Read on to find many Bali facts that may surprise you when you begin planning your next vacation. The island of Bali has become an idealistic, exotic destination for so many types of travelers, including honeymooners, adventuresome types, and those desiring total and complete relaxation. Located within Indonesia among many islands, Asia is sprawling with wonderful retreats, gorgeous beaches, unrivaled hospitality, and luxurious accommodations. What sets Bali apart are the special culture, religious traditions, unique beaches and much more.
In recent years Bali has become a destination of over-tourism and they are catering as quickly as they can to Instagrammers coming to get “the shot.” There are areas you will find that are like a theme park for photographers to take photos on swings, in nests, etc. In addition, Bali has long been a popular place for digital nomads to take up residency (because it is so cheap to live). So don’t be surprised by the alarming amount of Australians and westerners who now call this beautiful place home.
Bali facts: Bali itself is an island. Another Bali fact: Bali is a province that actually encompasses three islands. Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan are a small group of islands easily accessible by short boat ride from Sanur. These smaller islands are fairly remote, so if the mainland feels too densely populated during your stay, take a short cruise to a different part of Bali.
The quality of a country’s water is a concern for any world traveler. While you should be advised to only consume bottled water in Bali, the country’s ice is actually quality controlled by their local government. Consider this next time you order your favorite cocktail on the rocks!
Active volcanoes along the island and Indonesian peninsula have changed the landscape of many of Bali’s top beaches, most notably the aptly named Black Sand Beach. Any beach traveler expects clear, white sandy beaches, and the unique, striking black hue is a Bali fact that sets the destination apart from the rest. It is incredibly beautiful at nighttime as well.
Consider one of these Bali facts before booking your next beach villa: Bali’s economy is dominated by the tourism industry, encompassing over 80% of its finances.
Another intriguing find of Bali facts is on its spirituality: the religion of Hindu is so prevalent that the country observes a holy national day of fasting, silence, and meditation. Even though Nyepi Day is a Hindu holiday, non-Hindu residents of Bali and tourists are not exempt from the holiday’s restrictions: no one is allowed on the beaches or streets. Bali’s only airport is closed for the entire day, whose date fluctuates based on the Balinese calendar and is generally in mid-March. It is reported that over 80% of the population adheres to Balinese Hinduism. The day is recognized as their New Year.
There is an incredible diversity of wild animal life surrounding Bali; in fact, it is referred to as the Coral Triangle, and you’ll find over 600 species of coral and nearly 2000 species of fish. Water from the Coral Triangle flows from west of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, and Timor. Because of this, you’ll find scuba diving and snorkeling very popular in Bali!
Any relaxing vacation begins with a proper spa treatment, and Bali fits the bill when it comes to accommodating you with a true variety of options. You’ll find this one of the more interesting of the Bali facts intriguing: there are more spas per capita in Bali than anywhere else, approximately 1200 spas in all. Traditional Balinese massage is the specialty here, and you’ll find beach-side massages available for as little as $5 US, or many five star treatments available at any of Bali’s luxurious resorts.
Another curious find among Bali facts to consider: many Balinese people have their teeth filed down. There is a long-held belief that the practice will curtail the ubiquitous six vices – anger, confusion, jealousy, drunkenness, desire, and greed – and these vices inevitably enter the body through the teeth. It has been said that the vices are avoided by filing away the demonic ends of one’s teeth.
Volcanoes abound in Bali, and Volcano Agung is among the most sacred places on the island. Temples are constructed to reflect the volcano’s location, and Balinese people even try to sleep with their head towards the volcano. It last erupted in 1963-1964 and is still fairly active, with smoke and ash erupting every so often. The mountain is also the highest point on the island at 10,000 feet high. It is rumored Gods and ancestral spirits live within the mountains.
There is a significant effort to keep the country’s traditional language, Bahasa Indonesia, alive in Bali. The predominant language is similar to Malay. There are over 580 different languages and over 1,000 dialects spoken across Indonesia.
The Balinese are a very spiritual people, and you’ll find that evil spirits are not welcomed in Bali. Some residents even offer incense and food wrapped in banana leaves to keep malevolent spirits at bay. You’ll also find screens behind compound venues called aling aling, intended to keep the spirits away.
