French Polynesia is an overseas country (pays d'outre-mer) of the French Republic. It is made up of several groups of Polynesian islands, the most famous island being Tahiti in the Society Islands group, which is also the most populous island and the seat of the capital of the territory (Papeetē) (SONY PCG-5G2L battery). Although not an integral part of its territory, Clipperton Island was administered from French Polynesia until 2007.
The French frigate Floréal, stationed in Bora Bora lagoon.
The island groups that make up French Polynesia were not officially united until the establishment of the French protectorate in 1889. The first of these islands to be settled by indigenous Polynesians were the Marquesas Islands in AD 300 and the Society Islands in AD 800. The Polynesians were organized in loose chieftainships. (SONY PCG-5G3L battery)
European communication began in 1521 when the Portuguese explorer SONY PCG-F305 battery), while the British explorer James Cook visited in 1769. Christian missions began with Spanish priests who stayed in Tahiti for a year from 1774; Protestants from the London Missionary Society settled permanently in Polynesia in 1797.sighted Pukapuka in the Tuāmotu-Gambier Archipelago. Dutchman Jakob Roggeveen came across Bora Bora in the Society Islands in 1722, and the British explorer Samuel Wallis visited Tahiti in 1767. The French explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville visited Tahiti in 1768(
King Pōmare II of Tahiti was forced to flee to Mo'orea in 1803; he and his subjects were converted to Protestantism in 1812. French Catholic missionaries arrived on Tahiti in 1834; their expulsion in 1836 caused France to send a gunboat in 1838(SONY PCG-5J1L battery). In 1842, Tahiti and Tahuata were declared a French protectorate, to allow Catholic missionaries to work undisturbed. The capital of Papeetē was founded in 1843. In 1880, France annexed Tahiti, changing the status from that of a protectorate to that of a colony.
In the 1880s, France claimed the Tuamotu Archipelago, which formerly belonged to the Pōmare Dynasty, without formally annexing it(SONY PCG-5J2L battery). Having declared a protectorate over Tahuata in 1842, the French regarded the entire Marquesas Islands as French. In 1885, France appointed a governor and established a general council, thus giving it the proper administration for a colony. The islands of Rimatara and Rūrutu unsuccessfully lobbied for British protection in 1888(SONY PCG-5K2L battery), so in 1889 they were annexed by France. Postage stamps were first issued in the colony in 1892. The first official name for the colony was Établissements de l'Océanie (Settlements in Oceania); in 1903 the general council was changed to an advisory council and the colony's name was changed to Établissements Français de l'Océanie (French Settlements in Oceania). (SONY PCG-5L1L battery)
In 1940 the administration of French Polynesia recognised the Free French Forces and many Polynesians served in World War II. Unknown at the time to French and Polynesians, the Konoe Cabinet in Imperial Japan on 16 September 1940 included French Polynesia among the many territories which were to become Japanese possessions in the post-war world(SONY PCG-6S2L battery) – though in the course of the war in the Pacific the Japanese were not able to launch an actual invasion of the French islands.
In 1946, Polynesians were granted French citizenship and the islands' status was changed to an overseas territory; the islands' name was changed in 1957 to Polynésie Française (French Polynesia). In 1962, France's early nuclear testing ground of Algeria became independent and the Maruroa atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago was selected as the new testing site(SONY PCG-6S3L battery); tests were conducted underground after 1974. In 1977, French Polynesia was granted partial internal autonomy; in 1984, the autonomy was extended. French Polynesia became a full overseas collectivity of France in 2004.
In September 1995, France stirred up widespread protests by resuming nuclear testing at Fangataufa atoll after a three-year moratorium. The last test was on 27 January 1996. On 29 January 1996(SONY PCG-6V1L battery), France announced that it would accede to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and no longer test nuclear weapons.
Main article: Politics of French Polynesia
Politics of French Polynesia takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic French overseas collectivity, whereby the President of French Polynesia is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Assembly of French Polynesia (the territorial assembly) (SONY PCG-6W1L battery).
Political life in French Polynesia has been marked by great instability since the mid-2000s. On 14 September 2007, the pro-independence leader Oscar Temaru, 63, was elected president of French Polynesia for the 3rd time in 3 years (with 27 of 44 votes cast in the territorial assembly). He replaced former President Gaston Tong Sang(SONY PCG-7111L battery), opposed to independence, who lost a no-confidence vote in the Assembly of French Polynesia on 31 August after the longtime former president of French Polynesia, Gaston Flosse, hitherto opposed to independence, sided with his long enemy Oscar Temaru to topple the government of Gaston Tong Sang. Oscar Temaru, however, had no stable majority in the Assembly of French Polynesia, and new territorial elections were held in February 2008 to solve the political crisis(SONY PCG-71511M battery).
The Assembly of French Polynesia.
