Although it is relatively small compared to the other two favourite Indonesian holiday destinations Sumatra and Java, Bali most certainly did not escape the Indonesian lovers attention. Whereas one can find great extended areas of densed forests on Sumatra and Buddhist centres (such as the one at Borobodur) and vulcanoes on Java, Bali has a lot of the same kind – and maybe even of a prettier kind. However, everything is on a smaller scale, because Bali is not only small in size but also has a high density of population.
Mount Bromo on Java has found a serious competitor in the 3142 metres’ high Gunung Anang. On the side of this volcano, you can find one of the most important temple complexes on Bali, the Pura Besakih. Climbing the volcano offers a good day-trip and lends you the opportunity to get a lot closer to the smouldering beating heart of this volcano than you’d probably ever dreamt of. When the smell of sulpher makes you gasp for breath and you want to catch some fresh air, take a few days hike in the forest or check out the volcanic lakes, such as Lake Bratan and Bratur, and their surrounding sawahs.
You can still see true Balinese culture in one of the remoter villages that strech out into the inland. However, it is the international travel culture that rules and prevails in and around Kuta. This city (and it surroundings) is well-known for its beaches. The place is swarmed with hotels, restaurants, shops and clubs and you can participate in anything, ranging from diving and surfing lessons to bungee-jumping or just lying in the sun. Everything relating to sun, sea and sand, youll come across in this former hippies paradise. When you’ve had enough of it, you can always head for the capital Denpasar, Ubud or one of the other lesser explored areas.
No visit to Bali can be complete without visiting magnificent Jimbaran Bay. The Bay is just outside Denpasar and is a long, beautiful sandy beach with the old fishing village of Jimbaran at one end. The beach is lined with small, family type restaurants offering fresh sea food with the main attraction being that you can choose your sea food, choose the cooking method and enjoy it overlooking the beach and the spectacular sunsets. At the other end of thr tourist experience, Jimbaran is also the location of resorts such as the Four Seasons and the Ritz-Carlton, with the Bali locations typically being rated as some of the finest (and most expensive) in the world.