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Tips For Taking A Spiritual Vacation in Bali

The culture of Bali is in sharp contrast to what we are used to in the West. A large percentage of the population are still dependent on farming for their living, people live on less money per day than what we would spend on petrol to get to work, and above all, most of the population is deeply spiritual as well as superstitious. If you want to feel that you’ve reconnected with your simpler side, a Bali vacation is the perfect way to do so. Today we look at some of the spiritual travel options in this tiny Indonesian island.

Temples in Bali

Bali, like many South East Asian countries, holds much of its art, culture and architecture in the temples of the region. Locals have believed for many years that the deities of the local area had a direct influence on the success of their lives, which is why there is such emphasis on inward-looking, on spirituality and on reverence. There are some truly beautiful temples to be accessed only minutes from a range of Bali hotels, including:

* Pura Besakih: This incorporates pre-Hindu beliefs into the temple complex, which consists of five compounds as well as the main temple. There are plenty of day-long Bali tours to Pura Besakih

* Taman Ayun Temple: This temple is around 18 km south of Denpasar, and is much quieter than the other famous and easily accessed temples. It is surrounded by a wide moat and beautifully kept gardens; visitors cannot enter the temple, but you can watch ceremonies being conducted inside.

* Temple of the Meeting of the Three: Intriguing name for an intriguing temple! This particular building has only been there since 1917, but there has always been a temple on this site for over a thousand years.

* Uluwatu temple: There is some controversy about whether the monkeys at Uluwatu temple are tamed or trained to be naughty. But the temple itself is a must-see for a Bali vacation.

* Yeh Pulu Temple: This is said to be a very quiet temple, although visitors are often ‘required’ to give an offering to the temple gods.

Spiritual Festivals

Much as we in the Western world take time off our usual work to be with our friends and family, people in Bali often take time out of their day to honor locally recognized gods and deities. These events are a great way to get insight into the minds and motivations of the Balinese people… simply a very special thing to be around! You can check out most of the temples at any time of year, so if you want to up the ‘heart factor’ of your trip, take your Bali vacation around the dates of the following spiritual festivals:

* January 2 Tempe Kandang – Special day of thanks for the gift of livestock

* February 06 Tumpek Wayang – Special day of thanks for the gift of Art

* February 26 Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday – Moslem Holiday

* February 27 Saraswati – Special day of thanks for the gift of Knowledge

* March 03 Pagerwesi – Special day for meditation to enhance balance in the world

* March 13 Tumpek Landep – Special day of thanks for the gift of metal

* March 15 Tawur Agung Kesanga – Held to welcome Nyepi holiday at every family compound; followed by procession of Ogoh-Ogoh (huge monster / evil dolls)

* March 16 Nyepi – Balinese New Year; The I Saka New Year 1932, the day of absolute silence for Hindu followers

* April 17 Tumpek Uduh or Tumpek Pengatag – Special day of thanks for the gift of fruit-bearing plants

* May 22 Kuningan – Believed to be the ascendant day of ancestral holy spirits and deities, back to the eternity

* May 28 Vaishakha 2554 – Buddhist holiday to celebrate the birth anniversary of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism

* July 31 Tumpek Kandang – Special day of thanks for the gift of livestock

* September 29 Pagerwesi – Special day for meditation to enhance balance in the world

* October 09 Tumpek Landep – Special day of thanks for the gift of metal

* December 07 1 Muharram 1432 H – Moslem New Year

* December 08 Galungan – Praying for the victory of virtue (Dharma) upon evil (Adharma)

* December 18 Kuningan – Believed to be the ascendant day of ancestral holy spirits and deities, back to the eternity

Ancient Spiritual Sites

Bali is beautiful and quiet… unless you are in Denpasar or the other urban areas, there is usually nothing to hear but the wind in the leaves, the faint chattering of monkeys and the call of the ocean! Perfect for meditation and some private yoga sessions. Check out spiritual sites perfect for these practices on your Bali vacation, like the West Bali National Park and Bali Barat National Park.

What to Do On a Luxury Trip to Bali

Bali has been dubbed the “island of the gods” and many who have been there say that there is something truly magical about the island. There are so many things to see in Bali, from ancient temples to majestic mountains to long sandy beaches and lurid green rice fields. Whether it is a honeymoon or a family vacation that brings you to Bali, one thing is certain; the island will leave a mark on you.

Bali is a popular tourist destination and it receives a constant stream of travellers from all walks of life. While there is an abundance of cheap accommodation and food in Bali, the well-to-do traveller need not feel left out. Bali offers several luxurious and exotic accommodation and activities as well.

