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Bali - Island of the godsAll About Travelling
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Bali – Island of the gods

Oct, 09 || No Comments |

In the center of the Indonesian archipelago, 8 degrees south of the equator, is a unique place: the island of Bali. Of the 17,508 islands that make up the Indonesian archipelago, Bali is only a non-Muslim majority population. Over 93% of Balinese are Hindu Balinese followers, a unique form of Hinduism, influenced over the centuries by local beliefs.
Because the island is found over 20,000 temples and Balinese rituals and beliefs found in every path of life, Bali is known as the Island of the Gods.

Heavenly climate, lush vegetation, volcanoes still active and waves suitable for surfing in Bali are one of the most beautiful islands in the world, and increasingly more tourists from around the world related to share magical experiences offered by this tiny island ( 153 kilometers from east to west, 111 km from north to south).

Bali has something for everyone: lovers of water sports are surfing, rafting, snorkeling and scuba diving among tropical fish. Those who seek to rather mystical side will be fascinated by Balinese temples and soaring volcanoes have a chance Batur and Agung, considered gods by the locals. Those fascinated by the art will find hundreds of artists, from sculptors working in predominantly volcanic rock on the island in the process oysters jewelers crafted tropical wonders. Romantics will be seen rising from the volcano Batur peaks, then enjoy a spectacular sunset in the Indian Ocean. Bali is a very popular destination among those who want to have a wedding completely and very special, with many companies that organize unforgettable ceremony.

Balinese are proud people that have not historically accepted to be trampled. They were shocked by Puputan planet, mass suicides of their choice when the alternative was Balinese subjects become Dutch invaders. In fact, the most important hero in the history of the island, Gusti Ngurah Rai (if your name sounds familiar, it is the island’s only airport name) died in 1946 after Puputan ordered to fight with the Dutch, or fight to the death .

How to get to Bali

Given that Bali Island is located 10,000 kilometers from Bucharest, be prepared for a long journey, in several segments. The best option is offered by Qatar Airways, but all involve three segments: Bucharest – Doha, Doha – Singapore and Singapore – Denpasar. Upon arrival in Bali will have to pay visa to enter the country, which costs $ 25 for 30 days. Also, you will need to pay a fee and departure: 150,000 rupees (about L 52) for international flights, or 40,000 rupees (about 14 USD) if you plan to fly in another city in Indonesia.

 

Indonesians are very friendly, but here it adds a significant exception. Upon arrival in Bali airport you will see huge signs warning you that possession of drugs, no matter how “light”, can lead to death. If happiest you will get a prison term in Indonesia, so do not risk it.

Once in Bali, do not rely that you can use public transport. It is practically nonexistent. Most locals have scooters or motorcycles, which is the preferred method of Balinese to move.

Many hotels will offer a driver to take you to the airport, if not, you can use one of the existing taxis output. The best solution, however, is to hire a driver – especially if you do not want to spend the holiday only days away. For a day, most drivers require an amount of 400,000 Indonesian rupiah, or about L 140. This amount may be increased to 500,000 rupees if you are planning a long trip, from one corner of the island to the other. You will find many locals willing to transport you, if you want to make sure you have a reliable driver, may I recommend the Putu, a Balinese friendly, serious and speaks both English and Japanese. You can find 62 81338525428.

Religion in Bali

One aspect that you will see everywhere in Bali is religion. Over 95% of the population adheres to local forms of Hinduism and temples (pure in Sanskrit) are a key part. You will find temples everywhere – and not a figure of speech! Every house, shop, house is a temple, and in some cases you will find temples and major intersections. Some drivers eke out even a mini dashboard which leaves a small temple offering.

 

You will find that many men wear a flower on her right ear, usually frangipani, and girls and women wearing the hair. Also, everywhere you will find small offerings consist of flowers, fruits and rice offered to the gods. Statues and trees are often wrapped in poleng a checkered textile representing dualist perspective they have Balinese world. Poleng wrapped objects are considered hosts of spirits.

Bali Island 9 temples are large, so-called directional temples that protects the island from evil spirits. To fulfill its mission of spiritual defense, the temple that houses either on the coast or on mountain slopes.

The most important temple is Pura Besakih, “mother temple”, situated at the foot of Agung volcano. The place has an immense spiritual significance in Balinese life and is home to more than 70 festivals throughout the year, and the events of 1963 have strengthened their faith. On 18 March 1963 the volcano erupted, causing over 2,000 deaths and destroying thousands of homes. The temple, situated on the slope, escaped miraculously, lava passing just meters away. Locals believed that the gods wanted to show their strength so without destroying high mortal sacred place to worship.

 

Another major temple worth seeing it Luhur Pura Uluwatu is located on the southwestern coast of the island. Set on the cliffs over 100 meters high, the temple and its surroundings are home to a large number of monkeys. These objects are extremely attracted tourists, so you better not have anything handy that can be stolen. It is also contraindicated to wear big earrings and shiny.

