The island of Bali

Category: Resorts » International » Asia » Indonesia | Author: biker | Views: 4091 | 14-05-2012, 22:00
The island of Bali

Official name: The island of Bali;

Capital of the island of Bali: Denpasar;

Area of Bali: 5.6 thousand square kilometers;

Location: Malay Archipelago, in the Lesser Sunda group of islands in Indonesia;

Climate of Bali: equatorial-monsoon;

Population: about 3.3 million people;

Largest cities of Bali: Denpasar, Singaraja, Kuta, Ubud;

Ethnic groups: Balinese, Chinese and foreigners (the British, Australians, Dutch, Russian, and others);

Official language of Bali: Indonesian;

Religion: Hinduism - 93,93%, Muslim - 5%, Christians and Buddhists - 1,7%;

Currency : Indonesian rupiah (IDR);

Internet domain: .id;

Telephone code: 62;

Local Time: UTC +8.

 

 

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The island of Bali

Flag  of the island of Bali

The island of Bali

Map of the island of Bali  

The island of Bali

Coat of Arms of the island of Bali

 

Information about the island of Bali

If you are looking for a real paradise on the earth, with all its benefits and beautiful scenery, welcome to the fabulous island of Bali. Here you can admire the beautiful temples, visit unique religious ceremonies and lie in the sun on the wonderful beach.

The island of Bali The island of Bali The island of Bali

 

The geographical position of the island of Bali

Bali is an island located in the Malay Archipelago, a group consisting of the Lesser Sunda Islands in Indonesia. In the South it is washed with the Indian Ocean, in the North - Sea Bali of Pacific Ocean. To the west of the island there is the island of Java, which is separated from Bali by Bali strait, to the east – island Lombok separated by Lomboksk strait.
The island of Bali and its neighbor islands together form the same named province of Indonesia, which is the part of the administrative region of Lesser Sunda Islands.
The area of the island is 5, 6 thousand km. sq., and the length from East to West is 150 km  and  from North to South is 80 km.
For lovers of the mountains there is good news - the central and north-western part of Bali covered by big mountains. Mount Agung is the highest point of the island; moreover, it is an active volcano, which is more than 3 000 meters in height. In March 1963 Agung vulcano reminded of itself.
Second place takes the volcano Gugung-Batur, which rises to 1717 meters above sea level.
The longest river of the island is Ayung (75km). In the South the relief is mainly plainy and good for agriculture. The most flourishing towns and the capital Denpasar are located there.

The southern coast has white sandy beaches, while the northern and western beaches are composed of black sand, a sure sign of an active volcano nearby. The composition of black sand is remnants of lava that have been poured into the sea water. Now these "black beaches" are very popular with tourists.

To relax after a walk in the mountains, we recommend you to visit the southern coast of Bali, the land of magical sandy beaches. The most popular beaches of Bali are «black beaches", which can be found in the north and west of the island. The reason for such unusual color of sand is the volcano- the black sand is the remnants of lava, which have been poured into the sea water. 

Photos of the island of Bali 

The island of Bali The island of Bali The island of Bali
The island of Bali The island of Bali The island of Bali

 

Climate on the island of Bali

Climate in Bali is equatorial monsoon. It is interesting that in Bali there are only 2 seasons instead of the usual four: the dry (June - October) and wet (November - March), January and February - the richest in the amount of precipitation. The average year temperature is about 26 °C. The water temperature in the ocean is 26-28 °C.

 

