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Exotic Bali escapade

My family and I have just returned from an exotic Bali escapade.  This trip was a feast for our senses and was an eye-opener for us regarding the deep-rooted culture and sense of community in Bali.

We stayed at the Ibis hotels, Nusa Dua.  This hotel is opposite Holiday Inn resort.  Nusa Dua is the centre for water sports in Bali.

On the first day of our trip we tried out Snorkelling and banana boat ride.

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For the 2nd and 3rd day we hired a driver Mr. Agusto to take us around Bali. We visited the rice terraces in Ubud. At  the coffee plantation we got to sample different types of coffee and tea and also to see the process.  Our lunch was at the Kintamani volcano.  We also saw a dance performance depicting  a story about Kunti and Sahadeva.

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After that we visited the Batik factory, the art centre as well as the stone art centre.

On the last day of our trip, we visited the Tanah lot temple and finally we went for the Bali Safari.  The architecture everywhere around Bali is influenced by Hindu temples.  At street centres there are giant statues of Lord Ram, Ghatotkacha, Lord Hanuman and Lord Ganapathi.

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Bali has 83% of people practicing Hinduism with the rest practicing Islam, Christianity and Buddhism.  The people are very humble and have a strong sense of community and faith.   Every house here has a  temple.   There is also a community/territorial temple as well as a main temple.

Our driver told us that school children recite the Gayatri Mantra everyday.  We also saw ladies make offerings in the morning and evening at the doorstep, at temples and at workplaces.

Bali is an exotic place and it is amazing in that it is able to  embrace the modern while retaining its  ancient roots.  The airport is ultra-modern comparable with other new airports around the world. You can see vast green fields and cattle and at the same time you see young children riding motorbikes and Scoopy’s.

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The economy of Bali is tourism- centric.  And the young are moving from an agro-centric culture to learn English (you can see many English coaching centres). They are eager to join the hospitality industry.The people of Bali are creative and enterprising and this can be seen in the beautiful artwork, stone carvings, wood carvings and batik work on display in front of their own homes or at tourist attractions.  Places like Kuta, Denpasar and Seminyak have lot of shopping malls and fast food outlets whereas Ubud, Nusa Dua, Batur,  Tanah lot etc have more small-scale industries like art, stone carving, wood carving and cultivation of rice, vegetables, fruit and coffee.

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