Welcome to Bali

Bali Island, the perfect holiday destination for all ages offers something for everyone. Bali offers not just various customs but also various “adrenalin pump” parks. Many exciting amusements are available in Bali, with something new opening all the time. The number of offshore and inland attraction are on the rise because many tourists want them. This tropical paradise has a unique blend of modern tourist facilities combined with wonderful shopping and a rich past and heritage. After white water rafting that has gained popularity in Bali, comes offshore rafting or ocean rafting. The more adventurous sort of amusement has now become an alternative sport for tourists. Meanwhile white water rafting is still a popular activity with trips on Ayung, Telaga Waja, Unda Rivers, etc. The tourists can refresh their mind by watching beautiful scenery along the route. Those are not enough, some of the best surfing beaches in the world can be found on the western side of the island whilst conversely the eastern side is a wonderful haven for families, with beautiful white sand beaches and gentle seas.

Bali is small island, just 140 Km by 80 Km and lies between Java, the most highly populated and influential of all the islands, and Lombok, one of the quieter and moderately slower paced islands. Like many islands, Bali has developed a world of its own. It not only captures what is special about Indonesia but also has a uniqueness of its own.

The culture of Bali is unique. People say that the Balinese people have reached self-content. The Balinese people are proud of having preserved their unique Hindu culture against the advance of Islam, the dominant religion throughout Indonesia. This is still reflected in days to day life and can be seen in the numerous ceremonies, Balinese festivals and magnificent temples and palaces. The Balinese are skilled artisans, particularly in woodcarving and in fashioning objects of tortoiseshell and of gold, silver and other metals. The Balinese are noted for their traditional dance, the distinctive music of the gamelan and for their skills in weaving cloth of gold and silver threads, Songket, as well as for embroidering silk and cotton clothing. Stone and woodcarvings, traditional and modern paintings and intricately designed jewelry in gold and silver are readily available in shops and galleries throughout the island.

As for recreation, there is no shortage of options. Nature walks, horseback riding, diving, surfing – even bungy jumping and white water rafting – await the adventurous here.

source: http://www.indonesia-tourism.com/bali/

Some of the attractions that can be enjoyed in Bali are as follows:

The Dramatic Kecak Dance: Episode Taken from the Ramayana Epic Poem

A visit to the dramatic island of Bali will not be complete without watching some of the most captivating traditional performances the island has to offer. Aside from Barong and Janger Dances, another dazzling performance you definitely don’t want to miss is the traditional Kecak Dance, one of the Balinese artistic masterpieces in the form of a dance and musical drama.

Held in the open air at sunset , usually above a cliff facing the sea, the drama depends entirely on the natural light of day. Starting at dusk, the story continues into the dark, when only light comes only from flickering bamboo torches.

What makes this dance particularly unique is that the drama uses no artificial backdrop, involving no musical instrument. The focus is entirely on the concentric circles of about 50-60 men, bare-chested, wearing only distinct Balinese sarongs sitting cross-legged around a set of torches in the center.

Instead of the traditional “gamelan” orchestra which usually accompanies other Balinese traditional performances, the Kecak is simply accompanied by the chanting of the chorus of men representing an army of monkeys continuously intoning “Cak! Cak! Cak!” or “Keh-Chak” in polyrhythmic sounds during almost the entire performance. This amazing human voiced orchestra is led by a soloist, who is in charge of indicating the high and low notes, and also acts as narrator. The effect, after a while, is to provide a wall of dramatic sound against which the action of the play is enacted.

The performance relates the shorter version of the epic Ramayana Saga with dancers playing as Rama, Shinta (Sita), Lakshmana, Rahwana (Ravana), Hanoman (Hanuman), Sugriwa (Sugriva), and other characters. The storyline starts when Prince Rama wanders into the woods with his wife Shinta and brother Lakshmana. There, the giant Rahwana kidnaps Shinta and holds her in his palace. Rama then seeks help and sends Lakhsmana to find his friend Sugriwa, the King of the Monkey Kingdom. Sugriwa sends his commander the white monkey, by the name of Hanoman, to check on Shinta in Rahwana’s Palace.

