Where is Bali? Many travelers and would be travelers have heard of this fabled island with its beautiful hotels, friendly people, yellow sand beaches, and unique culture. It is on everybody’s bucket list. People who have been there either love it or hate it…Why?
If you want to know Bali’s geographical location and religion and culture go here.
Bali has been discovered by explorers a long long time ago, about mid last century. The first people showcasing the beauty of this exotic island were European artists. They painted the local population, mainly beautiful women placed in a lush tropical paradise. Adventurers, people with money and the fans of these artists had to come and see for themselves.
That the locals are very friendly and hospitable and do not impose their own believes on others helped to attract more and more foreigners. In turn, the government under the then first president Soekarno, whose mother was a Balinese aristocrat, and 2nd president Soeharto understood the draw of this beautiful island.
The first high rise building, a modern international hotel was built on the safe beach of Sanur. it looked and still does look like an eyesore. Since then the government had the guts to ban buildings higher than a regular coconut palm tree or about 4 stories. International architects were consulted and they built Balinese inspired retreats that showcased local materials and building styles with international amenities. Local painters, stonemasons, potters, gardeners, contributed their skills and uniquely Balinese accommodations were created and attracted plenty of praise and tourists.
I had the privilege to travel and work in Bali for a tour operator about 40 years ago. Already in the late 1970 Bali was a well known holiday paradise for the well to do from Europe and America and a charter and mass destination for Australians.
The modern and progressive government under President Jokowi is concentrating on developing and marketing many more awesome Indonesian destinations for international tourists.
Today many comments one sees on social media concerning traveling to Bali are negative. Some of these people explicitly stay in Kuta, and are surprised at the number of tourists, commercialization, and yes, crime there.
Kuta started as the budget surf, hippy, and party center of Bali and still has the same vibe just much bigger and more sophisticated. Wherever people come to party in mass, wanting plenty of alcohol and drugs, and looking for everything cheap, the local tradition disappears and law and order are an issue.
Just for your information: today in Kuta there are luxurious accommodations, bars, and restaurants available too.
If you come with your family and/or want more of a cultural or relaxing quiet but fun holiday choose a location that is away from Kuta and offers your choices of sports activities, art, cultural, or relaxing vibe. Guests have a variety of experiences in let’s say Sanur or Nusa Dua or Ubud. And then you can also choose new low cost and more upper-class bungalows and villas in little villages like Tabanan in the mountains or on the east and north coasts. There you can enjoy nature much more and also observe and participate in local daily life and celebrations.
Please go back to the other page that explains where is Bali from a geographical and religious/cultural perspective
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