Flora and fauna on the island of Bali

Bali has rich and diverse flora and fauna, which is almost similar to those on the island of Java. But there are still differences, for example on the island you can find many unique birds (about 280 species): Bali Starling, Javanese sparrow, oriole, sea eagle, long-tailed shrike, milky stork, egret, sacred kingfisher and many others.  Coral reefs are also rich inhabited. There are many diving centers in coast, for example in Nuse-Penida you can watch rare animals such as turtles Hawksbill and giant sunfish "GY".
There are four kinds of forests on Bali: rain tropical in the West, deciduous in the north-west, savannas and mountain forests. The first type of forests you can find in the Park Bali Barat, (which is translated as "Western Bali"). Here you can admire rare plants, giant trees, fig and banana groves. Deciduous forests grow in the north-western part of Bali. The foliage of the forest changes depending on the season. The sacred tree on the island is banana palm. Bali is popular for its different kinds of trees, for example borassov palm trees, and their leaves in a dried form are used in manufacturing of "lontarov" - paper for writing sacred texts.
In Bali grow other kinds of trees, for example ebony or black tree. Traditional mask are made of balsa wood. A bamboo is a universal building material used by the Balinese.
The island has  very good soil for gardening especially in the South of the island. Here you can see many: red, pink and white hibiscus, bougainvillea, jasmine, laurels, water lilies, lotuses, and some unusual angsoka, orchids and chempaka (yellow magnolia).

 

The island of Bali The island of Bali The island of Bali
The island of Bali The island of Bali The island of Bali
The island of Bali The island of Bali The island of Bali
The island of Bali The island of Bali The island of Bali

 

History of Bali 

Since the late 70s of the 20th century the island of Bali has become very popular tourism center of Europe and America. It can offer many hotels of vip class. The island has developed excellent surfing and diving centers. Sandy clean beaches are popular among millions of tourists from all over the world. But it was not always so sunny. In the history of Bali, there are many tragic moments. Before coming of Europeans to the island in 16th century, the life there was peaceful. Most Balinese grew rice, because the climate is favorable for it. Many different people lived on the island: intellectuals, artists, musicians and priests. Many of them migrated here from the neighboring island of Java.
Fortunately some cultural traditions of that time have been maintained till nowadays, for example, some religious and cultural ceremonies. But when the Dutch arrived in 1597 they brought many conflicts between soldiers and civilians. And they were happening until the independence of Indonesia in 1949 which was the result of heroism of the locals, who had not reconciled with the role of the conquered people, and never ceased to fight with the Dutch troops, which were much larger in number.
The island of Bali The island of Bali The island of Bali

 

Culture of Bali 

The first people migrated to the island 5000 years ago from Taiwan and other places from Indonesia. It is motherland to unique people with their original culture, which has been formed under the influence of the Philippines, Indonesia and Oceania. Bali is famous for its sophisticated art such as painting, wood carving and sculpture. Especially exciting is the diversity of dances, performed on religious holidays and secular ceremonies. Most public performances are held for tourists and visitors of the island.
It is interesting that New Year is celebrate here in spring and in total silence. On this day Towns and villages are empty. Tourists are asked not to leave their hotel rooms. All celebrations of New Year take place a day before with colorful carnival and parade of evil spirits and blazing fires at night, which are supposed to drive away the evil spirits away from the island.
All local people try to take participation in these celebrations, they gather in large groups, and musicians and singers make weird, not understandable for foreigners loud sounds. Sometimes you can see how they compete in their loudness attracting more attention of the audience. In this style are held all traditions Balinese holidays – strong noise does not stop. Even the ritual of cremation is accompanies with colorful parades and drums.
The island of Bali The island of Bali The island of Bali
The island of Bali The island of Bali The island of Bali
The island of Bali The island of Bali The island of Bali
Where to go in Bali
The island of Bali can be divided into several parts: the southern, central, northern, western, eastern parts, as well as south-east of the island. Most tourists come to southern and central parts.
Southern Bali

Most tourists come to this part of the island and to other areas go only for sightseeing. The most popular tourist’s destinations are Seminyak, Kuta, Legian, Denpasar, Nusa Dua, Jimbaran and Sanur. Rhe Ngurah Rai International Airport is also located here.

