The island's white sands have long been a big draw for visitors. Sanur, a favorite with early European travelers, and Nusa Dua, a more recently developed high-end resort area, are popular spots. The most famous beach, though, is at Kuta, a long, broad shore discovered by Australian surfers in the 1960s, thronged with backpackers in the 1970s, and a major destination for package travelers until the October 2002 bombing that claimed 200 lives. Now it is slowly once again returning to a place where the focus shifts from sun and sand during the day to a vigorous nightlife after dark.
The greens most people associate with Bali are those of the terraced rice fields. But golfers will appreciate Nirwana, which was designed by Greg Norman and has three cliffside holes that over- look the famous temple Tanah Lot. Or there's Handara Kosaido; blessed with cool mountain air and views of Lake Buyan, it has been ranked among the world's 50 top courses.
It has been said that every Balinese is an artist, and whether the vehicle of expression is painting, dance, or wood carving, a sense of beauty seems to permeate the air. That's especially true in the arts center of Ubud, but religion underlies the aesthetic every- where: Just as wood-carving on Bali originated as decorations for temples, so island dance is related to Hindu myths and festivals.