Reincarnation is a remarkable theme within Hinduism, and this circulation of the soul is held with the Balinese people. Many live with the desire to achieve good Karma, and free the soul of never-ending reincarnation.
Ancient purification traditions are found in Bali, and Tirta Empul is a popular attraction worth the interest and excitement. This unique opportunity is a long ritual in which you bathe in fresh water springs from over 30 waterspouts. The temple, dedicated to Vishnu, was founded in 962 AD.
Each priest of every secular is paid for by the government. This is one of the most interesting Bali facts!
One of the sadder Bali Facts: the nearly everyday sunrise and sunsets are caused by pollution. While it is gorgeous to look at, just remember whats causing that glow.
Rice fields make for magnificent photo opportunities across Bali, but there are more significant reasons for their existence. They stand for the cultural, social, and spiritual significance, starting in the 9th century as part of an irrigation system to obtain groundwater through water temples through canal systems. Rice fields are self-sustaining and a wonderful model of eco-farming practice.
A widely held belief among parents: Balinese children are born with four guardian angels traveling around them until their fourth birthday! Another interesting Bali fact when it comes to child rearing: babies are carried almost everywhere until twelve weeks old, in an effort to prevent them from touching the ground until they are 3 months old.
Bali facts to consider when deciding what local cuisine to try: suckling pig is a famous, ubiquitous local dish that can’t be missed. The meat is roasted over an open fire for many hours, and flavored with a spicy paste, turmeric, and coconut water. The finished dish is often served very spicy, so proceed with caution as many local cooks use many chilies! The majority of Indonesia is populated by Muslims, but because Balinese practice Hinduism, they are religiously permitted to enjoy suckling pig, making it that much more special to find here.
Temples are found everywhere in Bali: compounds, organizations, clans, rice fields, etc. all have their own temple! Each village must have at least three: Pura Puseh, Pura Desa, and Pura Dalem. The most sacred one is considered to be Pura Besakih Temple.
Fun Bali Facts about coffee: Bali has the world’s most expensive coffee: Kopi Luwak. Even more interesting, the coffee beans are made from poop!
Spirituality is emphasized in Bali through special offerings you’ll see throughout the island. Offerings use a variety of items, including flowers, fruit, and rice, and can be wrapped in banana leaves. The nature of the prayer or ceremony will vary the items used in offerings. Balinese priests are now recording which offerings are appropriate for occasions.
Balinese take part in very important, ritualistic dances at many times. Dances reflect the culture and Balinese religion of Hinduism, and are included in every ritual in Bali. Devotion to the local Gods is the main objective of spiritual dancing.
A popular tourist destination in Bali is the newly opened Bamboo Chocolate Factory. The entire building is constructed out of bamboo and produces a variety of chocolate products. Visitors experience the factory and learn more about the production, facilities, and delicacies.
One Bali fact to consider: any time is an ideal time to visit Bali. There are only two seasons: the dry season (April to October) and the wet season (October to April). The temperature is moderate throughout the year, and the enjoyable tropical climate is all the more reason to book a stay whenever convenient for you.
Seeking dolphins on your next trip to Bali? You can see them at the northern point of Bali at Lovina, where a wide variety of dolphins are observed. Many sightseeing tours are available for you to plan a dolphin watching adventure, and the stark difference between these tours is that a variety will take place in the early morning on small fishing boats. Fishermen follow the dolphins that eventually lead them to a trove of tuna, a common delicacy in Bali. This early morning excursion means you’ll be rewarding with a magical sunrise on the boat!
Pets are found in nearly every home across Bali. An interesting Bali fact: most homes will have at least two types of pets! Pet animals include dogs, cats, cattle, pigs, chickens, and others are kept for fun.
Bali is a country where the spirituality and religion cannot be missed, observed in the architecture, traditions, attractions, and peaceful nature of the Balinese people. Your next trip to Bali will likely include beaches, but there are countless attractions to check out if you get stir crazy at your resort. Try some local chocolate, enjoy a massage treatment, take in a holy water ritual, and maybe venture out to see some of Bali’s local wildlife, aquatic or on land. Hopefully this list of Bali facts gave you some travel inspiration for a special getaway!
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