  • Kuta
    Kuta is one of the most popular resorts in Indonesia, it has high developed tourism infrastructure. The good location (not far from the airport) has contributed to its development as the tourist centre. It has many hotels, restaurants and large shopping centers.
    Kuta is an ideal place for young people, who are full of energy and enthusiasm. Despite the fact that the most tourists are not rich, such as surfers and hippies, there are five-star hotels in the city. The city has not interesting sights, but it can offer many interesting activities - surfing, beach holidays, shopping and night clubs. The beach is very clean, but almost always overcrowded. Kuta is the perfect place for tourists who want to learn surfing: there are many surfing instructors, waves are moderate and no dangerous rocks or corals.
  • Legian.
    It is located on the sandy beach between the towns of Kuta and Seminyak. Boundaries between these three cities are not geographically identified, so there is almost no visible difference between them. Legian is a little calmer than Kuta. As for the beach and the ocean, it is the same as in Kuta - with waves and many surfers.
  • Seminyak.
    It is located in the North of the two above mentioned cities. It is the beautiful city with quiet and calm streets, the small number of cars on the roads and clean beaches.
    In this town there are more expensive and comfortable hotels, some of them have even private beach. If you are looking for a quiet and isolated town so Seminyak is your choice. The city does not have restaurants or cafes, the streets are empty at night, so you can feel peacefully and quietly, but the sea is a little wavy and turbulent.
  • Sanur.
    Sanur is the oldest and largest resort on the island.
    Accommodation here is more expensive than in Kuta, but also a bit cheaper than in Nusa Dua. Sanur can offer a great variety of entertainment to tourists: holidays at the beach with water sports, wonderful nature, restaurants and modern night clubs. The traditional theater and dance are held in the city for those who want to learn more about the culture and lifestyle of locals. This place can be recommended for families with young children or mature couples. It has a perfect combination of relatively low prices, relaxing and quality.
    It is also a perfect place for those who enjoy the sea without waves. It is one of the few places in Bali, where there are no surfers. But remember that during low tide the water goes from the city, and leaves behind a pile of seaweed. So choose time when low tides are at night.
  • Jimbaran.
    Jimbaran is a city with plenty of restaurants which serve delicious fresh seafood. The city is located near the town of Kuta, on the opposite side of the airport. Like most other tourist towns, this town was established from a small fishing village which has grown into a big tourist resort.
    Except excellent restaurants it has perfect coastal line, washed by the small bay, so the water is clear and without high waves. This makes Jimbaran a good and safe place for travelers with children. In the evening sitting in one of the restaurants you can admire stunning view of the sunset.
  • Denpasar.
    Denpasar - the capital of Bali (its former name is Badung), the city is large enough and lively, and is located about 8 kilometers from the coast. Beach vacations are not here popular. Denpasar attracts tourists with a big number of excursions to the temples and museums that are worth visiting. The capital is a popular place for shopping - there are many shops, with a wide choice of goods.
    Also, the resort is specialized in various regional and ethnic Indonesian cuisines due to its multi-ethnic population, so you should definitely visit the restaurant of Denpasar.
    When you're in town, do not forget to go to Pasar Badung market it is one of the main attractions of the capital and also the largest market on the island.
  • Nusa Dua.
    Nusa Dua is translated as two islands. Previously there were only mangrove swamps at this place, but later the most luxurious hotels have been built. Nowadays it boasts the most beautiful and cleanest beaches on the island.
    Tourists in this part of the island feel isolated from other residents. It has very expensive hotels, high security, no entertainment, calm Ocean at any time of year - everything is done for the observance of peace and quiet rest. It is often compared with nursing house, so it is not the right place for young and energetic people, they will be bored there.

Central Bali


The central part of the island is mostly covered by mountains with active volcanoes and crater lakes. Locals are known for their crafts and artwork. The central part of Bali is full of interesting natural and man-made attractions: Temple Ulun Danu Bratan near mountain Lake Bedugul, fruit plantations and rice terraces, monkey forest in Ubud, the village of Mas- famous of its wood carvers, village Cheluk (Celuk) which is famous for its jewelry, mainly from silver, etc.
Tourists are usually offered one or two nights in the cultural center of Bali - Ubud. It is a center of arts and crafts on the island. The city has many shops and galleries, and many good artists and craftsmen live there. There are no beaches and other entertainments in the city. You can find only quiet and cozy restaurants where you can enjoy the local cuisine.