The party of Gaston Tong Sang won the territorial elections, but that did not solve the political crisis: the two minority parties of Oscar Temaru and Gaston Flosse, who together have one more member in the territorial assembly than the political party of Gaston Tong Sang, allied to prevent Gaston Tong Sang from becoming president of French Polynesia(SONY PCG-6W3L battery). Gaston Flosse was then elected president of French Polynesia by the territorial assembly on 23 February 2008 with the support of the pro-independence party led by Oscar Temaru, while Oscar Temaru was elected speaker of the territorial assembly with the support of the anti-independence party led by Gaston Flosse. Both formed a coalition cabinet(SONY PCG-7113L battery). Many observers doubted that the alliance between the anti-independence Gaston Flosse and the pro-independence Oscar Temaru, designed to prevent Gaston Tong Sang from becoming president of French Polynesia, could last very long.
At the French municipal elections held in March 2008, several prominent mayors who are member of the Flosse-Temaru coalition lost their offices in key municipalities of French Polynesia(SONY PCG-7133L battery), which was interpreted as a disapproval of the way Gaston Tong Sang, whose party French Polynesian voters had placed first in the territorial elections the month before, had been prevented from becoming president of French Polynesia by the last minute alliance between Flosse and Temaru's parties. Eventually, on 15 April 2008 the government of Gaston Flosse was toppled by a constructive vote of no confidence(SONY PCG-7Z1L battery) in the territorial assembly when two members of the Flosse-Temaru coalition left the coalition and sided with Tong Sang's party. Gaston Tong Sang was elected president of French Polynesia as a result of this constructive vote of no confidence, but his majority in the territorial assembly is very narrow. He offered posts in his cabinet to Flosse and Temaru's parties which they both refused. Gaston Tong Sang has called all parties to help end the instability in local politics(SONY PCG-7Z2L battery) , a prerequisite to attract foreign investors needed to develop the local economy.
High Commission of the French Republic.
Despite a local assembly and government, French Polynesia is not in a free association with France, like the Cook Islands with New Zealand or the Federated States of Micronesia with the United States. As a French overseas collectivity, the local government has no competence in justice, education, security and defense, directly provided and administered by the French State(SONY PCG-8Y1L battery), the Gendarmerie and the French Military. The highest representative of the State in the territory is the High Commissioner of the Republic in French Polynesia (French: Haut commissaire de la République).
French Polynesia also sends two deputies to the French National Assembly, one representing the Leeward Islands administrative subdivision, the Austral Islands administrative subdivision, the commune (municipality) of Mo'orea-Mai'ao(SONY PCG-8Y2L battery), and the westernmost part of Tahiti (including the capital Papeetē), and the other representing the central and eastern part of Tahiti, the Tuāmotu-Gambier administrative division, and the Marquesas Islands administrative division. French Polynesia also sends one senator to the French Senate.
French Polynesians vote in the French presidential elections and at the 2007 French presidential election(SONY PCG-8Z2L battery), in which the pro-independence leader Oscar Temaru openly called to vote for the Socialist candidate Ségolène Royal while the parties opposed to independence generally supported the center-right candidate , the turnout in French Polynesia was 69.12% in the first round of the election and 74.67% in the second round. French Polynesians voters placed Nicolas Sarkozy ahead of Ségolène Royal in both rounds of the election (2nd round: Nicolas Sarkozy 51.9%; Ségolène Royal 48.1%).(SONY PCG-8Z1L battery)
Between 1946 and 2003, French Polynesia had the status of an overseas territory (French: territoire d'outre-mer, or TOM). In 2003 it became an overseas collectivity (French: collectivité d'outre-mer, or COM). Its statutory law of 27 February 2004 gives it the particular designation of overseas country inside the Republic (French: pays d'outre-mer au sein de la République, or POM), but without legal modification of its status(SONY PCG-7112L battery).
Main article: Administrative divisions of French Polynesia
French Polynesia has five administrative subdivisions (French: subdivisions administratives):
Marquesas Islands (French: (les) (Îles) Marquises or officially la subdivision administrative des (Îles) Marquises)
Leeward Islands (French: (les) Îles Sous-le-Vent or officially la subdivision administrative des Îles Sous-le-Vent) (the two subdivisions administratives Windward Islands and Leeward Islands are part of the Society Islands) (SONY PCG-6W2L battery)
Windward Islands (French: (les) Îles du Vent or officially la subdivision administrative des Îles du Vent) (the two subdivisions administratives Windward Islands and Leeward Islands are part of the Society Islands)
Tuāmotu-Gambier (French: (les) (Îles) Tuamotu-Gambier or officially la subdivision administrative des (Îles) Tuamotu-Gambier) (the Tuamotus and the Gambier Islands) (SONY PCG-5K1L battery)
Austral Islands (French: (les) (Îles) Australes or officially la subdivision administrative des (Îles) Australes) (including the Bass Islands)
Map of French Polynesia
Main article: Geography of French Polynesia
The islands of French Polynesia have a total land area of 4,167 square kilometres (1,622 sq. mi) scattered over 2,500,000 square kilometres (965,255 sq. mi) of ocean. There are around 130 islands in French Polynesia. The highest point is Mount Orohena on Tahiti.
It is made up of six groups of islands. The largest and most populated island is Tahiti, in the Society Islands(Sony VGN-NR11S/S Battery).
