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Bali

Tropical Paradise - Advanced




T he island of Bali is a province of Indonesia situated just 8 degrees below the equator. Sometimes the island is referred to as The Island of a Thousand Temples, The Island of Gods or Bali Dwipa. It is located right next to Indonesia’s cultural and economic center, the island of Java. Today they are separated only by the 2.4 km wide Bali Strait, but in the past, the two islands used to be connected. Because of this, Bali still has Asian vegetation. Tropical forests and mountains cover a great deal of Bali's 5,632 km2 of land area. The island is located in the Ring of Fire and its highest mountain, Mount Agung (3,142 m) is also an active volcano. After being dormant for 53 years, Mount Agung erupted again in November 2017. Thanks to its volcanic nature and heavy rainfall Bali is a prosperous agricultural region which mostly focuses on the production of rice crop and coffee.

Bali and the surrounding islands were first inhabited during the Paleolithic age by early Homo erectus. The relevant history of the island, however, begins in 800 BC when a true Balinese civilization was created. The island was heavily influenced by the early Indian and Chinese cultures, as well as Buddhism and Hinduism. Between the 11th and 16th centuries, Hindus from Java conquered Bali three times. This solidified the Hindu religion on the island. After the last conquering dynasty from Java was overthrown by Muslims in 1478, many artists, musicians and dancers fled to Bali and their activities led to the peak of Balinese cultural development. To this day Bali remains the only Hindu province of Indonesia.

The people of Bali first came into contact with the Europeans in 1597 when a Dutch ship arrived on the island. They kept returning in later years with the intention of making Bali a Dutch colony. After over two centuries of bloody battles for the island, Bali finally became part of the Dutch East Indies. Not long after, however, the island was taken over by Japan during WWII. When the war ended the Japanese left, and the Dutch tried again to gain control of the island. After a battle in 1946 which the Balinese army lost, the Dutch proclaimed Bali part of the State of East Indonesia. It took another three years for the Netherlands to finally accept Indonesian independence. On December 29th, 1949 Indonesia finally became a free Republic.

Bali quickly recovered from the events that took place during the first half of the 20th century. In the 1970s the Balinese people turned to tourism as the prime source of their income. Ever since then, the tourism industry has been booming. Today Bali is one of the most unique and desirable holiday destinations in the world.

Source: http://www.baliglory.com/2012/10/bali-history-about-island-god.html#Bali_Geography 
https://www.lonelyplanet.com/indonesia/bali/history

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