Bali, island is situated 1 mile (1.6 km) east of the island of Java, separated by the narrow Bali Strait, Indonesia. Travel & Leisure Magazine has awarded Bali the World’s Best Island in 2009, while the Lonely Planet’s Best of Travel 2010 ranked Bali second place among the world’s Top Regions.
Most of Bali is mountainous (essentially an extension of the central mountain chain in Java), the highest point being Mount Agung, or Bali Peak, 10,308 feet (3,142 metres) in height and known locally as the “navel of the world.” It proved to be an active volcano, erupting in 1963 (after a dormancy of 120 years), killing more than 1,500 persons and leaving thousands homeless. The main lowland is south of the central mountains. The period of the southeast monsoon (May to November) is the dry season. Bali’s flora (mostly hilly tropical rain forest) and fauna resemble those of Java. Some teak grows on Bali, and the giant banyan (waringin) trees are held sacred by the Balinese. Tigers are found in the west, and deer and wild pigs are numerous.
The two major towns are Singaraja and Denpasar, the provincial capital; others include Klungkung, a centre of wood carving and gold and silver industries; Gianyar, with a lively market; Kuta, Sanur, and Nusa Dua, centres of the flourishing tourist trade; and Ubud, in the foothills, a centre for European and American artists, with a fine art museum. All Balinese villages have temples and an assembly hall, usually located on a square that serves for festivals and markets. Each family lives in its own compound surrounded by earthen or stone walls.
The Balinese are fond of music, poetry, dancing, and festivals, are extraordinarily able in arts and crafts, and are passionately fond of betting games, especially cockfighting. A typical Balinese gamelan (orchestra) consists of various percussion instruments, a two-string violin, and a flute; and every village has its gamelan club. Stage plays and, especially, dancing are an integral part of Balinese life, serving magico-religious purposes or telling stories by pantomime. The artistic temperament is also evident in sculpture, painting, silverwork, and wood carving and bone carving and in the animal-shaped wooden coffins in which corpses are carried to the cremation ground.
Take a look at this timelapse of the beautiful island created by us during our visit in 2013.