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Bali needs no introduction, artists and tourists have been coming to this island since the 1920s, when air travel was in its infancy and sea travel was considered an extravagance. If you are seeking beauty and peace of mind, and the enjoyment of virgin palm-fringed beaches, a landscaped tapestry of green paddies and towering mountains, Bali is the place to be. Bali is located just off the eastern tip of Java, from which it is separated by the Bali Strait. Immediately to its east is the island of Lombok, across the Lombok Strait. On its north and south side, the island is flanked by the Java Sea and the Indian Ocean, respectively. The island of Bali occupies an area of approximately 6,000 square kilometers and lies on a latitude of 8ฐ south of the equator.

The southern part of the island is covered by wide and fertile lowlands and mountain foothills. Many small rivers, which have their headwaters in the mountains in the center of the island, flow through those plains and empty into the Indian Ocean. The southern part of the island is the most populous, with the most important towns and cities located in this area: Gilimanuk, Negara, Jembrana, Tabanan, Denpasar, Gianyar, Bangli, Klungkung, and Amlapura. Along the narrow coastal lowland strip in the north are Singaraja and its port, Buleleng. The city of Denpasar is the provincial capital of Bali; the island of Bali constitutes a province of Indonesia, and is administered by a governor. The province of Bali consists of eight regencies, each administered by a regent. They are Badung (capital, Denpasar), Buleleng (Singaraja), Gianyar (Gianyar), Bangli (Bangli), Klungkung (Klungkung), Karangasem (Amlapura), Jembrana (Negara), and Tabanan (Tabanan).

Hills and mountains fill the central part of the island, running along an east-west axis. The highest are the mountains Agung (3,142 m), Abang (2,150 m), Bratan (2,270 m), Merbuk (1,386m), and Patas (1,474 m). Mount Batur, Gunung and Agung are still active. Agung, whose last eruption in 1963 devastated vast areas in its vicinity. Cool and beautiful lakes are found in these central highlands, such as Lake Bratan and Lake Batur. Rivers, such as the Badung and the Kelandis, flow from these mountains, both of them through Denpasar. The Agung river originates in Mount Penulisan and empties into the Badung Strait. The Burus and Banyumala rivers flank the town Singaraja in the north and empty into the Bali Sea.

Like most other regions in Indonesia, Bali has two seasons: a dry season, lasting from April to September, and a rainy season, lasting from October to March. Those two seasons are separated by a transition period of unpredictable weather. The dry season is hot during the day, but cool during the night. The average daily temperature in Bali ranges from 28ฐ-30ฐ centigrade in the lowlands. In the towns and villages in the mountains it is about 10ฐ centigrade. The most pleasant time of the year is between May and September.

One other element that has since the beginning contributed to the island's great popularity among visitors is the apparently inborn friendliness of its people, and the ease with which they communicate with others. With a population of approximately three million people and a total land surface of 6,000 square kilometers, Bali is one of the most densely populated territories of Indonesia. Bali's plains are very fertile and about two thirds of the people of Bali are engaged in agriculture. Irrigated rice fields, often laid out in neat terraces carved out of the mountain slopes, and other seasonal crops are found from the highlands down to the lowlands. In the north of the island, the people plant coffee, coconut and fruits. The forests throughout the island are well preserved, and cover most of the mountaintops.

The people also rear cattle and pigs and Bali's beef is said to be first-rate. In the coastal regions an important source of income is fishing whether it be in the sea or fish farm ponds. Tourism is another important source of income for this island paradise. Crafts, painting and sculpting in particular, are another source of revenue in which many Balinese are engaged. Art pervades the daily life of the Balinese. Almost every village has its artists, many of whom have achieved worldwide acclaim. Bali is one of the few places in the world where one can see a cowherd boy sculpting a piece of wood or coconut shell while watching his herd. Bali's music and dances have fascinated discriminating audiences in prominent art centers in many countries around the world.

