An island blend of old and new
Bali is at once more idyllic than you ever imagined—and more
commercial. Traditional Hindu culture and values coexist with modern trappings
and tourist commerce on this island in the Indonesian Archipelago.
Your impressions of the island will be colored by where you stay, but we
agree with those who say that the most authentic Bali is in the
rugged-but-bucolic hill country surrounding the artsy village of Ubud. The
region is filled with small villages, deep river gorges, and rice paddies on
Bali's beaches are also legendary. The most popular are on the southern half
of the island. Kuta is busy and very commercial; it's a good place to shop but
not to stay. Sanur, a veteran of the beach scene, has become increasingly
commercial. We enjoyed the relative tranquility and wide-open expanse of sand
and moderate surf at Legian Beach. Jimbaran Bay is very scenic, with a view of
the central volcanic peaks. Nusa Dua, the newly developed enclave of upscale
golf courses and resorts, has little to do with experiencing the real Bali.
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