This temple is worth visiting in the evening to experience a sunset in the Indian Ocean seen from the impressive cliffs that border the island. All evening you have the chance to see a traditional dance, Kecak, Ramayana transposing a novel way.

 

Dozens of men, naked from the waist up, plays rhythmic “cak, cak, cak”, which induces a trance rhythm (which is rooted in ceremonies of exorcism achieved a century ago by choirs of men). While they keep pace, Sita is kidnapped princess and prince Rama is forced to turn to Hanuman, a monkey god that takes the form of white, to save her. The final scene where Hanuman escapes from the circle of fire that was put evil elements takes place simultaneously with the setting and gives an absolutely spectacular.

 

Another very popular among tourists temple is Tanah Lot, where you can see also a spectacular sunset. Accessible only at low tide, the temple is located on a cliff continuous ground Indian Ocean.

Whatever you choose to visit the temple, you will need to wear a sarong to cover your legs. If you do not have one, surely you will be offered for sale or rent near the entrance to the temple.

The day before the Balinese New Year (Nyepi) at noon, people take to the streets and rich offerings of the gods to protect them from evil spirits. Evening ogoh ogoh effigies burn them (representing demons), into a symbol of personal purification.

 

Nyepi is a milestone in the Balinese calendar (the year into 210 days). This is the Day of Silence, a day when everyone is at home and reflect quietly. Nyepi this year took place on March 5 – day the airport was closed, television and radio stations have issued, and the streets were all closed, except traditional guards, called pecalang, making sure that no one violates the prohibition to leave the house, even tourists, who can not leave the hotel they are staying. Also, electricity is not used to this day, the hotels using candles to light the common areas (but allowing guests to choose whether respects the rule in their room), stopping even public lighting!

Relaxation and fun in Bali

Bali beaches are divided into two: the south (white sand) and the north, the black sand of volcanic origin. But everywhere you will find spectacular scenery and clean water, excellent for swimming. Between tidal water level changes considerably. Most hotels offer tourists information about the water level in the coming days.

 

Extreme sports lovers will find that Bali is the perfect place for them. It is estimated that 10% of tourists who come to Bali every year are rafting on one of the two rivers suitable for this sport, Telaga Waja Ayung and (at the foot of Mount Agung). Expect to pay the equivalent of $ 80 for 1.5 2 hours of rafting.

If you know how to surf or want to learn, Bali beaches are the perfect place to do it. With excellent surf waves for 365 days a year, the island has become a meeting point for enthusiasts worldwide. For a one-day beginner course expect to pay between 50 and 80 dollars. Warning: do not try to swim on the beaches where surfing is popular! Currents are too strong for even the best swimmers.

 

To see spectacular tropical fish and coral reefs where they live, you have to try a session of snorkeling (or scuba diving, if you are more adventurous). Over 2,000 species of reef fish live in the waters around the island of Bali, so what you see! Nusa Penida Island, which is reached in about an hour boat cruise is the perfect place for such activities. And if you happen to be in Bali between July and November, you have the chance to see moon fish, often reaching giant table over a ton.

You like sports, but not those involving water? Consider an expedition to one of the two sacred mountains of the island. Mount Agung is 3142 meters and reaches to peak just before sunrise you will have to start just before midnight. Trip, complete with guide, will cost between 400,000 and 1,000,000 Indonesian rupiah (between 140 and 350 USD), depending on the route chosen and guide.

 

If you want something less demanding trip, a climbing Mount Batur, measuring only 1.717 meters. Climbing starts at around 4 am, followed within two hours to be at the top, where you can admire the sunrise and enjoy the volcanic breakfast (eggs and bananas cooked in caves by the volcano released hot steam).

If you are too demanding sports, you can try another popular activity among tourists: the experience of swimming with a dolphin playful and friendly.

Route is recommended that you stop to admire the incredible rice terraces that are “carved” in the hills that are found throughout the island.

 

And if all these activities you are exhausted, do not be afraid to relax in relaxation and treatment center. ‘ll Find on every street dozens of such establishments. For an unforgettable experience, choose a massage on the beach – the combination of the sound of waves crashing the shore, fragrance oil and special Balinese masseuses skilled hands will give tens of minutes of total relaxation.

Once you’ve recharged the batteries, do not hesitate to go to Kuta, the place considered by many as the capital of all Asia Southeast in terms of entertainment.

Balinese cuisine

Basic food in Bali, as in all of Asia is rice. Nasi goreng, or fried rice, is considered the national dish of Indonesia. Eaten with chicken or seafood. Another basic food is one thousand goreng, which replaces rice noodles prăijiţi. Soto Ayame is a very good chicken soup with egg and other vegetables, plus spices of the region. Sate (satay), or pieces of meat on bamboo sticks, is a very popular dish and fast way to regain your energy.