Ulun Danu Beratan: iconic Temple on Lake Beratan in the Bedugul Highlands

Set within the highlands of the mountainous Bedugul Regency in Bali, atop a plateau that sits on Lake Beratan, stands the majestic Ulun Danu Temple. In the mild, mountain weather, approximately 1,500 meters above sea level, the air is crisp and cool. The stunningly clear lake is calm and almost perfectly still, save for the soft breeze that occasionally sweeps across, creating tiny ripples upon its surface. A thin mist rises from the lake and hangs in the air, surrounding the temple, giving it a somewhat surreal appearance.

Pura Ulun Danu was built in adoration of the Goddess Danu. Danu, in the Balinese tongue, means lake, while the goddess Danu is queen of water, lakes and rivers. The temple complex consists of four sacred buildings. Linga Pura stands three levels high, and is a place of worship to the god Shiva. Pura Puncak Mangu stands 11 levels high, and was built in dedication to the god Vishnu. PuraTeratai Bang is the main temple, and Pura Dalem Purwa is built in worship to Sang Hyang Widhi. This last temple is also a site for those who pray for fertility, prosperity and well-being.

The style of the building follows the Trimurti belief; three holy colors to represent the three gods: Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu. The first color is red, to the lord Brahma, The Creator. Second, is black. The symbol of the lord Vishnu, the balance and preserver of the universe.Finally, white for the god Shiva, The Destroyer.

The area surrounding the temple is believed to have been a site of worship and center for religious rituals since the megalithic period. To the left of the temple lies a sarcophagus as well as a stone slate that are dated to around 500 BC. The existence of the temple itself is has been recorded as early as 1556. In 1633, it was rebuilt by the King of Mengwi, I Gusti Agung Putu,  with a mixture of Hindu and Buddhist architectural styles. Despite its age, the temple remains clean and in good condition, well kept by the local community. Ulun Danu Temple is one of the icons of the island of Bali, and is pictured on the 50,000 rupiah bill.

Lake Beratan is the second largest lake in Bali and is the source of irrigation for rice fields and plantations across the entire Bedugul Village. The mountain on which it sits is often referred to as “the holy mountain” as the weather is cool and the soil rich and fertile. In early times, Lake Beratan was the largest lake in Bali, until a devastating earthquake occurred, dividing the lake into three sections: Beratan, Buyan, and Tamblingan. The name Beratan comes from the word Brata, which means to conduct one’s self to fill the 9 primary needs in life. The word is used in the term “Tapa Brata,” which is to meditate and be united with nature.

The Incredible Monument of Garuda Wisnu Kencana

The Garuda Wisnu Kencana Park, simply known as GWK, sited on the Bukit Peninsula, the limestone plateau with beautiful and serene park southern Bali. The cultural park is dedicated to embrace as well as preserve for art, cultural and spiritual aspects of the Island of Bali. Set in 250-ha this park becomes one of the favorite places for art & cultural performances, exhibitions, and conferences. GWK offers a breathtaking view spot for tourist to spend the day enjoying spectacular sunset.

The main icon is the incredible monument of Garuda Wisnu Kencana , the tallest and largest modern statue with 120 meter tall and 64 meter width, conceptualized by Nyoman Nuarta, an Indonesia’s finest modern sculptors. The statue is depict the Hindu God Vishnu riding aloft on his winged mount Garuda. Vishnu is considered a member of the holy trinity of Hinduism along with Shiva and Brahma. He is the most important God of Vaishnaism, the largest Hindu sect. Garuda is a bird creature from Hindu mythology that has a mix of eagle and human features. Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue surrounded by more than 60-ha of Cultural Park.

Both projects are initiated by Garuda Wisnu Kencana Foundation with the vision of becoming the landmark of Bali’s world known tourist destination. GWK is now offering number of facilities ideal for various types of events both local and international.

The commercial complex feed and entertain Garuda Wisnu Kencana’s visitors such a highest ground area of Wisnu Plaza , culinary and shopping path of Street Theatre, the main venue Lotus Pond, Traditional Balinese performance at Amphitheatre, Indraloka Garden, Tirta Agung where the sample of Vishnu’s hand is located here, as well as Boutique & Souvenir shops that has completely set. Visitors also can share their memorable moment with Balinese traditional outfit in GWK Photo Studio. GWK can be a challenging area to cover. If you don’t have enough time or energy for walking around do take a “Segway” advance two-wheel vehicle and try gliding around the area. The scenic restaurant Jendela Bali is open for business and provides authentic Balinese food and daily entertainment while a new additional restaurant, The Beranda, serving an all-you-can-eat buffet with overlooking Jimbaran Bay.

