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Why Bali is Unique and Special

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Bali is a tropical, exotic location. Few words can describe it but special and unique do it best. For those of you not fortunate to have traveled there yourself, at least not yet, your familiarity with Bali may have come from a book or movie. Let me give you a more personal experience of Bali through the eyes of a gifted photographer, and you will see Bali in a whole new way.

First of all, let’s get our bearings in relation to geography. Bali is an Indonesian island located in the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. Unless you are familiar with Indonesia, that description was not helpful. Let’s try again. Bali is an island situated north of Australia and south of Japan. Bali is the most famous of Indonesia's 17,000 islands and has been a tourist favorite for decades.


The photographer’s travel group arrived at night in a small airport. It was a typical small country airport with people peddling their wares. Arriving in the darkness made the beauty of the island more magnificent the following day. In the morning, the hotel provided a picturesque view over the infinity pool to a nearby valley. It made for an instant immersion into the Ubud area of Bali which is known for being a bustling center of arts, crafts, museums and monkeys. Bali as a whole is on a similar level of Cuba. It is reminiscent of a rural town but with more life and activity. It lacks the sophistication of a modern big city yet has a lot of amenities and is notably clean.

When you travel to Bali, pack linen clothing. It’s perfect for the climate, mid 80s and not too humid. One of the featured destinations on the trip were the temples due to their deep history and incredible architecture. To visit the temples, you must wear traditional clothing which you can buy in the markets. Get up early and be the first customer of the day for they will give you a better deal. The people as whole are very friendly and very appreciative of efforts made to speak in their language. The first dollar for the vendor is almost a spiritual thing. Once they receive the money, the vendor will say a prayer over it which brings good fortune for the rest of the day. In Bali, prayer, worship and celebration are incorporated into every day.

Bali being a tropical island brings to mind images of tropical animals. The nearby monkey forest satisfied those images. It was clearly full of . . . monkeys. If you carried food with you, they would climb all over you. If that is not of interest, don’t carry food but still visit the forest.


You can read the daily travel journal of the photographer Ken Williams to complete your personal journey through Bali. 

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Guest Saturday, 17 February 2018