Bali is an enchanting island in Indonesia and is, for us, the most beautiful island in the entire world. In Bali you can find beautiful scenery, rice fields, thousands of temples, little shops, markets and a lot of sweet people. Bali also boasts a magnificent coast line with beaches, palm trees and clear blue water that is ideal for diving, snorkelling, surfing and of course relaxing.
The island’s beautiful interior also begs to be discovered. Enjoy a walking or cycling tour and reward your effort with magnificent views. Bali mainly consists of rice fields as the mild climate, the local mountain lakes and the fertility of the soil make the island perfectly suited to growing rice and the local islanders have been using traditional irrigation techniques on the fields for many centuries.
The majority of the Balinese follow the Hindu faith, which runs like a red thread through the lives of the Balinese people. This is evident in the daily offerings to the many home temples, shops on the sidewalks and in the little temples at the markets. The Balinese version of the faith is in some respects much less strict than the Indian version and contrary to the Indians, the caste system plays practically no role for the Balinese and marriage rules are also far freer.
One of the many rituals the Balinese pay a lot of attention to is making offerings, which come in all kinds of forms, colours and substances for the gods, ancestors and demons the Balinese world is rich in. These offerings are primarily intended as a gift, to express the gratitude to benevolent spirits and to appease evil demons so they don’t disturb the harmony of life.
Lovina is located in the North of Bali and is actually not a town but an area that consists of a series of small villages: Pemaron, Anturan, Tukad, Mungga, Kalibukbuk, Kaliasem and Temukus. Lovina offers good tourist facilities without the hectic buzz that can be found in the South of Bali.
There are many hotels and small restaurants but it is still a Balinese village you can visit to eat or drink something on a terrace and to visit some souvenir shops. Lovina is a relaxed place with a large, blossoming trees that provide excellent shade from the heat while boats bob in the bay as a fisherman tries his luck and in the distance you can see the mountains of Java. Lovina is also the starting place in the early morning hours for trips to see dolphins making Lovina well worth visiting from early morning until late at night.
15 km west of Lovina there is the market town of Seririt with the unmistakable scent of spices, fish and flower offerings that is a hive of activity with accompanying horns and yelling and a market situated in the heart of the village. The best visiting time is from 11.00 hrs in the morning. Here you will not find any souvenirs as we know them, but there is plenty to discover that can serve as a souvenir, such as offering baskets, tin toys, religious items and clothes. There are not a lot of cafes and terraces but if you came here to taste the real Bali atmosphere then it is definitely worth a visit.
Singaraja is situated 10 km east of Lovina and is the second city of Bali. During the Dutch colonial period up to 1958, Singaraja was the administrative centre of Bali and the Lesser Soenda Islands. It was also the traditional port of arrival for many visitors to the island. In 1924, the KPM started a weekly service with a steamship via this port to the then Batavia now Jakarta, Soerabaja and Makassar, which is part of the reason tourism first started in the area.
Wide lanes with trees, large statues, a fun market and a friendly atmosphere are now features of this university city. Singaraja also has a pier with small restaurants where you can eat fresh fish as well as a museum and the old colonial remains. The largest and most important temple of North Bali, the Pura Jagat Natha, is located in the centre of Singaraja. The city also houses the former royal palace (Puri), where one of the four wives of the last radja still lives. The Gedong Kirtya library is located slightly to the south of the city centre and is the only library in the world that houses palm leaf scriptures (old and sacred texts in ancient Balinese on lontar palm leaves; Borassus flabellifer). In the library there are also many Dutch books about historical India.
In the vicinity of Bali Paradise Villa there are many interesting and beautiful places of interest that our driver will gladly take you to visit (for a fee). Besides being Bali’s best driver, he is also a great guide that can tell wonderful stories about almost everything on ‘his’ island and who knows Bali like the back of his hand.