around. There are also good cycling paths at Uluwatu in the south.

Land of the Gods
Pump your Adrenaline
Mountain climbers may want to climb up Gunung Agung. Begin your ascend from behind the temple or through the village of Sebudi. However, make sure to ask permission first from the temple authorities, as the Balinese religion prescribes that no one may stand higher than the sacred temple especially when ceremonies are being held.
Another mountain for your adventurous hike is the beautiful Mount Batur, that overlooks the serene Lake Batur in Kintamani.

The Kecak dance is staged most dramatically in the open air settings on a cliff, by Uluwatu temple. Experience the unforgettable moments where the sun slowly lowering in the sea over the horizon beyond this beautiful temple serenade with Balinese most iconic art performance. The Kecak dance tells the story of Ramayana wherein prince Rama’s wife, Sita, is abducted by the ogre Rahwana.

Land of the Gods
Feast your Eyes and Soul
After exploring hours are done for the day, you can surrender in total relaxation and experience the best of Balinese spa, located all over Bali. Balinese spa products are made with fine quality local ingredients and are perfect for you to also bring home as a souvenir!

Get Around
There are many modes of transport to help you get around in Bali. A variety of excellent half day, full day and overnight tour packages are available from your hotel desk or any of the numerous travel agents and tour operators which abound in Bali. You can also find a car and driver who will also be your guide. Tell the driver your desired route and negotiate a fee.

An important virtue to have while on the road in Bali is patience! Although the road system in the heavily populated areas is quite reasonable (condition wise), it can also be heavily congested at peak periods. Ceremonial processions often take up the entire road so if you're caught behind a procession, enjoy the colorful experience.

Get Here

By Air

The gateway to enter Bali by a flight route is through the Ngurah Rai International Airport. International and national flights are available around the clock, to take the visitor to the Island of The Gods.

The airport is scheduled to close once a year during the Balinese Nyepi ceremony, for 24 hours. At Nyepi, every corner of Bali is performing the sacred rituals which made the island ceased any activities outside of these rituals for one whole day.

Public transport to Bali is available through travel companies and busses. If you opt to experience a road trip, be sure that you are equipped and ready for the long hours.

From the capital of Jakarta, an overland road trip to Bali can range from 30 hours to a few days. All depending on whether or not you want to stop by and enjoy the cities that you are going to pass through.
By Sea

Bali is accessible by ferry ride from an island of Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara. In Lombok, you can explore the beauty of Mount Rinjani and pristine beaches on the Gili islands.
From Java Island, you can get to Bali by taking a ferry from Banyuwangi. The city with the slogan of The Sunrise of Java is where you can embark to experience the adventurous path to Ijen Crater and its mesmerizing Blue Fire.

Where is Bali nestled among Indonesia's more than 17,000 islands?

Bali is the most famous of the thousands of islands in the Indonesian archipelago. The busy island of over 4 million residents has been a tourist favorite for decades. It's certainly the top destination in Indonesia. The wide beaches in the south and lush, volcano-dominated interior attract close to 3 million foreign tourists per year! Scores of Indonesians from other islands also take advantage of Bali's beauty each year.

The Location of Bali, Indonesia
Bali is a 95-mile-wide island located in the Indian Ocean, only two miles east of the tip of Java — the world's most populous island and home to over 141 million people.

Bali sits at the very western tip of the Lesser Sunda Islands, a string of islands that includes Lombok, Flores, Timor, and others. Bali's closest neighbor to the west is the island of Lombok, home to Mount Rinjani.

Bali is located approximately 1,600 miles due north of Perth in Western Australia.
Bali is approximately 600 miles east of Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia.
The small islands of Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan are located to the southeast between Bali and Lombok.

Why Is Bali so Famous?
Elizabeth Gilbert certainly pushed Ubud, Bali's cultural heart, into the spotlight with her book Eat, Pray, Love. But before the book and film hit big in 2010, Bali was quietly pulling in backpackers, surfers, and travelers in search of beauty and holistic living on a budget.

Maybe it's Bali's scenery, or just the unique vibe, that get under the skin. While the rest of Indonesia is predominantly Muslim or Christian, Bali is a Hindu island. The unique architecture — both ancient and modern — blends present and past. Sometimes telling the difference between a 500-year-old temple and guesthouse/restaurant built last year isn't as easy as expected!