Before the arrival of Hinduism in Indonesia, the people of Bali, like others in Indonesia, adhered to the ancient Indonesian animist belief, which holds that many objects in nature are inhabited by spirits, either good ones or bad. It does not seem exaggerated to say that Bali today, constitutes a museum of the Hindu culture in Indonesia, because it is the only place in which the creed is still actively practiced, albeit in a form that is strongly infused with local elements, as it must have been in Java and elsewhere too, in the past. The Hindu Balinese faith still touches every aspect of life on the island. This can be seen every day, in ceremonies as well as in the outlook and attitudes of people. From birth through childhood, adulthood, to old age and the moment of death, the Balinese marks the passage of his life with rituals and ceremonies. In its various expressions, all this can be observed daily in Bali, sometimes in colorful ceremonies, but often in little details such as the presence of flower offerings in tiny baskets in taxis, or in the burning of joss sticks in hotel lobbies.

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Denpasar is the bustling capital city of Bali, that has been the focus of much of the island's growth and wealth over the last 30 years. The main attractions of this city are the museum, Pura Jagatnath, Bali's state temple, the markets and shops. Although there are a good variety of hotels and restuarants in Denpasar, many visitors to Bali prefer to stay in Ubud, Sanur and Kuta-Legian to escape the traffic, noise and pollution of this busy city. That is not to say a trip to Denpasar is not worth the experience.


There are a variety of restuarants in Denpasar offering a good choice of food to suit a variety of tastes at reasonable prices. Restaurant Hong Kong serves a good selection of Chinese and Indonesian dishes but prices are a little on the high side in comparision with other places in the area. Mie 88 with a slightly less extensive menu, is good value for money. Pondok Melati serves good, resonably priced seafood, but the setting is slightly noisy. If your looking for something pedas -spicy, visit Ayam Goreng Taliwang, that serves Lombok style food. Many of the shopping centres in the area have places to eat and there are several fast food places for those fast food addicts, McDonalds at the NDA department store, Wendy's and Pizza Hut at the Bali Mall and KFC at Matahari's and there is no shortage of Dunkin Donut outlets in the city.

 Indonesian Cuisine

 Warung Nasi Bali
 JL. Hayam Wuruk 69A
 Phone (0361) 223889

 Kakman Restuarant
 JL. Tengku Umar
 Phone: (0361) 227188

 Kikel Sapi
 JL. Sumatra.

 Ayam Bakar Taliwang
 JL. Tengku Umar
 Phone: (0361) 228789

 Ayam Goreng Nyonya Suharti
 JL. Gatot Subroto Ubung
 Phone: (0361) 234815


 Other Asian Cuisine

 JL. Gajah Mada,
 Denpasar 80118
 Phone: (0861) 284845,

 Atoom Baru
 JL. Gajah Mada,
 Denpasar 80118
 Phone: (0861) 222788,

 JL. Gajah Mada Phone
 (0361) 435135

 JL. Teuku Umar
 Simpang Enam Square
 Phone (0361) 238551

By Air:

Numerous international carriers service Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport either directly or via Jakarta. Domestic airlines operate schedule flights from various cities within Indonesia.

By Land:
Bali is connected to Java by a regular ferry service running between Gilimanuk and Banyuwangi. If you are taking the train or a night bus from Jakarta, Bandung or Yogyakarta, travels first to Surabaya for the connection to Banyuwangi. Buses can be boarded at Banyuwangi or Gilimanuk for the final leg to Denpasar.

By Sea:
The state-run passanger line PELNI operates weekly sailing's between Bali and Jakarta, Ujung Pandang and Balikpapan. Regular ferries sail between Lombok and Bali.

Upon arrival: If your hotel has not arranged transportation from the airport, hire a taxi from the transport counter outside the arrival gate. Fares are listed by destination and must be paid in advance. Metered taxis are also available in Kuta, Sanur, Nusa Dua and Denpasar.

Rent a car
While inexpensive public transportation is available throughout Bali, the best option for travellers looking for comfort and flexibility is car rental. Air-conditioned vehicle's available include jeeps, family wagons and sedans, and these may be hired with or without a chauffeur. If you choose to drive yourself, a valid international Driving License is required. Temporary driving permits are also available from the Traffic Police Department. Most international road conventions are observed in Bali, though right-of-way tends to go to the larger vehicle and turns are not always signaled. Remember to drive on the left and overtake only on the right; turning left on a red light is allowed only when indicated. Keep both eyes out for the pedestrians, motorcycles, potholes, chickens and stray dogs (and pay special attention to your side-view mirrors). If negotiating Bali's sometimes hectic and usually harrowing roadways does not appeal to you, then hire a driver with your vehicle. They are inexpensive addition and generally know their way around the island.
For metered taxis, chauffeur-driven, standard and luxury cars, reservations can be made at (361) 701111.

