The Island of Bali
The Indonesian island of Bali is renowned for its beautiful coastline, rugged volcanic mountains, stone temples, luxury spas and friendly people. Together, these helped to secure Bali the top spot in Tripadvisor’s 2017 Travellers Choice Awards. Millions of travellers vote on the travel website for the World’s top destination. This magical island is this year’s pick of the crop and was placed ahead of iconic destinations such as London, Paris and Rome. Following the announcement, I decided to see what all the fuss was about. I booked my tickets and flew off to the beaches of Seminyak. After a few days I headed inland to Ubud. After just nine days I returned to Perth with almost two thousand photographs and many fond memories. I will be publishing some of these in the coming months.
Taman Ujung Water Palace, Karangasem, Bali
The Taman Ujung Water Palace was built by the King of Karangasem in the period 1909 to 1921. It is situated in east Bali just a few kilometres from Amlapura. The magnificent sprawling buildings are set amongst three large pools with ornate bridges and beautiful gardens. If you arrive before nine in the morning you are likely to miss the crowds of tourists and be able to experience the magnificence of the water palace virtually on your own.
Pura Gubug Temple, Lake Tamblingan, Bali
The strong spiritual nature of the Balinese people has resulted in them building thousands of temples and shrines. No trip would be complete without visiting a few of these. Some of my favourites include Pura Gubug, Tanah Lot, Uluwatu and Pura Ulun Danu Bratan.
Visitors to these temples will often encounter colourful wedding parties and interesting spiritual leaders.
Net Fisherman, Sanur, Bali
Native Balinese have a very close relationship with both land and the sea. Early risers can catch scores of small outrigger boats being loaded with goods for delivery to the surrounding islands. In addition, farmers attend to their rice fields and livestock. You might even be lucky enough to come across a fisherman with his cast-net in the shallows close to the beach.
Bali Culture & Religion
Culture and religion play a central role in the lives of the vast majority of Balinese. Religious offerings are visible everywhere and ceremonies are commonplace. The predominant religion is Balinese Hinduism which originated from Java.
Whilst in Ubud, I was extremely fortunate to be invited to a cremation ceremony for a local spiritual leader. Furthermore, I was allowed me to bring my camera to the ceremony. I will be sharing some of the photos from this event in coming weeks.
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Temple, Lake Bratan
Pura Ulun Danu is a Hindu water temple on the shores of Lake Bratan in the mountains near Bedugul. The King of Mengwi built the temple in 1633 as a dedication to the water goddess, Dewi Danu. His objective was to ensure plentiful water and bountiful crops.
Bali Sunrises & Sunsets
Bali is renowned for its brightly coloured sunrises and sunsets. The picturesque coastline and mountainous interior help to further enrich these wondrous images.
Tirta Empul Spring Temple, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali
Bali temples mostly follow a common architectural theme. However, not all the temples are renowned for this unique architecture. Some have verdant gardens or scenic backdrops. Others, such as the Tirta Empul Spring Temple, have spiritually cleansing springs.
The People of Bali
The people of Bali are thought to be a combination of a number of different ethnic groups. These include Chinese, Indians, Arabs and other groups coming directly from the mainland to the West of the island. Balinese are extremely friendly and warm people. Ultimately, they are the essence that makes Bali such a wonderful place to visit.