ISLAND OFTHE GODS
Immersed in a rich cultural heritage and encapsulated by beautiful coastline, Bali is a tropical paradise. Unique amongst the 17,000 islands that populate the Indonesian archipelago, Bali is a destination awaiting discovery.
Spiritually and artistically, at the heart of Bali is the cool, hilly centre of Ubud. Surrounded by paddy fields and a serene rural atmosphere, Ubud offers travellers a tranquil environment to experience authentic Balinese arts and crafts as well offering a romantic dining setting.
For a sense of adventure, why not try a white-water rafting experience down the Ayung River, or more relaxed pursuits including catamarans and sunset or dolphin watching cruises? Back on dry land, travellers wishing to experience the many great golf courses that Bali has to offer can find such an experience at the Bali Golf and Country Club in Nusa Dua.
If you would prefer to explore the stunning surrounding area, a popular drive from Ubud leads up to the crater lake of Mount Batur, flanking the mist-wreathed Gunung Agurig volcano. To the south lie the enclave of Nusa Dua and the stylish Seminyak entertainment area which runs along the southwest coast, both of which are worthy of visiting. Further south still the ‘Sunset’ coast is dominated by the convivial sprawl of Kuta, perfect for spending time on the beach.
While shopping in Bali, apart from the gew-gaws and delights of Kuta, look for local art in Batuan, or try Batubulan for stone carvings and Celuk for intricate silver work. After-hours, unwind people-watching in the upscale bars of Seminyak.
It is no surprise that Bali is referred to as the Island of The Gods, particularly considering the island’s rich Hindu heritage. Dotted with temples such as Besakih and Tanah Lot, crisscrossed with the meandering roads and scented fragrances of frangipani, bougainvillea and other tropical flowers, Bali offers truly spiritual experiences at every turn.
Not far from Ubud, you can enjoy views of popular Lake Bratan, the most accessible of the island’s volcanic lakes surrounded by marinas and small towns.
To see the essence of the Balinese culture performed during temple festivals, weddings and other ceremonies, the colourful, traditional Balinese dances such as the theatrical Kecak and Legong dances are a sight to behold.
The Besakih temple on the slopes of the great Gunung Agung volcano in eastern Bali, dedicated to the Hindu Trinity is the island’s holiest temple and the epitome of serenity as you walk amongst the spires.