Introduction to Bali
Bali is one of Indonesia’s 17,508 island’s. It is located in the western end of the Lesser Sunda Islands lying in between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. Bali’s provincial capital is known as Denpasar and it is located towards the south of the island.
In 2010, the population was recorded as 3,891,000 people. The island is home to Indonesia’s Hindu minority. In the 2000 census, 92.29% of Bali’s population were Balinese Hindus while the rest were Muslims. Bali is also Indonesia’s largest tourist destination and is known for its various art forms which include traditional and modern dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworks and music.
With its varied landscapes of hills and mountains, rugged coastlines and sandy beaches to its rice terraces and barren volcanic hillsides, Bali always has something to offer for various types of tourists. Its picturesque sceneries together with its deep spiritual and unique culture stakes a serious claim to be paradise on earth.
With its world class surfing and diving, historical and archeological attractions and a wide variety of accommodations, Bali is easily one of the most popular island destinations in the world. Bali has consistently won various tourism awards. This is echoed in the quote below:-
“The main asset of Bali tourism is the culture of Bali itself. Because of this, let us all work together to protect and preserve that which draws tourists to Bali.”
Minister of Culture and Tourism – I Gede Ardhika
A procession for a religious ceremony
A procession for a religious ceremony | Source
Regions in Bali
Bali has six regions which are:-
South Bali – This region consists of the Kuta, Bukit Peninsula, Canggu, Denpasar, Jimbaran, Legian, Nusa Dua, Sanur, Seminyak and Tanah Lot. This region is the most visited part of the island due to the fact that Denpasar International Airport is located in the region as well as Kuta Beach and Seminyak which are main tourist destinations.
Central Bali – This region consists of Ubud, Bedugul and Tabanan. This region is also known as the cultural hub of Bali. The central mountain range is also located in this region. The highest mountain in this region is Mount Batukaru.
West Bali – This region consists of Negara, Gilimanuk, Medewi Beach, Pemuteran and the West Bali National Park. It is in this location which have ferry trips to Java. For the eco-tourist, the West Bali National Park is located in this region as well.
North Bali – This region consists or Lovina and Singaraja. This region has quiet black beaches. The old capital city of Singaraja or “Lion King” is also located in this region. Singaraja was formerly the Dutch colonial administrative centre for Bali and the Lesser Sunda Islands until 1953. Gedong Kirtya which is located south of the town centre of Singaraja is the only library of lontar manuscripts which are ancient and sacred texts written on the leaves of the rontal palm. This the only library of such kind in the world.
East Bali – This region consists of Amed, Besakih, Candidasa, Kintamani, Klungkung, Mount Agung, Padang Bai & Tirta Gangga. This region is a laid back coastal village flanked by an active volcano as well as the mighty Mount Agung.
Southeastern Islands – This region consists of Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida and Nusa Ceningan. This region is popular for its diving activities.
Mount Agung dominates the landscape of East Bali
Mount Agung dominates the landscape of East Bali | Source
Popular Cities in Bali
Some of the popular cities in Bali are:-
Denpasar – This city is the administratice centre as well as the transport hub for the island.
Candidasa – This is a quiet coastal town which is the gateway to the east coast.
Kuta – This is a surfer’s city and it the most heavily developed area in Bali. There are a lot of shopping centres to cater for the large number of tourist arrivals to this city. This is also the centre of Bali’s nightlife and party culture.
Jimbaran – This is a seaside resort which has nice sheltered beaches as well as seafood restaurants. Jimbaran is located to the south of Kuta.
Legian – This city is located between Kuta and Seminyak. It is also the name of Kuta’s main street.
Lovina – This city is where there are beautiful black volcanic sand beaches and coral reefs.
Sanur – This area has seaside resorts and beaches which are popular with older families.
Seminyak – This is the quieter city which has more upscale beach resorts and villas just north to Legian. It also has a fashionable upscale restaurants and trendy designer bars and dance clubs.
Ubud – This is the centre of art and dance in the foothills. This area has several museums, the monkey forest and lots of arts and craft shops for the tourist.