Some Interesting Facts About Bali

  • admin
  • April 3, 2018

Bali is actually three islands

While Bali is indeed an island, it is also a province that comprises a handful of smaller islands congregated off Bali island’s southeast coastline. Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan form a small cluster of just a 20-30-minute boat from Sanur – well worth the trip if you like surfing, exploring quiet roads and lying on paradise beaches with no crowds.

 

Ice is government regulated

No need to order all your drinks neat – the ice in Bali is quality controlled by the local government. The tap water is not as belly friendly, unfortunately, so make sure you stay hydrated with bottled water.

If you have a refillable bottle, visit one of the participating businesses of Refill Bali for a cheap, or even free, refill and feel good about limiting your plastic waste!

 

Bali is actively volcanic

Mounts Agung and Batur are the two towering peaks of Bali, and these dinosaurs are far from dormant.

Gunung Agung, as it is locally known, last erupted in 1963, killing around 1,500 people, and still makes its presence felt with occasional gassy belches.

Batur, meanwhile, last erupted in 2000, shooting ash into the air, but harming no one.

 

The airport will be shut one day a year

Nyepi, a Hindu celebration observed mainly in Bali, sees the entire island fall silent, with businesses closing and even the airport shutting up shop.

This ‘Day of Silence’ is seen as an opportunity for self-reflection, and its observation is enforced by pecalang – local security officers. Beaches and streets are closed to all – including tourists.

 

Bali has one of the highest densities of spas in the world

You do not have to go far to find a massage in Bali – the island has around 1,200 spas. Traditional Balinese massage is, of course, a must.

Characterized by long, not-too-firm strokes focused on pressure points, it’s influenced by Chinese and Indian traditions.

 

Tirta Empul is a must

Not all popular tourist attractions are worth the crowds, but Tirta Empul water temple is a clear exception.

This is where locals – and some out-of-town pilgrims – come to undergo a lengthy purification ritual that involves bathing in fresh-water springs from a series of 30 water spouts.

The temple was founded in 962 AD and is dedicated to Vishnu.

 

A rice field isn’t just a rice field

Those iconic mountain rice terraces are more than just a photo opportunity.

They represent centuries of social and spiritual culture, having been developed in the 9th century as part of an irrigation system that siphons water from groundwater sources through water temples via a system of canals.

Self-sustaining and a virtually perfect model of eco-farming, subak is even recognized by UNESCO.

 

Monkeys have no manners

You don’t need to go to the Monkey Forest to have your phone stolen by a macaque – it could happen anywhere you see these cheeky critters.

Emboldened by travelers who feed them and take selfies with them, monkeys at any Bali tourist site may try to take your bag/hat/sunglasses/food.

Appreciate them from a distance, and remember that smiling at them with bared teeth is basically challenging one to fight you.

 

It’s rude in a temple to…

  1. Have the soles of your feet pointing at the altar
  2. Point at things, especially statues
  3. Be improperly attired (you must wear a long sarong and cover your shoulders
  4. Be loud or irreverent
  5. Stand higher than the priest
  6. Have an uncovered wound
  7. Be visibly pregnant

 

 

You can have gold or silver jewellery custom made

Bali has a long history of gold- and silver smithing, with skills passed down through generations of families.

Ubud and Sanur are just two areas where you can find galleries and boutiques that can custom-make a piece of gold or silver jewellery for you.

Some places also hold workshops, where you can craft your own creation.

 

Bali is an island of thousands of gods

Combining Hinduism with some Buddhist mythology, ancestral spirits, animism, (black) magic and indigenous deities, Balinese Hinduism has a higher than average number of gods.

This complex belief system results in an island with more than 20,000 shrines (pura), which is why it’s called the Island of the Gods.

 

Bali is actually three islands

While Bali is indeed an island, it is also a province that comprises a handful of smaller islands congregated off Bali island’s southeast coastline. Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan form a small cluster of just a 20-30-minute boat from Sanur – well worth the trip if you like surfing, exploring quiet roads and lying on paradise beaches with no crowds.

 

Ice is government regulated

No need to order all your drinks neat – the ice in Bali is quality controlled by the local government. The tap water is not as belly friendly, unfortunately, so make sure you stay hydrated with bottled water.

If you have a refillable bottle, visit one of the participating businesses of Refill Bali for a cheap, or even free, refill and feel good about limiting your plastic waste!

 

Bali is actively volcanic

Mounts Agung and Batur are the two towering peaks of Bali, and these dinosaurs are far from dormant.

Gunung Agung, as it is locally known, last erupted in 1963, killing around 1,500 people, and still makes its presence felt with occasional gassy belches.

Batur, meanwhile, last erupted in 2000, shooting ash into the air, but harming no one.

 

The airport will be shut one day a year

Nyepi, a Hindu celebration observed mainly in Bali, sees the entire island fall silent, with businesses closing and even the airport shutting up shop.

This ‘Day of Silence’ is seen as an opportunity for self-reflection, and its observation is enforced by pecalang – local security officers. Beaches and streets are closed to all – including tourists.

 

Bali has one of the highest densities of spas in the world

You do not have to go far to find a massage in Bali – the island has around 1,200 spas. Traditional Balinese massage is, of course, a must.

Characterized by long, not-too-firm strokes focused on pressure points, it’s influenced by Chinese and Indian traditions.

 

Tirta Empul is a must

Not all popular tourist attractions are worth the crowds, but Tirta Empul water temple is a clear exception.

This is where locals – and some out-of-town pilgrims – come to undergo a lengthy purification ritual that involves bathing in fresh-water springs from a series of 30 water spouts.

The temple was founded in 962 AD and is dedicated to Vishnu.

 

A rice field isn’t just a rice field

Those iconic mountain rice terraces are more than just a photo opportunity.

They represent centuries of social and spiritual culture, having been developed in the 9th century as part of an irrigation system that siphons water from groundwater sources through water temples via a system of canals.

Self-sustaining and a virtually perfect model of eco-farming, subak is even recognized by UNESCO.

 

Monkeys have no manners

You don’t need to go to the Monkey Forest to have your phone stolen by a macaque – it could happen anywhere you see these cheeky critters.

Emboldened by travelers who feed them and take selfies with them, monkeys at any Bali tourist site may try to take your bag/hat/sunglasses/food.

Appreciate them from a distance, and remember that smiling at them with bared teeth is basically challenging one to fight you.

 

It’s rude in a temple to…

  1. Have the soles of your feet pointing at the altar
  2. Point at things, especially statues
  3. Be improperly attired (you must wear a long sarong and cover your shoulders
  4. Be loud or irreverent
  5. Stand higher than the priest
  6. Have an uncovered wound
  7. Be visibly pregnant

 

You can have gold or silver jewellery custom made

Bali has a long history of gold- and silver smithing, with skills passed down through generations of families.

Ubud and Sanur are just two areas where you can find galleries and boutiques that can custom-make a piece of gold or silver jewellery for you.

Some places also hold workshops, where you can craft your own creation.

 

Bali is an island of thousands of gods

Combining Hinduism with some Buddhist mythology, ancestral spirits, animism, (black) magic and indigenous deities, Balinese Hinduism has a higher than average number of gods.

This complex belief system results in an island with more than 20,000 shrines (pura), which is why it’s called the Island of the Gods.

 

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