Clear water beaches, incredible temples, offerings to the gods, excellent massages and a very good gastronomy is what you are going to experience on a trip to Bali, the most popular destination of Indonesia.
Bali is just 140 km in east-west length and 90 km from north to south. The mountainous area extends from the center of the island to its eastern side. The highest point of the island is Mount Agung with 3,142 m high, an active volcano that last erupted in March 1963. The island is surrounded by coral reefs, the beaches in the south are of white sand while the northern ones are with black sand.
The hotel infrastructure is excellent, it offers different price alternatives for all types of travelers. It is very characteristic of Indonesia that the showers and bathrooms are outside the house, of course surrounded by walls for privacy reasons but often without a roof, so get ready for some outdoor showers.
The traditional Balinese houses are surrounded by a stone wall and in the corners you will see towers, that protect the energy of the home from evil spirits. In the northwest part of the houses you can find the most sacred and important place: the family temples. It’s interesting to note that there are many families living in very small spaces but with a large family temple. On each piece of land they build houses for several generations of the same family. The entrances are normally narrow, with beautiful carved wooden doors framed by stone sculptures, typical of oriental decoration.
Indonesia is a country rich in biodiversity. However, there are threaten factors such as illegal logging, the high level of urbanization, air pollution and deficiencies in the management of garbage and wastewater, which also contribute to the deterioration of forests. In Indonesia you can find leopards, snakes, lizards, iguanas, turtles, monkeys, starlings and 160 different species of birds. The orangutan can only be seen in Sumatra and Borneo; the tiger, in Sumatra and Java; the wild ox, in Java and Borneo; the proboscis monkey (násico), only in Borneo; the elephant, the tapir and the siamang (black gibbon), only in Sumatra. The rich volcanic soil of Indonesia is ideal for the development of crops that are spread on its surface.
The local gastronomy mixes techniques & culinary influences from all over the world, but mainly from Malaysia, China, southern India and Europe. Indonesia local community eat with their hands. Typical ingredients are fresh ginger, sambal (chili mix), tamarind, turmeric, garlic, coconut milk, shrimp paste, and palm sugar. They eat a lot of pork, duck, chicken, vegetables, rice, fish (snapper, ray, dorado and red snapper) and shellfish. You can find also a typical fruit called mangosteen.
Recommended dishes: Jimbaran seafood warungs/ Nasi Campur (vegetables, chicken and pork, greens, egg and fermented tempeh-soy)/ Nasi Goreng (fried rice with soy sauce, fried egg, fried chicken and satay)/ Mie Goreng (roasted noodles)/ Satay or saté (skewers of different meats cooked over charcoal embers. Turmeric, pineapple and peanuts are added condiments)/ Rijsttafel (more than 20 small plates filled meat, rice, vegetables and spicy)/ Babi Guling (roast suckling pig accompanied and stuffed with chili, turmeric, coriander seeds, black pepper, garlic and ginger)/ Lawar (minced meat, coconut and vegetables accompanied by all kinds of herbs and Balinese species)/ Rendang (usually beef cooked with coconut milk and spices).
Drinks Typical: Beers (Bintang Bir and Bali Hai Bir) / Teler (fruit cocktail combined with various types of milk and leaves. It has avocado, cincau, jackfruit and coconut).
– Hidden Canyon Beji Guwang
– Tegalalang Rice Terraces
– Nusa Dua Beach, among other beautiful beaches to visit
– Monkey Sanctuary
– Tirta Gangga/ Tirta Empul/ Tamplo Tampak Siring/ Pura Keh Temples
– Karma beach club (nice beach and bar to have a few drinks)
– Jimbaran fish market
– Nusa Lembongan (we recommend visiting this beautiful island near Bali that has a special magic)
– Balinese Massage
– Balinese dance show
CULTURE & SITUATION IN INDONESIA
– Poor nutrition, overcrowded houses, lack of hygiene and unsafe water are causes of serious health problems of the Indonesian population. The government has initiated programs that aim to increase health regulations and provide solutions to the problems of drug addiction, prostitution, and rehabilitation of demobilized soldiers.
– Balinese folklore and dance play an important role in the culture of the country. Before the dances, the dancers often invoke the gods and give offerings.
– In Indonesian culture the Leyak are witches, ordinary people during the day, but believed to abandon their bodies at night. They can take many different forms: a bird, a ghostly light, a monkey, or even a disembodied head. Since the Balinese population believe that those characters could cause disease or poor harvests, they trust in amulets or mantras (spells) given by a priest to protect them.
