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kuta area
KUTA & SURROUNDS

 
Once a lonely village on the road from Denpasar to Bukit Badung Peninsula, Kuta is now a thriving tourist resort particularly favored by the young. With its big rolling waves, Kuta beach is popular with surfers, although the currents make it less suitable for swimming. Coast guards are on constant duty during the day. Kuta faces the west, offering beautiful sunsets. Up the road to the north is Legian, with its more relaxed atmosphere. Further north still is Seminyak. All areas abound with souvenir shops, hotels in price ranges, and restaurants catering to tourists.
 
ulundanu temple BEDUGUL
 
When the heat and humidity finally start to grate, Bedugul is the perfect escape. Tucked into the crater of an extinct volcano 1,400 meters above the sea level, it is a highland retreat. Three lakes provide everything for outdoor recreation from springs, rivers and rice fields below. Lush pine forests seem to create a freshness in the air. Bedugul is known for its fine fruits, vegetables, flowers, plants and spices which are all displayed in the market.
 
besakih temple
BESAKIH
 
Known as the Mother Temple of Bali, the Besakih sanctuary on the slopes of Mount Agung is the biggest and holiest of all Balinese temple. Over a thousand years old, steep steps ascend through split gates to the main courtyard, where the Trinity shrines, wrapped in cloth and decorated with flower offerings. Around the main temples dedicated to the Trinity: Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu, are 18 separate sanctuaries belonging to the different regencies and caste groups. To the Balinese, a visit to the temple is a special pilgrimage. Each has its own anniversary celebration or Odalan. The sight of the temple against the backdrop of the holy mountain is impressive, and during festivals, colored banners add a touch of gaiety.
 
goa gajah
GOA GAJAH
 
Balinese Hinduism’s unique blend of Hindu and Buddhist elements is most apparent in the sacred relics of Goa Gajah, the Elephant Cave. Goa Gajah dates to at least the 11th century. Excavated in the 1950s, the cave entrance is an open-mouthed giant’s head flanked by hands that appear to be pushing away the surrounding rock face.
 
kerta gosa
KLUNGKUNG
 
The former seat of the Javanese Hindu kingdom in Bali, from where Balinese royalty draws its bloodline, Klungkung was the oldest kingdom on the island and its Raja the most exalted. Kertagosa, the Hall of Justice, built in the 18th century, is known for its ceiling murals painted in the traditional Wayang style portraying punishment in hell and rewards in heaven and other moral aspects. The floating pavilion, garden and lotus ponds in the walled complex, located at the main intersection of town, are a reminder of the former glory of this kingdom.
 
denpasar
DENPASAR
 
Denpasar, the capital city of Bali province, squeezed between Batubulan and Ubung to the north, Sanur to the east and Kuta to the southwest, is a bustling city center for administrative, commercial and educational services to Bali and much of eastern Indonesia. The central market is a beehive of activity where Balinese and tourist can be found shopping side-by-side, government offices and banks abound, and the traffic rivals that of Jakarta. Yet in the center of the mayhem is the Werdhi Budhaya Art Center, Pura Jagatnatha, and the Bali Museum.
 
celuk CELUK
 
Synonymous with silver and goldsmiths, Celuk’s art shops beckon visitors with sterling silver and gold, gem-studded bracelets and earrings. Balinese smiths are largely and art passed down in the family. The visitor may observe workshops, which are often small rooms or work areas with five to 20 workers, some not even in their teens. Many fine jewelers dwell here off the beaten track.
 
mas kemenuh MAS & KEMENUH
 
Mas village is best known for its intricate woodcarvings and masks. The historical importance of Mas should not be overlooked. Its inhabitants are primarily Brahmans, the priestly caste, tracing their roots to Danghyang Nirartha the founder of the village’s Pura Taman Pule.
 
ubud UBUD & SURROUNDS
 
A beautiful locale with a natural inclination to the arts, Ubud was home to the first foreigners from Europe in the 1930-s artists seeking inspiration within their surroundings. Ubud is a center for the artist, surrounded by souvenir outlets, quaint cafes, and accommodations. Neighboring villages such as Peliatan and Campuhan have been absorbed into Ubud’s sprawl. Ubud comes from the word ‘ubad’, Balinese for medicine, stemming from the healing properties of a herb growing near the Campuhan River. Ubud’s Yayasan Bina Wisata tourism foundation aims to preserve the area’s natural and cultural beauty, striving to unify both visitor’s and local’s need.
 

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