Bali is a land that seems to have a magnet at its very
heart. It is a feeling that is difficult to understand unless
experienced but once visited you are surely compelled to
come back and you may even want to stay forever, such is
its pull. Maybe its Bali’s beauty, maybe the friendly people,
or maybe even the influence from spirits that certainly
abide in this place.
Bali goes under many names. Some call it the ‘island of
the gods’, others Shangri-La. The ‘last paradise’, the ‘dawning
of the world’ and the ‘centre of the universe’ are yet more
names for this truly beautiful tropical island inhabited
by a remarkably artistic people who have created a dynamic
society with unique arts and ceremonies.
Bali is small, just 140 Km by 80 Km and lies between Java,
the most highly populated and influential of all the islands,
and Lombok, one of the quieter and moderately slower paced
islands. Like many islands, Bali has developed a world of
its own. It not only captures what is special about Indonesia
but also has a uniqueness of its own.
Daily life on Bali is culturally linked to satisfying and
appeasing the gods, spirits and demons in the midst of breathtaking
panoramas of cultivated rice terraces, impressive volcanoes
and pristine beaches. Bali’s main volcano, Gunung Agung,
is still active and sometimes explosive and is considered
sacred among local people as it is believed to be the centre
of the universe.
Lying just 8o south of the Equator, Bali can boast a tropical
climate with just two seasons a year and an average temperature
of around 28o Celsius. It has a whole range of different
environments and activities for the tourist, many of which
are covered in these homepages.
Economically and culturally, Bali is one of the most important
islands of Indonesia. Rice is grown on irrigated, terraced
hillsides; other crops include sugar cane, coffee, copra,
tobacco, fruits and vegetables. Cattle and hogs are also
raised. The Balinese are skilled artisans, particularly
in woodcarving and in fashioning objects of tortoiseshell
and of gold, silver and other metals. The Balinese are noted
for their traditional dance, the distinctive music of the
gamelan and for their skills in weaving cloth of gold and
silver threads, Songket, as well as for embroidering silk
and cotton clothing.
Bali of today is one of the twenty six provinces of the
Republic of Indonesia, divided administratively between
eight districts that take their names and boundaries from
the island’s old Hindu kingdoms.