A trip to Bali would be incomplete visiting a few of the famous temples and witnessing the rituals, ceremonies and festivals that take place. Also known as the island of Gods, Bali with it majoritarian Hindu population has hundreds of temples also known as Pura, many of which being centuries old. Lets get familiar with some of the must visit temples.
With Bali becoming more and more mainstream as a tourist destination, did you ever wonder what an original Balinese village experience was like in the past? If you wish to see it yourself, then pack your bags and pay a visit to one of the most conservative, original & authentic Balinese village — Tenganan Pegringsingan. It is a walled village in the regency of Karangasem and was once considered to be one of the most secluded societies of Indonesia.
If you are looking to dig deeper into the cultural and historical traditions of Bali, Tenganan Pegringsingan village has everything to satisfy you.
The experience of an authentic Balinese tradition is not something that you get every day. Following a local folklore about a 14th-century king, the villagers still observe the concepts of cleanliness and purity as the most important virtues in their lives. The Tenganan village has kept its culture, tradition, and rituals intact even through the modern era. If you’re a traveller who has little understanding of the Balinese traditions, travelling with a local guide could give you more insights into the cultural significance of this small heritage village.
The village looks really old and secluded from the rest of the Bali island. Even though agriculture and weaving are the primary occupations of the villagers, you can see some souvenir shops around that sell traditional clothes and handicraft items, such as paintings and writings on palm leaves. One of the best souvenirs you can collect from Tenganan is the Geringsing cloth, or the double ikat as they’re known here.
To sum everything up, the Tenganan village is a great getaway destination in Bali where you can delve deeper into the life, culture, and tradition of the islanders. Planning your trip with Locaguide can greatly enhance your travel experience in the most hassle-free way possible. Your personal tour guide will ensure that you get enough information about this place and its history, and come back richer in knowledge.0
The thought of a New Year’s celebration brings to mind fireworks, resolutions, and merrymaking in general. However, in Bali, New Year’s celebration is a day of solemnity and silence. Nyepi, also known as ‘day of silence’ is a festival of silence celebrated by Indonesian Hindus. It happens every Isakawarsa of the Indonesian Saka calendar when the island shuts down for 24-hours. The celebration takes place over six days when shops, banks, and streets close early.
Balinese Hindus believe that on Nyepi, evil spirits surround the island. To avoid disturbing these spirits and trick them into thinking that there is no life on the island, the silence remains maintained. Every single day of the festival holds a different significance with unique rituals performed all across Bali.
Day 1 of Nyepi
3-4 days before Nyepi, the Melasti ritual is performed in Balinese Temples located near the sea to purify sacred objects from temples in the holy waters of the sea. Villagers in Bali form processions carrying idols from shrines, bathing them in the sea and then returning them back to their respective shrines.
Performed the day before Nyepi, the sea Ritual denotes to dispel negative energies and create a good balance in the environment. Balinese devotees create ‘ogoh-ogoh’, demonic effigies made of bamboo and paper and parade them around the island.
On Nyepi, the Balinese observe a day of silence, fasting, and prayer. They follow four main restrictions on this day:
- There is no lighting of fires or using electricity
- No one is to work
- There is no entertainment
- No travelling
All Bali Hindus and non-Hindus as well follow these restrictions. If you visit Bali during this time, make sure you abide as well, although you can do what you want within your hotel. Everything remains shut for the day, including the airport, ATMs, and stores. You can only be allowed to travel in the case of an emergency. Your local travel guide from Locaguide will tell you more about this and help you understand how to make most of this day in Bali.
A fascinating practice takes place on this day called ‘Omed-Omedan’ (literally translated into pull-pull) or ‘the Kissing Ritual’. Unmarried youths aged 17 to 30 years take part in this festival, where male participants pull in female participants and kiss them, while villagers pour buckets of water on them.
On this day, the locals of Bali visit friends and family in order to ask for forgiveness. With this ritual, they hope they can start the new year afresh and welcome new days for more prosperity.
Upon completion of all the Nyepi rituals, they perform a Dharma Shanti ceremony. It implies a closing ceremony after which the festivities end and life goes back to normal in Bali.
Though Bali is a gorgeous place to visit all year round, it occurs spectacularly unique to visit during Nyepi and definitely calls for a visit to experience it first hand.2
If you’ve ever wanted to try the adrenaline-pumping sport of cliff jumping, Bali’s got a special treat for you.
Located close to the Tegal Wangi Beach around the sapphire-blue Jimbaran Bay is a stunning series of cliffs that drop into 5 to 10 metres into the crystal-clear sea.
The short trek down to these cliffs and the sport itself is the perfect way for you and your friends to spend an adventurous afternoon together.
