Bali Local Customs

  • Local Customs
    by DaHongHua
  • Local Customs
    by DaHongHua
  • Local Customs
    by DaHongHua

Most Recent Local Customs in Bali

  • DaHongHua's Profile Photo

    Attap Roofing

    by DaHongHua Updated Sep 24, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    To some part of the world, this kind of roof has became history as it is not economic.
    I am really greatful when I met the attap roof in Puri Wirata or Puri Tulamben Resort and Dive. The roof of its front desk and restaurant is an attap roof, I salute to the owner who take action to preserve ancient method of building the roof. With this kind of roof, the ceiling is not needed. The owner has added a layer of zink on top of the attap ( from the last photo I took ) to ensure the roof can last longer.
    Bali has so many interesting building architecture, I will add more.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Tripack's Profile Photo

    Balinese beer & wine

    by Tripack Updated Jan 15, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Star beer
    1 more image

    The popular 4.7% refreshing pils Bintang (=star) is a Heineken twin... normal the brand is owned by Heineken and brewed in Surabaya since 1929.

    Bali has also local wines. I taste some products from the Hatten winery located around Singaraja area with 14.5 hectares vineyards.

    To drink in moderation as usual. Don't drink and drive or dive!

    Related to:
    • Wine Tasting
    • Beer Tasting

    Was this review helpful?

  • Tripack's Profile Photo

    Island of the Gods

    by Tripack Updated Jan 13, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    3 more images

    Bali is often named the island of the Gods. Although Indonesia is mostly Muslim, Hindu is prominent in Bali. Sacred rituals honour Gods, Nature, Man, Dead or Monks through a multitude of temples (more than 3000), statues of divinity, offering ceremony or religious procession.

    Balinese Saka calendar based on lunar calculations has some important Hindu holidays. For example during the sacred celebration of Nyepi, which could be translating by the day of Silence, everybody have to stay silently at home without using electricity or fire. So apply the famous motto : Speech is silver, but silence is golden if you are on Bali at this moment.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Daihappydai's Profile Photo

    Understanding Hindu Symbolism - the Swastika

    by Daihappydai Updated May 7, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Swastika above a gateway to a village home
    2 more images

    Visitors to Bali who have not been to India or other countries where Hinduism and Buddhism are practiced are sometimes surprised to see swastikas at the entrance to houses and temples. It is important to appreciate the meaning of the swastika in Hinduism. One translation from the original sanskrit is 'that which is associated with well-being'. So the swastika is a symbol of good luck - the clockwise bending of the arms is a charm to bring good fortune. In Bali you will see it on the mantle of many gateways. The swastika has both a clockwise and an anti-clock wise version in Buddhism. It was also used as a symbol for the sun in China, and forms of the swastika can be seen in many other cultures. So, when in Bali, the meaning of the swastika is in no way connected to the meaning implied by a European country who used it during the second world war.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Daihappydai's Profile Photo

    Be aware 'Hati hati, upacara disini'

    by Daihappydai Updated Apr 28, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Procession in village street, Central Bali
    4 more images

    When travelling in Bali one must always be aware that ceremonies and procession are a constant part of life - no matter what day of the week it is. In villages you will often see the sign 'hati hati, upacara disini' meaning 'take care, ceremony here'. As travellers we should always show respect to the local customs, and in this case, slow down when passing ceremonies, or wait patiently until processions pass. I am yet to hear of any 'public' ceremonies in Bali where it is forbidden to take photos - so while on the one hand ceremonies and especially processions can slow up the traffic, on the other hand, they also give you the opportunity to enjoy the color and beauty of the moment and take some photos without being invasive - just give a friendly smile and show your camera before taking a photo and an acknowledgement should be given about whether you can take a photo or not.
    Which hand do you prefer?

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • balisunshine's Profile Photo

    No news, not always good news

    by balisunshine Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Nothing here!

    As you may eventually discover
    while sojourning in Bali,
    bad news is often kept a secret,
    or lets say, not talked about.

    This includes in newspapers too.

    As a principle,
    it is thought it better not
    to communicate anything that
    may damage Bali's success.

    This may not be important to
    the frequent Bali visitor since,
    they prefer not to hear about it anyway.

    (Check some of the forums
    and notice how angry they get
    when something not positive is mentioned)

    But when sojourning here,
    the not so good info,
    can always prepare you
    to know what to expect.

    So if you happen to hear something
    word of mouth,
    maybe it should be paid attention too,
    cause it may be the only way to hear about it.

    Was this review helpful?

  • balisunshine's Profile Photo

    So who is the Banjar?

    by balisunshine Updated Nov 11, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I am Wayan..the Banjay Chief
    1 more image

    If you decide to live here,
    you will need to learn about the Banjar,
    since your relationship with them
    may have an important influence
    on your well-being here.

    All activities and responsibilities
    of the banjar are guided by
    the chosen village authority.

    Depending on how active
    the banjar committee is,
    they will be i involved
    with most activities concerning their village.

    The banjar will hold a meeting,
    attended by all the married men
    each time an activity is to take place.

    This can include fundraising,
    building a school or adding to their temple.

    The activity may be a cultural or
    sporting event such as a dance performance.

    On the anniversary of the Banjar,
    all members are expected to attend.

    Most activities will be carried out together,
    working in a system known as gotong royong,
    where everyone in the village participates.

    The important thing is that each member is
    seen by the banjar committee,
    as absentees are noted and may be heavily fined.

    The Banjar will attend in
    religious ceremoniesweddings and cremations.

    Being involved in so many activities,
    the banjar takes on great responsibilities for its members.

    It is expected, among other things,
    to keep the area clean and disease free,
    as well as handle environmental and social problems.

