Bali, island of the gods and gateway to Paradise, is a relatively small island, east of Java across the Bali Strait and just one of 17,000 Indonesian islands. In recent years, luxurious hotel complexes have appeared, tastefully recreating the islandís ethnic traditions. The capital of Bali, Denpasar, is the commercial centre of the island with good shopping facilities and a fascinating variety of entertainment.
Colorful dance and drama play an important part in the lives of the Bali people and almost every village has its own dance group, the favorite dance being the Barong.
In the north region of the island, the 1,800 meter high Gunung Batur volcano is still active and in the last century, has erupted four times, its slopes covered in lava fields, which extend deep into the crater.
Hindu temples abound, the Pura Kehen being one of the most beautiful terraced temples in Bali and the Pura Besakih, is the most revered. At sunset, hundreds of people visit the spectacular, though small, temple of Tanah Lot which is situated on the top of a volcanic cliff.
As in ancient times, rice is still cultivated in the traditional way and ox and plough traverse the fields. Sun drenched beaches, cloud-kissed volcanoes, exquisite ethnic architecture and dreamy temples, itís no wonder that Bali is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in East Asia.