Bali is the most popular island holiday attraction in the Indonesian archipelago. The island is home to an ancient culture that's famous for its pleasant hospitality. Exotic temples and palaces looking to the startling natural backdrops are just some of the finest pleasures. Dining in Bali opens to you dozens of choices starting from local or far-flung cuisine. After sunset, famous night sights come to life offering unforgettable clubbing and packed dance floors. Inland, towering volcanoes and unique jungles greet you with new fresh things to see and experience. Enjoy amazing beaches and luxury resorts in Kuta, Seminyak and Jimbaran where many of the best hotels and villas are a few minutes’ walk to the beach. For placid seascapes and sunrises, the eastern beach resorts are your best choices. These can include Sanur, Nusa Dua and the remote coast of Candidasa. In Bali’s farther and lesser travelled East Bali and northern region, you’ll find some of the prestigious spots with cozy bays. They're home to gorgeous coral gardens combined with colourful marine varieties.
Geography and Environment
Bali is a province of Indonesia and the western part of the Lesser Sunda Islands. Situated east of Java and west of Lombok, the province includes the island of Bali and a few smaller neighbouring islands. Because of over-exploitation by the tourist industry which covers a massive land area, 200 out of 400 rivers on the island have dried up. The island is surrounded by coral reefs. Beaches in the south end have white sand while those in the north and west have black sand. Bali has no major waterways, although the Ho River is navigable by small sampan boats. Decades ago, this beach was used for holy pilgrimages with more than 10,000 people, but they have now moved to Masceti Beach.
History and Government
Bali has long enjoyed the reputation of being an enchanting place where everyone seemed to be an artist, every day was a festival, fruit and flowers grew in abundance. Bali was colonized by Hindu invaders in the 9th century and unlike most of the rest of Indonesia the island refused to bow to Islam when it arrived several centuries later. Bali is the only Hindu island in Indonesia and contains one of the largest concentration of Hindu people outside of India. As a part of Indonesia, Bali is a presidential representative democratic republic where the President is the head of both state and government.
Area and Population
Bali occupies an area of 5,780 square kilometers. The city has become known as a center for culture in Indonesia, and its role as a popular tourist destination has upgraded its economy, making it a desirable place to settle. This can be seen by the population growth that it has experienced in the last years, bringing the number of its population to over 4.2 million.
Culture and Customs
There are many distinguishing features of Bali traditions which are really interesting. The fact that Bali’s population is mostly Hindu, their way of life and openness towards other cultures differs from their Muslim neighbours greatly. If you manage to speak even the tiniest bit of Indonesian, the Balinese will open their heart to you very quickly. The Balinese speak Bahasa Bali among each other, a language which is quite different from Bahasa Indonesia. The traditional salute is the Sembah salute as in the Indian Namaste. Smiling is the main connection of the Balinese.
Food and Drink
Food and drinks are quite diverse in Bali so that you can find something fitting your pocket. Despite playing main role in ceremonies food is a basis for living rather than luxury. Here People simply eat when they are hungry and dine out or in groups. The daily dishes include rice with vegetables and a little fish or meat, with a range of spices and chilies, usually cooked in the early morning. Coconut remains central to Balinese cooking and can be grated or squeezed to produce cream. Bakwan has spicy wontons. Soto Ayam is chicken soup with noodles, topped off with an egg, tomatoes, and spices typically for lunch. The typical Balinese drink is coconut milk, Escampur is somewhere between a drink and a dessert -- shaved ice topped with sweet condensed milk and a variety of agar-agar based jellies.
Festivals and Events
One of the craziest things about Bali’s their festivals. Culture is everyday life and everyday life is their culture. The Bali Spirit Festival embodies the core mantra of Balinese Hinduism – Tri Hita Karana – to live in harmony with our spiritual, social, and natural environments. The Bali Spirit Festival embodies the core mantra of Balinese Hinduism – Tri Hita Karana – to live in harmony with our spiritual, social, and natural environments. If you’re into the food industry or simply a food lover, then you’re sure to find many tasty treats among UFF’s live cooking. If you’re art lover then Semarapura Festival Klungkung is for you. The program includes cultural carnival, cultural performances, art, culinary competitions and small business exhibitions. Festival Karangasem is a community event for entertaining the Karangasem public. These are just a few from the whole list of crazinesses, so you definitely need to come here to feel the spirit fully.
Best Time to Visit
Bali is located about 8 degrees south of the equator. Therefore you can expect a tropical, warm and humid climate all year round - with two main distinctive seasons: Dry Season and Rainy Season. Best time to visit Bali depends mainly on the weather and on high and low season, which does affect the overall price for accommodation. High season is during the months of July and August, during Easter Holidays, and Christmas / New Year (December till 1st week of January). This is the time Bali is the busiest.
If you are in Bali you should expect crowds as it is one of the most touristed islands on earth. You should choose your base carefully, as chaotic traffic and hot weather are likely to make you stick close to your hotel or guesthouse rather than wander. Dresses should be for exact occasions. Many places require dress codes so get information beforehand not to be turned away. A few basic words of Bahasa Indonesia will take you a long way in Bali. Try selamatpagi (good morning), tolong (please) and terimakasih (thank you), for starters. The colorful currency in Bali is the Indonesian rupiah, so make sure you have calculated your pocket money before getting here. Try to be cautious of wild animals here, as they may seem cute but rabies and other diseases are serious risks in Bali. You should also bargain the prices here wearing a wide smile, as they don’t like rude people and mutual respect is inseparable part of the Balinese life.
Follow your unforgettable trip to Bali and have cool time!