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Picturesque Bali is a province of the Republic of Indonesia. Most travelers flock to the bar and spa scenes on the island¹s southern side, which includes Kuta, Ubud, Legian, and Seminyak ­ the most tourist-friendly areas. Ubud, the cultural hub of Bali and the best place on the island for artisan goods, still manages to retain its original village atmosphere in spite of the visiting hoards. Heading north from Ubud, commercial Bali gives way to the real deal. Very few visitors take the time to visit these Balinese heartlands. The further up the volcanic calderas you go, the more likely you are to encounter hostility from the locals ­ in Kintamani, the island's oldest town high in the mountains ­ Balinesians are often openly unfriendly to visitors. As you head down the calderas toward the aforementioned coasts, you encounter warmer weather, more genuine smiles,and a landscape that is increasingly agricultural and attractive.

Bali Cities and Regions

South Bali

Most visitors beeline to the south’s beaches: nightlife-happy Kuta, quiet Sanur, or resort-filled Jimbaran and Nusa Dua (both have easy access to Kuta’s party scene and shopping).

Central Bali

The central, mountainous city of Ubud shelters some of the island’s best restaurants, hotels, and shopping areas. Craft villages line the roads that lead up the hill to the town.

East Bali

Bali's most remarkable terraced rice fields are in the Sidemen Valley. Nature lovers and hikers head for Pura Besakih, which offers amazing island views from its Mount Agung perch.

West Bali

Here, one sees nothing but paddy fields for miles. The trendy-yet-peaceful Canggu area has windswept black-sand beaches and haunting temples; Medewi beach is tops for surfing.

North Bali

Beyond the mountain ranges lies the much drier region of north Bali. Excellent diving and accommodations can be found at Pemuteran. Avoid the sadly deserted Lovina beach resort.

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