The island groups are:
Gambier Islands often considered part of the Tuamotu Archipelago
Bass Islands often considered part of the Austral Islands
Aside from Tahiti, some other important atolls, islands, and island groups in French Polynesia are: Ahē, Bora Bora, Hiva 'Oa, Huahine, Mai'ao, Maupiti, Meheti'a, Mo'orea, Nuku Hiva, Raiatea, Taha'a, Tetiaroa, Tupua'i, and Tūpai(Sony VGN-NR11M/S Battery).
Main article: Economy of French Polynesia
The GDP of French Polynesia in 2006 was 5.65 billion US dollars at market exchange rates, the fifth-largest economy in Oceania after Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and New Caledonia. The GDP per capita was 21,999 US dollars in 2006 (at market exchange rates, not at PPP), lower than in Hawai'i, Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia, but higher than in all the independent insular states of Oceania. (Sony VGN-NR11Z/S Battery)
French Polynesia has a moderately developed economy, which is dependent on imported goods, tourism, and the financial assistance of mainland France. Tourist facilities are well developed and are available on the major islands. Also, as the noni fruit from these islands is discovered for its medicinal uses, people have been able to find jobs related to this agricultural industry(Sony VGN-NR11Z/T Battery).
The legal tender of French Polynesia is the CFP Franc.
Agriculture: coconuts, vanilla, vegetables, fruits.
Natural resources: timber, fish, cobalt.
In 2008 French Polynesia's imports amounted to 2.2 billion US dollars and exports amounted to 0.2 billion US dollars. The major export of French Polynesia is their famous black Tahitian pearls which accounted for 55% of exports (in value) in 2008. (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21E battery)
Main article: Demographics of French Polynesia
Tahitian girls, 1860–1879.
Total population on 1 January 2010 was 267,000 inhabitants, up from 259,596 at the August 2007 census. At the 2007 census, 68.6% of the population of French Polynesia lived on the island of Tahiti alone. The urban area of Papeetē, the capital city, has 131,695 inhabitants (2007 census) (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21Z battery).
At the 2007 census, 87.3% of people living in French Polynesia were born in French Polynesia, 9.3% were born in metropolitan France, 1.4% were born in overseas France outside of French Polynesia, and 2.0% were born in foreign countries. At the 1988 census, the last census which asked questions regarding ethnicity, 66.5% of people were ethnically unmixed Polynesians(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21J battery), 7.1 % were Polynesians with light European and/or East Asian mixing, 11.9% were Europeans (mostly French), 9.3% were people of mixed European and Polynesian descent, the so-called Demis (literally meaning "Half"), and 4.7% were East Asians (mainly Chinese).
The Europeans, the Demis and the East Asians are essentially concentrated on the island of Tahiti, particularly in the urban area of Papeetē, where their share of the population is thus much greater than in French Polynesia overall. (Sony VAIO VGN-FW11 battery) Race mixing has been going on for more than a century already in French Polynesia, resulting in a rather mixed society. For example Gaston Flosse, the long-time leader of French Polynesia, is a Demi (European father from Lorraine and Polynesian mother). His main opponent and former president, Gaston Tong Sang is a member of the East Asian (in his case Chinese) community. (Sony VAIO VGN-FW11M battery) Oscar Temaru, the current president, is ethnically Polynesian (father from Tahiti, mother from the Cook Islands), but he has admitted to also have Chinese ancestry.
Despite a long tradition of race mixing, racial tensions have been growing in recent years, with politicians using a xenophobic discourse and fanning the flame of racial tensions. The pro-independence politicians have long pointed the finger at the European community (Oscar Temaru, pro-independence leader and former president of French Polynesia(Sony VAIO VGN-FW11S battery), was for example found guilty of "racial discrimination" by the criminal court of Papeetē in 2007 for having referred to the Europeans living in French Polynesia as "trash", "waste"). More recently, the Chinese community which controls many businesses in French Polynesia has been targeted in verbal attacks by the newly allied Gaston Flosse and Oscar Temaru in their political fight against Gaston Tong Sang(Sony VAIO VGN-FW21E battery), whose Chinese origins they emphasize in contrast with their Polynesian origins, despite the fact that they both have mixed origins (European and Polynesian for Flosse; Polynesian and Chinese for Temaru).
In April 2008, after the government of Gaston Flosse was toppled in the Assembly of French Polynesia and Gaston Tong Sang became the new president of French Polynesia, two French Polynesian labor union leaders made anti-Chinese remarks (Sony VAIO VGN-FW21J battery) ("I'm not hiding from the fact that I wouldn't like our country to be ruled by someone who's not a Polynesian"; "a Chinese only thinks of the business leaders, because he is a businessman"). These anti-Chinese remarks caused a political furor and were widely condemned in French Polynesia. (Sony VAIO VGN-FW21L battery)
Cemetery in the Tuāmotu.
French is the only official language of French Polynesia. An organic law of 12 April 1996 states that "French is the official language, Tahitian and other Polynesian languages can be used." At the 2007 census, among the population whose age was 15 and older, 68.5% of people reported that the language they speak the most at home is French(Sony VAIO VGN-FW41M battery), 29.9% reported that the language they speak the most at home is any of the Polynesian languages (four-fifth of which Tahitian), 1.0% reported a Chinese language (half of which Hakka), and 0.6% another language.
