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April 28th 2016
Published: April 28th 2016
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BALI - 20th March
Bali forms part of the Indonesian archipelago which lies between Australia and Singapore, it is one of the smallest islands measuring 93 miles east to west an 57 miles north to south. A Thousand years of Hindu influence has been mixed with various cultures to produce a glittering and sophisticated culture of its own.

Landing at Padang Bay by tender took us passed the water sports playground with jetskis and parascending boats all jockeying for position. Bali is a favourite haunt for Australian tourists so the bay was full of people enjoying themselves.

Known as the island of a 1000 temples, Bali may have ten times that number to service the dense population. There are more than 100 ethnic groups speaking more than 300 different languages but they all seem to live in harmony. Bali was occupied by the Japanese in WWII, and in 1950 achieved independence from Holland and in 1956 became a state of the new Republic of Indonesia. The rise of the tourist industry has changed the face of Bali in the south, but travel inland and you can see older life styles.

Our trip took us to the old capital, KlungKung, the most prominent building being the 200 year old Hall of Justice wth its ceilings and walls painted to show the horrors a criminal could expect to experience in hell. There was also a museum depicting more local culture. We then travelled to the village of Kemenuh to visit a family of wood carvers and were entertained by some local musicians.

The Balinese are very friendly and hospitable and always smiling - even if you don't by wood carvings from them.

Our final stop was what we thought to the quiet village of Ubud, sold to us as a small community which has attracted artists both local and foreign for over sixty years.

What we got was chaos.

This was no village, it was heaving with tourists and locals, the streets were full of hawkers trying to sell souvenirs.

The promised market was passed on the way and became a 30 minute hike to get back to!!! So no visit to Ubud Palace or Ubud market. But just behind the hustle and bustle there was some peace and quiet with a temple (another one) and some gardens.

These were behind the local Starbucks thank god we had just passed Macdonalds on the way in.

The day was extremely hot with high humidity so it was nice to get back to the ship in the pm, however the tendering into and out of this port was not good and seemed to go on forever.

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