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“Ooty Toy Train” is one of the three famed Indian Hill Railway Line.

It’s part of the “Nilgiris Hill Railway” which stretches along the Nilgiris Mountains of the Southern Indian State of Tamil Nadu. The other two are the Shimla and Darjeeling Hill Railway of the North. It came into existence by the British more than 100 years ago and now declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site, to be protected forever.

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Bandar Kuta

As soon as I arrived at Denpasar International Airport, my pickup drove me to the town of Kuta, where I booked my stay. It is not the capital and just a small town, yet is the most popular place in the island. This is due to its closest location to the airport and being the heart of entertainment for tourists among the mainly traditional population. Within 10minutes, I am in the town. This place is teeming with nightclubs, beachfront hotels, massage parlors, fast-food outlets, fine-dine restaurants and shopping centers. It’s a heaven for tourists, who like to spend their day with music, dance and shopping. Kuta has its fair share of bad memory, The Bali Bombing. For me, Kuta is just another tourist hub.

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Kuta Beach

Kuta Beach situated just 10min walk down the Poppies Lane II along Jalan Pantai Kuta. It is the most popular beach in Bali because of it’s location in Kuta, happening town in the island and thronged with tourist. Surfing is a favorite activity on the beach beside swimming and tanning. I had a morning walk to the beach from my room, Satriya Cottages Poppies Lane II. It was only 8am and locals busy lining up stalls, massage tables, beach umbrellas and colorful surfing boards for tourists to enjoy later in the day. I chatted with a surfer, tasted the salty breeze, relaxed on soft cold sand and people watched. Decide to bring along some friends on my next trip here – more fun.

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Gunung Batur

Gunung Batur

Apart from old temples, the majestic Mount Batur is also a residence of Bali. At a height of 1,730m above sea level, this active volcano is one of the highest volcano mountains in the island, Mount Agung being the highest. Mount Batur sits in the epicenter of a crater formed during a massive eruption many years ago. I admired the sheer size of Batur from Kintamani – edge of the crater. Luckily, there was no “Blow-Up” during my visit! I could see the remains of lava flow from the burned marks at its slope. I was told there are climbing tours organized to the peak everyday to catch sunrise, which I missed. Cool mountain breeze and a cup of hot tea with a fantastic view made my tour worth every Rupiah.

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The island of Bali is a naturally beautiful, culturally rich and religiously intact tourist destination to explore and enjoy. It is one of the most popular island destinations in Indonesia for Australians – due to its close geographical location to Australia – and to other Asian tourist alike. Active volcano, large water reservoirs from natural lake, paddy terrains and beautiful sandy beaches is how nature can impress you here. Existence of Hindu Temples or “Pura” in local language, from the 10th century and beyond, all over the island, shows the strength of Hinduism among the people of Bali.

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March 2012
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