Bali is a famous Indonesian island located in western Indonesia just a few miles east of Java. Bali covers approximately 2160 square miles (5600 sq. km), with a mountainous interior of lush forests and clear lakes that complement the gorgeous beaches, which ring the island. Bali is known for its distinctive and unique culture that is a meld of Chinese, Indian and Hindu influences. It has been a popular tourist destination since the 1930s when the island’s culture was romanticized through the writings of anthropologist Margaret Mead.
Interesting Facts about Bali
Bali is one of the few places around the world where you can buy authentic Kopi Luwak – one of the most expensive coffees in the world. Kopi Luwak is collected from the droppings of the Luwak, a shy forest animal that prowls around coffee plantations eating coffee beans. As the Luwak cannot digest the beans, they are collected in their droppings, having picked up a unique taste as a result of their journey through the Luwaks digestive system.
Bali has two different calendar systems – the saka calendar, based on lunar cycles, and the 210-day pawukon calendar, said to originate from rice growing cycles.
Each year, to mark the start of the Saka year, the Balinese enjoy Nyepi, a public holiday encompassing total silence, meditation and fasting. The entire island shuts down for the day, and no travelling, work or noise of any kind is permitted.
Balinese people will usually possess one of 4 first names: Wayan, Made, Nyoman or Ketut. Translated, these mean ‘first born’, ‘second born’, ‘third born’ and ‘fourth born’. The same names are given to both males and females.
Balinese babies are not allowed to touch the ground until they are three months old. Until that point, their parents will carry them everywhere.
Bali has eight regencies: Badung, Bangli, Buleleng, Gianyar, Jembrana, Karangasem, Klungkung, and Tabanan.
Bali is home to 3 volcanoes; Mount Batur (5633ft/1717m), Mount Batukaru (6561ft/2000m) and Mount Agung (10,308ft/3142m). Whilst Mount Batukaru is yet to erupt, Mount Batur erupted in both 1917 and 1927, and Mount Agung erupted in 1963.
In addition to beautiful white sandy beaches, Bali is also home to incredible black volcanic sand beaches, courtesy of the Islands aforementioned active volcanoes.
There are 4 lakes on the island of Bali; Lake Batur, Lake Beratan, Lake Buyan and Lake Tamblingan (ordered by size).
There are three main spoken languages on Bali: Balinese and dialects of, Indonesian, and Kawi, a type of old Javanese. English is also widely spoken, though typically in tourist areas.
What is the weather like in Bali?
Bali has a warm, tropical climate with two distinct seasons; a wet season that runs from October to March, and a dry season that runs from April to September. Its average year-round temperature is 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius), whilst humidity ranges from a minimum of 70% to a maximum of 95%.