A TROP­I­CAL STATE OF MIND

Dream and Dine - - Story Of Bali -

In this day and age, Bali is on the mustvisit list of any dis­cern­ing trav­eller around the world. A par­adise with so much more to of­fer than the stun­ning beaches, Bali has be­come a mood lifter, an in­spi­ra­tion, and for some, a way of life.

The Peo­ple of Bali

Look­ing be­yond the sandy beaches, shim­mer­ing sun­shine, surf waves, and re­sorts great and small, the essence of Bali lies in its gen­er­ous and gen­uinely warm peo­ple. The clichéd Ba­li­nese smile holds a cer­tain fun, sly sense of hu­mour be­hind the smiles. Whether in­flu­enced by thriv­ing tourism through­out gen­er­a­tions or sim­ply through nat­u­ral up­bring­ing, the peo­ple of Bali are cul­tur­ally hos­pitable and wel­com­ing, which is one of the main rea­sons for in­ter­na­tional tourists to be so at­tached to this par­adise on earth.

From the pe­cu­liar rice-and-petals of­fer­ings you'll def­i­nitely step on more than a few times a day, to the fes­tive cel­e­bra­tions of friendly locals to the won­drous tra­di­tional mu­sic and mes­mer­iz­ing dances in the many tem­ples, you'll wit­ness more than your share of fas­ci­nat­ing lo­cal ac­tiv­i­ties.

In­fi­nite Des­ti­na­tion

Lo­cated right next door, Lom­bok is a largely undis­cov­ered is­land nearly as big as Bali. From its vol­canic cen­tre to un­touched scenic beaches such as Mawun, it re­wards trav­ellers who want to ex­plore. Many climbers are drawn to In­done­sia's sec­ond-high­est vol­cano, the mighty Gu­nung Rin­jani. Rivers and wa­ter­falls gush down its fis­sured slopes, while its sum­mit — com­plete with hot springs and a daz­zling crater lake — is the ul­ti­mate trekker's prize.

On Bali you can lose your­self in the chaos of Kuta or the sybaritic plea­sures of Seminyak and Ker­obokan, surf wild beaches in the south or just hang­out on Nusa Lembongan. You can go

fam­ily friendly in Sanur or savour a lav­ish get­away on the Bukit Penin­sula. Ubud is the heart of Bali, a place where the spirit and cul­ture of the is­land are most ac­ces­si­ble. It shares the is­land's most beau­ti­ful rice fields and an­cient mon­u­ments with east and west Bali.

The mid­dle of Bali is dom­i­nated by the dra­matic vol­ca­noes of the cen­tral moun­tains and hill­side tem­ples such as Pura Luhur Batukaru (one of the is­land's es­ti­mated 10,000 tem­ples). North and west Bali are thinly pop­u­lated but have the kind of div­ing and surf­ing that make any jour­ney worth­while. Bali is abun­dantly rich in art and cul­ture of var­i­ous forms and ex­pres­sions. Tra­di­tional ke­cak dance is an en­chant­ing form of cul­tural en­ter­tain­ment that's worth watch­ing at least once for any trav­eller. The gor­geous set­ting at Pura Luhur Uluwatu in a small am­phithe­atre in a leafy part of the grounds makes it one of the more evoca­tive on the is­land.

If you're look­ing for a touch of modern art, head to Mu­seum Puri Luk­isan in Ubud, the place where the modern Ba­li­nese art move­ment sup­pos­edly started. Are you a fan of the out­doors and look­ing to ex­pe­ri­ence what the is­land has to of­fer? The north­ern coast of­fers a se­ries of wa­ter­falls more than 20 me­tres high, jun­gle grot­tos, as well as cof­fee and vanilla plan­ta­tions in a hik­ing and trekking trip that can last from three to seven hours long. And of course, there's noth­ing wrong with some good old white sandy beach and plenty of sun. There are an in­fi­nite num­ber of beach re­treats and marine ac­tiv­i­ties to do in Bali. One surfer's par­adise would be Balian beach, a rolling area of dunes and knolls over­look­ing pound­ing surf where you can wan­der be­tween beach­front cafes or talk surf over sun­set and cock­tails. One of the three Gilis over at Lom­bok also of­fers pris­tine beaches and spec­tac­u­lar spots to snorkel, dive or fish.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Indonesia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.