Bali (Padang Bay), Indonesia
Myth claims that when the gods created a terrestrial paradise, they made an island east of Java - an enchanted place with dazzling beaches, rolling surf and fertile plains. Welcome to Bali, where graceful girls in hand-painted brocades perform ritual dances to ancient Gamelan music, and 10,000 temples dot the landscape. Art and artistry permeate the very air of the island. The Balinese are master carvers, weavers, painters and jewel smiths whose work has attracted the admiration of connoisseurs around the world. Even the terraced, green rice fields are works of art. Perhaps the myth is true. At the very least, Bali has seemed a paradise to generations of visitors.
Bali is Indonesia's most popular travel destination. Only 90 miles long, the island supports a population of some three million people who practice a unique religion called Hindu Dharma: a Balinese blend of Hinduism, Buddhism, animism and ancestor worship.