Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Bali (Travel)

There is a legend told of an island east of Java. It was a beautiful island, but its fertile plains and palm fringed shores rocked and were unsteady. The gods conferred. There decided the answer lay in placing a mountain upon the island, to balance, calm and soothe it. And so they did.
Happiness then reigned on the island and all was at peace. The mountain was called Great Mountain - GUNUNG AGUNG - and the island is BALI,
"The Morning of the World", a magical island full of legends and mystical tales set amid the thousands of islands that are INDONESIA.
Bali is one of the 17,508 islands which make up of the archipelagic Republic of Indonesia. It is easily one of Indonesia's most popular tourist destinations known throughout the world as a paradise isle set in the southern seas with its story-book setting of sun-drenched beahes, rooling surf, rustic villages, fertile plains and sculptured rice terraces. Bali is also graced by colourful temple festivals accompanied by spritely music and dance watched by the local populace, tourists, and the unseen gods from their dwelling places perched on majestic mountains. Located near the eastern-most tip of Java island across the narrow Straits of Bali, this 'Isle of the Gods' is peopled by the friendly Balinese who are more exposed to international tourists than many people in other parts of Indonesia.

There are three coastal areas on the tourist map for accommodation - Kuta, Sanur and Nusa Dua.

Kuta, on the west, is brash and lively, over commercialise, but with great surf. It is the cheaper end of the market and has some good value accommodation.

Nusa Dua is in the south, and is effectively a large resort complex, aimed upmarket, filled with five star quality hotels. The area is landscaped and pretty, but too sanitised for our liking - there is nothing Balinese about the area. However, it would make an excellent base for exploring the island.

Sanur, where we stayed, is somewhere between the two. It is quieter than Kuta, and prettier. The tourist industry here is less pushy and the area has a more Balinese feel, especially if you venture away from the main resort area.