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Borobudur Temple, located 25 miles northwest of Yogyakarta in Central Java Island, is a 1000 year-old and 138 feet high Buddhist Sanctuary built on a small hill in a rich and fertile valley surrounded by spectacular jagged hills. This massive stupa, with seven terraces of over 2,600 stone-carved Buddhist reliefs, is considered one of the ‘Forgotten Wonders of the World.’
Denpasar, the capital of Bali Island. From this point of entry one can select to stay at a hotel or resort located at one of two beaches: Sanur Beach – 3 miles wide, white sand beach that is sheltered by a reef located on the eastern coastline. This was home to priests and scholars from the early days of Hinduism on Bali; Nusa Dua Beach – former coconut plantation, is a secluded upscale and beautifully landscaped beach resort area.
Candi Dasa, eastern part of Bali, is a newly developed area that brings life to a former small village. A quiet and laid-back atmosphere gives quick access to places like Bali Aga - the original Balinese village, and Pura Besakih - ‘The Mother Temple’ that houses ancestral shrines for all Hindu Balinese.
Dieng Plateau, an ancient pilgrim’s retreat that is located 3 hours from Yogyakarta. The plateau, charged with mystic significance for the Javanese, lies in the caldera of an extinct volcano, surrounded by jagged and mist-shrouded mountains, rice terraces and tea plantations, and dotted with Hindu-Buddhist temple ruins.
Lombok Island, lies 39 miles east of Bali Island, is a quiet island of sandy beaches, greenish-blue ocean water and rugged verdant countryside. The plurality of its population – a mix of Chinese, Arabs, Balinese and indigenous Sasak Moslem – is matched by equally dramatic contrasts in landscape.
Lovina, a string of coastal villages in the northern Bali Island, is popular for its 5-mile strip of black sand beaches and renowned for its serenity and school of dolphins. A good starting point to continue exploring eastward to Singaraja, the second largest city in northern Bali and a former center of Dutch power, and Batur Lake at the volcanic peak of Mt. Batur.
Ubud, located in the central highland, 16 miles north of Denpasar, is Bali’s foremost artistic community. Its serene beauty and rich cultural tableau have been attracting visitors for decades. Foreign artists have taken up residence in Ubud over the years, reshaping age-old artistic conventions and inspiring an explosion of creativity among local artists. From here one can also explore the nearby artistic villages of Mas for woodcarving and masks, Batubulan for soapstone carving, and Celuk for gold and silversmiths.
Yogyakarta, or “Yogya,” is the cultural capital of Java. It is a compact quintessential Javanese town and thriving artistic community. The nearby Prambanan Temple, 9th century Hindu temples and ruins, is a magical site to visit and enjoy a Ramayana ballet performance during full moon evenings in its open theater.

   © From 1998 Global Spectrum, Inc. - Travel Specialists to Viet Nam and Beyond
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