BALI

BALI

Bali, the famed Island of the Gods, with its varied landscape of hills and mountains, rugged coastlines and sandy beaches, lush rice terraces and barren volcanic hillsides all providing a picturesque backdrop to its colourful, deeply spiritual and unique culture, stakes a serious claim to be paradise on earth. With world-class surfing and diving, a large number of cultural, historical and archaeological attractions, and an enormous range of accommodations, this is one of the world's most popular island destinations and one which consistently wins travel awards. Bali has something to offer a very broad market of visitors from young back-packers right through to the super-rich.



Bali is one of more than 17,000 islands in the Indonesian archipelago and is located just over 2 kilometres (almost 1.5 miles) from the eastern tip of the island of Java and west of the island of Lombok. The island, home to about 4 million people, is approximately 144 kilometres (90 mi.) from east to west and 80 kilometres (50 mi.) north to south. The word "paradise" is used a lot in Bali and not without reason. The combination of friendly, hospitable people, a magnificently visual culture infused with spirituality and (not least) spectacular beaches with great surfing and diving have made Bali Indonesia's unrivaled number one tourist attraction. Eighty percent of international visitors to Indonesia visit Bali and Bali alone.



The popularity is not without its flip side— like many places in the island's South, once paradisiacal Kuta has degenerated into a congested warren of concrete with touts and scammers extracting a living by overcharging tourists. The island's visibility has also drawn the unwanted attention of terrorists in 2002 and 2005; however Bali has managed to retain its magic. Bali is a wonderful destination with something for everyone, and though heavily travelled, it is still easy to find some peace and quiet if you like. Avoid the South of the island if you want a more traditional and genuine Balinese experience. A consideration is the tourist season and Bali can get very crowded in August and September and again at Christmas and New Year. Australians also visit during school holidays in early April, late June and late September, while domestic tourists from elsewhere in Indonesia visit during national holidays. Outside these peak seasons, Bali can be surprisingly quiet and good discounts on accommodation are often available.

BY AIR

Most visitors will arrive at Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport (IATA: DPS), also known as Bali International Airport or Denpasar International Airport. Despite the misleading names, the airport is actually located in Tuban between Kuta and Jimbaran, roughly 30 mins away from Denpasar. Ngurah Rai is Indonesia's 3rd busiest international airport (after Jakarta and Surabaya) and a major hub well-connected to Australia, South-East Asia, and the rest of Indonesia. Ngurah Rai International Airport has recently been largely revamped to compensate for the growing amount of visitors to the island. A new international terminal was opened in 2013, and domestic service transferred to the old international terminal. It now features fairly modern decor, much improved signage and is generally up to par with Indonesia's other international airports. The domestic terminal's arrival area has all checkin counters on the first floor (before any security checks, unlike Jakarta's airport), with Garuda Indonesia on the left and other airlines on the right. After a single security check, which serves as the limit for non-passengers, escalators lead to a short section of shops on the second floor before opening up to the main departure area. Restaurants and cafes are also spread out here, with lounges near the ends. There is generally ample space, even during busy hours, especially in the restaurants.



BY BOAT

Ferries cross from Ketapang on the island of Java to Gilimanuk in western Bali every 15 min, 24 hr every day. These are very cheap, and the crossing takes just 30 min (plus sometimes considerable waiting around for loading and unloading). A number of speedboats, catamarans and day cruises operate into Benoa Harbour near Kuta (~2 hr) and Padangbai (80 min) from Nusa Lembongan and the Gili Islands of Lombok. These are convenient for some travellers but are frequently priced much higher than the equivalent air crossing. Crossing times are subject to weather and other operational conditions and trip times can longer than those publicised. Caution should be used in selecting a suitable operator and craft for a fast boat crossing to Lombok or Nusa Lembongan. Some of the operators on these routes use inappropriate equipment and have inadequate levels of crew training, personnel and safety equipment. The Lombok Strait fast boat crossing can be subject to inclement weather and equipment breakdowns. Boarding an overloaded craft or departing in adverse weather conditions may lead to serious disappointment. Currently there are no operators offering craft suitable for open water all-weather crossings. Rather they are operating light duty hulled craft of fibreglass or aluminium construction powered by outboard petrol engines. One of the current operators plans to introduce a more suitably specified and equipped craft sometime in the 1st or 2nd quarter of 2011. The new boat will be powered by diesel inboard engines and have a more robust hull construction appropriate to open water use. A previous craft of similar specification was withdrawn from this route as operations could not be sustained in competition with the lower cost base alternatives. Two of the light duty craft have already sunk whilst carrying passengers, fortunately they had not yet entered open waters at the time, fortunately nearby assistance was available and there were no fatalities.



