Bali Information - It is curious that the two famous tourist centers of Bali are at Kuta and Sanur, villages on opposite sides of the narrow isthmus to Bukit. No longer typical Balinese villages, they have changed much as tourism developed and are now satellite suburbs of Denpasar, connected by a steady stream of bemos. Many people in this area work away from their home villages. A government decision to check the tourist influx has restricted hotel centers to the far south Denpasar, Kuta and Sanur-with any further development to take place at Nusa Dua, on the east coast of Bukit peninsula.
Throughout the island's history this same area (together with the northern villages around Singaraja) has been the first to welcome or defend against outsiders. In popular belief, the demon Jero Gede Macaling annually haunts the coasts of South Bali from his home in Nusa Penida. At Belanjong, beyond the Hotel Sanur, an inscription engraved on a low pillar commemorates the victories of Sri Kesari Warmadewa over his enemies in A.D. 913.
In later times, famous priests from Java trod these shores. The three best-known temples of the area-Pura Sakenan, Pura Luhur Ulu Watu, and Pura Petitenget at kerobokan are associated with the 16th century priest Nirartha.
The first European to settle in South Balis a Danish trader, Mads Lange, who built
Copra factory in Kuta around 1830. By befriending kings of these regions, he persuaded squabbling rajas to give up their quarreling to some degree and unite against pressures from North Bali. Partially successful at this quest for continuing Bali’s independence, Mads Lange was beloved by rulers and detested by others. He was poised by political enemies in the late 19th century; his grave may be seen at Kuta
In 1906 the Dutch invaded the south at the opening clash taking place on the beachs the Dutch militia landed. Battlles waged all along the road from Sanur to Denpasar. The three ruling princes of the Kingdom of Badung climaxed their defense and defiance in battles unto death, puputan. Left in control. After the upheavals Japanese occupation and. Independence, the Dutch in 1946 again landed troops at Sanur.