At the same census, 94.7% of people whose age was 15 or older reported that they could speak, read and write French, whereas only 2.0% reported that they had no knowledge of French. 74.6% of people whose age was 15 or older reported that they have some knowledge of one of the Polynesian languages(Sony VAIO VGN-FW41M/H battery), whereas 13.6% reported that they had no knowledge of any of the Polynesian languages.
Christianity is the main religion of the islands: a majority (54%) belong to various Protestant churches and a large minority (30%) are Roman Catholic. Slightly more than 50% of French Polynesia's population belongs to the Maohi Protestant Church, the largest Protestant denomination. (Sony VAIO VGN-FW21M battery) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had 20,282 members as of 2009. Jehovah's Witnesses had 2,656 publishers in Tahiti as of 2011.
Main article: Transportation in French Polynesia
There are 53 airports in French Polynesia; 46 are paved. The Faaa International Airport is the only international airport in French Polynesia. Each island has its own airport that serves flights to other islands. Air Tahiti is the main airline that flies around the islands(Sony VAIO VGN-FW21Z battery).
Jacques Brel (1929–1978), Belgian musician, lived in French Polynesia near the end of his life
Jean Gabilou, singer (born 1944), represented France in the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest
Paul Gauguin (1848–1903), French impressionist painter, spent the last years of his life in French Polynesia
Maréva Georges, model, former Miss Tahiti 1990 and Miss France 1991
Pouvāna'a 'Ō'opa (1895–1977), Politician and Tahitian nationalist(Sony VAIO VGN-FW32J battery)
Henri Hiro (1944–1991), Film director and script writer, poet, ecologist, activist
Ella Koon, model (born 1979)
Marco Namouro, writer (1889–1968)
Fabrice Santoro, tennis professional (born 1972)
Marama Vahirua, footballer, cousin of Pascal Vahirua (born 1980)
Pascal Vahirua, former French international footballer (born 1966)
Célestine Hitiura Vaite, writer (born 1966) (Sony VAIO VGN-FW17W battery)
Main article: Music of French Polynesia
French Polynesia came to the forefront of the world music scene in 1992, with the release of The Tahitian Choir's recordings of unaccompanied vocal Christian music called himene tārava, recorded by French musicologist Pascal Nabet-Meyer. This form of singing is common in French Polynesia and the Cook Islands(Sony VAIO VGN-FW31E battery), and is distinguished by a unique drop in pitch at the end of the phrases, which is a characteristic formed by several different voices; it is also accompanied by steady grunting of staccato, nonsensical syllables.
Bali is an Indonesian island located in the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. It is one of the country's 33 provinces with the provincial capital at Denpasar towards the south of the island(Sony VAIO VGN-FW139E battery). The province covers a few small neighbouring islands as well as the isle of Bali.
With a population recorded as 3,891,428 in the 2010 census, the island is home to most of Indonesia's Hindu minority. In the 2000 census about 92.29% of Bali's population adhered to Balinese Hinduism while most of the remainder follow Islam. It is also the largest tourist destination in the country and is renowned for its highly developed arts(Sony VAIO VGN-FW139E/H battery), including traditional and modern dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking, and music. Bali, a tourist haven for decades, has seen a further surge in tourist numbers in recent years.
Main article: History of Bali
Bali was inhabited by around 2000 BC by Austronesian peoples who migrated originally from Taiwan through Maritime Southeast Asia. Culturally and linguistically, the Balinese are thus closely related to the peoples of the Indonesian archipelago, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Oceania. (Sony VAIO VGN-FW31M battery) Stone tools dating from this time have been found near the village of Cekik in the island's west.
In ancient Bali, nine Hindu sects existed, namely Pasupata, Bhairawa, Siwa Shidanta, Waisnawa, Bodha, Brahma, Resi, Sora and Ganapatya. Each sect revered a specific deity as its personal Godhead.
Balinese culture was strongly influenced by Indian, Chinese, and particularly Hindu culture, beginning around the 1st century AD(Sony VAIO VGN-FW31J battery). The name Bali dwipa ("Bali island") has been discovered from various inscriptions, including the Blanjong pillar inscription written by Sri Kesari Warmadewa in 914 AD and mentioning "Walidwipa". It was during this time that the complex irrigation system subak was developed to grow rice. Some religious and cultural traditions still in existence today can be traced back to this period(Sony VAIO VGN-FW31Z battery). The Hindu Majapahit Empire (1293–1520 AD) on eastern Java founded a Balinese colony in 1343. When the empire declined, there was an exodus of intellectuals, artists, priests, and musicians from Java to Bali in the 15th century.
