General information about Bali
East never ceases to amaze even the most experienced travelers, and, of course, it's a pleasant surprise. Here you will find unforgettable encounters: exotic nature, a kind of architecture, ancient monuments, unique culture and extremely friendly people. These were the first impressions of managers on the islands of the Southeast Asia. And the most amazing thought is that the islands are so close to each other, so different, and each of them can offer guests something special. Bali is the legendary island, the jewel of the Indonesian archipelago crown, which has gained popularity among tourists thanks to the excellent climate, wonderful service and a unique culture that evolved over many centuries. Bali is an island in the Malay Archipelago, a group of the Lesser Sunda Islands, within the State of Indonesia. It is washed from the south by the Indian Ocean and from the north by the Bali Sea Pacific Ocean. It is separated from the Bali Strait islands of Java to the west and from the east by the Lombokskim Strait from the island of Lombok. The island is 5.6 thousand sq. km, with a length of 147 km from the east to the west and 80 km from the north to the south. Bali is one of the most popular, one of the most interesting and the most visited tourist destinations in the world. According to a survey of major world magazine about travel, Bali is called the most interesting place to stay and to rest in peace. In 201 it was recognized as the best island in the world by Travel and Leisure. Rest in Bali combines the friendly and the hospitable people, rich culture with ancient temples and enchanting dances, spectacular beaches with great surfing and diving, a developed tourist infrastructure. The nature of the island is very diverse and fascinating for its picturesque scenery. In general it is the "paradise island".
Weather, Seasons, the Climate in Bali
Visit Bali can be and should be all year. The temperature throughout the year varies slightly, and the daily temperature is always within 20-33 degrees. The year-round temperature in the ocean is below 26 degrees. Even in the hottest days of blowing breezes, the heat is transported easily on he island. Bali is located in the southern hemisphere ( on the equator), and respectively the hot and the cool seasons on the island are opposite: when we have winter, it is hot in Bali, when we have summer, it is cool in Bali. The high season and the best time for tourists Bali is the period from July to August. It was during this period of large crowds of tourists arriving on the island, and prices begin to rise in early May, as soon as it becomes dry, but it is still relatively cool. The rainy season in Bali ( from December to March) is the peak arrival of the Russian tourists. The humidity in the period is up to 95%. Most often, precipitation falls on the night, and it rains just an hour or two and drops locally, all the rest of the time the sun shines. In the daytime the sky can sometimes be overcast by clouds, but because of the constant winds the clouds are moving very quickly and the situation is changing rapidly. Nevertheless, even under overcast skies and the hot you can get sunburn. One has only to note that in the rainy season it can sometimes occur problems with public transportation, and for lovers of mountain tours and scuba diving it is better to choose the dry season (as opposed to the resorts where it's warm all the year round, in the mountains in winter cool weather). In the dry season from April to October, the sky is cloudless almost every day and the weather is clear.
Culture, Tradition and Religion of Bali
Bali, like a "state within a state" is very different in its cultural and religious peculiarities of the rest of Indonesia. While the overwhelming majority of the population of Indonesia is Muslim, Bali - Balinese Hinduism is an island - "Hindu Dharma" or the full name of "Agama Hindu Dharma." Only about 5% of the population of the island are Muslims. Balinese Hinduism is a mixture of Hinduism, Buddhism and ancient local cults. There are deities of Brahma religion - the creator of the world, Vishnu - the personification of force, and Shiva - the destroyer. As in many developing countries, religion is the greatest extent which determines the life, the culture and the traditions of the local population. The Balinese religiosity is expressed in many churches. They are on the island more than twenty thousand, and can be visited by the tourists. According to the local rules each country must build and maintain, at least three temples: Pura puseh ( The first Church), based in Caia part of the village, Pura Desa ( The Village Temple) in the center of the daily activities of the rural communities and the Dahl pura ( The Dead Temple) in Kelod part of the village. The Balinese culture is unique. It is often called the Bali theater state. From time immemorial dance and drama have played a major role in the life of the Balinese. The dances feel a wonderful holiday atmosphere and mysterious beliefs of the Balinese. Particularly popular dances that brought a lot of fame and many tourists on the island are: Legong, Barong, Kechak and the Balinese dance. Dancing is extremely visual and dramatic, though not familiar to our ears. No less than dancing, Bali is famous for its crafts: painting, wood carving and bone ornaments of gold and silver, pottery, sculptures of stone and limestone. Shades of these crafts can be found on the island, wherever you are. All hotels on the island are built in a unique national style, and even in your room you are sure to find copies of the works of the local artisans. In the countless shops you can buy unique souvenirs - from the little wooden figurines to huge stone statues. The artisans of different types live and work together in various localities of the island: Tohbati - exclusive batik; Maas - carving; Cheluk - jewelry, Ubud - the world-famous center of art. Interestingly, even the cuisine in Bali is very different from the rest of Indonesia. In addition, the Islanders make a distinction between food and the Balinese cuisine. First - it is traditional for the Balinese dishes, prepared in the homes of Aboriginal and unpretentious cafe, the second involves a whole set of dishes (traditional and borrowed), who served in the restaurants of the island. The basis of many dishes is rice, maize, sweet potato, sago, breadfruit. Dishes made with seafood and traditionally served, will satisfy the most demanding customers. Balinese people are very hospitable and friendly people. They are attentive, charming. Religious canons preached in the schools, but the main plantation meaning morality is the theater. The basis of Balinese society is a hereditary caste system, but not as strict as in India . There is a custom treatment to the man according to his caste: Brahmins, Shatri, Veshya and Shudra (90% of the population), and most of the caste system is limited. For people from lower caste there are practically no restrictions in choosing a profession.
