Early Travels to the ‘Dutch East Indies’

Today’s travellers may feel envious of those who visited Bali back when it was ‘untouched’, but do not realise the difficulty of not only getting to the island but also the challenges once they arrived. Sake Santema, owner of antiques dealer Indies Gallery, explores early travels to Indonesia and Bali, complemented by prints and images


Remembering Covarrubias, a Pioneering Bali Icon

Celebrated during the 20th-century as an icon in the Bali literature and art spheres, the ultra-talented Mexican Miguel Covarrubias’ witnessed and recorded the distinctions of Bali. His creative endeavours distinguished him from other foreigners. As the door to international tourism reopens, it’s significant to honour his extraordinary contributions and remember Bali’s original allure. Covarrubias’ book,

Islam in Bali

A History of Islam in Bali: A Story of Tolerance

Indonesia is a nation of 273 million people, 88% of whom are registered as Muslim. Bali is the only region of the country where the majority of the population is Hindu – although Balinese Hindus, make up only 1.7% of the Indonesian population. In Bali, 90% of the population is classified as Hindu, but the

History of Sanur Bali

A Brief History of Sanur: The Birthplace of Bali’s Tourism

If you’ve ever wondered how Bali became a top tropical destination for globetrotters around the world, you need to look back in time and discover how the quiet village of Sanur became the gateway that introduced Bali to the rest of the world – and birthed the island’s flourishing tourism industry. Long ago, before Seminyak became known as the dining

Mads Lange Bali Kuta

Mads Lange : Why a Danish Man Has a Kuta Street Named After Him

If you explore the backstreets of Kuta enough, you’ll come across a road named ‘Jalan Tuan Lange’, dedicated to Mads Lange , a Danish man who had a colourful Denmark is about as far from Bali as pickled herring is from nasi campur, but there was a period of 18 years when these two very disparate cultures intertwined in a

Prasati Blanjong

Prasasti Blanjong Pillar: Ancient Inscriptions in Sanur

A small monument known as Prasasti Blanjong, was carved from a single solid stone pillar that measures around 70 inches and 32 inches in diameter. It is one of the oldest manmade artefacts in Bali that dates back to the 10th century, only found in 1932. It commemorates the victory of King Kesariwarmedewa of Bali’s

Pan Am Monument Bali

Pan Am Monument in Bali : Commemorating a Tragedy

Driving north from the main hub of Sanur to the quiet Padang Galak area, a memorial monument of a fatal Pan American flight accident nestled in quite a hidden spot behind abandoned buildings.  In 1974, a Pan American flight flying from from Hong Kong to Sydney with a scheduled transit in Bali, crashed in the

Early Islam in Bali: A Local Legend

It may be interesting to the reader to see the way Islam first arrived in Bali. The reality of its arrival is a far cry from the overly dramatic prism through which today’s media tend to present relations between religions. Islam did not arrive in Bali as a religion, or rather, when it arrived, it

The Construction of Balinese Hinduism

Most of you, dear readers, when coming to Bali, already have a certain idea of the island. An iconic idea, which encompasses, as you probably know, just a small part of reality. So you must certainly have been told that Bali is the only Hindu island in Indonesia — and you have been told so

Now Bali