Tanah Lot, one of the major temples in Bali
The first European contact with Bali is thought to have been made in 1585 when a Portuguese ship foundered off the Bukit Peninsula and left a few Portuguese in the service of Dewa Agung. (Sony VGN-NR11Z Battery)In 1597 the Dutch explorer Cornelis de Houtman arrived at Bali and, with the establishment of the Dutch East India Company in 1602, the stage was set for colonial control two and a half centuries later when Dutch control expanded across the Indonesian archipelago throughout the second half of the nineteenth century (see Dutch East Indies) (Sony VGN-NR11S Battery). Dutch political and economic control over Bali began in the 1840s on the island's north coast, when the Dutch pitted various distrustful Balinese realms against each other. In the late 1890s, struggles between Balinese kingdoms in the island's south were exploited by the Dutch to increase their control.
The Dutch mounted large naval and ground assaults at the Sanur region in 1906 and were met by the thousands of members of the royal family and their followers who fought against the superior Dutch force in a suicidal puputan defensive(Sony VGN-NR110E Battery) assault rather than face the humiliation of surrender. Despite Dutch demands for surrender, an estimated 1,000 Balinese marched to their death against the invaders. In the Dutch intervention in Bali (1908), a similar massacre occurred in the face of a Dutch assault in Klungkung. Afterwards the Dutch governors were able to exercise administrative control over the island, but local control over religion and culture generally remained intact(Sony VGN-NR110E/T Battery). Dutch rule over Bali came later and was never as well established as in other parts of Indonesia such as Java and Maluku.
In the 1930s, anthropologists Sony VGN-NR110E/S Battery).and , and artists and Walter Spies, and musicologist Colin McPhee created a western image of Bali as "an enchanted land of aesthetes at peace with themselves and nature", and western tourism first developed on the island(
Balinese dancers show for tourists, in Ubud.
Imperial Japan occupied Bali during World War II. Bali Island was not originally a target in their Netherlands East Indies Campaign, but as the airfields on Borneo were inoperative due to heavy rains the Imperial Japanese Army decided to occupy Bali, which did not suffer from comparable weather. The island had no regular Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL) troops(Sony VGN-NR110E/W Battery). There was only a Native Auxiliary Corps Prajoda (Korps Prajoda) consisting of about 600 native soldiers and several Dutch KNIL officers under command of KNIL Lieutenant Colonel W.P. Roodenburg. On 19 February 1942 the Japanese forces landed near the town of Senoer. The island was quickly captured.
During the Japanese occupation a Balinese military officer, Gusti Ngurah Rai, formed a Balinese 'freedom army'(Sony VGN-CR11Z Battery). The lack of institutional changes from the time of Dutch rule however, and the harshness of war requisitions made Japanese rule little better than the Dutch one. Following Japan's Pacific surrender in August 1945, the Dutch promptly returned to Indonesia, including Bali, immediately to reinstate their pre-war colonial administration. This was resisted by the Balinese rebels now using Japanese weapons(Sony VGN-CR11S Battery). On 20 November 1946, the Battle of Marga was fought in Tabanan in central Bali. Colonel I Gusti Ngurah Rai, by then 29 years old, finally rallied his forces in east Bali at Marga Rana, where they made a suicide attack on the heavily armed Dutch. The Balinese battalion was entirely wiped out, breaking the last thread of Balinese military resistance. In 1946 the Dutch constituted Bali as one of the 13 administrative districts of the newly proclaimed State of East Indonesia(Sony VGN-CR11M Battery), a rival state to the Republic of Indonesia which was proclaimed and headed by Sukarno and Hatta. Bali was included in the "Republic of the United States of Indonesia" when the Netherlands recognised Indonesian independence on 29 December 1949.
The 1963 eruption of Mount Agung killed thousands, created economic havoc and forced many displaced Balinese to be transmigrated to other parts of Indonesia(Sony VGN-CR11E Battery). Mirroring the widening of social divisions across Indonesia in the 1950s and early 1960s, Bali saw conflict between supporters of the traditional caste system, and those rejecting these traditional values. Politically, this was represented by opposing supporters of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and the Indonesian Nationalist Party (PNI) (Sony VGN-CR21E Battery), with tensions and ill-feeling further increased by the PKI's land reform programs. An attempted coup in Jakarta was put down by forces led by General Suharto. The army became the dominant power as it instigated a violent anti-communist purge, in which the army blamed the PKI for the coup. Most estimates suggest that at least 500,000 people were killed across Indonesia, with an estimated 80,000 killed in Bali, equivalent to 5% of the island's population. (Sony VGN-CR21S Battery) With no Islamic forces involved as in Java and Sumatra, upper-caste PNI landlords led the extermination of PKI members.
As a result of the 1965/66 upheavals, Suharto was able to manoeuvre Sukarno out of the presidency, and his "New Order" government reestablished relations with western countries. The pre-War Bali as "paradise" was revived in a modern form(Sony VGN-CR21Z Battery), and the resulting large growth in tourism has led to a dramatic increase in Balinese standards of living and significant foreign exchange earned for the country. A bombing in 2002 by militant Islamists in the tourist area of Kuta killed 202 people, mostly foreigners. This attack, and another in 2005, severely affected tourism, bringing much economic hardship to the island, although tourist numbers have now returned to levels before the bombings(Sony VGN-CR31S Battery).
