Sunday, September 23, 2007

Beautiful Bali needs you

I have been nowhere else where Hindu shrines in the smartest internationally owned hotels are tended by staff, lighting incense and mouthing ritual prayers. I was prepared to be sceptical about claims that Bali is a special spiritual place. But I left this greenest of islands a convert – and like all born-again zealots, I need to spread the word. Bali needs its tourists. Wherever we went, in the south and the east of the island, we were painfully aware of how desperate the people are – wanting to drive you, guide you, paint your nails, sell you sarongs, give you massages. Again and again you hear that there are not enough visitors – not since the Balinese faith in a benign, balanced universe was shattered by the 2002 terrorist outrage.

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