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Rice Terraces

Views of Bali

As a child, I saw a National Geographic special about Bali. I don't remember much from it, but I have never forgotten the sight of the rice terraces.

I always knew that one day I would walk along those rice terraces, and when I finally did, I was not disappointed.

Tourists think of Bali in terms of her beaches, but this is Bali; rice, ravines, and rivers.

Temples are everywhere in Bali, but few are as dramatic as Pura Luhur Uluwatu, on the south tip of Bali.

Perched on the knifes-edge of a cliff, overlooking the ocean from 200 foot cliffs, Uluwatu has a spectacular location.

The temple, one of the six most important in Bali,was founded in the 11th century, and rebuilt to it's current form in the 1600's.

Pura Luhur Uluwatu

Kuta Beach

This is the Bali most tourists come for. Sadly, this is all of Bali that many tourists see.

Actually, though, this is by design. The government hopes that, by keeping tourists on the beach, the average Balinese will not be negatively impacted by tourism.

The plan has worked, to some extent. Most of Bali is unspoiled, while prosperity has come to the dry south, an area that is unsuitable for agriculture.
And, what the heck, it is a nice beach!

Gunung Agung, an active volcano, is the dominant feature of this island. It's a giver and taker of life; considered to be the center of the Balinese universe.

All homes are oriented towards it, and the Balinese people sleep with their heads pointing towards it, as it's the home of the gods.

Gunung Agung