Though the cliffs are not too high, you’ll see many jumpers showing their skills off here. It’s the perfect place for cliff jumping rookies, who are looking for something exciting but not too intimidating. Add to that, the sheer beauty of this spot and you know you’re in for a good time!
How to get there
The Jimbaran Panorama Point might seem a little difficult to find and navigate, especially for a first-timer. The presence of a local guide is advised to take you down the steep mud and rock trail through thickets that leads to the cliffs. You travel guide from Locaguide will take you safely to the cliffs and also show you local favourites like the secluded Jimbaran Beach, also called the Honeymoon Beach. As you will notice, around sunset, the beach gathers a crowd of many locals to enjoy a spectacular sunset. The beach is also not too far away from resorts, so you can always head back to your hotel if you want to.
Another great way to enjoy the Jimbaran Panorama Point is by bringing along a snorkel, so you can experience the underwater life below the cliffs. Before you think of diving into the water though, it’s wise to make sure the tide is high. Also, since there are many sharp rocks at the bottom, consult your guide who can show you the best places to jump from and the best tide pools to explore at the bottom. 7
Often described as ‘fiercely beautiful’ with its pale wisps of smoke gleaming in the hazy morning light, Mount Batur in Bali is one of the most popular active volcanoes in the world. It is most mesmerizing when viewed at sunrise and sunset. Tourists from all over the world gather at dawn typically at the Kintamani Village to enjoy this spectacular view of the sun rising over the volcano.
But if you’re interested in beating the crowds for an even more enthralling view, we suggest you make your way to the relatively uncrowded Pinggan Village.
Whether you’re a shutterbug, a yoga enthusiast or a nature lover, the Pinggan Village will easily prove to be a more meditative setting for the sunrise and catching a better view of the volcano. A thick fog covers this village in the early hours of the morning, which only adds an element of mysticism to this natural spectacle. Since most tours to Mount Batur don’t even touch the Pinggan Village, the easiest way to explore this part of Bali is with the help of a local guide who would be able to show you around and know the best spots.
This lovely village is just an hour’s drive away from Ubud, so you’ll have to wake up early to be at the village on time for the sunrise. You could get here by road (recommended) or take the more interesting path and hike up to the village or better yet stay at the village. There are a ton of options to enjoy this memorable experience.
This quaint village is better known to locals, so we suggest you tag along with a local tour guide from Locaguide and avoid the herds of tourists at Kintamani to have an experience that will last you a lifetime! 3
The Bali Kite Festival embodies everything the island remains known for – culture, beauty and unadulterated fun. This annual festival takes place between the months of July and August (sometimes in October) during the dry season. This in order to leverage the wind that allows the kites to soar high. It’s rare to see Bali’s bright blue sky free of colourful kites at this time. The air remains filled with Gamelan orchestra music, giving the whole experience a more exciting feel.
Historically celebrated to thank Hindu deities for a bountiful harvest. Today, it is easily one of the most spectacular kite festivals in the world.
History of the kite festival celebration
Kites in Bali come in different symbolical forms, with fish (Bebean), bird (Jaggan), and leaf (Pecukan) shapes being the most popular. These traditional kites are handmade and denote a real joy to watch them in the making. For instance, you can watch the Jaggan kites fitted with a
If you want to fly a kite yourself or participate in the kite flying competition, then the eastern coast of the Padang Galak is the best place. The largest event, the International Kite Festival held at the Sanur beach attracts contestants from all over the world. Best to keep in check if any changes occur in the festival dates due to weather conditions. Once the dates remain frozen, connect with Locaguide and request for a local tour guide for an amazing experience in Bali!1
Dolphins, the sunset, and the gentle sound of waves — if you think this sounds like the perfect way to spend a day, you will love Bali’s Lovina Beach.
Located in the North of Bali, this black-volcanic beach is a popular spot to watch wild dolphins.
There’s something peaceful yet ecstatic about watching them swim freely in their natural habitat. This sight is all the more beautiful at sunrise and sunset and hence, many tourists come here at these times to catch a glimpse of these lovely creatures.
How to get to Lovina Beach?
Lovina Beach is located about 10 km away from Singaraja. You can easily drive up to the beach to spend a fun day out. If you want to see the dolphins at sunrise, however, you will have to start around 3:00 am to get here. Meanwhile, you can also choose to stay a night in Lovina and wake up to witness this beautiful event. Tourists gather at 5:30 am to get into little fishing boats that take you to the place where the magic happens. Thus, travelling with the local fishermen is very secure and a safe way to experience this event. The fishermen know exactly where to take you for the best views. Make sure you ask for a life jacket though, just in case. After an exciting session of Dolphin watching, top it up with a sumptuous meal at one of the nearby restaurant.
Swim with the Dolphins!
