Bali – General information

Bali is 8 degrees south of the equator, is 140 km long, 80 km wide and 5620 km ² large. The island of Bali is the westernmost of the Indonesian Lesser Sunda Islands, separated by the Balistraße of Java, 2.9 million inhabitants, capital: Denpasar.

Across the island stretches a mountain range that runs from west to east, some of which are still active volcanoes, e.g. the “mother mountain” Gunung Agung (3142m). The volcanic influence contributes to the extraordinary fertility of Bali, as the high mountains provide a reliable source of rain, which is important for the irrigation of rice terraces.

Vaccinations recommended for polio, tetanus, typhoid, diphtheria, hepatitis A.

In many areas of Indonesia, there is an increased risk of malaria, but Bali’s tourist centers are almost free of malaria. Prophylactically, a malaria drug should be packed.

It is important to avoid intestinal infections, if possible only eat and drink what has been cooked or peeled. Beware of salmonella and others. in dairy products, eggs.

Usual basic equipment for the first aid kit, whereby there are also many pharmacies in Bali, where all sorts of things can be bought. But if that’s in it, that’s on it?

In Indonesia and thus also on the island of Bali there is left traffic. For motorcyclists there is legal helmet obligation.

The driving style of the locals needs getting used to. Traffic rules in the European sense and fixed speed limits do not exist.

At very moderate fixed prices you can refuel at the state-run Pertamina petrol stations. Care should be taken, because in the countryside the fuel supply is regulated privately and is indicated, if at all, by a simple sign “Bensin”. Diesel is called Solar, Super Premig.

You should think twice whether you are sitting in Bali at the wheel of a rental car or a motorcycle. In the countryside, the roads are often narrow and confusing, in the cities, the traffic situation is devastating.

In an accident always the driver is liable, in case of doubt the foreign. It is therefore advisable to take out a comprehensive insurance when renting a vehicle to be on the safe side.

Before signing the lease you should carefully check the condition of the vehicle and pay particular attention to the brakes.

A good alternative is to rent a car with driver and guide.

Another alternative: All short-, mid- and long-haul routes are used by minibuses called Bemo. They stay on fixed routes and hold on hand signals or acclamation, wherever the passengers demand it. There is no fixed timetable, and many stop at nightfall. Bemos are a cheap, local means of transport, often with people and goods hopelessly overloaded, which makes the trip more of an adventure. Tourists should inquire about the correct fare before traveling.

In Bali, the Central Indonesian time applies. Compared to the CET tourists have to present their clocks 7 or during European summer time 6 hours.

Banks – Currency Exchange
Branches of many Indonesian banks can be found in the south of Bali. Opening hours are usually: Mon-Fri 8-12, Sat 8-11 am. However, not every bank changes money or travelers checks. However, there are countless bureaux de change in all tourist centers, which often open late into the night. Here it is necessary to compare prices and, if necessary, to include the fee charged. The prices of hotels are often worse than those on the open market. In any case, you should count the rupiahs, because you get big sums. And black sheep among the money changers are especially in the chaotic tourist centers such. Kuta not rare.

Bali – Climate

The temperatures in Bali are pretty much the same all year round, between 27 and 30 degrees Celsius, with a humidity of often 90 percent.

In the mountains it is often up to 10 degrees cooler.

The rainy season in Bali is in the months of November to March, where it does not rain all day, the sun is always out.

The best travel time is between April to September, during this time, but most tourists are traveling in Bali.

Bali – History

The first immigrants to the island of Bali were South Indians. They arrived in Bali about 1500 before Christ’s birth. Still from this time comes the system of the Banjar, the village community.

It is documented that in Bali already 900 BC. Chr. The complicated irrigation system for the wet rice cultivation dominated.

Hinduism is peacefully imported by the Indian Indians into Java at the time of Christ’s birth. Individual Brahmins travel to the neighboring island of Bali and bring their religion to the island.

