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The Paradise Island
Bali, one of the smaller islands of Indonesia, has been described by many different names - The Hidden Paradise, The Last Paradise on Earth, Morning of The World, Island of Gods, Island of a Thousand Temples, the Emerald Isle of Asia and Island of the Smiling People.
For centuries Bali has attracted visitors from all over the world, drawn to its colourful festivals and ceremonies, traditional music and dances,its arts and crafts, delicious cuisine, stunning underwater world and delightful, easy-going people.
Whether you want to unwind and chill out on one of Bali's many white sandy beaches, surf the ‘hard core’ waves, enjoy some retail therapy in one of the malls or try out your bargaining skills at one of the many traditional markets, there is something for everyone on this tropical island paradise. Why not be adventurous and try some white-water rafting or deep-sea diving? Or simply relax and clear your mind practising Yoga or Tai Chi. Bali offers you the best of both worlds.
Bali is quite unique among the islands of beautiful Indonesia. It is the last tropical island you'll encounter before reaching the Wallace Line. Once you pass east of this imaginary line, the flora and fauna you encounter are Australasian species. Is it any wonder, then, that Bali, with its swaying palms and tropical rain forests,enjoys the title of one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Asia and the most popular tourist spot in Indonesia?
Bali is the western-most of Indonesia's Lesser Sunda Islands group. Its north coast faces the Bali Sea, while the southern coast is lapped by the Indian Ocean. The island is just two kilometres off the eastern tip of Java, linked by half-hourly ferries from Gilimanuk. To the east lies the island of Lombok.
For all its cultural richness, Bali is a small island, less than 150km from east to west, and only about 80km north to south. Bali has nearly four million people, most of whom still live in villages and small towns divided into banjars (communities). Its unique variant of Hinduism makes Bali culturally distinct from the rest of Indonesia. Religion influences every aspect of island culture, from day-to-day village life to art, dance and music. There is even a day of complete, island-wide inaction and introspection, known as Nyepi or Bali New Year. Even Bali’s Regency system of eight sub-provinces, is based on the old Majapahit kingdoms of the island.
In addition to its inner spirit, much of Bali's appeal lies in its sheer natural beauty: looming volcanoes, lush, terraced rice fields and tropical rain forests exude peace and serenity.
This exotic island has so much to offer, from world-class diving and surfing to exhilarating treks in the wild animal parks and bird sanctuaries; from inspirational spirituality to fine dining in restaurants served by wold-renowned international chefs. Everywhere one finds tropical fruits, in many shapes, sizes, colours, and flavours. And of course, for so many the name "Bali" calls to mind the island's hundreds of intricately carved temples - most 1,000 years old and still in use.
Bali is one of the most accessible destinations in Southeast Asia, with daily flights from most major cities in Asia and Australia. The average number of incoming flights is 312 per day. Travellers from the United States or Europe tend to fly via Jakarta, Singapore or Hong Kong, but more and more are flying directly to Bali. There are also domestic flights and ferry connections to the surrounding Indonesian islands, with several daily flights to Lombok, just 35km or 22 miles east of Bali.
For many young lovers, Bali has become their "special island." It offers ideal wedding and honeymoon venues in romantic tropical surroundings you will never forget.
Families with children will want to be sure to embark on some of the many fascinating and educational adventures available along Bali's east and west coasts, including treks to verdant mountains, rice paddies or tropical rain forests. Other activities include visits to animal parks, the Taro Elephant Sanctuary, sailing trips, diving and snorkelling and even an under-sea voyage in a 36-seat submarine. There are also plenty of festivals, art exhibitions, markets and museums, every one of them offering unique cultural experiences. The island has so much to offer visitors, whether they're seeking a quiet and relaxing holiday, or a stimulating round of partying and nightlife.
And then there are stunning islands to the east, each surrounded by crystal-clear waters. These islands each have a unique ambiance, and can be accessed by ferries, air transport or more sedate cruises in luxury sailing ships. First is the laid-back island of Lombok, and its north-western Gili Islands, all easily reached from Bali by daily ferry boats or "fastboats". The flight between Bali and the new airport on Lombok only takes 25 minutes.
East of Lombok are the other Lesser Sunda Islands, in the Province of Nusa Tenggara: Sumba, Sumbawa, Flores, Moyo, Komodo (where the protected Komodo Dragons live), Solor, Alor, Rote and Timor. These islands showcase a more undeveloped type of paradise, surrounded by hundreds of coral species and many different varieties of marine life. Luxury sailing ships or "live-aboard boats" will take you to some of these islands. However, there are also daily flights to the islands of Nusa Tenggara.
For further information on Bali and its beautiful neighbouring islands, have a browse through our online guide or contact us directly. We look forward to welcoming you in Bali.
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My Destination Bali
MyDestination Bali is focused on offering unrivalled levels of local information. This is what we pride ourselves on, and it's our promise to our users.
Bali is run by a team on the ground who have their fingers on the pulse and write from a first-hand experience, whether they are trying out places to eat, visiting sites of interest, undertaking activities, exploring hidden 'secrets', and speaking to the locals who are 'in-the-know'.