Fodor's Bali and Lombok, 1st Edition: Where to Stay, Eat, and Explore On and Off the Beaten Path, Smart Travel Tips fr A to Z (Travel Guide)

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9780679007890: Fodor's Bali and Lombok, 1st Edition: Where to Stay, Eat, and Explore On and Off the Beaten Path, Smart Travel Tips fr A to Z (Travel Guide)

No matter what your budget or whether it's your first trip or fifteenth, Fodor's Gold Guides get you where you want to go. In this completely up-to-date guide our experts who live in Bali and Lombok give you the inside track, showing you all the things to see and do -- from must-see sights to off-the-beaten-path adventures, from shopping to outdoor fun. They'll show you hundreds of hotel and restaurant choices in all price ranges -- from budget-friendly B&Bs to luxury hotels, from casual eateries to the hottest new restaurants, complete with thorough reviews showing what makes each place special. The Smart Travel Tips A to Z section helps you take care of the nitty gritty with essential local contacts and great advice -- from how to take your mountain bike with you to what to do in an emergency. Plus, web links, maps, costs, and mix-and-match itineraries make planning a snap.

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Destination: Bali and Lombok

From the air, Bali rises fresh and green from the Indian Ocean, a verdant, glistening butterfly against a backdrop of gray. Just 145 km (90 mi) by 95 km (60 mi) at its widest points and 2[1//2] km (1[1//4] mi) across at its narrowest, the island's lush forests and rice terraces gently rise up to a core of volcanoes whose ashes have rained down on the island over the centuries, making the soil fertile and rich.

On a clear day, from the edge of eastern Bali you can see the green hills of Lombok, but the smaller island is far different from its internationally famous sister. Named by the Javanese for the peppers so prevalent in the region's traditional curry sauces, Lombok is a dry, quiet island just 70 km (44 mi) across. At its edges are pristine beaches and killer surfing bays, most of which are as yet undisturbed by tourism.
Beaches

Southern Bali lives up to its legend as a tropical paradise, with powder-soft sand and tall coconut trees brushed by soft breezes coming off the jade-and-sapphire sea. These treasures can be found in the secluded resort beaches of Canggu, Berewa, and Jimbaran, as well as on Bukit Badung. The best span with public access runs for about 10 km (6 mi) between Seminyak and Kuta, and all the action is here: sunning, surfing, and the selling of everything from batik sarongs to massage and hair plaiting. Around the Bukit Peninsula, though, down the small back roads, lie hidden coves where your footprints will stand alone on the white sand -- we'll let you find these on your own.

Lombok beaches are what postcards are made of. The beaches of the southwest are crescent stretches of white crystal sand. Along the coast near Kuta, the beaches Tanjung A'an and Selong Blanak offer coconut groves, sweeping seascapes, and seclusion. The Gili Islands' beaches are equally picturesque, though more crowded, especially during the summer months; still you can usually find a secluded spot by venturing away from the bungalows that dot the shore.

Dining

Bali's newest crop of restaurants has expanded the variety of first-class dining opportunities, particularly in southern Bali. You'll find every type of food here, with imported French, Australian, and American chefs heading the kitchens. Gone are the fusions of Asian entr?es flattened into pretty but tasteless gourmet packages. Today's chefs aren't afraid to dazzle diners with new dishes based on traditional recipes or to simply dress up well-known ethnic fare.

The Natural World

Eastern Bali draws adventurers who want to climb its volcanic peaks, hike in its rain forests, raft its rough rivers, and dive the coral reefs that line its coasts. Rain forest blankets areas all the way to the coast, where drier terrain takes over. Although there are no national parks in this region, there are several notable wildlife havens.

The western end of Bali may not have much in the way of cultural performances, nightlife, or shopping, but it's a great place to escape from traffic, hawkers, and other tourists and do some exploring. Much of the region is taken up by the Bali Barat National Park, which offers diving, snorkeling, and trekking -- and a chance to see the rare Bali starling, which scientists are trying to save from extinction in the park's breeding area.

Nightlife

Bali's best nightspots are all in the south, the traditional gathering place for young and restless travelers. On the southwest coast, Canggu, Kerobokan, and Seminyak are where the rich, refined, and beautiful gather at eclectic bars and ethnic restaurants for quiet drinks, live jazz, and worldly conversations. Legian has become the club town, with discos and after-hours bars that keep night owls going until dawn. Kuta and Tuban reverberate 24 hours with the sounds of pop and heavy metal from big bars and international restaurants where tourists start the day's drinking at noon. Nusa Dua's nightlife is quieter, limited mostly to resort bars and clubs, with a few cocktail spots along Jalan Pantai Mengiat. Sanur's nightlife takes place in hotel and restaurant bars, except for a couple of clubs on Jalan Tamblingan.

Shopping

High-quality crafts, low prices, and professional shipping services make Bali one of the best places in Indonesia to shop. You'll find the ultimate in open-air market browsing in southern Bali, where traditional Asian-style shopping still thrives. Denpasar is still very much a market town, -- to say nothing of the numerous night markets throughout the city.

On Lombok shopping is largely limited to locally made handicrafts, fabrics, and the like, and if that's what you're looking for, you can go right to the source to find skillfully made pieces. Prices are a little lower than they are on Bali. In addition to local baskets, pottery, and textiles, you'll be able to find crafts from islands farther east. You can shop for these things in the bustling city markets, such as the daily market in Cakranegara. Better yet, go to the villages where the crafts are produced; you'll find higher-quality goods and have a chance to see masters at work.

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