For a closer look of these gorgeous creatures, ask your guide to set this up for you. Moreover, this gives you the perfect chance to pet, tickle and even kiss dolphins. Get up close with wild dolphins with help from Locaguide‘s trusted tour guide and spend a few memorable hours at Lovina Beach.1
One of the many things that differentiate a traveller or an explorer from a regular tourist is the way they approach the food of the land they travel to. If you’re a traveller on a gastronomical expedition, you shouldn’t miss out on the iconic roasted pork dish of Bali, The Babi Guling.
Babi Guling, which translates to ‘turning pig,’ is a classic Balinese dishes. It’s truly an unlikely find in a country with the largest Muslim population on the globe.
Traditionally used as offerings to please the Balinese Hindu Gods, with the whole pig served to signify sublimity and perfection.
Know more about Babi Guling
As the name suggests, the entire pig’s stuffing includes a mix of spices including lemongrass, garlic, turmeric and coriander seeds. It is then slow-roasted on an open fire or hand-turning spit roaster — giving it a unique texture and taste, unlike any pork dish you find anywhere else in the world. However, the dish is not just about the meat. A good part of your serving would also have fluffy rice and good vegetables like beans and
Bali owns a lot of food joints serving the dish, but the best ones remain in Ubud and adjoining places. Your local guide can help you point to the best places that serve the most authentic Babi Guling. If you happen to visit the northern villages of Bali, like Kubutambahan or Bengkala, you can also witness its preparations. You can also get to dine on an authentic Babi Guling feast.
Order a generous platter of the Babi Guling served with a uniquely-flavoured crispy crackling. With its every bite you can feel it melt in your mouth into literally nothing! If you occur to explore Bali like a local, ask Locaguide for a fully-customisable itinerary and guided tour.2
The spirit of Bali has always been in its ancient Hindu traditions, beautifully infused into its art and culture. The music and the dance-dramas of this mystic place derive their storyline and characters from the ancient Hindu scriptures, prominently the Ramayana, often entwined with various elements from the Balinese historic kingdoms. The traditional Legong is one such dance form.
The Legong dance, which has become a Balinese cultural emblem to the outside world, is one of the most popular among a list of cultural dance performances native to this magical island.
The dance, which developed during Bali’s feudal era, is usually performed by three young girl dancers. One of them acts as a maid, who dances the opening act and the other two dancers perform the main part. Beautifully dressed in colourful attires, the dancers look as traditional as you’d imagine — with gold brocade costumes, intricately-designed gold ornaments, and headdresses decorated with frangipani flowers.
Traditionally a long ceremonial dance performance, the Legong, when performed for guests, is abridged to a 90-minute version. There are various versions of the Legong dance, and the most popular among them is the Legong Keraton, which developed in the 1920s.
The dance can be seen throughout Bali during festive seasons, but in Ubud and Sukawati, it is performed round the year for tourists. A local guide can be booked with Locaguide, who can take you to the best Legong performance available for your convenient date and time.
With the help of the local guide, you can ensure that you get a legit ticket to one of these dance performances without getting duped by children who try selling these ticket along the way to the show. Usually, the ticket also functions as a brochure explaining the performance, so that you get the essence of what is being enacted. Each slight finger movement, facial expression, footwork, and gesture of the Legong dance has a meaning attached to it, and your guide could also help you understand the various nuances during the show.
A holistic Balinese experience is impossible without witnessing one of these traditional dance-drama forms of Bali, such as the Legong dance. Arrive early at the place your local guide recommends, get a front-centred seat, and enjoy the performance to its fullest!0
Snuggled away among the quiet villages of Sukawati is a little gem that though hidden, is no secret— the Beji Guwang Hidden Canyon. It boasts remarkable rock formations and is a haven for those who want to enjoy some peace and solitude.
An excursion to this little paradise will excite the adventurous at heart with a 2-to-3-hour trek, involving rock climbing and wading through knee-deep water.
Beji Guwang’s deep and rugged ravine was formed with thousands of years of erosion from the Oos River. This eventually left it looking like the masterpiece it is today. The excursion will follow the Oos river and will take you through a set of three canyons, where you will navigate slippery rocks and varying water levels. You will trek for as long as you can enjoy the sunlight. If hiking isn’t really your forte, you can enjoy serene spots within the canyon that are perfect for yoga or meditation. The raw beauty of the chasm is bound to enchant you. There are several sections hidden by a canopy of plants and trees that entwine themselves on the craggy surface of the rocks. So, it is always safer to call your guide in advance before you head out.
While you may like to venture out on your own, the slippery steep rocks can be risky to navigate, unless you have an experienced guide alongside. Locaguide can help you find a local tour guide who can not only help you navigate these canyons safely but will give you the chance to discover the lesser traveled parts of the gorge. You will need to do a considerable bit of climbing, jumping, balancing and pulling yourself up rocks, but they will seem much less daunting if there’s someone to guide you. 2