With her fast flowing rivers, towering volcanoes, scenic terraced rice fields, lush jungle, and idyllic sandy beaches, Bali has long been hailed as one of the most exotic destinations in the world. These stunning natural atrributes are further enhanced by a rich culture, intense spirituality, hospitable people and gentle pace of life.
It is no wonder this enchanting island has long been a magnet for artists and adventures. Positioned 8° south of the equator and measuring just 140km long and 80km wide, Bali is one of the smallest, yet most visited, of Indonesia's islands. Culturally fascinating, it is home to nearly 3 million Hindus, the only Hindu society in the whole of Southeast Asia.
The indisputable business potential of the export trade, garment manufacturing and tourist industry has been attracting entrepreneurs for more than two decades; but it is only in recent years that Bali has started moving upmarket. Despite Indonesia's political and economy crises, local and international investors have pushed ahead with the development of world-class hotels, luxurious private villas and hideaways, rejunevating spas and trendy restaurants.
The cost of acquiring land or property on the island has therefore increased. Nevertheless it is still amazingly cheap in comparison to Europe, Australia and America. Many of the people who have already made Bali their home are now purchasing and building villas on the island for the new dreamers to rent or buy. Hotel and villa development has been largely restricted to two areas on the southern south of the island; at the back of the beaches close to the capital city Denpasar, and around the mountain resort of Ubud.
Few people has been lucky enough to secure beachfront property, and most of the coastal cilla developments are set back from the sands along quaint, small lanes. As new roads open beaches to the east, more coastal land is coming onto the market. Another popular, id unlikely, area for new villas 'The Bukit' the tear-shaped peninsula that juts south from the island. Though dry and arid looking, The Bukit is surrounded by walls of cliffs, affording dramatic ocean views.
Lush mountain and rice-terrace views are equally popular, and scores of private villas are secreted away in the river gullies of Ubud. While many are permanents homes to expatriate foreigners, many villas are also on the rental market. This is a cultural center and home to many of Bali's most famous craftmens who chip, mould and paint prodigious quantities of home decor itmes for export. The undulating streets of Ubud town itself hide numerous art galleries, designer shops, quaint cafes and restaurants and boutique hotels.