The beautiful Indonesian island of Bali is no stranger to receiving awards for its sheer natural beauty with towering volcanoes and serene terraced rice fields. This time the award came from BBC Travel which named Bali as one of the world’s best islands, joining the illustrious company of the world’s greatest tourist destinations of the Great Barrier Reef, Boracay in the Philippines, Santorini Island in Greece, and Cape Breton in Canada. Following on from the Lonely Planet’s 2010 Best of Travel Awards that ranked Bali as second among the whole world’s top regions, and the 2009 Travel and Leisure Magazine award for world’s best island, it is easy to see why Bali is one of the top tourist destinations for those seeking an island paradise.
Bali is only one island among over seventeen thousand in the Indonesian archipelago, surrounded by the warm water of the Indian Ocean. However, with its colourful and dramatic culture, luxurious beaches, resorts and bustling nightlife, it stands a class apart from its neighbors, even after sustained and heavy development to cater for its burgeoning tourist industry.
The exotic island of Bali entrances the visitor, offering a spiritual journey through its fine dining, world class beaches, and exhilarating treks through the unblemished and authentic scenery. Its charming people are known throughout the world for their diverse and enchanting artistic talents; from painting and sculpture to woodcarving and performing arts. Gamelan is a well-developed and uniquely Balinese style of percussion orchestra music and is a joy to behold. At thousands of temple festivals and public shows the Balinese perform stories based on traditional epic Hindu stories such as the Ramayana.
As a small island of under 6,000 square kilometres and a population of less than four million, Bali is perhaps surprisingly prominent in all of the major tourist guides around the world. Small clearly does not mean limited. As a traveller one can stumble on a huge variety of little offerings that are littered all over the island especially in Kuta with its magnificent and rightly famous beach, and in the outer suburbs of Seminyak and Legian with their high end shopping areas and luxury spas nestled among some of the finest dining experiences to be found anywhere in the world.
Perhaps then it is no surprise that Bali was awarded the title of Best Island Destination. The surprise may be that it has not held that award for longer.