So is Bali over? “Yes, if you compare it to what it used to be,” is — at the very least — what many residents agree on. Indeed, paradises have no future: they are just fragile perfections in an imperfect world. And if you define them as the receptacles of a frozen past, they can only be victims of modernization. Bali, among other “paradises,” seems ill-equipped to resist the 21st century’s mutations.
The growing tourism industry in Bali should not harm the environment and cultures, stated President elect Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.
Bali isn’t exactly an unknown destination and for some, that’s a turn off. True the island is packed with tourists, but exploring the unique Balinese culture and temples, as well as the hidden beaches, is still worth your time, especially when you consider the quality and affordability of the amenities.
Once a serene island of colourful ceremonies, emerald rice terraces and elaborately carved temples, much of southern Bali is now infested with opulent hotels, “exclusive facilities” and “ocean sanctuaries”. The outbreak of construction sites around the tiny island threaten many more of these buildings to come – many more than the roads, infrastructure or environment can handle.
The Island of the Gods is still guaranteed to be one of favourite surf destination for surfers. It is exotic, tropical, the eating and drinking establishments are fantastic and the Balinese are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Plus, it is still one of the most inexpensive vacation spots on the planet. There’s also so much more to Bali than that.
We already know about the things that shouldn’t happen in Bali: excessive drinking, tourists exposing way too much flesh on the beach and blatant ignorance of the island’s culture. But that’s not the real Bali. Beyond Kuta there is plenty that will surprise, and delight, the first-time visitor to the Island of the Gods.
“After the success of the first one, they built a road into the break (at Uluwatu). I used to love walking in along the track – this narrow goat track with cactus either side, and stiles you had to climb over. I always regretted that we inadvertently caused that.”
Bali was a latecomer to the international surfing scene. Australia, California and Hawaii have been associated with the sport since the early 1930s, but the Indonesian island only really garnered attention in the late 1960s and early ’70s, after films such as Morning of the Earth and Tubular Swells put Uluwatu and a coterie of young local surfers on the radar.
Thousands of people flock daily to the centuries-old, sacred Hindu temple at Tanah Lot, a rock formation that juts into the Indian Ocean. An island at high tide and flanked by sheer cliffs, it’s among Bali’s most photographed sites, particularly for the mesmerizing sunsets that transform the waters into a shimmering orange vista.
The Indonesian tourist resort island of Bali, with a population of 4.3 million and thousands of tourists, remained quiet and tranquil on Tuesday during the Hindu Day of Seclusion.