Documented is the first Balinese royal dynasty in 991.

By marrying the former Balinese king with a Javanese princess, Bali was more or less in the cultural and economic dependency of Java until the 13th century.

In the 12th century, Bali gained its independence for a short time, and the Pejeng dynasty, which existed until 1343, emerged.

In the 14th century, the Majapahit dynasty of Java had taken over the government of a territory that corresponds approximately to the current state borders of the Republic of Indonesia.

Islam arrived in Java in the 15th century via Sumatra and so the once mighty Majapahit empire disintegrated. Bali became the last refuge of Hinduism.

In 1478, the last Majapahit king killed himself and his son fled with the entire upper class of Java to Bali. On the south coast of Bali in Gelgel this settled and declared itself to the king Bali. This is how the Gelgel dynasty came into being. The king called himself Dewa Agung (Dewa = God / Agung = the holy mountain of Bali) and divided the island among relatives and generals.

The seat of the Dewa Agung was later relocated to Klungkung, here blossomed art and culture.

The individual provinces of Bali gradually became independent and escaped from subordination. The rulers of the individual power areas called themselves Rajas and their respective territories became independent kingdoms.

The Gelgel dynasty with the Dewa Agung as chairman of the royal assembly, remained around 400 years, until the Holl put this gender to an end.

Indonesia has been in contact with other European countries since the 16th century. There were Portuguese and Spaniards, then English and Dutch.

Since the landing of the Dutch in 1597, Indonesia committed to bring into their power. Bali was excluded from this development for the time being, because there were neither spices nor ivory to pick up and no real harbor existed.

It was not until 1846 that the Dutch attacked Bali and took control of the only major port in Singaraja in the north of the island. They were content with that for a while.

The exploitation was on 20 September 1906 with a bombing raid on Denpasar. The rulers of Badung, Klungkung, and Tabanan soon recognized that they were inferior given the number of enemy soldiers and weapons. Surrender and exile were no alternatives for them, so they opted for the suicidal struggle to the death, called Puputan.

The Rajas themselves burned down their palaces and then, in their most beautiful clothing and jewels, led their royal family and their priests against the modern weapons of the Dutch. Thus, in a single day in front of the palaces of Denpasar and Pemecutan 4000 Balinese were massacred. Only the rulers of Gianyar and Karangasem (Amlapura) cooperated with the Dutch, but the political power was withdrawn from them.

The Dutch, fortunately, were only interested in the exploitation of raw materials, so they did not try, such as the Spaniards to christianize the population.

Culture and religion of the Balinese persisted until today.

But the Dutch control over Bali was short-lived, since during World War II all of Indonesia fell into the hands of the Japanese. From 1941 to 1945, the Japanese replaced the Dutch in the role of occupiers. After the surrender of the Japanese on August 17, 1945, Sukarno, the leader of the Indonesian independence movement, declared his nation’s independence.

But even now, the Dutch again appeared to continue the exploitation of the country. Thus, at the Battle of Marga on November 20, 1946, a sort of repetition of the Puputan occurred almost half a century later, wiping out a group of Balinese resistance fighters. Until 1949, this bloody resistance struggle lasted until the Dutch recognized Indonesia’s independence.

In the horrific eruption of Gunung Agung, thousands of people were killed in 1963, devastating vast areas of the island.

In 1965, a communist coup attempt on Java was suppressed. In terms of population, Bali had the greatest following in the Communist Party (PKI) back then. During the following purges Balinese brought about 100,000 Mensc

General Suharto took power in 1966 and was officially elected president in 1968. Since he was very interested in the western economic power, he almost forced tourism planning. Since the 1960s, Bali has been increasingly flooded with tourist armies.

The economic crisis in Southeast Asia in 1998 led to political and social conflicts. After serious disturbances Suharto had to resign. New head of state was the previous Vice President Habibie, who had to hand over the office after only 17 months to Abdurrahman Wahid of the newly founded Islamic Party of National Awakening (PKB).

