The island of Bali is of volcanic origin. Several volcanoes on the island are still active. One of these, Gunung Agung reaches a height of over 3000 meters above sea level and is the highest mountain on Bali.
The volcanoes have been a blessing to Bali's agricultural sector, providing the island's rich volcanic soil. Located only eight to nine degrees south of the Equator, Bali enjoys a year-round warm climate with an average temperature of 27.2 Celsius, though in the mountainous interior temperatures are around six degrees lower. Most parts of Bali receive an average rainfall of 2500-3500 mm between November and March.
Bali conjures up different images in everyone. An island of temples with intricate carvings and reliefs. An island of verdant green rice terraces. Beautiful, fascinating dances, the island of gods, an island of hospitable people. And many, many more... Which one is your Bali? Find out yourself while enjoying the atmposphere of this island.
Bali lies east of Java and west of the islands of Nusa Tenggara. Many airlines connect the island to the rest of the World. The island's major airport is Ngurah Rai, located at the city of Denpasar and bearing the code of DPS.
Temples, mountains, rice-fields, sunshine, nightlife, and international class resorts and hotels.
Little was known about Bali before writing and other Indian cultural influences arrived here around the ninth century. However, there are a few archeological relics of the prehistoric era. These seem to indicate a practice of ancestor worship.
From the ninth century, Bali has been in regular contact with neighboring Java, which at that time was already much influenced by Indian culture. Though not known exactly when, Indian cultural practices eventualy reached Bali via Java, including the Hindu religion, caste system, art forms and other Javanese cultural influences.
When the Dutch arrived in the nineteenth century, Bali was divided into nine kingdoms. Although the Dutch first visited Bali in the seventeenth century, they didn't pay much attention to the island. It was known for its fierce people, and the conflicts between its rival kingdoms seemed too troublesome to bother colonizing it along with other parts of the Indonesian archipelago. Bali was a source of slaves and some other trade items.
Eventually, the Dutch took Buleleng (now Singaraja) on the north coast, and set up the center of a colonial administration there in 1849.
The Balinese people are basically good-natured and friendly. They are known to be fast learners, especially in the fields of art. Once they see an artifact, they can often produce something just as good or even better. They have the same talent at learning foreign languages.
The majority of the Balinese live from agriculture. They are known to be among the most successful farmers in the whole country. They can easily grow enough rice to feed their entire island.
The Balinese are also famous artists. This is very evident in their dances, woodcarvings, and stone statues and reliefs. Often one can even find beatiful temples and skilled musicians and dancers even in poor villages.
Most Balinese follow the Hindu religion. This is in contrast to the rest of Indonesia, where the majority of the population follows Islam or Christianity. The Balinese version of their religion is known as Hindu dharma, a set of beliefs and philosophy that can be traced back to Indian origins wiith Javanese influences and reached the island between the fifteenth and eighteenth century.
Bali had already been well known for its vibrant art forms before the first European tourists arrived at the beginning of the twentieth century. The Balinese dance forms are very diverse, and tend to be livlier than the Javanese dances.
There are five main areas for diving in Bali, working counter-clockwise around the island from the airport in the south: Nusa Dua and Sanur; Nusa Penida and Padang Bai and Candi Dasa; Cemeluk and Tulamben; and Pemuteran and Menjangan.
Each area offers dive locations for novice, intermediate and advanced divers, except for Nusa Dua and Sanur where no location requires more than a little experience.
At most sites, you can plan to dive to match your degree of experience. Currents of 2 – 2.5 knots are not going to disturb an experienced diver, but for your first drift dive a half a knot is quite sufficient.