Indonesia is made up of 17,508 islands. Just 6000 are inhabited. The group extends from the Malay Peninsula into Melanesia.
Bali lies between the islands of Java and Lombok and the popular holiday resort is returning to normal after the bombings of 2002 and 2005. Always popular with Australians, holiday makers are returning to enjoy all the magic the island has to offer. Beaches, temples, ceremonies, mountains, verdant rice paddies and friendly people. Indonesia's largest tourist destination, it has highly-developed arts, dance, sculpture, painting, leather and metalworking.
Unlike most of Indonesia, which has a predominantly Muslim population, around 95 percent of Bali's population adheres to Hinduism.
Getaway visited Bali and had a look at all the elements travellers want for the holiday to suit them. First up, accommodation. There is an endless supply from five-star to very basic backpackers, and we are giving you some in-between options to consider.
Most tourists spend their time around Kuta which Australian surfers first became familiar with in the mid-70s, Legian, Seminyak and Jimbaran areas and our first hotel to show you is the Bali Dynasty.
Bali Dynasty has 312 rooms and suites and children under 12 years of age stay free when sharing a room with parents and using existing bedding. There are pool view rooms for four, and children's themed suites that sleep five.
There are three pools one with a swim-up bar, one for adults and one for children a 56m caterpillar splash waterslide, spa villa, poolside foot reflexology, an exercise room and Kiddies' Club with a daily program. Child minding is available.
Choose between five restaurants serving Chinese, Irish, Italian, Western and Asian cuisine, by the pool or indoors, and there are five places you can enjoy a cocktail or cold beer.
The resort has beautiful tropical gardens and is a popular resort for couples and families. It's close to nightlife, Waterbom Park and Bali's Discovery Shopping Mall.
The Bounty Hotel is where to go if you want to party. It has a 24-hour pool bar, restaurants and entry to three of the island's most popular discos. If you fancy a sleep-in, you should ask for a room at the back of the hotel as the DJ spins tracks until 3am every morning!
The 166-room hotel has traditional Balinese architecture and rooms have terraces or balconies and individually controlled air-conditioning.
Interconnecting rooms, triple rooms and two-storey rooms are available. There are two pools to enjoy and of course, the famous Bali massage is available.
Poolview Restaurant has international cuisine and every Friday there is a buffet accompanied by live music.
Bali Mandira Beach Spa Resort is in the centre of Legian, far enough from Kuta to be relaxing and peaceful, but within walking distance. It has two pools, beautiful gardens and is close to boutiques and restaurants.
There are two suites Mandira and Cottage, each with separate living and sleeping areas. They connect rooms for family groups. Mandira has a private Jacuzzi.
Deluxe rooms have terraces overlooking the gardens and private open-air showers. Furniture is of hand-carved solid teak and nyatoh wood. There are nine premier rooms and superior cottage rooms with balconies. Superior Tower rooms are flexible in configuration and cater for families or friends travelling together.
Celagi serves Asian and Indonesian cuisine and Parasol has Mediterranean dining. There is a beachfront pizzeria and the Barong Bar allows guests to enjoy wonderful sunsets over a cool drink. An a cappella quartet serenades diners.
Six treatment rooms in the spa use exotic ingredients from the tropical forests of Asia.
Jimbaran Puri Bali. A luxury resort hotel, Jimbaran Puri is unpretentious and very romantic. Forty-one cottages and villas have private, walled gardens, direct access to the soft white sands of Jimbaran Bay and uninterrupted Indian Ocean views.
Bathrooms have free-form sunken terrazzo marble bathtubs, and indoor sitting areas have day beds for relaxing. Rooms have high ceilings and thatched roofs give an authentic local touch. Floor to ceiling windows have views over private tropical flower gardens.
After a long day just sink into a wooden king-sized bed with cotton and silk sheets.
Tipping is not a must in Bali often just saying terima kasih or thank you will suffice. An appropriate tip to a porter can be around 50 cents.
Creative Holidays has accommodation at the Bali Dynasty Resort starting at $54 a night. The Bounty Hotel rooms start at $30 a night. Bali Mandira Beach Resort and Spa rooms start at $65 and Jimbaran Puri Bali Resort starts at $118 a night. All prices are per person twin share. One-day passes to Waterbom Bali are from $21 for adults and $12 for children. Seasonal surcharges apply.
Garuda Indonesia has 28 flights a week to Denpasar.
- Darwin $622
- Perth $852
- Melbourne $1105
- Sydney $1122
Darwin: Valid for sale until November 20, 2008 and for travel between July 21-September 18, 2008 and again between October 6-November 20, 2008.
Perth: Valid for sale until March 31, 2009 and for travel between July 16-September 23, 2008, October 8-December 9, 2008 and January 14-March 31, 2009.
Melbourne: Valid for sale until March 31, 2009 and for travel between July 13-September 18, 2008, October 5-December 11, 2008 and January 14-March 31, 2009.
Sydney: Valid for sale until March 31, 2009 and for travel between July 21-September 25, 2008, October 13-December 11, 2008 and January 19-March 31, 2009.
Fares from other Australian capitals and regional centres are available in conjunction with Virgin Blue and Executive (Business) Class fares from all Australian ports.
Prices correct at June 3, 2008.
For further information
Or book through your travel agent
Bali Dynasty Resort
South Kuta, Bali
Ph: +62 361 752 403
Fax: +62 361 752 402
The Bounty Hotel
Jl Segara Batu Bolong 18
Ph: +62 361 753 030
Fax: +62 361 752 121
Bali Mandira Beach Resort and Spa
Ph:+62 361 751 381
Fax: +62 361 752 377
Jimbaran Puri Resort
Ph: +62 361 701 605
Fax: +62 361 701 320
Ph: 1300 365 331
It is recommended travellers to Indonesia see their doctor at least six weeks before departure as there are specific vaccinations recommended for Indonesia. Other health precautions and preventions may also be recommended and are best discussed with your doctor. For further information visit www.welltogo.com.au.
Check out our celebrity Getaway blog or our photo gallery for more Getaway adventure pics.