List of bodies of water in Bali and List of mountains in Bali
Topography of the island
The island of Bali lies 3.2 km (2 mi) east of Java, and is approximately 8 degrees south of the equator. Bali and Java are separated by the Bali Strait. East to west, the island is approximately 153 km (95 mi) wide and spans approximately 112 km (69 mi) north to south; its land area is 5,632 km²(Sony VGN-CR31E Battery).
Bali's central mountains include several peaks over 3,000 metres in elevation. The highest is Mount Agung (3,031 m), known as the "mother mountain" which is an active volcano. Mountains range from centre to the eastern side, with Mount Agung the easternmost peak. Bali's volcanic nature has contributed to its exceptional fertility and its tall mountain ranges provide the high rainfall that supports the highly productive agriculture sector(Sony VGN-CR31Z Battery). South of the mountains is a broad, steadily descending area where most of Bali's large rice crop is grown. The northern side of the mountains slopes more steeply to the sea and is the main coffee producing area of the island, along with rice, vegetables and cattle. The longest river, Ayung River, flows approximately 75 km(Sony VGN-CR41Z Battery).
The island is surrounded by coral reefs. Beaches in the south tend to have white sand while those in the north and west have black sand. Bali has no major waterways, although the Ho River is navigable by small sampan boats. Black sand beaches between Pasut and Klatingdukuh are being developed for tourism, but apart from the seaside temple of Tanah Lot, they are not yet used for significant tourism(Sony VGN-CR41S Battery).
Subak irrigation system
The largest city is the provincial capital, Denpasar, near the southern coast. Its population is around 491,500 (2002). Bali's second-largest city is the old colonial capital, Singaraja, which is located on the north coast and is home to around 100,000 people. Other important cities include the beach resort, Kuta, which is practically part of Denpasar's urban area, and Ubud, situated at the north of Denpasar, is the island's cultural centre(Sony VGN-CR41E Battery).
Three small islands lie to the immediate south east and all are administratively part of the Klungkung regency of Bali: Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. These islands are separated from Bali by the Badung Strait.
To the east, the Lombok Strait separates Bali from Lombok and marks the biogeographical division between the fauna of the Indomalayan ecozone and the distinctly different fauna of Australasia. The transition is known as the Wallace Line(Sony VGN-CR42Z Battery), named after Alfred Russel Wallace, who first proposed a transition zone between these two major biomes. When sea levels dropped during the Pleistocene ice age, Bali was connected to Java and Sumatra and to the mainland of Asia and shared the Asian fauna, but the deep water of the Lombok Strait continued to keep Lombok and the Lesser Sunda archipelago isolated(Sony VGN-CR42S Battery).
The Bali Starling is found only on Bali and is critically endangered.
Bali lies just to the west of the Wallace Line, and thus has a fauna which is Asian in character, with very little Australasian influence, and has more in common with Java than with Lombok. An exception is the Yellow-crested Cockatoo, a member of a primarily Australasian family. There are around 280 species of birds, including the critically endangered Bali Starling(Sony VGN-CR42E Battery), which is endemic. Others Include Barn Swallow, Black-naped Oriole, Black Racket-tailed Treepie, Crested Serpent-eagle, Crested Treeswift, Dollarbird, Java Sparrow, Lesser Adjutant, Long-tailed Shrike, Milky Stork, Pacific Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Sacred Kingfisher, Sea Eagle, Woodswallow, Savanna Nightjar, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Yellow-vented Bulbul, White Heron, Great Egret(Sony Vaio VGN-CR11S/L Battery).
Until the early 20th century, Bali was home to several large mammals: the wild Banteng, leopard and the endemic Bali Tiger. The Banteng still occurs in its domestic form, while leopards are found only in neighboring Java, and the Bali Tiger is extinct. The last definite record of a Tiger on Bali dates from 1937, when one was shot, though the subspecies may have survived until the 1940s or 1950s. (Sony Vaio VGN-CR11S/P Battery) The relatively small size of the island, conflict with humans, poaching and habitat reduction drove the Tiger to extinction. This was the smallest and rarest of all Tiger subspecies and was never caught on film or displayed in zoos, while few skins or bones remain in museums around the world. Today, the largest mammals are the Javan Rusa deer and the Wild Boar. A second, smaller species of deer, the Indian Muntjac, also occurs(Sony Vaio VGN-CR11S/W Battery).
Monkey Forest, Ubud
Squirrels are quite commonly encountered, less often is the Asian Palm Civet, which is also kept in coffee farms to produce Kopi Luwak. Bats are well represented, perhaps the most famous place to encounter them remaining the Goa Lawah (Temple of the Bats) where they are worshipped by the locals and also constitute a tourist attraction(Sony Vaio VGN-CR11Z/R Battery). They also occur in other cave temples, for instance at Gangga Beach. Two species of monkey occur. The Crab-eating Macaque, known locally as “kera”, is quite common around human settlements and temples, where it becomes accustomed to being fed by humans, particularly in any of the three “monkey forest” temples, such as the popular one in the Ubud area(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13/B Battery). They are also quite often kept as pets by locals. The second monkey, endemic to Java and some surrounding islands, such as Bali which is far rarer and more elusive is the Javan Langur, locally known as "lutung". They occur in few places apart from the Bali Barat National Park. What is interesting about this species is that the young are born an orange colour, though by their first year they would have already changed to a more blackish colouration(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13/L Battery). In Java however, there is more of a tendency for this species to retain its juvenile orange colour into adulthood, and so you can see a mixture of black and orange monkeys together as a family. Other rarer mammals include the Leopard Cat, Sunda Pangolin and Black Giant Squirrel.
