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  • Amazing Earth: Bali, Indonesia

    Bali, Indonesia

    Bali, Indonesia

    It’s about time we kept our promise to present you some of the most amazing destinations around the world and continue with a second episode from out brand new series called “Amazing Earth”. Therefore, today we will tell you a few words about Bali, a picturesque little island in the Indian Ocean that is officially considered as the pearl of Indonesian archipelago.

    Its pleasant equatorial climate, volcanic ridges and rich coral reefs make Bali and all year round touristic destination. The island is particularly appealing thanks to its carefully preserved traditions, including hand-crafted silver and gold jewelries, complicated religious rituals and the famous ritual dances. And thanks to the Bali’s increasing popularity, the island is now ready to accommodate and satisfy the most various tastes – while its waters and luxuriant woods represent the thrill of any adventurer, the numerous world class hotels and spas guarantee a total relaxation.

    Just as I mentioned above, Bali is the beholder of a unique cultural inheritance. Unlike the rest of Indonesia, where most of the population is represented by Muslims, Bali represents the birth place of Balinese Hinduism (the incorporation of ancient, endemic beliefs distinguishes the dominant religion of Bali from other forms of Hinduism).

    The Hindu temples of Bali are therefore not only a great occasion to admire some remarkable pieces of architecture, but also to attend some fascinating ceremonies – a very popular and equally interesting tradition is represented by the one day of silence that accompanies the spring festival.
    Once you got to get a panoramic view over Bali’s majestic volcano (which, by the way, is still active, just like the volcanoes of Hawaii), you will soon realize how the island ended up with its nickname:(Island of the Gods). The gods have blessed the island with numerous natural assets, which is why many of the gods that are worshiped by the people of Bali represent natural phenomenons.

    As the island is all surrounded by coral reefs, its beaches are indeed surf and snorkeling friendly. Top rated natural attractions include Elephant Cave (Goa Gajah) and Bat Cave (Goa Lawah), Lovinia (a popular dolphin watching spot), Mount Batukau and West Bali National Park.

    But the more urban destinations of Bali should also be appreciated. If you want to find a town with nice restaurants serving healthy local specialties that has amazing yoga studios and exciting things to do, you should definitely visit the town of Ubud in Bali. You can have an up close meeting with VERY friendly moneys at the Monkey Forest or enjoy a walk on Campuhan Ridge to have a amazing view over the valleys and rice terraces.

    Most of Bali’s rituals and performances tend to be syncretic (encompassing two ore more means of expression) which adds a plus of spectaculosity to the ceremonies.  With their richly ornamented costumes and elegant moves, the dances of Bali resemble Indian dances, while being original in the same time. Although the initial purpose of such manifestations was to perform a sacred ritual (baris, for example, is a specific dance which is danced exclusively by warriors), some of them evolved into secular manifestations.

    A truly skilled dancer is considered the one who can improvise and tell a whole story (legend) through his/her body movements. These traditional dances are usually accompanied by a small band and  can be observed in places like Batubulan or Ubud.

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