Some tourists in search of cleaner beaches and more authenticity are heading to nearby islands, including Lombok. In July, the French newspaper Le Monde published a much-discussed article declaring Bali a has-been under the headline, "Bali, c'est fini?"
Yet I would argue that Bali, for all its troubles, still offers something special, if you can forgive its flaws — and if you can get there sooner rather than later.
Image: This Aug. 25, 2012 photo shows a Balinese man offering food to local god in Kuta, Bali, Indonesia. It can be hard to find Bali's serenity and beauty amid the villas with infinity pools and ads for Italian restaurants. But the rapidly developing island's simple pleasures still exist, in deserted beaches, simple meals of fried rice and coconut juice, and scenes of rural life.