The Island of Gods
The island of Bali is just one of the thousands that make up the Indonesian Archipelago. Yet, unlike the other islands, Bali has captured the hearts, minds and imagination of global travellers for many years. Bali’s allure and fascination is clear and immediate. The island is physically beautiful and the people are graceful, friendly and exude a quiet confidence. Bali, according to its most striking qualities as seen by the outsiders has been known as “The Mystical Island”, “The Island of Gods”, “The Last Paradise” or ”The Island of Thousand Dancers”. Some see the island as perhaps the last frontier, waiting to be discovered as its beauty, its culture and its ritualistic way of life. Bali has often called “The Land of Many Temples”. Temples from small shrines in the rice fields to magnificent complexes belonging to large towns, are certainly the single most important institutions on the island, and they can be seen everywhere such as by the sea, on desolate promontories, in caves, on the highest mountain, even entangled in the roots of Banyan trees, large and small temples appear as a natural complement to the island’s geography.
Bali in History
Over the centuries, the kings of Java have conquered Bali on numerous occasions, most notably in 1343 AD when Gajah Mada brought Bali under Majapahit control and moved the royal court to Gelgel. When the Majapahit dynasty fell to Islam in the 15th century, Bali became independent again, but also a refuge for the Javanese aristocracy who fled here and brought with them artists, musicians, dancers, craftsmen and Hindu priests. Today over 95% of Balinese still practice this unique form of Hinduism, and we can still see the Majapahit influence in the island’s arts and culture.
As the eastern country and part of Indonesia, living in Bali is very simple and most of Balinese are friendly people. However Balinese themselves own a special set of etiquettes that we need to know before visiting the island. Furthermore, these special etiquettes are still running among the local people or community such as to respect each other, to visit temples on regular basis, the deeply ingrained ritual of Balinese Hindu procession and Balinese cremation called Ngaben. Moreover, Balinese people uphold strong social life that still exists up to now and it has become the fortress against the unfavourable external influence pressure. Yet, these people remain charming, warm hearted and very helpful.
Art and Culture
Most of the Balinese are Hindus while others are Moslem, Christian/Catholic and Buddhist where every one of them live in peace and harmony. We can see the religious activity ritual by Hinduism in Bali every day so that this island is mostly known as an island of heaven. Bali is featured by the unique culture that mostly adapted from the Hindu influence that still strongly co-exists in this new modern era.
Balinese art is derived from Hindu-Javanese origin that grew from the work of artisans of the Majapahit Kingdom, with their expansion to Bali in the late 14th century. From the sixteenth until the twentieth centuries, the village of Kamasan, Klungkung (East Bali), was the centre of classical Balinese art. Since the late twentieth century, Ubud and its neighbouring villages establish a reputation as the center of Balinese art. Ubud and Batuan are known for their paintings, Mas for their woodcarvings, Celuk for gold and silver smiths and Batubulan for their stone carvings.
Balinese or simply Bali is Malay - Polynesian language spoken by 3.3 million people (as of 2000) on the island of Bali, as well as northern Nusa Penida, western Lombok and eastern Java. In addition, most Balinese speakers also speak Indonesian and some other foreign languages such as English because of their frequent contact with international tourists.
The Center of Tourism Area "Kuta"
Kuta has long been the center of an extensive tourist-oriented urban area that merges into the neighbouring towns. Legian, to the north, is the commercial hub of Kuta and the site of many restaurants and entertainment spots. Most of the area’s big beachfront hotels are in the southern section of Tuban. Legian and Seminyak are northern extensions of Kuta in which they are somewhat quieter suburbs with cottage-style accommodations, where many of the expat crowds live. Also to the north are Petitenget, Berawa, Canggu, and Seseh - the new and quieter continuations of Kuta beach.
Local Customs and Staying Safe
Below is some brief information to ensure that your holiday is most pleasurable and safe experience.
The two widely spoken languages in Bali are Bahasa Indonesia and Balinese. But most people in Bali at least passively understand English since many of them are able to speak the language well.
An international license is required to drive or to ride a motorbike and a car in Bali. Motorbikes are available for rent from the locals. It is best to rent a car with full insurance as it will save time and money if you are involved in an accident. Driving is on the left side.
Avoid the hot midday hours, use a hat and drink lots of water to avoid dehydration. Do put on high SPF waterproof sun protection.
Be extra careful with your belongings at all times. Remember to leave important documents in the safety deposit box of the hotel and carry only photocopies in your bag, just in case.
Be careful when changing your money. Check the rate of exchange and commission (if any). Feel free to use the hotel’s official money changer located at the lobby. Most importantly, always count your money before you leave the premises.
Dangerous Sports. Make sure that you either have personal insurance or travel insurance that will cover any accidents.
Always swim between the red and yellow-striped flags along the beach and pay attention to your children at all time.
The tap water in the hotel is NOT drinkable. We therefore provide bottles of drinking water in your room, which we recommend to use for drinking and brushing your teeth.
For your personal safety, not recommended to bring un-registered guest to your room without notifying the reception. We suggest meet your guests at library lounge, restaurant or lobby area.
Please ensure to check the reviews before ordering online food service for preventive action.
Attending Ceremonies (Religious Guidelines)
Always wear sarong and sash.
Do not pass by right in front of people praying.
Do not use a flash camera or point your camera to the priest’s face.
Never sit higher than the priest or the offerings.
At cremation, make sure not to get in the way amongst the attendees.
Women are not allowed to enter temples during menstruation period.
When attending special ceremonies or anniversary celebrations as guest, small donations are always gratefully accepted.
Amnaya Resort Kuta
Jalan Kartika Plaza Gang Puspa Ayu No. 99 Kuta, Bali 80361 Indonesia
T. +62 361 755380
F. +62 361 755328