Friday, April 12, 2013

A guide to the different regions of Bali

image from wikipedia
The Indonesian island of Bali is divided into several regions. The island is physically divided across its middle by a mountain range and down its length by many deep river gorges.

Southern Bali

This triangular area of tropical lowlands is Bali's most developed region. It is home to the island's international airport and the nearby tourist centre of Seminyak-Legian-Kuta. Of these three areas, Kuta is generally considered to be the most developed and has the cheapest places to stay and the best night life. It tends to attract a young, backpacking crowd. The only drawback with Kuta is that swimming in the sea is fairly dangerous due to the strong currents in the area. Despite this, Kuta is a major surfing centre.

If fine-dining is more your thing then you will prefer Seminyak which is known as the most chic village in Bali. Seminyak is where most of Bali's expatriate population resides and it is home to the island's most expensive accommodation.

Denpasar

The city of Denpasar is the capital of Bali and has a population of over 500,000. Many visitors to Bali avoid Denpasar altogether and head for the more beautiful regions of the island but it is well worth a visit and is home to one of Bali's best museums which specialises in the history and culture of the island.

Sanur

This region is much more laidback and tranquil than the main tourist area of Seminyak-Legian-Kuta. Its main attractions are snorkelling, SCUBA diving, windsurfing and surfing. Three islands lie just off the coast of Sanur, Ceningan, Lembongan and Penida. All three are just a short boat ride from the shore and they offer some of the best diving on the island.

The Bukit Peninsula

A peninsula located just south of Bali's international airport that it is a magnet to surfers and resort and hotel developers.

Ubud

Ubud is the 'real Bali' and is the place to visit to experience the genuine spirituality, artistry and traditions of the island. It is home to a multitude of artisan villages, art galleries, museums and temples. International development chains are restricted in the region and development is geared towards preserving its traditions and to encouraging cultural innovation.

The Central Mountains

The Central Mountains and especially its main draw, the Gunung Batur volcano, get extremely busy during the main tourist season. However, you shouldn't let this put you off, the view from the top is more than worth it. As well as Gunung Batur, there are many charming villages to explore but you should take some warm clothes and proper shoes on a trip to the mountains.

The West

Western Bali mainly consists of the West Bali National Park which offers some of the best bird-watching and hiking in the world and the nearby Menjangan Island has some of the most spectacular SCUBA diving.

The East

Eastern Bali is home to its largest mountain, Gunung Agung, upon which sits its largest and most holy temple, Pura Besakih. The Sidemen Valley is one of the island's most scenic areas.

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