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Bali Holidays Overview
Denpasar is the largest city and capital of the idyllic island of Bali.
The Indonesian island of Bali is a tropical paradise which lies between the islands of Java and Lombok. Bali is the only Hindu enclave in Indonesia which is the world’s most populous Muslim nation. This island is included as one of the country’s thirty-three provinces.
The type of Hinduism that is practiced in Bali is quite different from the Hinduism that is practiced in India for the faith that is on this island has developed from a combination of Buddhism and Animism. The first Hindu first settlers arrived in Bali as early as 100BC and since then Hinduism has been practiced and followed on this emerald island.
The city of Denpasar is the capital of this exotic heaven which is world renowned for its lush landscape which consists of many gorgeous palm fringed beaches, verdant paddy fields and plantations, soaring volcanoes, crystal clear lakes and dense forests. The island is Indonesia’s most favored holiday destination which is often referred to as ‘the Island of the Gods’ that is inhabited by gentle, always smiling people.
Denpasar whose name translates as ‘by the market’ is the only real city on the island of Bali. The city is home to approximately 500,000 Balinese people, many of whom work on the various beach resorts that litter the island. The city is a chaotic and busy city whose roads are often gridlocked with traffic. Most tourists bypass noisy, busy Denpasar for the various beaches of Bali like the famous but highly commercialized Kuta Beach which is located just 20kms away from the city of Denpasar.
Tourists in search of more tranquil pursuits tend to head out to the more isolated beaches which are located at Candidasa, Sanur and the fishing village of Padang Bai, all of which are located on the eastern coast of the island and the beach at Lovina which is located on the northern coast of Bali. Most of the beaches in Bali offer opportunities for scuba diving, snorkeling and other water based recreational activities.
In recent times the island has become a target for terrorists who have twice attacked the island in October 2002 and 2005. Both these attacks were aimed at foreign tourists and they killed about 225 people but the island has recovered quickly from the impact of these dastardly attacks and it continues to attract hordes of foreign tourist all year round. However if you are planning a trip to Bali anytime soon you would do well to heed any travel advisories that are issued by your home country.
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holidays - Top Events
The Bali Arts Festival
This festival is one of the most important events that takes place in Denpasar every year. This cultural extravaganza which is known as Pesta Kesenian Bali kicks off with an elaborate procession which features Balinese musical troupes and dancers in traditional costume who participate in the procession while riding on colorful floats. The procession also features giant ogoh-ogogh dolls and it is the highlight of the festival which features several performances that showcase traditional and modern music, dance and theater, puppet shows, parades and various contests . The festival typically lasts for a month from mid-June to mid-July.
Nyepi Holy Day
The Nyepi Holy Day is a somber festival which is known as the Day of Silence. This festival is celebrated once a year on the ninth new moon in March or April. During this festival, the Balinese people are expected to observe silence for a period of 24 hours and they have to abstain from work, cooking or having sex. The entire island becomes silent during this festival which is observed to drive away evil spirits who are to be fooled into thinking that nobody lives on the island which is enveloped in silence.
Galungan Holy Day
The Balinese people believe in ancestor worship and it is believed that once every 210 these ancestors visit the family temples. On this day the Balinese erect decorated bamboo poles called penjor all over the island and hold street dances and festivities at various temples.
holidays - How to Get There
Airlines like Garuda, Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Malaysian Airlines as well as Virgin Blue and Jetstar offer air links from Australian cities like Sydney and Melbourne to Denpasar. Some of these connections like the one offered by Garuda from Sydney are direct while others involve one or two stops.
Australia has a diplomatic mission in the form of a consulate general in Denpasar.