Bali is nestled between Australia on the south and mainland Asia to the north and part of of Indonesia. Bali offers something for everyone. If you want to just laze around and relax under the sun, then there are countless sandy beaches waiting for you – the warm blue water and the white coast line in this tropical paradise is in wait for you. And a surfers mecca or for divers coral reefs to explore.
The earliest people to reach Bali were the Austronesian's who came here from Taiwan about 4,000 years back. And Cornelis de Houtman, the Dutch explorer, is said to be the first European who arrived here in 1597. Since then there has been a strong Dutch influence as they ruled Bali for hundreds of years until Imperial Japan colonized the island during World War II.
But today the people of Bali are mostly Hindus and the second most popular religion is Islam. This has made the island a place of diversity and observing the arts and cultural variations is also an interesting study.
Thousands of tourists from the neighboring areas and from across the world come to Bali making the island the most popular tourist destination in Indonesia with many Bali attractions and many choices of Bali accommodation from 5 star hotels to budget losmens.
Though agriculture was the traditional money earner in Bali, but much has changed since then and today, tourism is the biggest industry as thousands of tourists from Djakarta and other parts of Indonesia , nearby countries and from across the world visits this island.
And why not, after all there is so much to see here - white sandy beaches, rugged coastlines, coral dive sites, barren volcanic hillsides, mountain streams, lush green paddy and rice fields, scenic villages, museums and dense tropical forests.
Add to this the friendly and hospitable people and the beautiful Hindu temples, and what you get is a fascinating experience.
This place is famous for the "Purl Lukisan", which is a museum that showcases Balinese paintings. You will find here both traditional Balinese paintings that have traveled across the world and also the new wave of contemporary paintings. Check out the many art galleries here. Some world renowned artists have also made Ubud their home such as Antonio Blanco from the US and Hans Snel from Holland . Ubud is located high up and so the weather is also nice here.
If you want to surf in Bali, you should head to Kuta that is a popular beach resort, particularly among the young people. The resort is also a great place to watch sunsets from. However do keep in mind that it is advisable not to swim here due to the unique nature of the currents. Once Kuta was a small village, but today you will find some of the biggest hotels, night clubs, discotheques, pubs and restaurants here. Kuta is also famous for its nightlife as there often night long musical and dance performances are held here.
To accommodate the thousands of tourists who visit Bali, there are hotels, villas, home stays for tourists of varying budgets.
Though people come to this island almost throughout the year, the dry season that is between April to September is the best time to visit Bali. But since the climate is tropical, expect downpours at any time, but they pass quickly.
Dress accordingly, as the weather can change from the coastline to the interiors. While the coast is hotter, the interiors can become cool and sometimes even chilly as you move up the mountains. So you might even need light woolen clothing. While the coast is almost always sunny, some areas of the island, particularly the northern slopes are always misty. Yes truly, Bali offers tremendous variety for the discerning traveler.
Visit the Bali site map to learn more about the various attractions in Bali and the activities you can get busy with. Plus you will also learn about how to reach Bali, the essentials, the various entertainment options and also the history of the place.