At the beginning of the 21st century, both the aspirations for the independence of individual islands and the political and religious conflicts within the multinational state intensified and endangered the country’s internal order. The president’s governance, which was accused of incompetence and corruption, met with parliamentary opposition. On July 23, 2001, the Consultative People’s Assembly suspended Wahid’s office. His successor was the former Vice President Megawati Sukarnoputri.

The package tourism is slowly managing to change the autonomy of Balinese culture, religion and belief with all its negative effects. Western movies and television are also increasingly influencing the worldview of the Balinese. Globalization is already noticeable here.

Whether the island of gods and demons will remain a dream island depends not so much on the tourists!

Bali – Attractions

Tanah Lot Temple
Dreamlike sunsets and dances, especially legong and kecak shows.

Old court hall with unique ceiling paintings.

The center of silversmithing.

Besakih Temple
The “mother temple” and most important sanctuary in Bali.

Artist village and monkey forest.

Nusa Lembongan
Island east of Bali, good snorkeling opportunities.

There are so many festivals in Bali. It’s best to inquire directly on site and get an up-to-date status.

Miles long, sandy beach and a reef that keeps out the surf, but also requires that at low tide, the beach sections “dry” (sometimes algae or seagrass alluvial possible). In addition, a tourist infrastructure that leaves almost nothing to be desired – Sanur means vacation without the big hype of Kuta / Legian.

Where exactly the border with Kuta runs is difficult to define. Nightlife, bars and restaurants are definitely within easy walking distance. The beach here is narrower and darker, a leaking reef protects against the strong surf (at low tide limited bathing possibilities).

Popular and bustling main tourist resort of the island, here life is raging. Nightlife, bars and restaurants in incredible diversity, the sprawling beach is famous for its sunsets and surfers. Due to (especially in the winter half-year) strong surf and undercurrent, bathing is not dangerous, always follow the warnings on the beach.

Here it is a bit quieter than in the adjacent Kuta. Restaurants, bars and shops can also be found here in a large selection.

This stretch of beach (almost always high waves and strong undercurrent) is the northern continuation of Legian. In the area of ​​the sapphire Bali, Bali Holiday Resort and Royal Seminyak there is a large selection of restaurants and bars, this area has become the In-Viertel. The surroundings at the Intan and Taman Rosani are more determined by small villages and rice fields. It is only a 20-25 minute drive to Kuta / Legian, but near the Intan Bali Village itself you will find some very good restaurants with good atmosphere.

Tanjung Benoa
There is a manageable selection of restaurants and shops, but nocturnal hustle and bustle you are looking for in vain. The kilometer-long beach is fine-sanded and protected by an offshore reef from strong surf. At low tide you have to hop in the hotel pool to cool off. At times algae or seagrass deposits are possible.

South of the airport (rarely impairments) is one of the most beautiful and most buzzing beaches in Bali, about 4 km long and fine sand. Highly recommended are the open-air seafood restaurants within walking distance of the InterConti. Nusa Dua or Kuta can be reached in less than 20 minutes by car.

Nusa Dua
Everything here is a bit classier, international hotel chains favor this picturesque beach with the well-kept, park-like environment. In the shopping district “Galleria” and the old town center “Bualu” one finds shops and restaurants. The beaches are tidal. At low tide, the water often retreats far back. At high tide the bathing pass is guaranteed. Seaweed and seagrass alluvium are rare.

Bali – People

Nearly 3 million people live in Bali today, of which only about 5% belong to a religion other than the Hindu Dharma religion. This minority is made up of about 8,000 Chinese and a handful of Arabs, Indians and Europeans. Of the indigenous people, the Bali Aga, there are not many today. Fewer hundred live mostly in seclusion in a few villages.

The whole life of the Balinese is marked by its deep religiosity, which itself is one of the most colorful of all art, culture and politics.

