The Ring Of Fire
Bali lies in the pacific ring of fire and is one of Indonesia's 33 main provinces. Just one of a staggering number of islands (17,508) in the Indonesian archipelago. The geography of Bali may look simple but there are several districts, towns and villages to make up the island. The total surface is 5602 square km, at its longest: 140 km and at its widest 80 km.
It has a chain of volcanoes to the west including mount Agun culminating at 3042 m. Add to a very fertile land, impressive tropical rains and you get some of the most beautiful rice plantations in the world making Bali a photographer’s paradise. The most visited areas are the south (Kuta, Legian and Seminyak) and the beautiful town of Ubud which is located in central Bali in the Gianyar district where you will be staying.
Bali Of The Gods
Bali's fascinating and spiritual culture began thousands of years ago and remains authentic and vibrant today. The oldest artifacts unearthed on Bali originate from around 1000 BCE. Hinduism began its influence in Bali when Airlangga (1019-1042) took the throne on nearby Java.
Airlangga's mother lived in Bali at the time, cultivating a strong connection between the two islands and an exchange that resulted in the blending of Hinduism, Javanese shamanism and the animistic religion then practiced in Bali. In 1846, the Dutch military invaded the island.
Local artists began to realize that paintings were an individual art form that could be produced and sold. The second Indonesian president, Suharto, saw Bali as a potential travel destination and opened it to tourism in the late 1960s.
Modern Bali continues to attract all kinds of travelers. Some of the world's greatest hotels and resorts lie on the island. Balinese continue to struggle over the choices between modernization and tourism and their rich cultural traditions. Although it has suffered some adverse social and environmental effects of tourism and rapid development, Bali's cultural heritage has withstood the test of time and remains little changed today.
The influx of tourists and their money helped pay for vast improvements to infrastructure, including better roads, schools and health care. Artists flocked to Ubud to study traditional Balinese art forms, backpackers came to explore the natural beauty, and surfers began to recognize the island's many world-class surf breaks in Kuta.