"Bali the beautiful" Bali by Tijavi

Bali Travel Guide: 6,895 reviews and 17,844 photos

And no, I didn't mean Kuta

Beauty is all around Bali: verdant rice paddies watered by gushing streams, scenic countryside, unique architecture, rich cultural heritage founded on a deep sense of piety.

And yes, the genuinely warm and charming ways of its people.

My weeklong travel to this island of three million gentle souls took me to the surfing paradise that is Kuta, to the island's cultural heartland in Ubud and to a quaint fishing village in Padang Bai.

Kuta: height of commercialism

Unless one is a hardcore surfer (especially if from Down Under) or a pampered guest at a top-end resort in Nusa Dua, it is impossible to find beauty in Kuta - Bali's most popular tourist destination.

Kuta is the embodiment of uncontrolled tourism development. The place is teeming not just with touts but also with unbridled commercialism and vulgarity that has shamelessly desecrated Bali's true essence and innocence.

Disillusioned, I trekked to Ubud for inspiration and enlightenment.

Ubud: soothing the spirit

Bali's cultural heartland, Ubud is Bali's defining character, despite the onslaught of mass tourism. Here, the visitor is treated to a myriad of cultural offerings - colorful dance and music shows, a good number of reputable art museums, and artists' villages and communities, among others.

I have devoted a separate page for Ubud to highlight not just its enlightening cultural offerings but also to showcase its traditional village life and its charming, gentle people.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The Balinese people, Ubud and its quaint surrounding communities
  • Cons:Kuta, and yes, those darn dogs
  • In a nutshell:A complete package with something for everyone
  • Last visit to Bali: Jun 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (21)

Comments (9)

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo
    Mar 5, 2008 at 1:44 PM

    I see you are sensitive to culture of rice, Titus; I was amazed discovering this strong connection to rice in Indonesia. You visited many places I missed there, and I liked my visit with you .

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Sep 20, 2007 at 8:54 AM

    A great well-rounded overview of Bali. I especially enjoyed the story of the fallen moon and your truly excellent local customs tips :)

  • Homanded's Profile Photo
    May 26, 2007 at 6:40 AM

    Great Bali pages. We were able to partake in one of the cremation ceremonies and it was one of our highlights! Good tips on here! Homer

  • xaver's Profile Photo
    Feb 14, 2006 at 10:54 AM

    To be honest I did not particulary like Bali, but you have done a nice and not obvious page about it.

  • sprdak11's Profile Photo
    Feb 5, 2006 at 8:39 AM

    Very interesting travel page about Bali. Greetings.

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Nov 4, 2005 at 2:09 PM

    I enjoyed these pages even more the 2nd time around. The naming of children is fascinating. I admire your candid, strightforward introduction. Wonderful, helpful tips. Excellent restaurant and hotel tips. You provide a wealth of information.

  • DaDrifter's Profile Photo
    Sep 29, 2005 at 9:03 AM

    Temples, rituals, religion ... all so familiar and yet so different. I'm already planning to change my name to 'Made' :) Thanks for an insightful look at the local Bali customs ... wonderful read, TV.

  • Sep 10, 2005 at 1:56 AM

    Bali seems a beautiful destination to explore. I really hope to go there some time in future. Thanks for your helpful tips and for comment on my homepage. I wish you all the best.

  • hassan_abu's Profile Photo
    Jun 15, 2005 at 7:05 AM

    Hi TV. After reading your Bali page, I really must put Bali as my next destination. Great page.. Abu


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