First Encounters With the West

Bali first caught the eye of the West in the early 16th century, when Portuguese and British fleets crossed the seas in search of sources for the lucrative spice trade. But it was not until the Dutch adventurer Cornelis de Houtman landed on Bali in 1597 and sent home reports of an exotic island of lush beauty, peopled by charismatic kings and overflowing with riches, that Bali claimed a place in the European imagination. De Houtman’s reports, published in Holland, captured the interest of other explorers, and a steady stream of treasure-hunters set sail for the fabled isle seeking a share of its bounty. But the Bali they found disappointed. It had none of the goods — the exotic spices, the precious gold, or the valuable opium — that were filling the pockets of those early European traders with such fantastic wealth.

Bali’s growing reputation as a warlike land ruled by royal barbarians and populated with fierce fighters who worshipped strange gods and manipulated the pagan forces of magic also helped keep the island free of foreign influence. While Holland was busy building its colony that would eventually grow to span most of the length of the Indonesian archipelago, Bali remained relatively untouched by the tremendous changes that were sweeping across neighboring Java and Sumatra. Until the 19th century, Bali attracted the interest of the colonial powers mainly as an exporter of slaves, those prisoners of war, peasants, debtors and criminals who were sold by the powerful Balinese nobility in the markets of Batavia – today’s Jakarta — where they commanded a high price for their renowned beauty and skill.

But Bali’s freedom from colonial rule was not to last. Beginning in the 1810s, Bali again attracted the notice of Europe. The Napoleonic Wars had set Holland and England against each other, and the victorious British took control of the East Indies, the vast empire the Dutch had built. In 1811, Sir Stamford Raffles — who would later become famous as the founder of Singapore — was appointed governor of the colony. Raffles soon became a great admirer of the Balinese, whom he described as possessing “a higher cast of spirit, independence, and manliness than belongs to any of their neighbors.” Raffles was fascinated with Balinese culture, which he saw as a “living museum” providing a glimpse into the past of neighboring Java. Bali, he believed, offered a pristine picture of a glorious Hindu civilization, free of the influence of Islam, a religion which he perceived, like many Westerners of his day, to be threatening and barbaric.

When Holland again gained control of the East Indies, Raffles’s devotion to Bali aroused the suspicion of the Dutch, who feared the British were planning to set up another Singapore on the island and threaten their trade monopolies. Determined to block any British attempt to gain a foothold in the land they believed should be rightfully theirs, the Dutch set out to conquer Bali once and for all. But victory did not come so easily. In 1846, the Dutch led a large military force against North Bali, but they met with stunning defeat when they faced down a fearsome army led by a Balinese commander, Gusti Ketut Djelantik. To the great embarrassment of the Dutch, Djelantik and his warriors were able to hold back the Dutch in a violent series of battles that lasted until 1849, when the Balinese force was destroyed by an army from Lombok, who saw the conflict as a chance to take control of Bali for themselves. Eventually, the Dutch and the Balinese signed a treaty giving the colonial powers rule over the north of Bali, and a tense peace held until the turn of the 20th century.

Bali Bras

Shopping for bras can be overwhelming with so many brands and styles to choose from. Bali Bras is a reliable, innovative and long-standing line, offering a bra for every outfit, personality, and mood. Purchased in 2006 by Hanesbrand Inc., Bali bras are available in most major department stores-or if you are an online shopper, you’ll have no difficulty finding these bras in the inventories of online vendors. By reading about some of Bali’s numerous bra collections below, you’ll get an overview of what’s available and start narrowing down what you want.

Feeling Feminine

Every Bali bra is designed with aesthetics in mind-after all, Bali founders named the line after being impressed by the beauty of women living on the island of Bali. Some examples:

Seductive Curves provides low-cut bras with smooth, seamless foam cups. The Seductive Curves Seamless Bali Underwire Bra disappears under clinging outfits and low necklines. This seamless underwire has microfiber, foam- lined cups, with wide cushiony straps.

