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Bali, Indonesia

Bali is one of more than 17,000 islands in the Indonesian archipelago and is located just over 2 kilometres (almost 1.5 miles) from the eastern tip of the island of Java and west of the island of Lombok. The island, home to about 4 million people, is approximately 144 kilometres (90 mi.) from east to west and 80 kilometres (50 mi.) north to south.

The combination of friendly, hospitable people and spectacular beaches with great surfing and diving have made Bali Indonesia's number one tourist attraction. 

Bali can get very crowded in July and August and again at Christmas and New Year. Australians also visit during school holidays in early April, late June and late September, while domestic tourists from elsewhere in Indonesia visit during national holidays. Outside these peak seasons, Bali can be surprisingly quiet and good discounts on accommodation are often available.

Most visitors will arrive at Ngurah Rai International Airport ,also known as Denpasar International Airport. Despite this misleading name, the airport is actually located in Tuban between Kuta and Jimbaran, roughly 30 mins away from Denpasar.

Ngurah Rai is Indonesia's 3rd busiest international airport (after Jakarta and Surabaya) and a major hub well-connected to Australia, South-East Asia, and the rest of Indonesia.

There are direct bus services to Bali from all major cities on Java and Lombok that link with ferries for sea crossings. These are cheap and easy, but slow.

Perama bus companyis a good option for budget travellers.

Daytime temperatures are pleasant, varying between 20-33° C (68-93° F) year-round. From December to March, the west monsoon can bring heavy showers and high humidity, but days are still often sunny with the rains starting in the late afternoon or evening and passing quickly. 

Even when it is raining across most of Bali, you can often enjoy sunny, dry days on the Bukit Peninsula which receives far less rain than any other part of the island. At higher elevations such as Bedugul or Kintamani, it gets distinctly chilly and you will need either a sweater or jacket after the sun sets.

Most of the coastline of Bali is fringed by beaches of some type, with the exceptions being some important areas of mangrove forest in the southeast, and certain parts of the Bukit Peninsula where high cliffs drop straight to the Indian Ocean.

Away from the coast, Bali is largely lush and green. Rice paddies are the dominant agricultural feature of the island. 

Balinese is very different from Bahasa Indonesia, although the latter is spoken by practically everyone in Bali. In tourist regions, English and some other foreign languages are widely spoken. 

Bali's best-known attractions are its countless Hindu temples. Each village is required by adat (customary law) to construct and maintain at least three temples: the pura puseh (temple of origin) , the pura desa (village temple) and the pura dalem (temple of the dead). Wealthy villages may well have more than these three temples, and  all family compounds have a temple of some nature. To enter any temple, you must wear a sarong and sash. The most popular temples often have them for rent, but it is recommended that you buy a set and use it throughout your visit.

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Overview of Bali

Overview of Bali

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