So, for your next vacation, you’ve decided to go to Bali. Amazing! You are sure to have a great time in this tropical paradise. However, you have to make sure you are well prepared for this trip. That is why we are here to provide you with some interesting and useful facts which you should be aware of before you visit the Island of Gods. Take a look.
The Island of Gods
If you were wondering why this is Bali’s nickname, it is because of the Balinese belief that gods and spirits live among people. Do not be surprised when you see small offerings, such as gifts and food, in front of houses as this is what the locals do to receive protection from the gods. While this might seem odd to an outsider, everyone has their traditions, and there is probably something you do that they find strange.
While on the subject of traditions, if you decide to visit some temples, you should keep certain things in mind. Customary sarong and sash should be worn when entering a temple. You can either buy these or rent them in front of the temple. Being loud as well as having the soles of your feet pointing at the altar and pointing to things with your fingers are big no-nos. Remember to never stand higher than the priest and always leave a donation before leaving.
Day of Silence
In Bali, Nyepi is a public holiday reserved for self-reflection. On this day, people meditate and fast. There are some restrictions included. For example, no one works or travels. Entertainment and pleasures are prohibited and the lights must be kept low or turned off. Some people decide not to talk or eat the entire day. This results in the usually busy Bali streets being empty, stores and beaches being closed and almost no signs of activity. The following day is celebrated as New Year’s Day. In 2019, Nyepi falls on March 7.
In case you are worried about finding the right accommodation which suits your needs, it’s good to know that there is a wide range of offers. It doesn’t matter if you’re going on your honeymoon or on a family vacation, renting a place will be no problem. For example, BVE villas come equipped with flat-screen TVs, fast Wi-Fi and air conditioning and they offer private chefs and security as well. You will also have access to a concierge 24/7. There is plenty of different luxurious pool villas to choose from and you cannot make a mistake whatever you do.
You will probably be quite confused when you keep hearing only a few names over and over again. Don’t worry, it’s not you. People in Bali are names according to their birth order. Most names apply to both girls and boys. The eldest child is named Wayan, Putu, Gede (only for boys) and Luh (only for girls). Second-born children can be named Made, Kadek or Nengah. Nyoman or Komang is used for third-borns, and children that are born fourth are named Ketut. In case there is a fifth child, they would be called Wayan Balik (“Wayan again”). Before male names, you will see an I and before female ones, Ni.
The streets of Bali can be a nightmare if you travel by car. You will mostly just sit and wait for the cars to move. That is why most locals and tourists use a motorbike. If you opt for this mode of transportation, make sure you’re always wearing a helmet. It seems as if the locals do not pay much attention to traffic rules, so be very careful. Moreover, chances are quite high that you will get stopped by the police, even if you did nothing wrong. They might be looking for a bribe, so make sure you don’t let them see how much money you have on you. Taking the bus is only an option.
Leave food on your plate
If you find yourself invited to a family home, make sure to leave some food on your plate. This will tell your host that you are done. If you eat everything that is on the plate, they will think that you are still hungry. Moreover, follow their traditions, whether it’s sitting on the floor or eating with your hands. Keep in mind that you should only use your right hand, as the left hand is considered unclean.
Take your shoes off
When visiting a temple or someone’s home, you might notice a lot of shoes outside. If you encounter this, it is a sign that you should take your shoes off as well before entering.
There are many other things that make Bali an interesting destination to visit, such as its black sand beaches and the two active volcanoes. However, there are also other precautions you should take; for example, remember to always drink bottled water, as tap water will most certainly result in stomach problems. That is why doing some research on the location you are visiting is a must, and Bali is no different. Now, go and have fun!