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Combining glorious scenery and fascinating culture, exploring Bali is an enriching experience

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, venture 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, BeachwalkKuta 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 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

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.

Travel Information
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.

Nearest Airport
Ngurah Rai International Airport in Kuta (16 kilometres from the hotel, approximately 25-35 minutes by car)

Visa Requirements
Visa-on-arrival is available for many nationalities. Please contact your local Indonesian embassy for the latest information or visit www.balitourismboard.org

Local Currency
Indonesia Rupiah (IDR)

Time Zone
GMT + 8 hours

Transportation
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.

Weather
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.

Tipping 
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.

Operational Hours
In general shops are open between 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. while offices are operational from Monday to Saturday between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Banks and government offices are closed on Saturday and Sunday.

Bali Tourism Website
For more information, please visit: www.balitourismboard.org

While the lure to lounge by the Indian Ocean here at The Sakala Resort Bali will be compelling for many , Bali is truly unique, even among the Indonesian archipelago of over 17,500 islands and deserves explorating, depending on your desires. Earthly pursuits like surfing, diving or biking through emerald green paddy fields to sundowners may be followed by the indulgent, say an afternoon of chic shopping then sundowners and a gourmet feast at Seminyak. The otherworldly are omnipresent in Bali too. Hindu festivals and rituals are very much part of everyday Balinese life, and you can expect to see at least one celebration during your visit. Whether you explore the mountainous north, the cultural heartland at its centre in Ubud, its holy temples by the sea at Uluwatu and Tanah Lot, the rich marine life offshore or the challenging golf links on land, Bali truly offers a destination like no other, as abundant in ancient yet thriving cultural traditions as it is lush with resplendent nature.

Recommended activities:

Uluwatu Temple
Uluwatu Temple is located on the southwest tip of the island of Bali, in the village of Pecatu, Kuta South District. The sea temple is one of nine directional temples (kayangan jagat) protecting the island from evil spirits. The temple was built in the 11th century by the emperor, Empu Kuturan, although some accounts hold that the temple existed long before and that the emperor merely expanded it. “Ulu” means head, and “Watu” means rock; and the name of the temple can be interpreted to mean the temple at the “head of the rock”. This is an appropriate title since Uluwatu Temple is perched on top of a steep cliff, roughly 200 feet above the crashing waves of the Indian Ocean.

Uluwatu Temple provides an excellent view of the ocean and a colourful sunset. However, the nightly fire dance performances and “kecak” are probably the most compelling aspects of the temple. “Kecak” is derived from an ancient Balinese ritual and it is a trance induced dance driven by rhythmic chanting. No musical instruments accompany the ritual. The ceremony starts at sunset and ends in a dazzling fire display.

Pasifika Nusa Dua Museum
An art museum in Nusa Dua area. It presents the Asian Pacific’s variety of cultural artefacts. The museum was founded in 2006. The museum’s collection includes more than 600 artworks by 200 artists from 25 countries. The museum has a number of galleries

Devdan – Treasure of the Archipelago
Enjoy the spectacular dance show with visual effects special sound system, the arrangement of light, sound and smoke hi-tech, the appearance of the dancer with a mix of traditional costumes of various dazzling costumes at the Bali Nusa Dua Theatre complex BTDC Nusa Dua. Bali Devdan Show is performance theatre at its best. Combining song and dance with acrobatics, magical illusions, and some amazing special effects, the show begins as a flighty tour guide shows some tourists around the Indonesian island of Bali. Designed to showcase Indonesia’s amazingly rich and diverse culture, Devdan is fast moving, beautifully choreographed, and skillfully performed.

Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park
Garuda Wisnu Kencana is located in the southern Badung area about 20 minutes from The Sakala Resort Bali. The cultural park is an area with 240 hectares of land. There are Supporting facilities that you can enjoy like Lotus Pond, Festival Park, Amphitheater, Street Theater, Exhibition Hall, and Jendela Bali The Panoramic Resto and souvenir shop as well. There are many cultural performances every day at GWK. Barong Dance Performance is the most popular show in there and also performances of traditional Balinese music. Various uniqueness and beauty of Bali are well in view of the history, traditions, cultural customs, arts and panorama attraction. Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) Bali cultural park is the window of island arts and culture against the backdrop of nature and an amazing panorama, making one of the main objectives for a variety of performing arts, exhibitions, conferences or religious visits.

Bali Safari& Marine Park
The largest zoo in Bali and home to hundreds of animals of more than 50 species, Bali Safari and Marine Park also holds live performances featuring Balinese folk tales in the park’s Bali Theatre.

Tegalalang Village
Tegalalang Rice Terrace is one of the more popular rice terrace to visit. The rice terrace is designed very beautiful with exquisite hollowing rice field and precisely located on the hill bank. The visitors who visit this village will discover the beautiful green rice terrace on the cliff bank and understanding how does the local farmer work on it hardly to make rice. It is a beautiful site that everyone must go and visit directly and you will be in real Balinese ambiance.

Nyepi, Bali’s Day of Silence will be held on the 7 March 2019. It starts at 6:00 a.m. 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.