Located just 2 kilometres off the eastern coast of Java, Bali is a beautiful tropical island in Indonesia. One of over 17,000 islands of the Indonesian archipelago, Bali is just over 140 kilometres wide and around 80 kilometres north to south. The island is relatively close to Australia (just over 1500 kilometres from Darwin), and has been a long time favourite of Australian tourists seeking an asian tropical getaway.
Bali’s landscape is quite varied with verdant forest covered hills and mountains, beautiful sandy beaches and dramatic rocky coastlines. Rice paddies and small villages speak of the traditional roots of the island and it’s people. The climate is warm and humid all year round with abundant rainfall, temperatures are usually between 20 – 35°C.
The island has been inhabited for over 2000 years and the native population has developed it’s own culture, which is somewhat different to it’s parent country Indonesia. Most of the population practice the local version of Hindu rather than Muslim, and the culture has it’s own music, dance and festivals. The Balinese are a friendly and spiritual people, welcoming of visitors, however in the densely populated tourist centres, you may be inundated with locals who make their living from selling to (or scamming) relatively wealthy tourists for a living, and can be quite pushy.
The island’s beauty and appeal to visitors means that Bali can become very busy indeed and the major centre Kuta has in particular been affected by this. Despite it’s popularity Bali is still a great location with a golden combination of great beaches, surfing locations, friendly people and fascinating culture. There are a great many places to visit and it is also possible to find peaceful locations away from the rest of the world.