INTRODUCTION TO BALI
The diamond-shaped island of Bali, nestled within the Indonesian archipelago, is one of those rare, perfect, holiday destinations that offers something for everyone. Few places on earth celebrate life with such vitality. An ever-prevailing sense of harmony is combined with history, myth, hospitality, active spiritual practice and natural splendour. From the moment you arrive, an intense concentration of colour, sights, smells, sounds and tastes will assail you with the same force as the humid tropical air. Known as the ‘Island of the Gods’ and the ‘Enchanted Isle’, the beauty of the Balinese landscape is legendary. Six Herculean volcanoes stand sentry across the island’s central belt of thick tropical jungle; sacred springs, volcanic lakes, elongated river gorges and plummeting falls shed life-giving water onto fertile plains. Hand-carved rice terraces stair-step through sharp edges of emerald plantings and mirror-like watery surfaces. A diverse flora and fauna flourishes within the primeval rainforests; endless sand beaches fringe the serrated coastline, and the encompassing ocean spawns a magnificent ecosystem flourishing with the greatest marine biodiversity on the globe. Bali blends its beautiful nature, exotic ancient history, palaces, temples, and sweet-scented Hindu festivals with world-class architecture, internationally-acclaimed restaurants and a vibrant nightlife. Where else on this planet could you find sapphire-tinged flower offerings to the gods placed within the nooks and crannies of five-star resorts?
The island is alight with traditions and famous for its gorgeous arts, which are inseparable from the cultural and religious life of the communities; whether dance, music, drama, paintings or carvings, art in every form is the masterpiece of the highly-valued Balinese culture. You will not fail to notice the intricately carved doorways, stone statues and wood sculptures, the time-honoured architecture of the temples and houses, the fabulous paintings, masks, textiles and ornate silver jewellery. Balinese cultural performances are visual, entertaining and exciting. Borne out of sacred rituals, they are accompanied by the shimmering, jangling, clashing, syncopated sounds of ethnic gamelan music.
Renowned for being home to some of the most stylish and sophisticated hotels, villas, and private residences in the world, Bali can rival anywhere in terms of unique and sumptuous accommodation, and has gained prestigious international awards for the top-class architecture of its splendid resorts and exclusive hideaways. The elegant interiors of these properties showcase classic Indonesian antiques, together with the contemporary furnishings and funky accessories that represent the creative collaboration of prima donna designers and skilled Balinese craftsmen. Chic clubs, swanky restaurants, delectable delicatessens, graceful galleries, cool spas, bohemian boutiques, glam homeware stores and a carefree sense of luxury abound within the trendy tourist areas.
The compact size of the island means that all of its scenery is easily accessible through day trips. Activities abound from surfing, golfing and diving, to adventure tours, theme parks, shopping and fine dining.
BE captivated, entranced, and enchanted... Come and let one of the most tranquil and transforming places on this earth work its magic on you.