The Geography & Demographics of Bali
History of Bali | The Geography & Demographics of Bali | Bali Climate | Religion in Bali | Bali Culture & Customs |
Language in Bali | Bali Ecology | Environment in Bali | Bali Administrative Divisions | Economy of Bali |
Balinese Agriculture | Tourism in Bali | Music & Dance | Transportation around Bali | Map of Bali | Adventures & Activities in Bali
Bali Island is located 3.2 km or 2 mi easy of Java, 8 degrees south of the equator. Java and Bali are separated by the narrow Bali Strait. Its length from east to west is about 153 km or 95 mi while from north to south it spans up to 112 km or 69 mi. The total measure of the land area is 5,632 km2.
The highest elevation at the central of the main land reaches up to around 3,000 meters above the sea level, the highest of which is Mount Agung which reaches 3,142 meters. This active volcano is also referred as the mother mountain. Form central region to the east runs the mountainous range with Mount Agung as the easternmost highest point. The volcanic nature of the main land, combined with the high mountains which encourage rainfalls, makes Bali extremely fertile for agricultural crop. The most fertile area is located in the center of the main land to the south. Meanwhile, the northern side of the mountains slopes steeply toward the sea. This area becomes the main producer area for coffee, vegetables, rice and cattle. The longest river of the island is Ayung River, which flows as long as approximately 75 km.
Most areas of the island are surrounded by coral reefs and the northern and the western beaches tend to have black sand while those of the southern tend to have white sand. There are not any major waterways in the mainland. However, sampan boats can navigate the Ho River. There are some beaches in the area between Klatingdukuh and Pasut and these beaches are being developed for tourism. However, the most significant tourist spot until today in the area is still the seaside temple Tanah Lot.
Denpasar, located near the southern coast, is the biggest city in the mainland with a total population of approximately 491,500 according to the estimate in 2002. Singaraja, the old colonial capital, home for 100,000 people and situated at the northern coast, is Bali’s second-largest city. Other major cities include Kuta and Ubud. There are three small islands at the southeast of the mainland. They are administratively parts of the Klungkung Regency. They are Nusa Penida, Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan. The three of them are separated from the main land by Badung Strait.
Lombok Strait at the east separates Bali and the rest of the Lesser Sunda Islands. This strait also marks the bio-geographical division between the fauna of Australasia and the fauna of Indo-Malayan eco-zone. The imaginary separating line is called the Wallace Line, which is named after the biologist Alfred Russell Wallace.
Bali was connected to Sumatra, Java and the mainland of Asia during the Pleistocene Ice Age, during which period the levels dropped. Hence Bali at that time shared the same Asian fauna. However, the Lombok Strait at that time had been deep water so that the rest of the Lesser Sunda Islands kept isolated.
As of 2005, there total population of Bali is 3,151,000. Expatriates living in the island are estimated at 30,000.