Indulgence is Key

If you are willing to splurge in Bali and are interested in only see the best that this beautiful place has to offer, then this checklist should be of some help.

Live Like a King

Here’s the good news. You can stay in a luxury hotel in Bali for the same price as a mid-range hotel in Australia! Some luxury hotels worth looking at are Amandari, located five minutes from Ubud, Intercontinental Resort Bali and Ayana Resort and Spa. Bali luxury villas are another alternative. Villas are popular amongst wealthy travellers as they offer space, privacy and the comforts of a home. A luxury villa invariably features a swimming pool, sundeck, semi-open living environment and a fully equipped kitchen. It is also a fantastic holiday option for families or for a couple seeking a romantic getaway. Villas have become increasingly popular and trendy and they can be found all over Bali. You may want to check out these villas before deciding where to stay – Novus Gawana, Villa Mahayani and Atas Ombak.

A�Double H – Health and Holiday

Combining health and tourism has become an attractive formula for tourists and why shouldn’t it be? A luxury Bali holiday simply isn’t complete without a spa treatment. Bali is well known for its tropical spas, traditional massages and holistic healing techniques. There are many spa spots on the island and most Bali resorts and hotels have spas in their compounds. Choose between the intimate luxuries of an internationally renowned resort of the modest, but no less enjoyable delights of a traditional Balinese day spa. Or do both!

Shop Till You Drop

Here’s a useful tip, head to Bali with an empty luggage. Large western-style shopping malls can be found all over Bali and the country is a great place to stock up on summer wear. If you’re a new homeowner, it might be a good idea to buy and ship furniture from Bali. If large shopping centres are not your things, head to Ubud where you’ll find many lovely and quirky boutiques. Some up market shops include Bong’s, PitheCan Thropus, Pusaka, Pura Vida and Biasa.

Sail Away

Why have dinner in Bali if you can afford to go on a dinner cruise? There are many travel agencies that offer these intimate, fine dining experiences so be sure to do some research before picking the one that best suits your needs… or wants. These cruises usually take three hours and offer a good spread of food and entertainment. They are truly a feast for your eyes and taste buds!

Bali Travel Offers Adventure, Wonder and History

The world is chock full of destinations that are all worthy of consideration when it’s time to make holiday plans. There are not many places, however, that can compare to a particular island in the Indonesian archipelago. Bali travel melds adventure, history and wonder into a single experience that is virtually certain to create memories to last a lifetime.

Located only a few hours away from Australia by plane, this unusual destination packs a great deal of fun into 5,632 square kilometers. Here holidaymakers will find weather that is perfect practically year round. With warm tropical temperatures ranging between 20 and 33 degrees Celsius no matter the time of year, visitors to Bali are often surprised to find sunny days dominate even in the thick of the rainy season.

When Bali travel is under consideration, potential holidaymakers will find these reasons tend to draw travelers from all over the world like moths to a flame:

– The outdoor splendor – Bali is famous for its breathtaking geography. The island is surrounded by warm turquoise waters that lap at white sandy beaches. From quiet lagoons just right for swimming and snorkeling to more “active” beaches that call to surfers and adventure sports lovers, the waters here are ideal for year round fun. Whilst the beaches are certainly a draw, they are not the only outdoor wonder that awaits those planning Bali travel. This island is also famous for its lush tropical forests, active volcanoes, tiered rice paddies and incredible lakes and waterfalls.

– The history – Bali has a history that dates back thousands of years. Evidence of its most early inhabitants can be found in a variety of sites all over the island. From the temples in the Mount Agung complex to the wonderment of the Tanah Lot, visitors here will learn much about the peoples and cultures that have touched Bali throughout the ages. With its strong ties to the Hindu religion, holidaymakers will discover that many of the island’s most splendid outdoor attractions have also served as places connected deeply to religion through the ages.

– The culture – Balinese culture is known for its distinct arts, form of dance and cuisine. Those who plan Bali travel will find themselves arriving on a island that is known the world over for its welcoming hospitality and unique traditions.

– The adventures – Bali is one of the few places in the world where people can get up close and personal with gray monkeys, elephants and a variety of other tropical creatures all on a single vacation. If fauna doesn’t appeal, those on Bali tours will find that plenty of other adventures await. Bali tours can unlock adventures that are found nowhere else in the world. From Odyssey Submarine trips that take holidaymakers into the depths that surround the island to a trip to the 11th century Elephant Cave, there is no shortage of opportunities to do and see things that cannot be experienced anywhere else.

When an experience like nothing else is desired, Bali travel will deliver. Combining adventure, wonder and history, this legendary island offers holidaymakers an opportunity to explore paradise on earth.