Sanur has been long famous for its painters and orchestras. You need only walk a short distance inland to hear village music clubs engaged in their nightly practice sessions. Often, in the evening, streets are packed with spectators awaiting local theatre performances. Sanur has always been a great center of the Arja, a traditional opera of courtly romances, and to this day is an avid patron of the Wayang Kulit puppet play.
A great sport of the children of Serangan, "The Turtle Island", is to fly huge kites, some 8 meters long, by hoisting them into the air from outrigger canoes. In fact, kite flying is such popular pastimes here that officials at Bali International Airport feared the kites may be distracting to landing aircraft and suggested everyone shorten their strings. Sanur, Serangan, and Kuta are close by. The journey to the sea temple of Ulu Watu is an enjoyable trip.
SANUR. Save for a few scattered Villas own by lords and heiresses, during the thir.. sanur beach was left in seclusion. Pand… Art Gallery was then an aquarium and coffee shop. Tandjung 'Sar'i was a solitary temple the cape, and Hotel Bali Beach had neared its conception. The only survive home of those times is that of the Belgian painter              Le Mayeur, who moved to Bali 1932 and lived there for 26 years. The hot with its statued gardens, luxuriant gold crimson carvings, and Le Mayeur's c paintings is now cared for by his widow Polok, once a renowned Legong dancer famed beauty the ideal Balinese of his paintings. On his death Le Mayeur willed the house to the Indonesian Government. A guide is available. The house is situated close the Hotel Bali Beach.
By the fifties, the first cluster of bungalow was built as a small hotel the villagers w… amazed that someone would want to see by the ocean, as beaches were tradition, shunned by the Balinese because of spi… Yet Sanur continued to attract international elite and today is a prominent resort area the Far East. The Hotel Bali Beach, a Soekarno, era project, was opened in 1966. When the Hotel Bali Beach expanded into a n… wing and bungalows (called the Bali Seas Cottage), almost 30 hotels opened their do up and down the beach.
When the Hotal Bali Beach first open, and even to this day, it was a source wonder to the Balinese. They came from over the island to set eyes upon what, to modern world, were everyday matters sk… high rooms, running water, electricity a elevators. The hotel's Cultural Department, still conducts guided tours for groups Balinese who come to the hotel to observer Western ways close up.
After the Hotel Bali Beach, the Bali Hyat and Sanur Beach are the next largest hotel the building boom reached its peak for the PATA Conference early in 1974, when the hotels of Sanur alone provided about 1,60 rooms. A recent, wise government regulation that forbids buildings taller than a coconut palm has allowed Sanur to retain much of …village character. The luxuriant growth vegetation soon covers building scars; and moss transforms a new stone wall. The regi…lation encouraged the growth of bungalow ustyle hotels based on the Balinese norm of many small buildings within the one-house compound. The hotels of Sanur are all comfortable and elegant. The bungalow-style hotels are popular with tourists who enjoy the peace of garden settings.
Built along the beach, the hotels of Sanur are ideal in the early morning, for the coast there faces the sun rising over Nusa Penida. On the clearest days, Lombok's Rinjani volcano floats distantly above its collar of clouds, with Bali's own Gunung Agung closer by. Elegant triangular sails of fishing prahus glide on the calm sea. These boats are called jukungs and there are many for hire for trips along the shore. At low tide, the waters recede, leaving great swathes of sand and coral that stretch for hundreds of meters to the reef. It is then that villagers wander among tide pools to collect coral, which they burn nearby to make building lime. At night, fishermen wade by torchlight to catch shrimp and small bait. Sanur is famous, too, for its magic, because of the many Brahmana families that live there and its proximity to the sea. Its farmers are reputed to grow the most delicious rice in Bali, formerly reserved for the tables of kings.
It is easy to spend a day around Sanur: lazing by the pool-side, walking on the beach, or following paths through the surrounding hamlets, rice fields and coconut groves. You can take a look at the coral pyramid in the sea temple or the old pillar inscription at Belanjong.
In the evening the choices are several. Relax on the beach (especially around the full moon) or on the porch of a bungalow. Wander down to the beach market and try the local food stalls. Watch a dance or drama (your hotel can tell you when they are on). Or if it is action you are looking for, there are night clubs at the three largest hotels the Bali Beach, Hyatt and Sanur Beach.
KUTA. Sunsets make memories at Kuta beach, one of the island's loveliest seacoasts. Skylight descends in warm waves of color, leaving shy stars behind. Village fishermen often set off at dusk, the sails of their prahus shrinking to frail silhouettes that drift across a wide, red sun. They vanish into the night, lulled by the rhythm of waves breaking on a beach longer than vision can discern. They return when the young warmth of early morning lights up the slopes of Mt. Batukau and, on clear days, the mountains on the eastern tip of Java.
Save for the fishermen, the villagers usually busy themselves at sundown and rarely wander down to the beach to sit quietly watching the sun set into the sea. Mads Lange, South Bali's first European resident, must have enjoyed it though. An Englishwoman, Ketut Tantri, who lived through the early years of the revolution in Bali and Java, built a house at Kuta beach. The Kuta Beach Hotel, built on the same site, was opened in 1959, by guests were few.
Only in the late sixties did young traveler at home riding the waves of Hawaii and California and elsewhere, begin to frequent ti beach. At that time, almost everyone stayed in Denpasar, coming to Kuta for a swi… the sunset, a kris dance and sometimes night on the beach.
The villager’s of Kuta were farmers and fishermen and metal-smiths, and they were rather surprised at the great interest the, beach received. But like many Balinese, the saw there was a profit to be made. For a sm… charge they invited the travelers into the homes. Home-stays were set up everywhere by 1975 reaching about 250. These are clean simple and cheap accommodation. A number of new, larger hotels, such as the Kartika Plaza Bali, have also sprung up. Restaurant opened serving many kinds of westernize dishes and "soul" food. Tourist activity spread north up the coast to Legian, on the road to Krobokan.
As the size and fame of Kuta spread, the beach became popular with the residents of Denpasar. Indonesians from the large cities of Java came by the tour load. Dozens of art shops opened along the main streets. On the beach, girls and women carry bundles of sarongs and batiks on their heads, looking for customers. Young boys sell dance tickets, and young girls sell cold drinks. At sunset, especially on weekends, the beach is a lively place, and the roads are full of cars and motorbikes,
It is said the goddess of the sea claims at least one victim each year at Kuta beach, so be careful at times there is a strong under tow. Mostly, however,it is fine swimming and the body surfing is great. Kuta and Ulu Watu have waves as fine as anywhere in the world for board surfing. Boards are for hire. To help along the young Balinese who were eager to try, the Surfing Club of Bali was set up by an Hawaiian in residence. A lifesaving club, with its new large clubhouse, patrols one section of the beach.
You do not need to get wet to enjoy Kuta, though it is nicer. The water stays warm late until after dusk, like its saffron reflections; and the smooth descent of the shore suits anything from building sandcastles to taking long walks. Local beachcombers are on hand gathering fans of white coral and stringing cowries into long necklaces to sell. The Balinese sometimes come from near and far to perform rituals by the ocean.
Kuta is a quiet place at night. 'The island's nightclubs are all at Sanur. But almost every evening there is a performance of Balinese dance somewhere in Kuta, with either local dancers or groups invited from outside. To know what is on, just ask around when you arrive. Kuta is always happening.
SERANGAN. A pleasant sail by prahu carries you to Serangan, an island just off the coasf south of Sanur, nicknamed "The Turtle Island" for the large sea turtles caught there and fattened on sea grass until they are sold as the speciality of village feasts. At low tide it is possible to walk there. The island's sea temple, Pura Sakenan, is held sacred by all the people of South Bali, especially those of the Denpasar and Mengwi areas. It is associated with the 16th century priest Nirartha. Within both this temple and the nearby Pura Susunan Wadon are slender pyramidal shrines called prasada or candi, which are rare in Bali. Over a three day period, once every six months, thousands of devotees cross over the sandbanks. Towering giant puppets Barong Landung  are carried by canoe in a water procession from the mainland. Gamelans ring throughout the day, amidst the steady flow of women bearing offerings to be blessed.

ULU WATU. Connected to the mainland be low, narrow isthmus, the limestone tables of Bukit peninsula, at 200 meters above sea level, is in striking contrast to the lush …mainland. Cacti grow upon this arid la… Some parts are used for grazing cattle. A g…surfaced road meanders across Bukit to western tip, where rocky precipices drop most one hundred meters to the ocean. Small sea temple of Pura Luhur Ulu Watu balances picturesquely on the cliff's ed... Perhaps dating from the 10th century …one of the six prominent temples revered, all Balinese. Honoring the protective sp… of the sea, the temple has an unusual arc… gateway capped by a Kala head and flan by fine statues of Ganesa. At the end of life, the priest Nirariha chose this spot achieve moksa, deliverance from this Vantage spots on, the Bukit road afford visit, of the heartland of Bali rising to the peaks, distant volcanoes.

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