The Indonesian island of Bali, nearly
5,633m2 in area, lies between Java to the west and Lombok to the east and is
one of the more than 17,000 islands that make up the Indonesian archipelago.
The island is bordered by the Bali Sea and the Indian Ocean. It is part of
one of Indonesia’s 33 provinces, with the capital, Denpasar, located in the
south of the island.
The island is home to 3,891,428 people who follow various religions: 92.9%
Hindu, 5.69% Muslim, 1.38% Christian and 0.64% Buddhist.
Lying just 8° south of the Equator, Bali has a pleasantly tropical climate
with just two seasons a year and an average annual temperature of around
28°C. The island is Indonesia’s major tourist destination, renowned for
traditional and modern dance, sculpture, painting, leather goods, metal work
and music. It has been a popular tourist destination for many years. Bali is
also famous for its artisans, who produce a vast array of handicrafts,
including batik and ikat fabrics and items of clothing, wooden carvings,
stone carvings, painted art and silverware.
Individual villages typically produce a single item, such as wind chimes or
The tourism industry is primarily focused in the south but is also
significant in other parts of the island. The main tourist locations are
Kuta (with its beach) and its outer suburbs of Legian and Seminyak, the
quieter Sanur on the east coast and the newer more up-market Nusa Dua and
Pecatu. Ubud, centrally located in the hilly region of Gianyar, has recently
blossomed as a tourist attraction and is now considered the artistic and
cultural centre of Bali. The island’s main airport is the Ngurah Rai
International Airport, Jimbaran.
Tourism in Bali has managed to survive the terrorist bombings of 2002 and
2005. The industry recovered slowly but now surpasses pre-attack levels. In
2010, Bali welcomed over 2.5 million visitors from all over the world. About
80% of Bali’s economy depends on tourism.
One offshoot of tourism is a flourishing real-estate industry. Bali real
estate has been rapidly developing in the main tourist areas of Kuta,
Legian, Seminyak and Oberoi. Investment, both foreign and domestic, in other
areas of the island continues to grow. Land prices appear to have remained
stable despite the worldwide economic crisis.
Although 80% of Bali’s economy depends on tourism, agriculture remains one
of the island’s major employers, notably with rice cultivation. The rich
volcanic soil and healthy monsoon season make the island extremely fertile
and other crops include fruit, vegetables, spices and coffee. Coffee
production is concentrated in the highland region of Kintamani, Arabica
coffee from Kintamani is the first Indonesian product to request a
Hotels in Kuta: if you like to come back to your room to find
towel-sculptures of animals on your bed, then Febri’s Hotel and Spa
is the place for you! Seriously, this 70 room, 3 star family hotel is in an
excellent location and has its own good-sized swimming pool. Rooms are
spacious and clean, and the staff are friendly and attentive. There are
children’s activities and free high speed internet. Alternatively, for a
cheaper option, try the 100 Sunset 2 Hotel, a new, budget
version of the successful boutique class 100 Sunset Hotel nearby, also on
Sunset Road. There are 101 spacious, clean, modern rooms, a swimming pool
and breakfast is included.
A little further out is a hotel well suited to a honeymoon or just a
romantic holiday for two, The Kunja Hotel in Seminyak.
There are 18 one-bedroom villas built in a traditional way but with modern
amenities, providing privacy and room service as required. The hotel
swimming pool is beautiful, and there is a free shuttle bus and free high
speed internet. The smiley staff act as if nothing is too much trouble!