Bali - island of the gods and gateway to Paradise -- is a relatively small island, east of Java across the Bali Strait, one of 17,000 Indonesian islands. In recent years, luxurious hotel complexes have appeared, tastefully re-creating the island's ethnic traditions. The capital of Bali, Denpasar, is the commercial centre of the island with good shopping facilities and a fascinating variety of entertainment.
Colourful dance and drama play an important part in the lives of the Bali people and almost every village has its own dance group, the favourite dance being the Barong. In the north of the island, the 1800 metre high Gunung Batur volcano is still active and in the lat century has erupted four times, its slopes covered in lava fields, which extend deep into the crater. Hindu temples abound, the Pura Kehen being one of the most beautiful terraced temples in Bali and the Pua Besakih, the most revered. At sunset, hundreds of people visit the spectacular though small temple of Tanah Lot which is situated on the top of a volcanic cliff. As in ancient times, rice is still cultivated in the traditional way and ox and plough traverse the fields. Sun drenched beaches, cloud-kissed volcanoes, exquisite ethnic architecture and dreamy temples - it's no wonder that Bali is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in East Asia.