BY ROAD

There are direct bus services to Bali from all major cities on Java and Lombok that link with ferries for sea crossings. These are cheap and easy, but slow. Tip : 1- Trans SARBAGITA bus company operates a fully airconditioned buses all coloured in blue. One way adult fare to any destination on the bus route will only cost you Rp3,500 per person. If you want to take the bus, exit left and continue walking until you are outside of the airport building (about 200 metres) until you reach a roundabout. Wait at the opposite end of the roundabout (the bus stop yet to be built but is is planned by the authorities). If you are not sure please ask around. Tell the bus driver that you want to go to Central Parkir Kuta. You can continue your journey to your hotel in nearby Kuta or Legian by taking a cab at a much lower fare. 2- redBus Indonesia is popular brand for bus tickets booking. they offer bus tickets to different location in indonesia.

Tourist Attractions

Uluwatu Temple – Pura Luhur

Imagine a large rugged limestone cliff with a temple perched on it, almost like a scene from cliffhanger, to add to it’s dramatic grandeur. Uluwatu Temple, a truly must visit in Bali, is also known as Pura Luhur. It is situated in the island commonly known as Bukit Peninsula, which houses Bali’s few best beaches like Balangan and many good surfing spots. The temple is itself a majestic structure, constructed and expanded many times since in the 11th Century. It is perched at the steep cliff of 70 meters above the Indian ocean. If you go on even higher grounds nearby, you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of either side and sunset over Uluwatu temple itself.

Bali’s temple by the lake

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan is another must visit temple in Bali, where unlike the rest perching on the cliff rock, this one is serenely resting at the edge of Lake Bratan. Imagine beautifully structured temple with double the beauty due to its reflection on the clear lake.

Dolphin sightings at Lovina

Another thing to see in Bali is the dolphins! Lovina is one of the best place in Bali to make dolphin sightseeing boat trip. You will leave the beach at dawn to seek for the dolphins, though yes it may be quite crowded with other tourists trying to do the same especially during peak season, it is still well worth it when you find a school of dolphins happily jumping by. Lovina itself also offers many other attractions, activities and even boasts some backpacker scenes where you can chill out in cafes with live music.

Ubud

Yes, despite that one might be trying to escape the “eat, pray, love” trail, Ubud is one place you cannot miss in your visit. It is still the heart of Bali, where all the action is and all the people and energy are focused on. Ubud is packed and condensed with the best of Bali, ranging from nature, culture and people, temples, museums, rolling rice/paddy fields and man-made gardens and parks. You may take an interesting bike tour around here or take up cooking, adventure activities like whitewater rafting and other outdoor activities, relax with yoga and meditation or have some pampering sessions of spa and massage, also enjoy the arts and theatres and not to forget the shopping. Just so you see, Ubud has a little bit of everything for almost everyone.

Kuta Beach

Kuta is the most popular beach in Bali, which means you can be sure to find the life and party scene here in Kuta Beach. Head here if you are looking to socialize, party and have a good time. You can be sure to find a range of places for different atmosphere and budget, ranging from Hard Rock cafe to your neighborhood cafe and pub.