OVERVIEW OF BENOA (BALI)
Bali is an Indonesian island located in the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, between Java and Lombok. With miles of sandy beaches, towering volcanoes, flowing rivers, and lush tropical forests full of exotic wildlife, Bali has been the favorite destination for locals and international tourists for ages. Experience Bali?s rich cultural heritage through tales from the Ramayana, while shopping for woodcarvings, silver work and paintings in the artisan villages, or through a traditional Barong dance.
The One Thing You Don't Want to Miss
Theater and dance are an integral part of Balinese culture. Balinese dances are a very ancient tradition, part of the religious expression in Bali. There are various categories of dance that are based on separate religious functions and include different types of performances. Barong includes a contest between opposing forces of chaos and destruction; Legong is characterized by intricate finger movements and Kecak is performed by a circle of 100 or more performers. Regularly scheduled performances can be found throughout the year.
Other Fun Things to Do
Surf's up in Bali. Lakey's Peak, Lakey's Pike, Periscopes and Nuga Dora are just a few of the classic Balinese waves. Depending on the time of year, you're sure to catch big waves somewhere on the island.
In 1963, Mt. Agung erupted, just as the ceremony of the 11 forces was being performed. Take a tour of Mt. Agung and Mt. Batur where a volcanologist will help you to understand the connection between them and Krakatau, Mount St Helen's and Mount Fuji.
Temples are everywhere in Bali and they remain a focus of life throughout the island. Visit the Besakih Temple, the largest and most important Hindu Temple in Bali or Sebatu, the temple with the holy springs.
Get a Taste of Local Flavor
Like the food of other regions in Indonesia, Balinese food is rice as the central dish served with small portions of spicy, pungent vegetables, fish or meat and served almost always with sambal or chili paste. Though the tourism industry has brought international fare in Indonesian restaurants, local food still remains in the culinary spotlight. Balinese still keep to their traditional culinary roots especially in a temple ceremony, Balinese birthday Otonan, or when hosting special guests. Traditional Balinese dishes you should not miss include babi buling, pieces of a roasted suckling pig and the Bebek Betutu, a smoked stuffed ducked wrapped in bamboo leaves.
Shopping for Bargains
Enjoy a most distinct shopping experience in Bali. Shop for fine art and handicrafts which include antiques, semi-antiques and modern furniture, a variety of paintings, delicately crafted gold and silver jewelry, wood and stone carvings, masks, woven and dyed fabrics and so much more. Popular shopping centers are Geneva, Kuta Square, Bali Galeria and the huge, fully air-conditioned beachfront Kartika Discovery Mall.
The Indonesian Rupiah (Rp) is the official currency of Indonesia. Many stores and restaurants also accept major credit cards, which usually offer you a good exchange rate.