To Bali

Aptly named the ‘islands of the god’s’ Bali is a tapestry of colour and textures, where every aspect of Balinese life is infused with religion and where the good and bad spirits reside between mountain and sea.

Home to about 4 million people, it is situated in the Lesser Sunda Islands, a province of Indonesia. Lying between Java and Lombok, it is separated by the Wallace Line and the Bali Straits and is approximately 8 degrees south of the equator.

The island was inhabited around the 2000 BC by Austronesian people and has seen both Dutch political and economic control commencing in the 1800's, followed by Japanese occupation during WWII.  It wasn’t until 1949 when Indonesian Independence was proclaimed that Bali finally became free of foreign intervention and was revived as a ‘paradise’ and tourist ‘hot spot’.

Strongly influenced by Indian and Chinese cultures, the majority of the people on the island are Hindu. The Balinese Hindu religion is a mix of animistic spirits, gods, ancestral spirits and Buddhist characteristics. Their primary deity is Sanghyang Widi Wasa (Acintya) – the ‘all in one god’, who is depicted by an empty throne, wrapped in a black and white chequered fabric.

There are thousands of temples on the island with the ‘mother temple’ being Pura Besakih on the slopes of Mt  Agung. The temple complexes are built in a straight line from the sea towards the mountains where the gods live and the fight for good and evil continues until eternity.

An unseen caste system exists on Bali with approximately 90% of the Balinese people belonging to the lowest caste, the Sudra or Jaba. The other remaining castes are the Brahmana, the spiritual caste where priests and those knowledgeable in the rituals belong, Ksatria the political caste where the royal families belong and the Wesya caste, which comprises of the warriors and rich descendants.

Bali’s richness in the arts: architecture, dance, painting, sculptures and Wayang puppet theatre, are influenced by the influx of Javanese during the rule of the Majapahit empire, in the 14th through to the 16th centuries. In the 1930’s and until today Western and more recently Asian artists in a wide variety of fields, contribute to the artistic nature of the island.

Many of the villages around the island specialise in some form of art whether it be Ikat textiles or the intricately carved cow skulls, stone carvings or decorative aluminium ware, wood carvings or silver production, the range of skilled artisans is unique.

Surrounded by coral reefs, white and black sand beaches, the landscape of Bali is magnificent. Tall mountain ranges rise up to meet the sky both north and east of the island. Mt Agung the highest range is still an active volcano and it is the volcanic nature of the island that has contributed to its exceptionally fertile soil resulting in a productive agricultural industry. Rice crops, coffee, fruit and vegetables are grown successfully.

Today Bali is a cosmopolitan island with many different nationalities from all over the world residing and working together, contributing to the island culture and ensuring that it is a world-class tourist destination.

There is much to see and do on the island from visiting the upmarket boutiques and shops, savoring the delicious range of fresh food from around the globe, viewing the rich past and heritage in the enchanting temple ceremonies and mesmerising dance performances or rafting, diving, surfing or playing golf, the island has something for everyone, both adult and child alike to enjoy.

We welcome you to our island of Bali and hope that your stay will be idyllic.