A tropical island with a vibe all its own, Bali attracts woo-woo wellness practitioners and design buffs along with stoked surfers and spiritual pilgrims. The island is also famous for its artisanal crafts, including batik and ikat cloth and clothing, wood carvings, silverware and painted art. Individual villages typically specialize in a particular product, and some produce more than one item.

The Balinese people are a religiously minded society, and as such, they honor their gods with daily offerings made at the thousands of temples and shrines found across the island. Visitors can join in the ceremony by purchasing a basket of flower petals, bananas or rice to place at the site of their choice.

In the food department, Balinese cuisine is a melting pot of flavors – with a unique aromatic spice blend that differs depending on the region. For example, in Central Bali you’ll find sambal matah (a spicy sauce with a variety of ingredients) while North Bali is known for its mackerel and sardine dish called pepes ikan.

Other dishes include lawar (meat patty mixed with grated coconut and spices) and mie goreng, a stir fried noodles dish that’s a staple in every household and even inspired the creation of instant ramen. And don’t forget to finish your meal with a bowl of jamu, a healthy multi-vitamin drink made from freshly ground turmeric root and ginger, newly soaked white rice and lime juice. It’s refreshing and incredibly good for you!

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