Bali, the isle of enchantment

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-10-6 8:27:28

For most holiday-makers, Bali might be the sole destination on their minds when planning a trip to Indonesia, whether they look for a week-long laze on the beach with a bit of surfing thrown in or prefer bike riding and volcano climbing.

With varied landscape of mountains, idyllic beaches, verdant rice paddies and barren volcanic hillsides, the Island of Gods features an exquisite backdrop to its rich and ever-present culture.

A small island in the Indonesian archipelago, the mystical landscape is home to Indonesia's most Hindu minority, unlike any other islands in the largely Muslim country.

Most of the coastline of Bali is fringed by different types of beaches suitable for doing nothing. Some of the beaches appeal especially to surfers who seek out waves and tides along the coasts.

Tourists can also choose to take a boat tour off of the island's white sandy beaches or on the rapidly-flowing rivers.

A major cultural center in Indonesia, Bali also boasts a thriving art community that includes weavers, dancers, painters and woodcarvers. The island's epicenter for local arts, dance, music and opera lies in the foothill town of Ubud in central Bali. Some prospective residents are allured to the villas in Ubud for the town's artsy vibe.

The isle's southern coast, associated most with shopping, beaches and partying, is the most popular and build-up region with no doubt. Beaches in the section have everything one expects of a tropical beach -- the soft sand between their toes and the sound of the ocean breeze...

Despite the fading away of romance due to inevitable crowds nowadays, it is still a great experience to be at seafront especially at sunset. Along this section of the south Bali beaches stand many resorts which offer high class service.

However, with trapping of such an ideal tourist destinations also come the pitfalls. Popular beaches are usually clogged with people and many bars fall victim to the boorish drunken behavior of barflies.

The island's visibility has also drawn unwanted attention of terrorists. The tourism industry, despite the blow in terrorist bombings in 2002 and 2005, has slowly recovered from the trauma.

The number of foreign tourists that visited Bali last year totaled 2,9 million, a rise of 4.3 percent compared to the previous year, statistics showed.

"Growth in 2013 could be even higher, considering that Bali will be hosting some major events, like the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit,"said Gde Suarsa, head of the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) in Bali.

"The summit will create a significantly positive impact on Bali tourism and helps attract more visitors," Ketut Sujata from the Association of Travel Agency (ASITA) under the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia told Xinhua on Saturday.

He added that a 12.7-km Bali toll road named "Bali Mandara", which spans across Benoa Bay was officially inaugurated in Nusa Dua, Bali on Sept. 23.

The highway constructed above the sea level is hoped to reduce traffic jams in Ngurah Rai Airport and Nusa Dua area.

Though heavily traveled, Bali is deemed to be a wonderful destination with something for everyone.

Posted in: Adventures

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