Have you heard of Bali, a place to the south of Indonesia? It's a small
island but is becoming more and more famous by it
s fascinating tourist attractions enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of
people from world at large. Bali is so picturesque that you could be fooled into
thinking it was a painted backdrop: rice paddies trip down hillsides like giant
steps, volcanoes soar through the clouds, the forests are lush and tropical, and
the beaches are lapped by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. But the postcard
paradise gloss has been manufactured and polished by the international tourist
industry rather than by the Balinese themselves who don't even have a word for
paradise in their language.
When to Visit
Just considering 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, cloudier and
has more rainstorms, but you can still enjoy a holiday.
There are also distinct tourist seasons that affect the picture. The
European summer holidays bring the biggest crowds —— July, August and early
September are busy. Accommodation can be tight in these months and prices are
Balinese festivals, holidays and special celebrations occur all the time,
so don't worry about timing your visit to coincide with local events. It could
be a nice treat to fuse into the local culture and enjoy the traditional cuisine
and local delicacies.
Off-beaten Tourist AttractionsKuta and Legian
Including the two beach sites of Kuta and Legian, this area is a major
sightseeing for travelers, offering cheap accommodation, Western food, great
shopping, surf, sunsets and riotous nightlife. Although it's fashionable to
contempt Kuta for its rampant development, low-brow nightlife, the cosmopolitan
mixture of beach-party and entrepreneurial energy can be exciting.
Kuta is not pretty but it's not dull either, and the amazing growth is
evidence that a lot of people still find something to appreciate in Kuta. It's
still the best beach in Bali, with the only surf, which breaks over sand instead
of coral. Lots of cheap accommodation is available and there's a huge choice of
places to eat. Shops and venders offer everything from local handcrafts to
genuine antiques. Even the tourists themselves have become a tourist attraction,
with visitors swarming into this small island on the tropical area.Behind the
beaches, roads and alleys lead back to the most amazing district of hotels,
restaurants, bars, food stalls and shops. The renowned Poppies Gang, running
directly back from Kuta Beach, is where most of the quieter, inexpensive hostels
and restaurants are located. Cheap beachfront accommodation is available in
Legian; the lanes running parallel to the beach are the best places to start
trawling for a decent bed.
The Bali Museum
The Bali Museum consists of an attractive series of separate buildings,
including examples of both palace and temple architecture. The exhibits
themselves are not always well presented, but there are enough arts and crafts
and everyday items displayed to make it worthwhile. The tiny cane cases for
transporting fighting crickets are pretty special. The Abiankapas arts center
houses a collection of modern painting and woodcarving. Dancing groups and
gamelan orchestras regularly perform here, mostly for the benefit of tourists.
Situated in the hills 20km north of Denpasar, Ubud is the serene cultural
center of Bali. Extensive development in recent years has meant that Ubud has
engulfed a number of nearby villages, although these have retained their
distinct identities. Head off in any direction and you're in for an interesting
walk to a secluded craft hamlet, through the rice paddies or into the dense
Monkey Forest, just south of the town center.
In Ubud itself, the Puri Lukisan Museum displays fine examples of all
schools of Balinese art in a beautiful garden setting. There are several other
quality galleries such as Museum Neka, which features work of some Western
artists who have painted in Bali, and Agung Rai Gallery, a commercial operation
which also houses a small, but important, permanent collection. The homes of
influential Western artists Walter Spies and Rudolf Bonnet, who played key roles
in transforming Balinese art from the purely decorative, can also be viewed.
Ubud is a good place to see Balinese dancing and hear Balinese music, and it has
some of the finest restaurants on the island.
So, after such a descriptive guide about this tiny little island in the South
East Asia, are you in the mood of visiting it. It's worthwhile for sure.