Combining glorious scenery and fascinating culture, exploring Bali is an enriching experience.
Arts & Culture
Steeped in Hindu religion, ancient culture and long held traditions like the kecak dance and the terrifying majesty of the Barong, the Balinese intrinsically connect their arts with worship. It seems that almost every Balinese is an artist, practicing their devotion on canvas, weaving and rice decorations from a very young age. These vibrant cultural expressions cover the myriad shrines, paddy fields and private homes around the island. Festivals and temple celebrations happen on a daily basis somewhere on the island. It is also a common sight to see streets and buildings adorned with penjor - decorated bamboo poles that curl at the tips, representing the sacred mother mountain, Gunung Agung - while little offerings known as canang are left everywhere by locals as a daily offering to the gods.
Major island-wide celebrations like Galungan and Kuningan fill the Balinese calendar however there is none quite like Nyepi. Celebrated during either March or April, depending on the lunar calendar. Nyepi is the Hindu New Year in Bali and the community conducts rituals a day beforehand to drive out evil spirits with firecrackers, kul-kul drums and traditional music – along with a parade of ogoh, symbolic monster puppets that are burnt at midnight. On Nyepi day, no cars are allowed on the roads and no lights or noises are permitted across the island.
For a first hand glimpse of authentic Balinese life, head to one of Bali’s most popular and vibrant art markets or ‘pasar.’ These include Pasar Kuta, Pasar Sanur, Pasar Ubud and Pasar Sukawati, and are open usually between 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Vendors accept cash payment in Indonesian rupiah, the local currency and will expect prospective buyers to bargain. For visitors seeking finer things, like hand carved wood art or Balinese jewelry, central Bali is worth visiting. Residents of Mas village are renowned for their artistic woodcarving and mask making while Celuk a hub of gold and silver workshops where the island’s most talented craftsmanship will be found. Both villages are approximately 1.5 hours by car from The Sakala Resort Bali in the direction of Ubud, the artistic community where streets are literally lined with art galleries of works both contemporary and classic Balinese.
While Bali has long been home to traditional artisans - modern clothing, jewelry and furniture designers have also made their home here. Their boutiques line the streets of Legian, Seminyak, and Nusa Dua, all accessible by car in under an hour from The Sakala Resort Bali. More stylish items can be found among the shops in Ubud at the island’s center.
Large shopping centers are located in Kuta, including Mall Bali Galleria, Beachwalk Kuta and Discovery Shopping Mall while Bali Collection Nusa Dua in the Bali Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC) area in Nusa Dua is open daily from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.
Tanjung Benoa Shopping, Watersports and more Top things to do in Bali
Bali is truly unique among the Indonesian archipelago of over 17,500 islands and presents a number of unique experiences. Enjoy surfing, diving or biking through emerald green paddy fields followed by an indulgent afternoon of chic shopping or a gourmet feast at Seminyak. Discover the cultural side of Bali, with Hindu festivals and rituals very much part of everyday Balinese life. Explore the mountainous north, the cultural heartland of Ubud, the holy temples by the sea at Uluwatu or the challenging golf courses, Bali truly offers a destination like no other, as abundant in ancient cultural traditions as it is lush with nature.
Travelling to and around Bali is easy, with many international airlines offering direct flights. The local word for ‘tourist’ is tamu, which translates, as ‘guest’ so on arrival you can expect to experience true Balinese hospitality. The Sakala Resort Bali is around half an hour by car from Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport and enjoys an unrivalled tropical beachfront setting.
Ngurah Rai International Airport in Kuta (16 kilometres from the hotel, approximately 25-35 minutes by car)
Visa-on-arrival is available for many nationalities. Please contact your local Indonesian embassy for the latest information or visit www.balitourismboard.org
Indonesia Rupiah (IDR)
GMT + 8 hours
Private car transfers are easily arranged by the hotel upon request. Guests may also choose to hire a private car or scooter to explore the island. Taxis operate on a meter-system in Bali but late-night hours may need to be pre-negotiated.
Balinese weather is tropical and reliably hot and sunny. April to November is Bali’s driest season, however June to September is known to be most popular period for tourists visiting Bali. During the dry season the western side of the peninsula creates some of the world’s best waves. The mountain areas tend to be significantly cooler and can get quite chilly in the evenings.
Balinese will not expect tips, though at restaurants around the island a 5-10% gesture will be highly appreciated. At major hotels an 11% service charge is automatically included in the bill. at The Sakala Resort Bali, we distribute this service charge evenly among our staff so it’s not necessary to tip directly unless you wish to recognize individual staff members.
In general shops are open between 10:00 am – 10:00 pm while offices are operational from Monday to Saturday between 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. Banks and government offices are closed on Saturday and Sunday.
Bali Tourism Website
For more information, please visit: www.balitourismboard.org
To help our guests experience the best of this island’s diverse cultural and natural attractions, The Sakala Resort Bali team compiled a thoughtful list of our own Bali favourites. This offers a comprehensive initiation to Bali, whether this is your first or fiftieth visit.
Nyepi: Bali's Day of Silence
Nyepi, Bali's Day of Silence will be held on the 28 March 2017. It starts at 6am and goes for 24 hours. It is a day of reflection where noises are kept to a minimum throughout the island. On Nyepi day, the entire island of Bali will come to a complete stand still, no planes will land or take off for 24 hours, all shops are closed and no one is allowed on the beach or on the streets. There will be local watchmen known as pecalang to ascertain that this rule is obeyed. Noise around the resort must be kept to a minimum.