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Useful information
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Caution |
Customs
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Indonesians (and thus Balineses) have specific customs to respect :

  • The left hand is considered unclean as it is used for cleaning oneself in the bathroom. It is inappropriate to use the left hand to eat or to give or receive anything with it. When you do accidentally use your left hand then say "ma'af, tangan kiri" (please excuse my left hand).
  • The head is considered the most sacred part of the body and, hence, the feet the least sacred. Avoid touching people on the head. Go for the elbow instead. Never step over food or expose the sole of your foot toward anyone.
  • As it is impolite to keep one's head higher than others, it is appropriate to acknowledge the presence of others by stooping (extending the right arm, drooping the right shoulder, and leaning forward) while passing closely by someone who is sitting.
  • Pointing with the index finger is impolite. Indonesians use their thumbs (palm turned upward, fingers curled in) or open palms instead.
  • Summoning people by crooking the forefinger is impolite. Rather, wave downward with a flat palm face down.
  • Alcohol is frowned upon in Islam, so take a look around you and consider taking it easy.
  • Hands on hips is a sign of superiority or anger. W' Indonesians don't blow their noses. Keep a handkerchief handy.
  • Take off your shoes when you enter someone's house. Often the host will stop you, but you should go through the motions until he does.
  • Wait for a verbal offer before devouring food and drinks that have been placed in front of you. Sip your drink and don't finish it in one gulp. Never take the last morsels from a common plate.
  • You will often be invited to eat with the words makan, makan ("eat, eat") if you pass somebody who is eating. This is not really an invitation, but simply means "Excuse me as I eat."
  • If someone prepares a meal or drink for you it is most impolite to refuse.
(informations provided by Geocities - Bali for you)
 
Food
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Rice is a staple dietary item. Amongst the most popular meals, are Nasi Campur (plain rice with with meat or vegetable accompaniments and spicy condiments), Nasi Goreng (Indonesian fried rice with a fried egg on top) and Mie Goreng (fried noodles with egg), Satay (skewered meat with a spicy peanut sauce) and Gado Gado (an Indonesian salad, served with spicy peanut sauce).

Soups (soto, kuah and bakso), usually with noodles or meat and fish balls may be bought from the warungs (stalls) and the food carts that circulate in the streets in the late afternoon. Some warungs serve the more traditional meal of Nasi Campur (Mixed Rice, with chicken or meat, and vegetables).

There are a wide variety of exotic fruits, such as; mangoes, mangosteen, bananas, jackfruit, rambutan, markisah, pineapple, papaya, logan, melon, oranges, custard-apple, and of course, the fabled durian. (Readers of alt.tasteless will be familiar with this tropical delight).
(informations provided by Bali - The Online Travel Guide)

For meals at the house, please check the House Menu
 

Languages
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Bahasa Indonesia (Official language).
Balinese languages are also widely spoken by the local population.
(poor) English is widely spoken, especially in popular tourist areas.

If you want to learn a few phrases, you can check this link : http://indo.com/tips/index.html
 

Night-life
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Night life as commonly known in the West also exists in Bali, especially in Kuta. For you people-watchers, the cafes, pubs, and discotheques lining the streets of Kuta and Legian are definitely the place to be and to be seen. Pub crawls can require many nights, and the varieties beat even the wildest college town you would ever know. So, if your idea of fun consists of nightly pub crawls and daily sun bathing to cure the hangover, stop simply stay in Kuta, day and night. You won't be disappointed.

More on http://www.indo.com/active/night_life.html
 

Population
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Bali holds 3 million people.

Bali Aga is essentially a subset of Bali people frozen in time several centuries back. By discouraging fraternization with the outside world, the people of Bali Aga live their lives the way they have been living them for hundreds if not over a thousand of years.
(informations provided by Bali - The Online Travel Guide)
 

Religion
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Primarily Hindu Bali. Hindu Bali is a religion that owes its origin to India, but has developed quite differently from its ancestor. For starters, Hindu Bali tends to emphasize and dramatize rituals. Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism are also practiced, but mostly by non-Balinese.
(informations provided by Bali - The Online Travel Guide)
 

Surf
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Bali is known worldwide for Surf spots and great reefs.

To get advice from specialist, check the WannaSurf.com Surf Map site - Bali
 

Volcanos
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Bali is one of many islands located in the Indonesian Archipelago. It is located approximately 400 miles northwest of Australia. Bali happens to sit just eight degrees south of the equator which explains the average year round temperature of 80 degrees F. The temperature combined with the humidity makes for a perfect rice growing environment. Bali was formed by volcanos which are visible from almost any location. The tallest of the volcanos is Gunung Agung which is 3,014 meters in elevation. The island gets about 2000 millimeters of rain on the southern side of the mountains which makes rice cultivation very successful.

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