Cuisine of Indonesia
Indonesia has much to offer from its diverse cuisine on the 17 000 islands. In each part, Indonesia has its own culinary traditions and characteristics. They differ in the way of preparation, ingredients and traditions of the meal. The cuisine on the island of Java is most suited to the European tastes ( the least exotic) - mainly dishes are prepared with vegetables, beans, beef and chicken. West Sumatra is famous for its cuisine restaurants, which, in turn, is known not only as an unusual cuisine, but for its unique interior and service. In Bali, on the tourist paradise island, you can find any cuisine of the world, which can only wish the most pampered tourist. There are quite exotic dishes. Thus, in the village of Tuban in the East Java province, Indonesia prepared cakes, made of earth. The locals scoop muddy land with rice fields, and are molded cakes. It is believed that these pies are very good for health. Cooking with the Indonesians gave rise to many legends. For example, a young girl is not recommended to sing while cooking. It is also believed that a strong burning sensation in the mouth after spicy food can be eliminated by repeated spinning plates, and to avoid tears when cleaning the bow is enough to pierce with a knife one of the bulbs. As usual in Asia, the main ingredient in most Indonesian dishes is the rice. Those who live in Indonesia believe in rice food of the gods, and many legends tell of its appearance on the Earth - well, one of them a young man caught up to heaven, brought out a grain of rice in the cracks of the heels. The Batak tribe of Sumatra cooked rice, so tasty the rice tasted. Indonesians love a variety of condiments and sauces, which can be very sharp. The cuisine of Indonesia in general, is very spicy, with a lot of specific tastes, not known in Europe, spices are used in a special way. The amazing inflorescence flavors and spices create a character of this kitchen. Derivatives of all the major national dishes are the seafood, the traditional rice, spices, corn, sweet potatoes, breadfruit. It should be noted the rice wine, one of the national beverage and, of course, the real black coffee. The Indonesian archipelago, the island is rightly called the islands of spices. The black and the white pepper, the tamarind, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, hot red or green bell pepper, peanuts, ginger, soy, garlic are prerequisites spices, which the locals use in their kitchen. Throughout the year, Indonesia is striking abundance of tropical and subtropical fruits and vegetables. Some fruits such as mangoes or watermelons are seasonal, but bananas, apples, papayas, pineapples, oranges and other can be eaten all the year round. In general, Indonesia is very fond of products of natural origin, for example, the coconut, the palm hearts, fruits, mango and breadfruit. Traditionally, food is served on the banana leaf and on the right hand, but only the right hand ( the left hand is considered "unclean"). Before and after eating the hand is washed in a special container with water and a slice of lemon. Europeans usually serve a spoon and a fork, but not a knife.
