Beach lovers and surfers are in for an extraordinary island experience in a destination such as Bali, one of the most popular — if not the most sought-after — island holiday spots in the entire Indonesian archipelago. The island is home not only to the friendliest and hospitable people but also to a prominently ancient culture. As a province of Indonesia, Bali has the country’s biggest Hindu population. In the aspect of tourism in Bali, anything Hindu is widely patronized, as numerous exotic temples and grand palaces are among its great wonders. More than its natural beauty, this destination is a place where one can immerse into a rich culture in which its people preserve well for the longest time.
Since the 1980s, Bali has become a prime tourist destination among those who wish to see something truly oriental in nature. In fact, tourism makes up 80 per cent of Bali’s economy. It just goes to show how dedicated the people of this magnificent island are to the culture industry. Bali is often rated among one of the most prime destinations among travel magazines. Evidently, you can see the reason why once you get there; the island is also known for their highly developed cultural arts such as traditional dance, sculptures, paintings, craftsmanship and music.
Bali would never be a complete trip without going to its beaches. There are quite a lot of places where one can swim on the island; find yourself enjoying dozens of amazing beaches and luxury resorts in most of Bali’s famous areas. After a day of basking under the sun and frolicking in the sand, famous nightspots offer exciting opportunities to go clubbing, dancing and singing your heart away. These include Kuta, Seminyak and Jimbaran where most of the prime hotels and villas are only a walk away from the highlights of the island.
Tourists return to Bali because its natural wonders are worth coming back to. Once you get inland, various towering volcanoes and majestic jungles full of exotic plants and animals welcome you for a great adventure. Furthermore, the eastern point of Bali is home to the most popular surfing spots in history. The locations of Sanur, Nusa Dua and the remote coast of Candidasa are not only prime surfing locations; they also possess natural beautiful seascapes and sunrises.
For those who are into some world-class diving spots in Bali’s calmer bays, the farther but lesser travelled northern region might be the place for you. The location is home to lovely pristine coral gardens; the waters are filled with outlandish marine life. Marine encounters are truly amazing feats in Bali, as Indonesia boasts itself as the second most biodiverse island after Brazil. Here, you get to encounter fish such as the bizarre Mola Molas (also known as the Sunfish), the graceful Reef Manta Ray and the unusually small Manado Muck while Diving.
The scenic central highlands of Ubud are known for their beautiful rice fields. Tourists who have visited Bali would say that the real Bali can be found where the rice is cultivated. The agriculture of the Balinese people has sustained them for over 2,000 years and has done so to this day. The terraced rice fields were once handcrafted by the ancestors of the modern Balinese people. It is indeed with the utmost care and pride that they have maintained these splendid rice paddies for hundreds of generations.
Ubud isn’t just an agricultural wonder; it is also the central commercial district of Bali, Offering a great opportunity for adventure and shopping. There are quite a handful of specialized shops which prove that Bali is also a powerhouse for art and design enthusiasts. Balinese craftsmanship is among the oldest and the most developed in its region. The Ubud Art Market offers various high-quality and reasonably priced selections of trinkets of wood and metal.
Bali is truly a prime destination. Any self-proclaimed seasoned traveller should have already set foot in this magnificent part of Indonesia. If you haven’t yet, then we are here to help you plan your itinerary. We have both comprehensive descriptions of the must-visit places in Bali as well as tips that will surely make your itinerary an ideal one!
People & Culture
Bali might be a paradise but its people is what makes the experience truly special. Even if it is not as urban as Singapore and Hong Kong, it provides you various ways of how you can be one with nature—and its people will help you feel peace and appreciate moments of serenity. After all, after a stressful environment living in a bustling metropolis, it is only fair that you should see what the natural path has to offer. Needless to say, the people of Bali have mastered what it means to be in sync with the gifts of Mother Nature.
The people of Bali are known as the Suku Bali, an Austronesian ethnic group native to Indonesia. There are about 4.2 million people that make up the Balinese population. That is almost 1.7 per cent of Indonesia’s population. Furthermore, there are also significant populations on the island of Lombok and in the easternmost regions of Java.
The people and culture of Bali is a mix of Hindu-Buddhist religion and Balinese customs. Unlike most Indonesians who adhere to the practices of Islam, the Balinese practice Hinduism—one that has already been influenced by the neighbouring Javanese culture. Their language fits in the Austronesian language family, among neighbouring countries such as the Philippines, Malaysia and even as far as Madagascar.
Each village in Bali is a self-contained community, often venerating the common ancestors, and they are commonly subdivided into cooperative groups whose members help each other in temple maintenance, festivals and family rites. As a result, family ties have a strong grip when it comes to Balinese culture. Thus, the welcoming attitude explains the excellent hospitality that the Balinese displays proudly.
The Balinese are perhaps most known for their dance practices. This is an ancient tradition which has been passed down for hundreds of years. The origin of their original dance culture is partly religious and also a form of artistic expression, which means that the dance has been practised as long as Hinduism has in Bali. Balinese dance is dynamic, angular and intensely expressive; stories are expressed through the dance-drama of the bodily gestures which includes the fingers, hands, head and eyes.
Another amazing feat that the Balinese people succeed at is the arts and crafts field. You might have the first impression that, as a region highly dependent on tourism, their art is a generic fad. However, do not think this way. Many are amazed to see that Balinese arts and crafts are actually sought after worldwide. It is expected for every visitor to at least own a small trinket from Bali or just any of the unique products from the island.
It is without a doubt that Bali has grown significantly in the past decades. The people of Bali have taken to themselves the issues that industrialization will introduce, such as forthcoming environmental challenges and pollution. After all, without its essential natural beauty, Bali would truly be a different place, and so would it’s people and culture.
Each destination you choose to visit has a tips section on all attractions, places and more. Check out the tips section to save money, learn about free deals, find useful links, find out the best times to visit and much much more.