Bali may look like just another dot in the Indonesian archipelago, but as far as tourism is concerned, it's the central point of this beautiful, far-flung country.
Towering volcanoes revered as domains of Hindu deities give way to forested foothills and emerald-green rice paddies as Bali spreads out towards the warm inviting waters of the Indian Ocean. The sea answers back with powerful swells that barrel over reefs to the delight of local surfers.
Culturally too, bite-size Bali stands out, with a Hindu majority that sets it apart from the rest of Indonesia.
The Balinese blend of Hinduism perforates daily life in ways that require complete and absolute devotion. Every street corner and every doorway is marked with religious symbols, every village is home to a temple brimming with offerings of fruit and flowers, and every community observes the Hindu festivals - giving genuine meaning to Bali's sobriquet, the Island of the Gods.