Interesting Facts About Bali - Indonesia
Do you want to know some interesting Facts About Bali - Indonesia? Bali is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Indonesia. Whether you want to explore the beaches, are a wildlife enthusiast, or are a lover of art, Bali is ready to give you the ultimate treat of your trip to Indonesia.
There are plenty of things to know before visiting Bali. Let’s dig into some interesting Bali facts which are as listed below!
This idyllic little island in the archipelago of Indonesia is famous among Western travelers, but few who visit really get to know its culture, history, and people.
To give you a greater understanding of this exotic Indonesian island, I’ve created a list of 20 quirky, fun, and interesting facts about Bali.
The island has gradually grown from a quiet, secluded, and remote little island, into one of the world’s most popular tourism destinations.
Thanks to its amazing volcanic landscape, stunning beaches, and sweet-natured people, Bali has become an exotic destination for relaxing and enjoying vacations.
Bali is actually Four Islands, and not a country
This is interesting, not so much as it is true, (because it is), but because I actually have to put it in here at all!
Bali is one of 17,508 islands in Indonesia, the 4th most populated country on Earth.
The fact remains though, that many, many people around the world just do not realize that Bali is only one island in the 17,000+ that make up Indonesia. It may be the most popular and well known island, but it is still just an island.
Indeed, while Bali is the name of the island, it is also a province that includes a handful of smaller islands congregated off the main island’s southeast coast.
These are Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan – a cluster of much smaller islands just a 20-minute boat ride away from Sanur port. They are still relatively unknown and tourism is only just beginning to take off there, so its definitely worth a visit.
Bali is home to the most expensive coffee in the world - Luwak Coffee
There is a coffee produced in Bali that is unique to the island. Luwak Coffee, or Kopi Luwak, is made with the very special assistance of a small native mammal called the Civet.
This coffee is grown indigenously in the areas of Bali, Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi and is the most expensive coffee in the world, with one cup costing as much as USD 50 a cup. Since Kopi Luwak is derived from any beans collected from the civet excrements, the taste of each and every cup of coffee may vary from place to place. A lot actually depends on the food habits of the civet as well. However many reports have come out regarding the abuse of the civet cats in the production of Kopi Luwak to meet the demands of this industry, therefore ensure that you have researched where you're getting your Kopi Luwak from and is sourced from a sustainable production method that does not harm the animal.
The Civet, a catlike creature that was once seen as a pest in Asia, eats the coffee beans. During the digestive process, the beans are broken down and much of the acidity is removed. The excrement from the Civet is then collected, and Luwak coffee produced.
What results is a very smooth coffee that sells for as much as $80 a cup in the United States!
Kopi luwak is produced mainly on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali, Sulawesi, and East Timor. It is also widely gathered in the forest or produced on farms in the islands of the Philippines, where the product is called kape motit in the Cordillera region, kapé alamíd in Tagalog areas, kapé melô or kapé musang in Mindanao, and kahawa kubing in the Sulu Archipelago. Weasel coffee is a loose English translation of its Vietnamese name cà phê Chồn.
North in Bali sometimes means South
The Balinese have a concept where north actually refers to ‘up’ – a place the gods and spirits dwell.
As such, high points like Mount Agung, which is considered the most sacred spot, represents ‘north’, and you’ll find that most Balinese dwellings and shrines face ‘north’ to the mountain.
Monkeys in Bali are not always cute
This is one of the fun facts about Bali that is very dear to my heart. Because it is SO true.
You can go many places in Bali to see monkeys, and it is a “must-do” for many tourists that come from countries that don’t have their own monkeys. But beware, because they are very, very mischievous, and sometimes nasty.
Talk to anyone who has been to Bali numerous times, or expats who live here, and they will tell you the best places to see monkeys. The obvious places to see them are the Monkey Forest in Ubud, and the Monkey Forest in Sangah. The other place is Uluwatu Temple.
Beware though, that in all three of these places, the monkeys will steal anything that is not held onto tightly. Cameras, sunglasses, phones, will all disappear into the tree tops unless you are careful. They can even open zips on backpacks! The monkeys in Ubud are very adept at this, no matter what the staff there say.
This aside, even after living in Bali for a long time, I still love seeing monkeys, and slow down on the scooter when I see them beside the road. They are still cute…most of the time.
There are two active volcanoes in Bali
Bali, and the entire Indonesian archipelago, sits right on top of the Pacific ring of fire. As a result, Bali and her surrounding islands are all home to active volcanoes. In Bali’s case, two of them.
The two volcanoes in question are Mount Agung, the most dominant sight in Bali, and the holiest mountain to the local people. The second is Mount Batur.
Mount Batur and Mount Bratan are two other active volcanoes on Bali. Batur has a huge (4240 acre) lake in its crater, as well as four villages on its rim.
