Stunning pictures of Bali from the 1970s, have emerged showing the now popular island before the tourist trade boomed.
Is there anything more perfect than a tropical island, complete with crystal seas and jaw-dropping surroundings?
No – is the answer to that and I suppose that’s exactly what surfer and photographer, Clifford White, felt when he travelled to the mesmerising South East Asian island 40 years ago.
The 62-year-old Australian was only 20, when he visited Bali for the first time and fell in love with its overwhelming beauty, when the island was practically unknown on the tourist circuit.
Check out his breathtaking images:
Clearly unable to shake the phenomenal images out of his head, he returned to the island two years later to photograph its charm, without the contamination of tourists.
At this point in 1977, many of the local people had not even seen a person from the western world before, but just a few years after his visit, the tourist trade had reached its shores, bringing with it shops, bars and hundreds of hotels.
Back then we were some of the first Australians to visit Bali.
It was totally unspoiled. The island has developed a lot since then and Kata beach now has hotels and resorts the length of it.
It was every surfer’s dream and and the locals were the friendliest people you could ever meet.
His story takes an even more incredible turn, as he posted his pictures on social media and amazingly, one of the boys from his snaps recognised himself and got in contact.
One of the children in the pictures is now in his 40s. He recognised the shots from when he was younger and got in touch. That was pretty incredible.
Nowadays, the island sees four million tourists pour onto its heavenly beaches a year and is a far cry from Clifford’s haunting images of deserted beauty and life before capitalism.
It seems these days, Bali is a tourist hotspot – having experienced a boom in its tourism economy over the last decade – and now sees travellers drawn to its perfect beaches and sunny climate.
It does seem a shame it will never be how it once was though… That’s capitalism for you…