The island of Bali The island of Bali The island of Bali

 

What to see in Bali 

On the island there are many parks with exotic animals, and beautiful mountain temples. There is a list of places which are worth visiting in Bali:

  1. Crocodile Farm. Exotic and informative. Also there are snakes on the farm, and every day they have a show presentation. And for $ 7 you can buy a duck and feed it to the crocodile. Here you can see the largest lizard - the Komodo.
  2. Safari on elephants. It is not as extreme as you might think. Park is located in the centre of the island, and it is very nice and modern. The route passes through the village where you can see vegetable gardens and the local people, their traditions and way of life.
  3. Park of birds and reptiles. The birds live freely; there are no cells in the park so you can watch them in their natural environment. From here you can bring a lot of good pictures of colorful birds.
  4. Jeep safaris. Again, this "safari" is not so extreme. During the trip you can enjoy the mountain views, visit small villages and see how the locals live and how they grow exotic fruits.Again, this "safari" is not so extreme. During the trip you can enjoy the mountain views, visit small villages and see how the locals live and how they grow exotic fruits.
  5. Monkey Forest in Ubud. The forest is full of friendly monkeys. The main thing is not to step on their tails, and do not forget to close all the pockets and bags, and remove all jewelry. For excursions in the woods you need a guide.
  6. Temple of Tanah Lot. It is one of the most important temples for Balinese, and is striking in its beauty. It is built on a cliff top, which at high tide washed by the ocean. A source inside the temple beats with fresh water.
  7. Quadracycling in jungle. Interesting and exciting. ATV with a manual (ie, "foot") checkpoint, but the automatic clutch. At the beginning of tour instructors will give you instructions in using it and provide an opportunity to try it out. Fans of extreme sports should like this activity.
  8. Batur volcano. The volcano is 13 kilometers in diameter, in the center there are 3 cones, with one side there is fresh water lake. The last eruption of the volcano happened in 1998. On the way to the volcano you can visit the cultural center of Bali - Ubud. Here you can see the process of wood carving, as well as the process of making jewelry out of gold and silver.
  9. Cruise to Lembongan Island. For those who like passive holiday we recommend a ride on a catamaran: a light breakfast on board, as well as the opportunity to sunbathe and enjoy the sea. Departure every day from Benoa harbor.
    On the island of Lembongan there is a wide choice of water sports.
The island of Bali The island of Bali The island of Bali
The island of Bali The island of Bali The island of Bali

What to do in the island of Bali 

Bali is an island of snow-white beaches, Warm Ocean and the emerald tropics. It is often said - God lives in the Himalayas, but spends holidays in Bali.
So what to do in Bali during the holidays, except lying on the beach or in a hotel room? Let me offer you several ways how to spend good time on Bali:
 

 