Bali as a "state within a state" and it has its own "kitchen" singularities. This is primarily determined by the fact that the majority of Balinese (94%) professed a kind of Hinduism called "Hindu Dharma Agama". Only about 5% of the population are Muslims. Most tourists in Bali try to taste the traditional Indonesian dishes. There are also many Chinese, Thai and European dishes and restaurants. There is even Russian cuisine. But is it worth to try purely Balinese dishes:
• Bali guling - suckling pig on a spit;
• Bebek Tutu - duck with all kinds of spices, which is prepared within 12 hours, wrapped in a banana leaf;
• Icahn pepes - Grilled fish wrapped in a banana leaf;
• Mi goreng - fried noodles, made from durum wheat flour;
• Pisang Molen , Pisang goreng - fried bananas in pastry;
• drops tea (cap cai) - a vegetable stew of vegetables ;
• chumi-chumi squid;
• udang - shrimp or udang Besar , giant prawns. Of special note is the abundance of the seafood, and it's shark fin soup and lobster and fish of all kinds, as well as oysters, giant prawns, etc. Drinks, drinks The water from the tap cannot be drunk. The Balinese say that the water is suitable after boiling. But even so, it is better to drink purchased water. Indonesians love tea and coffee. They are very proud of their local coffee and tea, which offer everything from rustic tavern and ending with a chic restaurant. The overwhelming majority of Indonesians have lunch or dinner unthinkable without the final cup of tea. Tea and coffee plantations are vast and fertile. The popular drink, the coconut milk, the rice and the palm sugar, are drinks made from sugar cane juice, ginger tea and ice crash with beans and sugar syrup. Despite the fact that Indonesians are absolutely sober concerning their own life, to cater to tourists, they provide them with whatever they wish. In Bali, you will find a wide selection of cognac, whiskey, vodka, French and Australian wines, local drinks - for example, arak - palm or rice wine. For beer lovers there are as well-known varieties of German or Dutch beer and "Bintang" - a Czech beer produced in Indonesia under license. The local beer is 2-3 times cheaper than the foreign beer. Interestingly, the local beer is made from the sap of palm tree flowers. Living on an island is a continuous holiday and carnival. Each is dedicated to the god revered to its funeral procession. And the gods in Bali are countless. Whenever you come, you will take part at a colorful celebration of the ceremony.
Bali is considered one of the best resorts in Asia. Hotels on the island are the most comfortable in this region. They are more like palaces of Oriental princes. They all breathe bliss and beauty. Maintenance staff are so polite that you feel as though it divines your every desire. The company selects hotels for their clients for every taste and wealth. Almost all the resorts are located in the south of Bali. The most democratic of them is Kuta Beach. Here for $ 30 you can rent a room in quite a decent three-star hotel. Kuta Beach is a great place for surfers and gourmets. There are many restaurants and souvenir shops, bars and discos that are open 24 hours a day. So there is fun here day and night! The most luxurious resort is Nusa Dua. This is sort of closely guarded tourist reserve. The resort of Sanur hotels are simply lost in the greenery. The Garden hotel "Hyatt" is considered, for example, the best tropical park in Southeast Asia.
Sightseeing and Entertainment
Trips to Bali are an amazing immersion into the world of legends and tales. Some churches are more than 100 thousand, and each one is unique. Near the village Ubud is a temple called " The Monkey Forest". Going there, you will catch a few bananas. Once the monkeys had a great service to the god Rama, they have helped him defeat the evil .For this, their descendants have the right to worship and respect, and even in their temple. Climbing the Batur Mountain, you can visit the two holy places for the Balinese: an ancient royal tomb of Gunung Kawi and Tirta Empul source of healing with holy water, granted to people by God Indra. The remarkable temple of Tanah Lot , founded by Saint Narathoy, was built on a huge rock that rises from the water. The ancient temple is home to the fearsome demons of the sea (in the deep crevices of live poisonous snakes guarding the sanctuary). To go to the rock and climb to the temple is only possible during the low tide. Many tourists come to this temple to watch the sunset. And it is in this part of the tropics - just magical! From the picturesque harbor of Padang on the ferry you can reach the island of Lombok. In the depths of the island, covered with bamboo forests of mountain areas is Tenga-nan, where tribes still live practicing pagan beliefs and preserve the ancient customs. The best way to see the Balinese dances, the theatrical performances and listen to the orchestra Gamelan is to visit the village while the festival. Great impression have the "barong" and "legong" dances as well as the magical dance of fire, which is performed barefoot on hot coals. Do not forget to use the services of Balinese masseuses, as baly-sky massage does not compare with anything else. The massage tables can be found everywhere: on the beach, the hotel or the luxury fitness centers. To list all the attractions of Bali is impossible. There is nothing more delicious in the world ! You still have time to try it if you go on a fabulous trip to Bali.