Because of Bali’s volcanoes and high mountain range, the island has highly fertile soil and enough rain to support agriculture of rice, coffee, vegetables, and cattle.
In Bali, 1 Year = 210 days
Yes, it is true, one year in Bali has 210 days. The fact about Bali is due to the Pawukon Calendar, the official calendar of Bali which divides the year into 6 months, with each month having 35 days.
In Bali, there are Two Seasons in year
Bali has just two seasons: The dry season (April to October), and the Wet season (October to April).
The overall temperature remains moderate across Bali as the island enjoys a tropical climate.
Bali is completely dependent on tourism
Did you know that 80% of Bali’s economy is built on tourism alone?
This may not come as a complete shock to many. Indeed, tourism is enormous here – it has grown steadily in the past couple of decades and has sky-rocketed within the last five years!
Tourism makes up 80% of Bali’s economy. 6.3 million tourists visited Bali in 2019, more than the island’s entire population. Australians are the top visitors, followed by Chinese.
There are a lot of downsides to the mass of crowds flocking to this island, not least the pollution and over-commercialization aspects.
That being said, tourism has changed the lives of many ordinary Balinese citizens – it has allowed many of them earn far more than they used to, by jobs such as tour guiding, collecting tickets, or letting out their homes.
It’s Polite to Leave Food on Your Plate
If you’re invited into the home of a Balinese person, you should leave some food left over on your plate.
You may find yourself enjoying dinner sitting on the floor and eating with your hands, in which case, you eat with your right hand only. When you’ve finished, it’s recommended to leave a little bit of food on your plate to signify that you’re done.
Bali is Hindu – not Muslim
Even though Indonesia is a mostly Muslim country, it was not always so. Hindu was once the primary religion, until Islam began to spread in the 15th Century.
At this time, many people that wished to remain Hindu fled to Bali. The island maintained its beliefs, and to this day the majority of the population of Bali are Hindu. This influence can be seen all over the island, and is one of the things that really sets Bali aside from the rest of Indonesia.
Dogs fill the roads of Bali
For anyone that visits Bali, this is one of the first things that they will notice. Balinese love dogs, and even the hundreds of thousands of street dogs are pretty well looked after.
This is not typical to Indonesia as a whole, mostly due to the fact that the country is predominantly Muslim. But it is different in Bali. Everywhere you go, there are dogs! Even along Kuta Beach, there are many dogs that simply live on the beach. They are fed and looked after by the beach workers that ply their trade up and down the beach. In villages, stray dogs are looked after by families who put out left over rice for them at dinner time.
There is even an officially recognized Balinese dog breed from Bali. The Kintamani Dog is a beautiful medium sized dog that is bred in the mountains of central Bali.
In short, the Balinese simply love dogs!
There is the Black Sand Beach
You might have seen white sand in Bali, but have you ever heard of black sand? Since Bali is a volcanic part of Indonesia, a lot of these volcanic eruptions have resulted in the black color of the sand. So do not be wary if you see the black beaches here and hope this astonishing fact about Bali will bring about many photo opportunities!
Open Door Policy in Bali
Even before the international community opened up its doors to relations abroad, Bali already had a ‘welcome to all policy. They had a strict no-door's policy, which means, all could enter with a docile nature, nobody will stop you - you’re welcome into any Balinese household! This fact about Bali tells you how warm and friendly the locals are.
Puberty in Bali
When a child reaches the age of puberty in Bali, they have to go through a ritual of tooth-filing. Yes, you heard it right, tooth-filing. This ceremony is highly symbolic in nature and symbolizes three things: a coming of age, becoming a human from an animal, and also control of 6 human evils, which include desire, greed, anger, confusion, jealousy, and being under the influence of the strong.
So Many Temples in Bali!
The Island of the Gods is famous for its picturesque temples, like Uluwatu, nestled on rocky outcrops, idyllically watching over the waves crashing onto the overlooking cliff-face. But did you know that Bali has over 20,000 temples by itself?
Even More Spas!
A land of spiritual awakening, Bali is also known for its abundance of spas. In fact, the island has the highest density of spas per kilometer in the whole world!
It’s easy to find a massage parlor in Bali – in fact, there are around 1,200 spas across the island.
The massage is a must for anyone visiting the island, especially the Traditional Balinese massage. Influenced by Chinese and Indian styles, the Traditional Balinese massage is characterized by long, slightly firm strokes focused on pressure points.
There is so much to love and adore about this island in the nation of Indonesia, and Bali never ceases to surprise people with its exquisite, playful, and welcoming nature. Bali is truly a place where you will feel at home, no matter where you belong!
Bali – the exotic, mystical and spiritual place known as the Island of the Gods, features on many a traveller’s bucket list, it is a dream destination of countless the world over.