Brush lace Bali bras are featured in the Smooth Indulgence collection, featuring smooth seamless cups. The Smooth Indulgence Wire-free bra, with seamless, soft demi cups, is perfect for wearing under T-shirts.

If you are looking for an attractive minimizer bra, the Lace Desire collection offers lacey selections, including the Lace Desire Foam Underwire, designed for plunging necklines.

Bali Minimizer Bra Collection for Full Figures

For fuller figures, Bali Minimizer Bras promise to reduce up to 1 3/4″ while preserving natural shape. Choose between:

Satin Tracings with wired, seamless, molded cups and cushioned straps; shimmers like satin with a subtle flower etching;

Satin Tracings Underwire with lace insets

Lace Desire Minimizer and Lace Desire Minimizer Underwire (also in the Lace Desire collection noted above);

Passion for Comfort, offering gentle support with slightly less cup size reduction.

Bali Concealers

Concealers are smooth discreet creations with Smoothing Petals(tm) inside seamless cups, ensuring just the right level of cover. Great for wearing under T-shirts and sweaters, concealers have the following features:

Seamlessness

Underwire or wirefree choices

Smooth nylon or stretch microfiber

Concealer petals in the cups

Thin foam lining

Adjustable straps and back closure.

Yearning for Comfort?

For winding down and long, busy days, having a comfortable bra can make a significant difference in how you feel. Consider these options:

The Double Support collection offers wireless bras with extra support in double layer, soft, or molded cups. Comfy features include gel fasteners; stretchy straps; and stretchy microfiber or cotton throughout.

The Passion for Comfort collection provides a relaxing experience with soft linings, smooth profiles and, cushioned shoulder straps.

The Downtime Cool Stretch Bra is made of a stretchy cotton blend and is designed for comfort with a lined soft molded cup, cushioned back fastener, stretch straps, adjustable back and cotton-lined under band.

The No-Poke Wire collection features underwire bras with spring-tipped underwire technology, designed to move with the body-features several distinct designs with variations such as a smooth finish, subtle jacquard patterns, and delicate decorative trim.

Enjoy Ubud’s Arts, Crafts and Culture on Bali Holidays

If you’re considering a holiday in Bali but want to do more than soak up some rays, a trip to Ubud should be a priority when it comes to your itinerary.

Bali is famed for its beach holiday offerings, but if you head a little further inland you’ll find a cultural hotspot in the form of the town of Ubud.

This particular area is home to some fascinating ruins dating back to the ancient Bali kingdom and should therefore be visited by anyone with a passing interest in the island’s history.

Here you can see the Tirta Empul temple, as well as the temples and museum in Pejeng, which is situated a few kilometres away.

The Goa Gajah cave – whose name translates into Elephant Cave – has an unusual demon-shaped opening and legend says that the rocky attraction was created from a fingernail belonging to a giant.

If you want to indulge your interest in historical attractions further, a trip to nearby Bedulu might be worthwhile as it is home to numerous archaeological sites.

Meanwhile, if all you want to do is relax, look into the various spas offering all manner of treatments and services that are located in the Ubud area.

Conversely, if you’re the active type, why not try a spot of white water rafting or another adrenaline-pumping pursuit? Bali is a particularly scenic island, so there’s plenty of scope for long hikes taking in some spectacular views.

If you’re interested in the local culture, make sure you check out the various dance performances on offer in Ubud.

Weekly Kecak, Legong and Barong dance shows are a fixture in Ubud, as are the Ramayana and Mahabharata ballets and concerts by the local orchestra, which uses traditional instruments.

For a wildlife-themed day trip, it might be a good idea to head to the Ubud Monkey Forest, which is a temple complex and nature reserve that houses hundreds of long-tailed macaque monkeys.

Ubud is a unique destination when it comes to Bali holidays, so make sure you don’t miss this hotbed of arts, history and culture on your trip to the Indonesian island.