Seeing Bali by motorcycle is a romantic and carefree option provided you drive very cautiously. Helmets for both drivers and passenger are required by law, as in appropriate license. Motorcycling is not recommended (nor particularly pleasant) in the wet season.

Bus tours and daily excursions in air-conditioned coach or mini-van are offered at most hotels and travel agencies. Public buses ply routes throughout Bali from Denpasar's Ubung Terminal.

Bemos and Dokar
Bemos (covered pickups or mini-vans) ply short routes between towns. They are not air-conditioned and can be crowded, but are cheap. Fares vary according to distances, and bargaining is recommended. For a different experience, hop on a traditional dokar. These small horse-drawn carts are still available in Kuta and Denpasar and a short ride costs next to nothing

Badung Market Jl. Gajah Mada, Denpasar

Pasar Badung is the largest and oldest market in Bali located on Jl. Gajah Mada, Denpasar. Selling everything from fruit and meat to clothes and textiles, Pasar Badung is a market that provides for the local's needs. Three floors high and crammed full of shops, this is definitely the place to practice those bargaining skills.

Kumbasari Market Jl. Gajah Mada, Denpasar
On the opposite side of the river to Badung Market is Pasar Kumbasari that offers a wide range of handicrafts, gold work fine fabrics.

Bird Market Jl. Veteran, Denpasar
Sells an assortment of beautiful birds, this may leave some visitors upset at the cruel caged conditions the birds are exposed to, but the sights and sounds of this market are impressive with all the bird song and beautiful coloured birds.

Sukawati Market - Gianyar
Known for its craft and also fabric center : basketware, items for ceremonials and local textiles.


 Kuta Square
 JL. Raya Ubud
 Nusa Dua Galleria
 Phone:(361) 753830
 (Families wear)
 JL. Raya Seminyak
 Body And Soul
 (up-to-the minute style
 for young people)
 JL. Legia
 Phone: (361) 756297
 (wide range of silk
 family products)
 JL. Pantai Kuta and
 JL. Legian
 Phone: (361) 752275
 Galeri Keris
 (family clothes from
 local and international
 Nusa Dua Galleria
 Phone: (361) 771303
 (basic playwear : t-
 shits,shoes and
 Kuta Square - Legian
 Plaza and JL. Dewi
 Sartika Denpasar
 (Batik swimwear and
 Kuta Square
 and JL. Legian
 Kuta Kids
 (for younger kids, girls
 and boys) JL. Legian
 Rags Junior
 (for junior trendies)
 JL. Raya Seminyak
 Kahuna Surf Kids
 (colourful surfwear for
 JL. Legian - Kaja 476

 Bali Bakery
 (selection of cakes
 and breads)
 JL. Imam Bonjol
 Phone: (361) 755149

 (fine antique wares)
 JL. Krobokan

 (bed and tablewares)
 JL. Pantai Kuta
 Phone: (361) 755342

 Jonathan Silver
 (extensive range of
 JL. Legian
 Phone: (361) 754209

 (Billabong gear)
 JL. Bunisari
 Phone: (361) 756296

Museum Negeri Propinsi Bali
Museum founded by Yayasan Bali in December 1932.
Phone (0361) 222680

Pura Jaganatha
Denpasar has many community temples called "Pura". The Pura Jaganatha is dedicated to the Supreme God, Sang Hyang Widi Wasa. The statue of a turtle and two dragons (prevalent in all temples) signifies the foundation of the world. The Pura Jaganatha Museum offers a fine variety of prehistoric and modern art, and its architectural design is based on that of a palace. The government-supervised "Sanggraha Kriyahasta" has a wide variety of handicraft and works of art the "Werdhi Budaya" presents a yearly art festival between June and July, with performances, exhibitions, and an art contest.

Taman Wedhi Budaya
Located in the eastern part of Depasar this large arts centre was established as an academy and showplace for Balinese culture and is worth a visit. Phone (0361) 222776

Waterboom Park
A screaming sensation for family recreation with top-quality water-slides that qualifies the strict safety standard. Located in Kuta, another landscape tropical garden, it founds the entertainment capital of the region. Visit this park at Jl. Kartika Plaza, Tuban - Kuta, (0361) 755676 or e-mail :

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Information provided by Department of Tourism. Government of Indonesia.


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