With its fine beaches, pounding surf, emerald-green rice terraces and exceptionally artistic culture, the small volcanic island of Bali - the only Hindu society in Southeast Asia - has long been Indonesia's premier tourist destination. Although it suffers the predictable problems of congestion and commercialization, Bali's original charm is still much in evidence, its stunning temples and spectacular festivals set off by the gorgeously lush landscape of the interior.
Bali's most famous and crowded resort is Kuta beach, a six-kilometer sweep of golden sand, with plenty of accommodations, shops and nightlifes. Nearby Sanur is much quieter, but most backpackers prefer the beaches of peaceful east-coast Candi Dasa and traveller-oriented Lovina on the north coast. The island's other major destination is the cultural centre of Ubud, where traditional dances are staged every night of the week and the streets are full of arts-and-crafts galleries. In addition, there are numerous elegant Hindu temples to visit, particularly at Tanah Lot, Batukaru and Besakih, and a good number of volcano hikes, the most popular being the route up Gunung Batur, with Gunung Agung only for the very fit.
Transport to and from Bali is extremely efficient: the island is served by scores of international and domestic flights, which all land at Ngurah Rai International airport just south of Kuta beach, as well as round-the-clock ferries to Java, thirty minutes' west across the sea from Gilimanuk, and frequent ferries to Lombok, two to four hours' east of Padang Bai and Benoa. Several Pelni ferries also call at Benoa harbor.
Prices throughout Bali rocket during the peak tourist seasons from mid-June to mid-September and over Christmas, when rooms can be fully booked for days, if not weeks, in advance.
Bali was a more or less independent society of Buddhists and Hindus until the fourteenth century when it was colonized by the strictly Hindu Majapahits from neighboring Java. Despite the subsequent Islamicization of nearly all her neighbors, Bali has remained firmly Hindu ever since. In 1849, the Dutch started to take an interest in Bali, and by January 1909 had wrested control of the whole island. Following a short-lived Japanese occupation in World War 11, and Indonesia's subsequent declaration of independence in 1945, Bali became an autonomous state within the Republic in 1948. But tensions with Java have continued: following the 1965 Gestapo affair in Java, some 100,000 actual or suspected members of the Communist Party on Bali were killed in reprisals. More recently, there has been growing concern about the number of wealthy entrepreneurs from Jakarta who have exploited Bali's considerable attractions for their own ends, with the Balinese starting to lose control of their own homeland.
The weather, the cooler dry season from April to October is the best time to visit Bali. The rest of the year is more humid and cloudier with more rainstorms, but you can still enjoy a holiday.
There are also distinct tourist seasons. The European summer holidays bring the biggest crowds - July, August and early September are especially busy. Accommodation can be tight in these months and prices are higher. From Christmas until the end of January, airfares to and from Bali are higher and most flights are fully booked. Many Indonesians also visit Bali around Christmas.
Balinese festivals, holidays and special celebrations occur throughout the year, so don't worry about timing your visit to coincide with local events. Just make some inquiries when you arrive and be prepared to travel around the island.
Transportation from Ngurah Rai International Airport, 2.5km south of Kuta, is quite simple. Choose from an official taxi counter, where you pay a set price in advance, or walk across the airport car park and hail a metered cab. Another option is to get a taxi from the airport to Bemo Corner in Kuta for a fixed rate and then get a metered taxi or a chartered berno (minibus) to a more distant destination - this should save a few thousand rupiah. Those who prefer to walk can follow the road up to Kuta, although it's a more pleasant stroll along the beach.
As for recreation, there is no shortage of options. Nature walks, horseback riding, diving, surfing - even bungee jumping and white water rafting - await the adventurous here.
With a beach stretching from South Kuta Beach or known as Tuban Beach to Kuta is Bali's prime tourist area with an abundance of shopping, fashion, food and great surf. You may take a leisure walk along Jalan Kartika Plaza or have our shuttle service to drop you at the places for free of charge.
One of the characteristically unique shopping features of Bali is the traditional markets and art shops. Shopping is an art and bargaining is a must if you come to this places. This traditional way makes shopping in Bali a fun time, where you can feel the warmth of human value in every transaction. Before you begin your shopping tour on this island, please obtain cash because most places do not accept credit cards. Even if you are not a negotiator be prepared to enjoy the bargaining process. It is a fun activity and be patient and you will get the ‘best price'. In some places you can bargain until you get 50% off. Always go in at less than a third of the price and bargaining and even walk away, until you get the price you want. Then make sure you pay the right money. There is also a huge beach front shopping mall "Discovery Mall" is just approximately 250 meters from the hotel. Take a leisure walk and have fun....
Sightseeing in Bali is an amazing way to get a proper understanding of the local culture and history of Bali. The natural beauty of the hills, beaches, villages, temples, volcanoes, rice terraces, the lakes, handicrafts, dances attracts tourists from different parts of the globe.
Contact our front desk team for more information on sightseeing tours or get reliable sources of information about Bali & Beyond from Bali Plus and Hello Bali magazines, Bali Travel News or Bali Post, which has a daily calendar of activities.
The astonishing alternative of disparity activities in Bali means that there is certainly something for everyone. The beach is a main feature in any island holiday and Bali has seashore which offers every possible water activity including surfing some of the best waves in the world. Where to Cruise: Nusa Lembongan Island, Toyapakeh, Crystal Bay, Moyo Island and many more. Where to Sail: Sanur, Jimbaran and Canggu. Where to surf: Uluwatu, Padang-padang, Bingin, Dreamland, Airport Rights or Lefts, Serangan, Canggu, Medewi and more. Brochures are available at Front Desk.
A promontory stretching from Nusa Dua into the sea, Tanjung Benoa boasts of a beautiful beach. Water Sports of all kinds can be enjoyed here and there are seafood restaurants as well. What to do: Waterskiing, Parasailing, Jet skiing, Sea Rodeo, Sea walking and more. Brochures are available at Front Desk. Near by Water Park is "Waterbom Park" located on the same street of Kartika Plaza, it's only 250 meters away from the hotel.
A diving experience in Bali is purely amazing and unique. Bali has an extremely wide range of dive sites to be explored on either day trips or submarine safaris; all easily made from Kuta-Legian and its surrounding areas. Bali's warm waters are abundant with extensive coral reefs and magnificent marine life. Outside Kuta dive: Padang Bai, Candi Dasa, Tulamben, Amed, Gili Selang, Menjangan Island & Secret Bay and many more. Brochures are available at Front Desk
Enjoy a screaming sensation along the river flow; feel your heart beat faster then ever on a natural "water slide" and refresh your mind by seeing natural gardens along the riverside. Test your courage while jumping from three meters waterflow and pass the waterfall. Where to go: Ayung River, Unda River and Telagawaja River. Brochures are available at Front Desk.
Imagine the only sound you hear is the whistle of a club as it cuts through the air, followed by the ball making its way across the sculptured greens. It's not surprising, that golfers are coming from all parts of the world, to play on Bali's three top class 18 hole championship golf courses. This are the top three courses, Nirwana Bali Golf Club located in Tanah Lot, Bali Golf & Country Club located in Nusa Dua and Bali Handara Kosaido Country Club located in the mountains of Bedugul. All the courses have been awarded as best Golf courses in Asia and are recognized internationally. Booking ahead by phone will avoid unnecessary delays and help you enjoy your game and make the most of your time during your holiday.