Pandawa Beach

Concealed behind high cliffs and shrubbery, Pandawa beach has long remained secluded from the crowds of tourists, due to the less-than-easy path that had to be taken to access it. However, after the opening of a 1.5 kilometers scenic access road, this secret paradise revealed its amazing splendor to the world.

As you near Pandawa, you will be greeted by five statues carved into the cliffs beside you. They are : Yudhistira, Bima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sadewa. These are the Panca Pandawa, the five brothers who are characters in the shadow puppet theater, from which the beach takes its name. Seemingly endless stretches of pure white sand span from one end to the other. The clear blue water heaves to shore with the swell of the ocean in hypnotic rolling waves, from where the sea touches the sky.

Here princes go kayaking waiting for the breath-taking sunset to color the ocean.

Dreamland Beach

As the name suggests, this is where nature interprets your dreams of a perfect beach. A vast stretch of soft pearly white sand, clear blue sky over the enchanting blue waters, and nothing but the fascinating sound of waves hitting the shores, this is what dreamland is all about. As any beach at the Bukit Peninsula area, Dreamland is also decorated with beautiful rocky cliffs on its shore which radiate an enchanting atmosphere. The vast stretching shoreline also makes it a perfect place to bask under the tropical sun or to stroll along the indulging sands, or simply sit down and immerse oneself in the dream-like beauty of nature. As daylight slowly fades, the brilliant colors of sunset over Dremland’s horizon will surely confirm where this beach got its name.

Tanah Lot

To many people, Tanah Lot epitomizes the romantic island of Bali. Tanah Lot means Land in The Sea, a perfectly fit name for its unique offshore settings. The silhouette of Pura Tanah Lot is one of the most popular iconic features of Bali.

Imagine the image of a Balinese temple (pura) perched high on the rock, facing the wide open ocean. With the crashing waves below and the dramatic colors of the dusk sky as background, lit by the slowly disappearing sun. Tanah Lot is located in Tabanan, only around 30 km away from Denpasar. The temple is located some 300 meters offshore. The history of Tanah Lot temple was believed to date back to the 16th century, by Dang Hyang Nirartha, a respected religious figure in Bali.

Dang Hyang Nirartha was said to be the one who created a three-temple system in Balinese villages. Setting the site plan that the temple built in the northern area of the village would be for Brahma, middle area for Vishnu and the southern side for Shiva. While traveling along the southern coast of Bali, he saw the little rock-island and decided to spend the night. The rock was known as Gili Beo, which means a bird-shaped rock, located in Beraban village. He then felt enlightenment, that this was a holy place to build a shrine. The leader of Beraban was angry and order people to banish Nirartha from Gili Beo.

The best time to visit Tanah Lot is during Odalan, which is celebrated every 210 days. The rituals usually take place near the Galungan and Kuningan festivities on the holy day known as Buddha Cemeng Langkir. On this day you will see rows of Balinese women gracefully carrying offerings on their head to pray at the temple of Tanah Lot. The tourist area of Tanah Lot near the rock is very well managed for visitors. It has a parking area, toilets, art shops, restaurants, hotel, open stage, tourist information center, security and safety services.

Uluwatu

Uluwatu is home of the most famous waves in Bali. The spot offers several waves which are working with different swells and tides. The Peak is best at mid and high tide, closes out at low tide. In front of the cave, it’s the most consistant. The Racetracks is at 100 meters further with fast wave, a lot of sections with easy tubes. Best at low tide and at 6 ft which can hold bigger swell. On the right tide and the right swell, ‘The Peak’ connects withRacetraks‘.

Outside corner is the real Uluwatu. Works only with big swells (>8 feet) and at low tide. The lower the tide, the better is the wave. Take at least a 7″ board. It is a succession of long walls good for carving and, sometimes, a beautiful final tube.

Temple is less surfed. Two waves in fact (“Outside temple” and “The Bombies”). Only for experts because the water is very shallow. For them, it is a incredible tube when it works.

Various restaurants and cafes throughout Uluwatu, from cheap food stalls to luxury restaurants. Naturally, the souvenirs around here are sea-related products, such as items made of seashells and corals. But of course, there are also the modern kind of merchandises, such as T-shirts. There are many accommodations from warung (a traditional cafe), motels, hotels to villas. If you stay in a warung you just need to pay for the meals, while better accomodations like starred hotels are located near resorts.

More information, please check https://www.indonesia.travel