– Rites of passage are important in the life of the Balinese community, according to the wealth and social status of a family, up to thirteen manusa yadnya (life cycle rituals) can be performed. Important rites of passage include different stages in the child’s development; the first adult tooth; the loss of the last baby tooth; the beginning of puberty; the filing of teeth; marriage; purification and cremation.
– In Bali, known as the Island of the Gods, religious rites represent their identity and connect each local with their gods, ancestors, family and with the community. In some temples they even do sacred rituals related to the cultivation of rice.
– Reincarnation is a faithful belief for the locals on the island. So don’t be surprised to hear comments like”My son is my great-grandfather reborn” or those kinds of expressions. Reincarnation is one of the five fundamental principles of Hinduism. The Balinese have many rituals to clean and eliminate negative aspects of the person or of objects, it is about eliminating any impurity in the soul that has been accumulated in this life or in past lives. One third of each Balinese woman’s life is invested in these types of rituals. In Bali, the streets are dotted with the colorful offerings of worship that are carried out in their rites, so you must be respectful, please don’t touch or walk over them.
– Always drink bottled water
– Alcohol is expensive in Indonesia, it is better to bring it from abroad (1 liter per person is allowed)
– To visit temples, it is not possible to wear shorts, short skirts, etc. because you can’t show the legs or shoulders, it is recommended to wear sarongs for both men and women (sharong). In ceremonies, when you access at the interior of the temple, you cannot be higher than the priest. To enter the temples, menstruating women are not allowed (they can ask you if you have your period).
|BALI & LEMBONGAN – INDONESIA
|Jakarta (Capital of Indonesia) / Denpasar (Capital of Bali)
The province of Bali has three islands: Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan.
|Vaccines / Health
|Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is required for travelers over 9 months from infected areas. Tetanus-diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Typhoid fever, Rabies, Hepatitis B, MMR, Cholera, Japanese encephalitis and Poliomyelitis are recommended. There is a risk of malaria but in other areas of Indonesia, not in Bali. It’s recommended not to consume raw food, unpeeled fruit or non-industrially packaged beverages. Full travel and medical insurance is recommended to stay in Indonesia. The quality of medical and health services in Indonesia is not very high, and evacuation to Singapore is essential.
|The Indonesian language is the official although Balinese is also spoken.
|Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
Check the exchange Dolar/ Indonesian Rupiah in The Money Converter (you can change USD for your local currency)
|The island has a very poor public transportation. Buses and bemos (mini vans) carry a lot more people than they should, without air conditioning, many stops and with low coverage of points of interest, but they are cheap. Dokar (horse-drawn carts) is another option. The most comfortable way to get around Bali is by car (keep in mind that international license is required). For 30 euros you can find a taxi that takes you throughout the day to the places you want with gasoline included (agree on the price of the journey before getting into the taxi and ask more than one taxi driver for fares). If you can hire an official taxi company from the hotel, it will be better. Renting a motorcycle is an option also for 10 euros per day or less, we take this alternative but we must warn you that the traffic in the city is very intense.
|Temperature / Climate
|Bali has a tropical monsoon climate, with a rainy season from October to March and a dry season from June to September. During the day the average temperature is between 22 and 34 °C
|Unlike the rest of Indonesia where the predominant religion is Islam, more than 90% of Balinese are Hindus, although they practice a very particular form of Hinduism known as “Balinese Hinduism” (Agama Hindu Dharma), which mixes belief in Hindu gods and doctrines with Shivaist beliefs (it is a branch of Hinduism that venerates Shivá as the supreme God) and the worship of Buddhist saints. The purpose in their religious practice is to find and maintain a balance between the forces of good and evil, that is why Balinese people make offerings to the gods, but also to the demons. Other religious minorities in Bali are Muslims (mainly coastal fishermen), Christians and Buddhists.
|Most of the inhabitants of the island of Bali are engaged in agriculture, mainly rice cultivation. Other products are grown, such as coffee, fruits and vegetables, although to a lesser extent. A significant number of Balinese are also fishermen. The island of Bali is also famous for its artisans, who produce fabrics and clothing; batik, wood and stone carvings, and jewelery. The country’s main resources are tin, bauxite, oil, natural gas, copper, nickel and coal.
|Denpasar-Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS)
Check the time in Indonesia at 24 Time Zones
|TYPE C / F (two round legs)