Bali – Indonesia

Bali is an Indonesian island. It is located in a chain with Java to the west and Lombok to the east. The island is a popular tourist destination and known, along with Java, for its individual style of music, especially that played on the gamelan.

The principal cities are the northern port of Singaraja and the capital, Denpasar, near thebali southern coast. The town of Ubud (north of Denpasar), with its art market, museums and galleries, is regarded as the cultural center of Bali.

In the south the land descends to form an alluvial plain, watered by shallow rivers, dry in the dry season and overflowing whenever there are periods of heavy rains.

Its 3 million population is mainly (about 90%) Hindu, but a very small part is Muslim (the fishers on the coast).

The main tourist locations are the town of Kuta (along with its accompanying beach), Sanur, Jimbaran, Seminyak and the newer development of Nusa Dua. The Ngurah Rai International Airport is located near Jimbaran, on the isthmus joining the southernmost part of the island to the main part of the island.

Most of the Balinese people are involved in agriculture, primarily that of rice cultivation. Other crops such as fruits, vegetables and other cash crops are also grown, although in smaller amounts. A significant number of Balinese are also fishermen. Bali is also famous for its artisans who produce batik and ikat cloth and clothing, wooden carvings, stone carvings and silverware.

Balinese artists are world renowned for their skill in carving wood and painting representations of the local mythical beings. Statues, furniture, ornamentation, painting and masks are seen everywhere in Bali. In particular, the masks of Bali have become world famous. In addition, wooden and stone sculptures are everywhere in Bali. It’s in the hotels, temples, gardens, houses and even along the roads. Sculpture is created on public buildings, for the Gods. It’s considered functional, as a part of life, not as something separate.

Despite the terrorist bombings, Bali remains an appealing destination, perhaps even more so because the tragic events have reduced the number of tourists. It seems that no area of the world is immune from terrorist activity, and there is no real reason to think that Bali is less safe than Madrid, New York or London. Having said that, it would certainly be prudent to avoid high profile western hang-outs anywhere in Indonesia, and of course beware of pick-pockets, money exchange scams and all of the usual annoyances.

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