vibrant culture, unique arts and ceremonies, a friendly people
and scenic beauty make Bali an island almost unreal in today's
changing world and is therefore the main destination for pleasure
tourists to Indonesia. Bali's international airport, Ngurah Rai,
is the nation's eastern gateway, served by numerous international
airlines and charter flights.
and Kuta are located on the eastern and western coasts of the
southern part of the island. The Nusa Dua peninsula on the southern
tip is still growing as a tourist resort.
culture is based on its unique form of Hinduism called "Hindu
Darma" which has been retained after the Islamization of
Java, since then developed through the centuries. Though the caste
system is observed, it is notas rigid as in India. Religion is
the source of traditional customs in family and community life.
Its influence is also strongly felt in the arts. With a completely
different lifestyle from the rest of Indonesia, the Balinese have
managed to preserve their culture despite the overwhelming foreign
influences brought by the increasing number of visitors.
"rajas" and princes were deprived of their kingdoms
by the colonial government in the early part of this century,
but many of them still own their palaces and are respected as
patrons of the arts. The classical dance drama is based on the
old Hindu epics of the Ramayana and the Mahabarata, or on local
folklore (such as Barong dance).
island of Bali is mountainous in the center with a cluster of
volcanoes of which one is the active Mount Agung and considered
sacred. Terraced rice-fields dominate the landscape, with small
streams bringing water for irrigation.
attraction of Bali is its unique art and culture. It almost seems
that every person is an artist in some form, whether it is painting,
weaving, carving, basketry, etc., or even in decorations which
are done at many shrines in public areas, on roads, paddy fields
or in homes. Villagers spend their free time in these arts which
are taught from a very young age.
soul of the Balinese is in his religion, so it finds its expression
in the arts. A friendly people, the Balinese who are more exposed
to international tourists, generally speak more English than people
in other parts of Indonesia. Keeping pace with the number of visitors
and the need for their accommodation, more hotels have been built,
from small bungalow types for the budget traveler to the luxurious
Nusa Dua tourist resort area. Water sports have gained in popularity
: surfing on Kuta, wind surfing at Sanur, sailing and scuba diving
at several other tourist parts.