 

Gado gado worth trying a special vegetable salad served in peanut sauce. A food that you find only in Bali (Indonesia because the rest of the population is Muslim, and pork is forbidden) is babi guling. A pig milk, well prepared with cardamom, turmeric, ginger and Asian spices, with onions and garlic is roasted on a spit, and then served in coconut sauce.

If you want a real treat, then choose one rijstafel menu, a dish appeared at the time Dutch settlers. Dozens of dishes will be served, each in small portions, to taste all the wonders of Balinese and Indonesian cuisine.

 

It is preferable to eating in restaurants and not from street dealers that you see on the street: risk a food poisoning if you dare. Also, if you go into a restaurant less oriented tourists, beware of the word “anjing” – this word means dog meat (but have little chance of finding something on the menu).

 

Do not miss the fruits only in Asia will have the chance to eat like jackfruit, rambutan or famous (and feared) durian. Asian Considered as “king of fruits”, durian stirs controversy and is even forbidden to bring this fruit in hotels serving tourists from the West. Why? The fruit emits a strong odor, pleasant considered by those who know the fruit, but it disgusts foreigners. If you want to live a unique experience, worth to taste the fruit.

 

Another local delicacy that is worth a try Kopi Luwak. Considered one of the most expensive coffees in the world, it has a unique manufacturing process: coffee beans are eaten by an animal that grows only in these parts of the world, civet, subject to a special fermentation process in its stomach. They are then removed naturally by the animal. These coffee beans are considered a delicacy, a kilo peaking at $ 800 in the international market.

In Bali you can visit the farms where this coffee is grown, the chance to see live this animal (most likely you will find them sleeping, civet is a nocturnal animal). If you dare to taste (a cup costs 30,000 rupees, or just over 10 lei), you’ll learn what it tastes like one of the finest coffees in the world. Choose the best civet coffee beans and enzymes in the stomach or remove the bitter taste of berries, they getting a taste. Fear not – the seeds are washed carefully once the animal has been removed!

 

If you are curious as locals found great taste of civet coffee beans removed, it appears that an important role was played by the Dutch colonization of Indonesia. They were forbidden to approach local fields that were cultivated coffee, so they were forced to collect seeds that were in the forest, debris removed by animals. Once washed and roasted the beans, residents discovered they had a taste, resulting in a refined and tasty coffee without the bitter taste of most varieties of coffee.

Do not be afraid to try rice wine, cassava chips or so-called root beer, made from sassafras root (to taste like toothpaste). If you want to limit yourself to only drink water, lest you drink the tap (unless you want to spend your day in the room). A bottle of mineral water costs below 1.5 lei and fruit juices are also very cheap (just make sure to tell them that you are prepared not to sugar, even delicious fruit juices squeezed on the spot obtained is add more sugar, usually).

When to visit

In Bali there is two seasons, the wet season (October to March) and dry (April to September), but the average temperature throughout the year is 30 degrees Celsius. The lowest temperature recorded the peaks of the island, is 18 degrees.

 

Period before Christmas and after New Year’s and July and August are the busiest season, the island is full of tourists from around the world. As the weather is great all year, try to avoid crowds plan your holidays in low season. So you get better rates at hotels and on the island.

A proposal for a one day trip

Worth sacrificing a day of travel to Bali for a day trip to Yogyakarta on the island of Java. Flying at 7 am with Garuda Airlines, the national airline of Indonesia (it is recommended that you buy tickets on arrival in Denpasar), around the same hour you arrive in Yogyakarta (located one hour earlier time zone). From there, with a particular driver  you can visit Borobudur, a Buddhist temple dating from the ninth century, included by UNESCO in the heritage of humanity.

 

Borobodur is the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia, measuring 34.5 meters in height. Despite the huge size, it stayed hidden under layers of volcanic ash for centuries, was rediscovered in 1814 by a British colonial administrator.

Also you can visit the Hindu Prambanan complex, built in the ninth century, which is also recognized by UNESCO as a unique value in the world. Containing over 250 different temples within its complex of Prambanan is the largest on the island of Java.

 

Most impressive are the 3 major temples dedicated key deities of Hinduism, Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. They have before them three smaller temples dedicated to the gods animals moved. On the walls of temples is carved Hindu hero Rama story.

If you have good weather luck when you have finished to visit the two temples, you can see the volcano Merapi, which last erupted at the end of 2010. Once you have finished your visit marathon, you can return to Denpasar evening to relax.

No matter where you choose to go, you will find that Indonesians are friendly, hospitable and always open to help. If you will respect the culture and traditions and hospitality you will meet with the same courtesy, you’ll certainly one of the most enjoyable holidays that we can imagine.

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