    Banjar committees often address problems such as conflict,
    social unrest and household disputes.

    The division responsible has an abbreviated name:
    The Siskamling, Hansip or Pecalang
    address local safety issues,
    some which are permanent and others which
    are specific to an event, for example: Nyepi.

    Whilst, the Posyandu takes care of infant health,
    from weighing babies to immunization,
    similar to Plunket in some western countries.

    Was this review helpful?

  • exoticorchidhunter's Profile Photo


    by exoticorchidhunter Updated Sep 1, 2008

    If driving, remember in Bali, if you run over a dog, it's not a problem but if you run over a chicken it's respectful to stay with the animal until it dies peacefully.

    If you run over a local, leave town and the country as fast as you can unless you have lots of cash.

    best of all, taxis are cheap, always take a metred blue cab, get a driver....around $40-50 US a day plus fuel.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • balisunshine's Profile Photo

    Another type of business

    by balisunshine Written Aug 4, 2008
    It's all inthe rice!!

    Bali has developed itself to rely
    sooooo much on tourism,
    that it can be a pretty desperate sight
    when that sector of that business goes downs.

    If you’re visiting Bali
    and feel the hawkers are a bit heavy
    in their constant demand of
    trying to sell you something,
    then you should have seen
    what it was like after the bombs!

    And it’s a bit difficult for most
    Indonesians to conceive the future.
    So, not until they are deep in problems,
    do they even think of ‘options’.

    With the market crises heading across the world,
    a recommendation of urgency has been sent out.

    Bali Needs a Diversified Economy

    Gosh!! I really wish someone
    would start producing organic rice milk!!!
    With so much rice produced here,
    and with a carton of imported rice milk
    currently costing 30,000 rp the box,
    it would be a positive gesture.

    Was this review helpful?

  • For women in their period

    by teagal Updated Mar 24, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Because Bali is still quite a supernatural place actually. Therefore, there are several places, such as the Pura/ temple or other holy places, where women in their period are prohibited to enter such places.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Women's Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • balisunshine's Profile Photo

    Reporters, keep out!

    by balisunshine Written Nov 2, 2006
    Journalists, keep out!

    One of the most difficult visas
    to obtain for Indonesia is the
    one for journalist and reporting.

    In a recent conference held with journalists
    from 51 countries on September 2006,
    including CNN,
    along with the attendance of
    President Susio Bambang Yudhoyono,
    a conference was held to promote
    a standard journalistic code of
    conduct for reporting and
    commenting on cultural issues.

    The request was rejected by 76 national delegates.

    Was this review helpful?

  • balisunshine's Profile Photo

    Don’t insult me!

    by balisunshine Written Nov 2, 2006
    don't Insult Me!!!

    The saying,
    “Sticks and stones,
    may break my bones,
    but words will never hurt me”
    does not necessarily apply to
    the officials here in Indonesia.

    Unlike, in western countries where,
    freedom of speech is pushed to the extreme limits,
    the Article 207 of the Criminal Code in Indonesia
    is to protect the State Institution from being insulted.

    Calling an official a dog, or a pig like in the US,
    is considered a major insult in Indonesia.

    Following the fall of the new order regime
    restrictions of Freedom of Speech and Art
    have been slightly lifted,
    but can still cause a major stir.

    Was this review helpful?

  • balisunshine's Profile Photo

    As White as Snow

    by balisunshine Written Oct 9, 2006
    As Whit as Snow

    In Asia, the desire to have
    a pearly white complexion
    has evolved into a profitable industry.

    Forget cultivating the sport, tanned look.
    In this part of the world,
    that is considered to be ‘dirty’.

    So, Asian cosmetic shelves in the stores,
    offer an endless array of choices of
    facial masks, scrubs, body and face creams
    all promising to whiten skin.

    With no strict rules for product labeling
    and no regulations required to manufactures
    to prove that their cosmetics are effective or safe,
    be warned that their have been some isolated findings
    of products using mercury, chromium and neodymium.

    Mercury blocks an enzyme that is
    required for the formation of melanin,
    the dark pigment of our skin.
    But constant and heavy exposure
    to mercury is dangerous.
    It attacks the central nervous system
    and can result in brain or kidney damage.

    Chromium is carcinogenic and can cause eczema,
    while neodymium, which is used in magnets,
    can cause eye and skin irritations.

    Which ever way the results are,
    if regulations do ever come into place,
    women in Asia, may just find themselves
    having to turn to an age old home remedy
    to temporarily whitening skin, and that’s yoghurt.

    Was this review helpful?

  • balisunshine's Profile Photo

    It’s all in Black & White

    by balisunshine Written Oct 9, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Shrines at the steps of old trees
    1 more image

    As you drive around Bali,
    you will see very old trees dressed
    with a black & white checkered skirt.

    Usually, these trees are very sacred
    and a place of worship
    will be set up at the base of the trunk.

    The black and white checkered poleng cloth
    symbolizes good and evil forces in balance.

    Was this review helpful?

  • balisunshine's Profile Photo

    Of Royalty

    by balisunshine Written Oct 9, 2006
    Your Majesty!

    In many kingdoms
    the king was encouraged to sire
    numerous offspring with his multiple concubines
    as proof of his continuity virility.

    Most kings enthusiastically fulfilled this noble duty;
    many Balinese claim descent from royalty
    and rumors flourish of concubines
    impregnated by the palace guards
    of an elderly impotent king.

    Most Balinese bearing the honorifics
    Anak Agung or Agung Dewi are well respected

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Bali

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

93 travelers online now


Bali Local Customs

Reviews and photos of Bali local customs posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Bali sightseeing.

View all Bali hotels