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Directory Home> About Bali > Overview of Bali
 
OVERVIEW OF BALI
 
Amongst the 13,700 Indonesian islands (900 of which are inhabited), Bali is the only Hindu province, and the rich blend of tradition and culture has an incredible impact. Moreover, Bali is the last island running east to have a distinctly tropical Asian environment. Any island east of Bali lies east of the Wallace line, and life forms show signs of having a greater Australian and New Guinean influence. Strangely enough, it is also considered to be the most western of the Lesser Sunda Islands, which stretch as far as New Guinea.

Geographically, Bali is the ideal location for such a colorful and deeply spiritual culture. In fact the rich geography of the island has actually been responsible for the extensive and fascinating cultural development.

Even though it is relatively small, approximately 5,000 square kilometers in all, Bali boasts a whole range of different environments. This compact landscape centers on a line of active volcanoes with alluvial slopes that spill down to coastal plains. Tropical rainforests fringe the mountains, eventually giving way to carefully cultivated rice fields and crop growth. Further down on the plains, water logged mangrove swamps lead to the ocean. A number of different rivers and streams, in turn, wind their way through a cross section of these environments and down to the coast, carving deep chasms as they go.
 
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