In the spotlights…

I found this book at Periplus, my favourite bookstore in Indonesia.

Bali: A Traveller’s Companion comprises two sections: reference materials and itineraries. The reference section is a treasure of information, providing an encyclopedic background on the island’s natural environment, history, arts, tradition and architecture. Every page is filled with beautiful layouts, lavish photographs conveying the ambience of Bali past and present: its lush landscapes, rich culture, dramatic art forms, pervasive religion, colourful markets and stunning buildings. Themes and places are linked throughout the book by an excellent system of cross-references.

The itineraries section is made up of carefully devised itineraries complete with fully illustrated maps to enable travellers to find their bearings, estimated travel time and recommended sites with background information. Editor’s picks are helpfully highlighted with a star. Bali: A Traveller’s Companion offers less-travelled, off-the-beaten-track options: rugged secondary roads which demand a motorbike, a tough little jeep, or, for the very fit, a mountain bike. The itineraries are peppered with lively anecdotes, folk tales and legends, and interspersed with features that give nuggets of information and complete this insider’s tour of the island.

A special section on Bali through the eyes of painters and writers provides a superb encapsulated overview. The evocative colour photographs of paintings by Bali’s most renowned painters, from Walter Spies to Affandi, communicate a wealth of impressions and records the vibrant dynamism of Bali culture and landscape. Similarly, the spirit and time of historical Bali comes alive through lively prose, evocative poem, heroic epics, engaging folktales, and factual records of writers.

This book is guaranteed to capture the imaginations of armchair travellers, soothe the nerves of first-time visitors, and thrill even the most seasoned globetrotters. It goes further and deeper than the conventional what-to-see-and-where-to-eat guide. So read Bali: A Traveller’s Companion, and let Bali’s sun warm you, its white beaches seduce you and its culture enchant you. It’s the next best thing to being in the Island of the Gods.

 Text: At home at Riverbend


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