Snakes include the King Cobra and Reticulated Python. The Water Monitor can grow to an impressive size and move surprisingly quickly(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13/P Battery).
The rich coral reefs around the coast, particularly around popular diving spots such as Tulamben, Amed, Menjangan or neighboring Nusa Penida, host a wide range of marine life, for instance Hawksbill Turtle, Giant Sunfish, Giant Manta Ray, Giant Moray Eel, Bumphead Parrotfish, Hammerhead Shark, Reef Shark, barracuda, and sea snakes. Dolphins are commonly encountered on the north coast near Singaraja and Lovina(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13/R Battery).
Many plants have been introduced by humans within the last centuries, particularly since the 20th century, making it sometimes hard to distinguish what plants are really native. Among the larger trees the most common are: Banyan trees, Jackfruit, coconuts, bamboo species, acacia trees and also endless rows of coconuts and banana species(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13/W Battery). Numerous flowers can be seen: hibiscus, frangipani, bougainvillea, poinsettia, oleander, jasmine, water lily, lotus, roses, begonias, orchids and hydrangeas exist. On higher grounds that receive more moisture, for instance around Kintamani, certain species of fern trees, mushrooms and even pine trees thrive well. Rice comes in many varieties. Other plants with agricultural value include: salak, mangosteen, corn, Kintamani orange, coffee and water spinach(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G Battery).
A team of scientists has conducted survey from 29 April 2011 to 11 May 2011 at 33 sea site of Bali. They have discovered 952 species of reef fish which 8 of them were new discoveries at Pemuteran, Gilimanuk, Nusa Dua, Tulamben and Candidasa and 393 coral species, including two new ones at Padangbai and between Padangbai and Amed. (Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G/B Battery)The average coverage level of healthy coral was 36 percent (better than in Raja Ampat and Halmahera by 29 percent or in Fakfak and Kaimana by 25 percent) with the highest coverage was found in Gili Selang and Gili Mimpang in Candidasa, Karangasem regency.
Some of the worst erosion has occurred in Lebih Beach, where up to 7 meters of land is lost every year. Decades ago, this beach was used for holy pilgrimages with more than 10,000 people, but they have now moved to Masceti Beach. (Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G/L Battery)
From ranked third in previous review, in 2010 Bali got score 99.65 of Indonesia's environmental quality index and the highest of all the 33 provinces. The score measured 3 water quality parameters: the level of total suspended solids (TSS), dissolved oxygen (DO) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) (Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G/W Battery).
Due to over-exploitation by the tourist industry which converse massive land, 200 out of 400 rivers on the island have dried up and based on research, the southern part of Bali would face a water shortage up to 2,500 liters of clean water per second by 2015. To ease the shortage, the central government plans to build a water catchment and processing facility at Petanu River in Gianyar(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G/P Battery). The 300 liters capacity of water per second will be channeled to Denpasar, Badung and Gianyar in 2013.
The province is divided into 8 regencies (kabupaten) and 1 city (kota). These are:
Three decades ago, the Balinese economy was largely agriculture-based in terms of both output and employment. Tourism is now the largest single industry in terms of income, and as a result, Bali is one of Indonesia’s wealthiest regions. About 80% of Bali's economy depends on tourism; (Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G/R Battery) Note: non-referenced % in the article: in fact a great number of the population still lives thanks to agriculture although this situation is changing rapidly. By end of June 2011, non-performing loan of all banks in Bali were 2.23 percent average, relatively quite low compare to about 5 percent average of Indonesian banking industry non-performing loan. (Sony Vaio VGN-CR13T/L Battery)The economy, however, suffered significantly as a result of the terrorist bombings 2002 and 2005. The tourism industry is slowly recovering once again.
Although tourism produces the GDP's largest output, agriculture is still the island’s biggest employer; most notably rice cultivation. Crops grown in smaller amounts include fruit, vegetables, Coffea arabica and other cash and subsistence crops. Fishing also provides a significant number of jobs. Bali is also famous for its artisans who produce a vast array of handicrafts, including batik and ikat cloth and clothing, wooden carvings(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13T/P Battery), stone carvings, painted art and silverware. Notably, individual villages typically adopt a single product, such as wind chimes or wooden furniture.
The Arabica coffee production region is the highland region of Kintamani near Mount Batur. Generally, Balinese coffee is processed using the wet method. This results in a sweet, soft coffee with good consistency. Typical flavors include lemon and other citrus notes. (Sony Vaio VGN-CR13T/R Battery)Many coffee farmers in Kintamani are members of a traditional farming system called Subak Abian, which is based on the Hindu philosophy of "Tri Hita Karana”. According to this philosophy, the three causes of happiness are good relations with God, other people and the environment. The Subak Abian system is ideally suited to the production of fair trade and organic coffee production(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13T/W Battery). Arabica coffee from Kintamani is the first product in Indonesia to request a Geographical Indication.
