OK- I know that everyone does not work this way, but I love to read about a place before I go – and this is what I did the first time I went to Bali in 1979. One of the books that I read is the classic: The Island of Bali by Miguel Covarrubias.This book is as interesting an informative now as it was in 1979 when I first read it and as it was in 1937 when it was first published.
After reading the book, I decided to go on a “quest” on arrival in Bali to find two of the things that excited my interest. The first was that I wanted to see the village of Tengannen – easy to reach by good roads now, but not so easy then. Because I had a young daughter, the second thing that I wanted to find was Legong Dance lessons – young girls learning to dance the Legong….
I found both, but the journey was just as much fun. It is a nice way to meet people and the Balinese people are very generous in sharing their culture.
It is available from amazon.com. If you pass through Singapore on the way, you should be able to pick up a copy in the airport and there are many wonderful Periplus bookshops in Bali where they will be sure to have a copy.
Covarrubias was a well known artist who left Bali as the rumblings of WWII began. Some of his paintings may be viewed in Museum Pasifika in Nusa Dua and there are some lovely reproductions in the book.