Bali is considered one of the most romantic islands in the world and is a top honeymoon destination in Asia. Although the traffic-choked roads aren't much of a turn-on, the lava-meets-sea coastline and rice terraces are indeed exotic eye candy. There are many hidden finds scattered around the island.

The volcanic soil provides a fertile landscape of rice terraces, flowers perpetually in bloom, and rainforest canopy. Numerous artists and creative types have relocated to Bali to enjoy the healthy energy and fresh air. David Bowie had his ashes scattered there in 2016. Despite a heavy dose of developments, upscale hotels, and golf courses, Bali still retains much of its original magic discovered decades ago by a small handful of travelers.

Perhaps one of the most enticing aspects of Bali is the level of luxury that travelers can enjoy on a budget. Gorgeous boutique hotels can be found for US $50 per night. Spending just a little more yields luxury that would easily cost $200+ per night in other island destinations.

Bali may be paradise for some, but it doesn't even come close to defining Indonesia as a whole. There are plenty of other inviting destinations farther afield. Unfortunately, an estimated 80 percent of international visitors to Indonesia see only Bali before returning home. Consider supplementing your trip to Bali with one of Indonesia's other exciting places!

Things to Do in Bali
Aside from the usual trio of shopping, dining, and relaxing (all three are excellent on the island), Bali offers plenty of interesting activities.

Try Surfing: Bali has been luring surfers since the 1930s. The lack of a reef and abundance of surf schools make Kuta Beach one of the most popular places in the world to try your luck as a newbie on a board. For pros, Uluwatu and other areas around the island offer more of a challenge.
Visit Ubud: Once Bali's green little hippie escape, Ubud's reputation has spread widely and so has its development — much the same fate that Pai in Thailand is suffering. Even still, the verdant rice fields, boutique shops, spas, and holistic healing centers are enough to lure people away from the beaches and into the hot island interior.
Enjoy the Beaches: From the busy scene in Kuta with sunbathing and nightlife, to more upscale and sophisticated resorts in South Bali, there's a beach for everyone. Seminyak and Legian are wide, popular beaches, but there are plenty of other options away from the busy west coast.
See the Interior: Lakes, volcanoes, rice terraces — the lush interior of Bali outside of Denpasar is enjoyable. Villages clinging to the slopes of active volcanoes and hot springs are options. Fortunately, Bali is small enough that day trips can be made to explore the rainforest without the need for an overnight stay. Grab a motorbike (Ubud is a central place to start) and go!
Diving and Snorkeling: The diving in Bali is often cheaper than that in Thailand and even more rewarding. Scuba shops abound. Mantas and mola-mola (sunfish) regularly call into nearby Nusa Penida. The black sands of Amed on the northern part of the island lure divers who come to see the old USAT Liberty wreck and enjoy good shore diving.

Tips for Finding Flights to Bali
Denpasar International Airport (airport code: DPS), officially Ngurah Rai International Airport, is Indonesia's second-busiest airport. Fortunately, the little airport was renovated in 2013 and 2014 making it both beautiful and more able to greet the many arriving passengers.

The airport serves as a hub for Garuda, Wings Air, Lion Air, and Indonesia AirAsia — four airlines with flights servicing all of Indonesia and Southeast Asia. Direct flights can be found from Europe, the Middle East, China, Japan, Australia, Russia, and other places.

Inconveniently, there are still no direct flights from the United States to Bali. American travelers can get the best deals by first flying into Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur, then taking a budget "hop" down to Bali.

But there is good news: Bali's airport is located only one mile from Kuta — the most popular tourist beach on the island. Unless you begin your trip in Ubud, you could be out of the airport and on a beach within an hour or less of landing!

The Best Times to Visit Bali
The weather in Bali is pleasantly warm throughout the year, but like most places in Southeast Asia, the annual monsoon can put a damper on island fun.

Heavy rains in the winter months can chop up beach days. Expect the worst rain between December and March. The "shoulder" months just before and after the rainy season are often good times to enjoy the island and avoid some of the crowds.

Bali is driest and busiest during the summer months between June and August. Unfortunately, this is also when large numbers of travelers who want to escape winter in the Southern Hemisphere make a beeline for Bali. If you travel during these times, you're going to have to share the island!

If Bali in summer is too busy for your tastes, consider popping over to one of the nearby Gili Islands in Lombok.


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