Shanghai Daily: Bountiful Bali - Tourism Indonesia


Friday, March 20, 2009

Shanghai Daily: Bountiful Bali

BALI, island of the gods, is known for its mortal, and some would say immortal pleasures. You'd think that with all those raving tourists, it would be spoiled, but Cao Qian says it's ever-ravishing

My toes wriggled into the beautiful white sand and I luxuriated in the gentle tides from the warm Indian Ocean: Thus began my first trip to Bali and it seemed a typical beginning to a tropical beachside vacation.

This time, however, the experience was richer, more captivating. The few days I spent there were not long enough to explore Bali, but long enough to understand why so many people around the world find this island ravishing and return again and again.

April to November is the dry season, the prime tourist season. So if you want to join the crowds, it's time to plan.

Bali, or the island of the gods, as it's frequently called, works its way into your heart with a year-round sunny and carefree atmosphere, friendly people, spectacular views, cheap and exotic shopping, unique spa therapies and great food, from fine dining to casual.

Bali, Indonesia, offers water sports, including surfing, water skiing, sailing, snorkeling and diving. Bali is well known for surfing. Huge swells build up and travel north from the southern oceans, wrapping completely around the island; thus, it's possible to catch a swell in any direction.

If you like urban comforts, then Kuta, the so-called tourist mecca of Bali, is a good place to begin. There's surfing during the day and partying at night. The island's No. 1 party zone has a cluster of clubs catering for all tastes.

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