The tourism industry is primarily focused in the south, while significant in the other parts of the island as well. The main tourist locations are the town of Kuta (with its beach), and its outer suburbs of Legian and Seminyak (which were once independent townships), the east coast town of Sanur (once the only tourist hub), in the center of the island Ubud(Sony Vaio VGN-CR150E/B Battery), to the south of the Ngurah Rai International Airport, Jimbaran, and the newer development of Nusa Dua and Pecatu.
The American government lifted its travel warnings in 2008. The Australian government last issued an advice on Friday, 4 May 2012. The overall level of the advice was lowered to 'Exercise a high degree of caution'.
Kuta Beach is a popular tourist spot in Bali
An offshoot of tourism is the growing real estate industry. Bali real estate has been rapidly developing in the main tourist areas of Kuta, Legian, Seminyak and Oberoi(Sony Vaio VGN-CR190 Battery). Most recently, high-end 5 star projects are under development on the Bukit peninsula, on the south side of the island. Million dollar villas are being developed along the cliff sides of south Bali, commanding panoramic ocean views. Foreign and domestic (many Jakarta individuals and companies are fairly active) investment into other areas of the island also continues to grow. Land prices, despite the worldwide economic crisis, have remained stable(Sony Vaio VGN-CR190E/L Battery).
In the last half of 2008, Indonesia's currency had dropped approximately 30% against the US dollar, providing many overseas visitors value for their currencies. Visitor arrivals for 2009 were forecast to drop 8% (which would be higher than 2007 levels), due to the worldwide economic crisis which has also affected the global tourist industry, but not due to any travel warnings(Sony Vaio VGN-CR21/B Battery).
Bali's tourism economy survived the terrorist bombings of 2002 and 2005, and the tourism industry has in fact slowly recovered and surpassed its pre-terrorist bombing levels; the longterm trend has been a steady increase of visitor arrivals. At 2010, Bali received 2.57 million foreign tourists. It is surpassed the target of 2.0–2.3 million tourists(Sony Vaio VGN-CR21E/L Battery). The average occupancy of starred hotels achieved 65 percent (last year 60.8 percent), so still capable for accommodates tourists for next some years without any addition of new rooms/hotels, although at the peak season some of them are fully booked.
Bali received the Best Island award from Travel and Leisure in 2010. The award was presented in the show "World's Best Awards 2010" in New York, on 21 July(Sony Vaio VGN-CR21E/P Battery). Hotel Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran also received an award in the category of "World Best Hotel Spas in Asia 2010". The award was based on a survey of travel magazine Travel and Leisure readers between 15 December 2009 through 31 March 2010, and was judged on several criteria. Thermes Marins Bali, Ayana Resort and Spa, (formerly The Ritz-Carlton) got score 95.6 scored out of a maximum 100 of satisfaction index with spa facilities and services as No. 1(Sony Vaio VGN-CR21E/W Battery) Spa in the world by Conde Naste's Traveller Magazine for 2010 by their readers poll. The island of Bali won because of its attractive surroundings (both mountain and coastal areas), diverse tourist attractions, excellent international and local restaurants, and the friendliness of the local people. According to BBC Travel released in 2011, Bali is one of the World's Best Islands, rank in second after Greece. (Sony Vaio VGN-CR21S/L Battery)
On August 2010, the film version of Eat, Pray, Love (EPL), which starred Julia Roberts, was released in theaters. The movie was based on Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling memoir of the same name. It took place at Ubud and Padang-Padang Beach at Bali. The 2006 book, which spent 57 weeks at the No. 1 spot on the New York Times paperback nonfiction best-seller list(Sony Vaio VGN-CR21S/P Battery), has already fueled a boom in EPL tourism in Ubud, the hill town and cultural and tourist center that was the focus of Gilbert's quest for balance through traditional spirituality and healing that leads to love. Newly launched packages by luxury resorts and spas like Ubud Hanging Gardens and the cliff-top Ayana promise to recreate Gilbert's four transformative months on Bali in a few passing days with yoga classes, drawn-out beach dinners, massage therapy(Sony Vaio VGN-CR21S/W Battery). Other tours built around the book focus on curative group gatherings and self-discovery of the kind Gilbert had. EPL helped boost Bali’s tourist numbers, together with the stable security situation on the island. Bali had 2.5 million visitors in 2010, exceeding their target of 2.3 million. That figure was also an improvement from 2009’s 2.2 million and 2008’s 1.96 million visitors. (Sony Vaio VGN-CR21Z/N Battery) The Tourism Office admitted that they had done nothing to maximize the opportunity to promote Bali and surrender to the filmmakers to promote.
Since 2011, China has displaced Japan as the second-largest supplier of tourists to Bali, while Australia still tops the list. China tourists increased by 17 percent from last year due to the impact of ACFTA and new direct flights to Bali. In January 2012, Chinese...