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We visited Indonesia on a STOPOVER between Singapore and Australia on the World Tour which we did for a bargain. (see report from Australia for prices). Unfortunately, we only know the city of Bali, which is incredibly perfect for a culture shock, due to religion and typical foods, but insufficient to experience the greatness of the natural beauty that surrounds the region.

Bali is one of Indonesia's 13,667 islands, as well as a province of that country. Part of the Small Sunda Islands, it is located between the islands of Java, to the west, and Lombok, to the east. The provincial capital is Denpasar. The island is home to almost all of Indonesia's small Hindu population and is the country's main tourist destination. It is known for its cultural manifestations, such as dance, sculpture, painting, leather and metal work and music. It is part of an archipelago with five hundred and forty-seven islands distributed in nine large groups.


We paid U$D35 each to get an Indonesian transit visa (which gives us the right to stay on the island for up to 72 hours), it was worth it despite the short time we had. Australian and Chinese tourists are everywhere, at this time in February the island has up to 4 million people, including residents and tourists, supporting the island's economy with tourism and surfing.


The original language of Bali, Bahasa Bali, is spoken by all Balinese and is actually three different languages that are spoken according to the caste of the speaker. So, a conversation between two people of different castes can be had using two completely different languages!! In addition to Bahasa Bali, Bahasa Indonesia is also spoken by almost everyone in Bali. In the more touristy areas, English is quite common. Basic English is well accepted.


Bali, like other countries in the region, has a monsoon regime with heavy rains from November to March. As it is located a mere 8 degrees south of the equator, Bali has only two seasons: hot dry and hot rainy. The average temperature throughout the year varies by just 2 degrees!

Hinduism is the third religion with the most followers in the world, after Christianity and Islam. It is totally different from all the others, in that it does not have a founder and does not follow a hierarchy, it does not have a central authority. You don't convert to Hinduism, you are born a Hindu. In this sense, there is no proselytism. Within Hinduism there are numerous currents and the religion can be considered polytheistic, monotheistic and even atheistic depending on how one views its enormous range of interpretations. Traditionally, 330 million gods are described, but these can be seen as different manifestations of the supreme being. Its popularity and importance has varied during the long history of this religion and the main trinity today was not worshiped as much as it was 2,000 years ago. We find the country extremely religious and idolatrous.

We want to return to Indonesia one day to visit the great beauties of Bali, but it's worth a StopOver because of the cultural and anthropological difference.


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