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Tips For Enjoying Bali's Blend Of Old And New
By Mike Thiel

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 hillside terraces.

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.

Summer 2001

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