Top Islands: Bali
As lush and tropical as you'd expect. For
a fabulous view, ascend by car or foot to the steaming crater of Mount Batur, which rises more than 5,000 feet from the jungle floor. At dawn, you'll see the sun appear over nearby Mount Agung.
You might never want to leave your hotel, but there's great shopping (handicrafts, jewelry) and enthralling sights. Tops among them is the temple complex of Pura Besakih, especially the main terraced shrine of Pura Penataran Agung.
The best spots use local produce in
creating sophisticated riffs on Balinese cuisine. At Biji, the new restaurant at the Begawan Giri Estate, chef David King uses ingredients from his own fruit orchards and poultry farm.
In mostly Muslim Indonesia, Bali stands out for its Hindu population, with
distinct traditions and art. Classical
Balinese dances (legong) are performed nightly in the outdoor courtyard of the 16th-century temple in Ubud.
The rupiah's slide means the dollar
is worth nearly 30 percent more on Bali than it was a year ago. Most major
resorts fix their rates in dollars, but
almost everything else is a bargain,
especially Bali's famed colorful batiks.