  1. Bicycle tour of Ubud.
    Such walk is a great chance to enjoy the culture of Indonesia. Riding a bike you can see the magical rice fields, forest apes and monkeys who love to eat crabs. Take the ride to Gaia - one of the most amazing sacred places on the island. Do not forget about Petula - the village which is visited every night by herons. Believe me, it is worth watching.
  2. Learn to surf in Kuta.
    If you are a fan of extreme relaxation, then you should go to Kuta. There you will find wonderful beaches with beautiful girls and guys, lots of bikinis, alcoholic cocktails, which will raise the spirits and, of course, the night clubs! To improve your health after such night party - go surfing. Famous beaches of Kuti are close to the airport and have many cheap hotels. Do not be afraid to try a ride on the waves, because they are divided on the soft sand, which means that surfing is safe and enjoyable even for beginners.
  3. Sunset in Tanah Lot - sea temple of the earth.
    There are some places on Bali, which are believed to be protected from evil spirits by snakes. So, if you're not an evil spirit, you can go on an excursion to the temple of Tanah Lot, which is located on the south-west coast of Bali. This temple is the most amazing and magical, and is definitely worth your attention. According to legend, Nirarthe (one of the last Brahmins), who wanted to expel the local chief, ordered the mountain where the temple is now located, separated from the coast and to go to sea. After this miracle he was recognized as the leader. If you  decide to visit the temple, then you may have difficulties in finding Tanah Lot. On the map the temple is located close to the southern part of Bali, but the location of the road is rather complicated. We suggest you to hire a local driver.
  4. Dance Kechak at Ulu Vatu.
    It is an interesting fact that the dance was "imported" by the German artist in the 30th years. The artist has taught Balinese the performance, which was called "Kechak." The dance is accompaniments only with capella, without music, it involves 100 people, two of which are the main characters. The essence of this delightful presentation is dramatic and romantic love story based on the well-known scenes from the Ramayana. The main hero Rama and his beloved Shinto, pass all the stages of love: romance, fear, betrayal, enemies and friends.
    At the end of the show don`t leave at once, because you have an opportunity to see dance trance, where Participants are dancing on hot coals. Dance Kechak starts at 6 pm and you will find easily the place of the performance following the crowd of tourists.
  5. Diving at the island of Menjangan.
    Menjangan Island is an uninhabited island, from there you can sail to the middle of the sea and dive in sea. Prepare your mind for a bright and unusual reef fish. Believe me; you will never forget this day.
  6. Climbing the Mount Batur.
    Do not be lazy to climb the mountain of Batur volcanic; from the top you will see the breathtaking view. It is advised to start climbing in the morning (around 4 am) and then by 6-7 hours, you can admire the beauty of the nature and amazing sunrise.
  7. Taste Babi Guling at Ibu Oka in Ubud.
    Anthony Borj, with the modest title of "Best Chef in the world in 2008", once tasted and liked the dish of Babi Guling. Well, relying on the taste of Anthony, we also advise you to eat this magical dish which enjoys high popularity on the island of Bali. This dish you can eat in almost every cafe in Bali, and do not forget to order a cold fruit drink for complete happiness. Because who don`t like this ice refreshment?
  8. Visit the buffalo races in Negara.
    Each country has animals, which play important role in their culture. The special animal for the city of Negara is buffalo: it brings milk and meat, and these powerful animals are used as a tractor on the field. However, residents of Negara came up with one more, very interesting and fun use of animals - buffalo races. This show is similar to Roman chariots, only instead of horses, chariots drawn by buffaloes which run around the oval arena. These races take place at 7 am and only during the dry season (July to October). Before planning to go there, you should find out weather the competition will be held and when.

The island of Bali The island of Bali The island of Bali

Cuisin of Bali 


Most tourists in Bali eat Indonesian food, not Balinese cuisine. Lucky who try Semur lidah - pork or beef tongue, stewed in soy sauce or lavar - thin slices of meat or fish. Balinese cuisine is lavishly seasoned with various spices, without which it would lose its original flavor and appeal, but in the restaurant you can also order not spicy dishes of rice and vegetables (tanpa sanbal, tanpa lombok, tidak pedas).

The most common dishes:

 

  • Bali guling - suckling pig on a spit;
  • Bebek Tutu - duck with all kinds of spices prepared 12 hours, wrapped in banana leaf;
  • Gado-Gado - the type of salad, cooked with vegetables and soy peanut sauce;
  • Mi goreng - fried noodles made from  wheat flour;
  • Violence champur - rice, steamed, with meat and vegetables;
  • Nasi goreng - kind of pilau rice, fried on palm oil;
  • Sate - small-sized kebabs, meat on wooden skewers served with peanut sauce;
  • Pisang Pisang goreng or chapels - fried bananas in pastry;
  • Chay cap - vegetable ragout with vegetables;
  • Icahn pepes - fish on a spit, wrapped in banana leaf;
  • Udang - shrimp or  udang Besar - giant shrimps;
  • Chumi-chumi - squid.

 

The island of Bali The island of Bali The island of Bali
The island of Bali The island of Bali The island of Bali

 

What to buy in Bali 

On the island of Bali, each souvenir has a magical property. They protect against the evil eye and the evil spirits. As a rule, the souvenirs you can buy in any shops and all campuses.
And where you can buy really worth souvenirs? Each village in Bali is proud of its products. So, traveling to Bali, take a big bag, where you can put the pieces of memories from the magical island.