Life is not, as with many other island peoples, directed to the sea, but inland to the mountains and inland. Altitude, the mountains and the sky are considered sacred, while the depth of the sea belongs to the realm of demons.

People seem balanced and friendly, patience, tolerance and hospitality are among their virtues.

5 times a day handmade sacrificial bowls are provided with incense sticks on the family’s own temples.

The craftsmanship has a special meaning, because the Balinese have always been of an artistic nature. Everything you make is decorated, artfully crafted, filigree carved and painted. This also has a religious background, you want to please the gods.

Of particular importance are two traditional organizations: the Banjar, the popular representative of a village whose power could not be broken by any government for centuries, and the Subak for rice farmers. Here, all the rice farmers work together to keep the irrigation system functioning and to provide each member with the required amount of water.

Every married man must belong to the banjar of his village and appear at the regular meeting places to make decisions for his village. The Banjar regulates the village life so as not to give the state administration more influence.

Establishing a family in Bali is one of the highest duties of a Balinese. A man can become a member of a village community (Banjar) only if he is settled and married.

If you stick to the tradition, you live in larger communities with mother and father, grandma and grandfather, children and grandchildren on the family farmstead.

If you live as a tourist in a homestay, you can watch the hustle and bustle throughout the day, because almost all life takes place in the courtyard of the property.

Older people are addressed with Ibu (= mother) and Bapak (= father). This “title” is placed in front of the name. Younger and peers are spoken to Adik (= younger brother or sister). As tourists one is usually referred to as Tuan, which corresponds to our “Lord” and is a remnant of the colonial era.

Almost all Indonesians like to laugh. This may not always convey something about their true feelings. Nevertheless, one should try to smile back.

Rages and screams are not accepted and create incomprehension and distance. Only in small children an uncontrolled behavior is tolerated. Those who are not in control lose their face in the eyes of the Indonesians.

The main goal of any education is harmony, everything is accompanied with a smile and a certain inner peace.

Embarrassments are avoided as much as possible. It’s embarrassing not to be able to give an appropriate answer, so it’s better to give a wrong one. Because then you do not lose your face. This should be known as a tourist, if you need an information and, for example. asks for the right way.

Expressing this view is also, as it might seem to the tourist, a certain Schadenfreude: crashes. Somebody on the street breaks everything out laughing, because the fallen one is spared the loss of face.

The left hand is dirty, since it traditionally replaced the toilet paper to greet people, to touch or to pass on something, the right hand is always used. Never substitute your left hand.

The feet are the dirtiest part of the body, it is rude to put the soles of the feet on a person.

As a welcome, you only reach your right hand with a light touch. Strong shaking you do not know. Then you bring your hand to his heart.

Shoes should be removed when entering a home and also a shop. If you do not want to be considered a barbarian, you should leave the shoes in your own hotel room outside. For this reason, barefoot running on the road is spoiled.

The hand-waving with the hand is done with the back of the hand, what looks more like we weg weguchen.

It is considered an arrogant and aggressive gesture to point with a finger directly at a person, to cross his arms in front of his chest and to put his hands on his hips.

As far as clothing is concerned, men in public should not walk around wearing shorts and should not show a bare torso. The same applies to women for topless bathing. However, the gradual westernization gradually softens the customs, at least the behavior is tolerated by the tourists.

Under no circumstances may one enter a temple unless one has tied a sarong or a scarf around the waist. You get these things but very cheap in the many shops.

The temple walls and walls are considered sacred. It is forbidden to touch or climb on them. Similarly, blood on the temple floor is taboo, so women are not allowed to enter the temple during their menses.

It is not allowed to bathe in sacred springs. If you get caught, it can be very expensive.

Processions always take precedence, maybe you will have that experience when traveling by car.

On the frequent question of whether one is married and has children, one should always answer yes, because to found a family, is for the Balinese supreme commandment. No children want to meet with incomprehension.

Men and women do not hug and kiss each other in public, even holding hands is considered offensive.

Questions about the destination Bali?