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Driver Bali Info
The Bali travel info section is a primer for your Bali vacation, offering some basic information about Bali Indonesia. The Balinese travel info section is not meant to be a complete guide to Bali island but to give you some idea of what to expect from your Bali holiday. There is general information about Bali, tourism high seasons, Bali weather and climate info and some Bali history.
Bali Travel Info, Bali Indonesia Holiday Info
...a Balinese vacation primer
Bali is all about scenery, culture, sport and fun with it's exotic temples, beautiful beaches, great surf and jungle covered volcanoes. What more could you ask for? Try cheap seafood, quality clothes and amazing artwork. Add friendly people, a safe tourist friendly environment, great restaurants & nightlife and you have the perfect holiday destination, plus Bali is good for kids too.
Outside the cities Bali is so picturesque that you could be fooled into thinking it was a painted backdrop. Balinese rice paddies trip down hillsides like giant steps, volcanoes soar through the clouds, the forests are lush and tropical and the beaches are lapped by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.
Bali Indonesia General Information & Statistics
5620 sq km (2192 sq mi)
Denpasar (pop 370,000)
95% ethnic Balinese, plus Javanese minority
Bahasa Bali, Bahasa Indonesian, plus English in tourist areas
95% Balinese Hindu, plus Muslim and Christian minorities
The Balinese Tourist Seasons
Usually there are two distinct foreign tourist seasons plus many Indonesians visit Bali throughout the year. The European summer holidays from July to September and the Australian summer holidays from Christmas to the end of January are the busiest Bali holiday seasons. Due the Bali bombings and the recent SARS crisis the island of Bali is very quiet at the moment, it's always low season so you don't have to worry about crowds or finding accommodation.
Paleolithic stone tools indicate human presence on Bali island as early as 1500 BC when the ancestors of modern Indonesians arrived from southern India and introduced an agrarian society centred on village units. By the Bronze Age around 300 BC Bali was already well populated.
Early Balinese Society
The earliest written records in Bali are inscriptions on a stone pillar in Sanur dating back from around 9th century AD. From the 10th to 15th centuries AD Bali was ruled on and off by Javanese kingdoms and Balinese royal families. During this time many Javanese artists, dancers, musicians and actors came to Bali and the island experienced an explosion of cultural activity.
The Dutch Period
The Dutch arrived on Bali in 1597 and stayed until the Japanese invaded in 1942, the main city at the time was Singaraja in North Bali. After the Japanese surrender in 1945 the Dutch tried to reclaim the island while President Sukarno declared Indonesia's independence. Fierce fighting ensued between Balinese and Dutch forces until 1949 when the Dutch officially recognized Indonesia.
Bali has developed quickly over the last 50 years or so with tourism the major engine of growth. The Indonesian government was quick to recognise Bali's potential as a major tourist draw card and built the required infrastructure. The South West of Bali island is the main tourism area which allows the rest of Bali to remain relatively undisturbed and Balinese traditional culture to flourish.
Recent crises such as the Kuta bombings and the SARS epidemic have decimated the Balinese tourism industry. There is a deepening economic crisis as people are laid off from their jobs and businesses struggle to stay afloat. Although the Balinese tourism industry will recover many people are looking to reduce Bali's reliance on tourism by expanding their export markets.