Sculpture and woodcarving

Batubulan village, which translates as "Moonstone" is famous for its sculptures of sandstone. These sculptures often depict characters of myths.
The heart of wood-carving is the village Mas, here live true masters and the unique technique of this art is passed from generation to generation. Here you can buy a variety of wooden figures representing the spirits, sacred birds, demons, heroes of Balinese epic.
If you are not interested in the wooden sculptures, you can always buy ceramic cats in different colors in the village Pedzhaten.

Gold and silver

The ladies will be happy to visit the village Cheluk where there is a good choice of gold and silver. You can buy here precious stones, massive gold chains and beautiful bracelets. Particularly symbolic is a bracelet with Balinese technique of gilding. If a man is looking for the perfect gift for his woman, we recommend to buy marine and freshwater pearls, mother of pearl in Cheluke. Believe me, it is the best gift for every woman. 


Painting


In Bali you can buy paintings, which are written in canonical rules. For example, in the village of Kamasan, you can admire and buy paintings, depicting scenes of ancient epics. Balinese artists use only natural dyes, which will never fade. Pictures of the island of Bali often look like tapestries.


Famous Balinese cloth or fabric


Fans of batik are advised to visit towns Gianyar and Tohbatti where you can buy traditional painted fabric.
You can also buy songket cloth that is woven by hand from gold and silver threads. Masters usually depict flora and fauna on it.
 
Masks and traditional dolls

If you want to decorate your room with something exotic and unusual so the perfect souvenir for you will be a traditional Balinese mask. Often they are in form of a man with a mustache, earrings and hair. The most popular characters of masks are Shiva and the goddess of rice - Devi Sri. Such masks, you can buy in the village of Mas.
The island is famous for Shadow Theater (also one of the exotic actions, which is worth a visit). There are many kinds of it, but the most popular theater is wayang kulit Purve, where you can see the shadow of flat leather puppets on a white background.
The main characters of wayang (theater) are made of leather, which is painted in five colors: white, yellow, blue, red and black, often they decorate it also with gold. These dolls are the traditional souvenirs both for Bali and Indonesia.


The sacred weapon


The great souvenir from Bali is the sacred weapon, Kris (traditional sword or dagger with a blade in a form of flame). This weapon is a perfect decoration for the walls of your house and except it, according to the Balinese; it will protect its holder.


Oils for Health

Be sure to buy the scented oils and herbal blends that is called Jami, in Bali. These jars are sold in various SPA-centers and stores. Such mixture of oil has good effect on health.

The island of Bali The island of Bali The island of Bali
The island of Bali The island of Bali The island of Bali

 

Interesting facts about the island of Bali 

There are six active volcanoes on the island. But except them there many dangers on the island, because the island is located at the junction of two tectonic plates, which leads to frequent earthquakes and eruptions. In 1830 one of the volcanoes has almost destroyed  the entire island.

  • From 1906 to 1949 the island of Bali was under Dutch control, the island was part of the Dutch East Indies.
  • During the Second World War, the island was controlled by Japanese. 
  • In 1963 the Gunung Agung volcano awoke (before that time it had been considered not active). The terrible eruption killed thousands. The southern part has suffered the most.
  • Most of the island's population is Hindus, while the Balinese live in a Muslim state.
  • People in Bali believe that only through cremation the soul can leave the body after death, that`s why it is the most popular ceremony on island.
  • Most of the Balinese love to grow rice; they even have a special ritual, which is able to increase the harvest and to appease the god of fertility. To keep this ritual in some regions the bull races on the rice fields are held.
  • Bali is a favorite place for honeymooners. The beauty of the island attracts lovers, who come up with a very beautiful and interesting wedding ceremony.

 

Conclusions

The island of Bali is a very popular centre of tourism and vip tourism. You can visit a lot of different beautiful places, and when you get bored of excursions the island will offer you a bunch of other ways to have fun: cycling, surfing, dancing, diving and so on. Balinese cuisine will amaze you with its richness and diversity and beauty of the island will never let you to forget it!

The island of Bali The island of Bali The island of Bali



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