Looking for a comprehensive guide that recommends both popular and offbeat experiences, and extensively covers all of Bali's. download Pocket Bali Travel Guide direct from Lonely Planet. PDF, EPUB, MOBI Lonely Planet Pocket Bali is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice . East Bali p Gili Islands p Lombok p West Bali p South Bali & the Islands .. A beat-up old car, a few dollars in the pocket and a sense of.

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On a Shoestring. Free download Taiwan travel guide - Lonely Planet Taiwan. Free download Thailand travel guide - Lonely Planet Thailand. Child care becomes an adult responsibility, not just a family or maternal one. In the end, an air-conditioned mall fills in for the village banyan tree as a meeting place for many. Ancient traditions of worship, including elements of Hindu and animist beliefs, have all but died out as the vast majority of people now practise orthodox Islam.

Every stage of life, from conception to cremation, is marked by a series of ceremonies and rituals, which are the basis of the rich, varied and active Balinese cultural life. Janet de Neefe You might have noticed that the Balinese often dry their clothes on the grass in the fields or on low clothes racks. In Bali, clothing is considered unclean and should never occupy high sacred spaces.

Even in my cupboard, my temple clothes occupy the top shelves with underwear strictly reserved for the lowest area. When my husband Ketut, who is Balinese, saw our Hills Hoists and clothes lines in the suburbs of Melbourne, he was deeply offended. He ended up drying all his clothes, in the middle of winter, on a low bench in the backyard. Recently, he invited a priest to scan our Balinese compound for any negative energies that compounds tend to accumulate.

When all was ready, Ketut did a final check of the property before the redeemed priest was about to arrive. Our guest had decided to wash everything he owned. His sand shoes and wet underwear, shirts and other articles were stuck on branches, hung from lamps and stretched between the pillars out the front of his room. Since then, I have added a note in our guest rooms advising that all washing should only be hung to dry on the clothes racks provided. Soon after the birth, the afterbirth is buried with appropriate offerings.

The much-repeated Balinese names — which are gender neutral — carry a symbolic meaning, indicating social status and birth order. The fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth children re-use the same set. The large number of Balinese named Anak Agung, a name denoting the child of a royal concubine, attest to the fertility of the Balinese rajahs princes. A child goes through 13 celebrations, or manusa yadnya. At days, the baby is welcomed to the family and its feet are allowed to touch the ground for the first time — ground is considered impure, so babies are held until then.

Crooked fangs are, after all, one of the chief distinguishing marks of evil spirits — just have a look at a Rangda mask! No-one may marry unless their teeth have been filed. In general, marriages are not arranged, although there are strict rules that apply between the castes. The respectable way to marry, known as mapadik, is when the family of the man visits the family of the woman and politely proposes.

The Balinese, however, like their fun and often prefer marriage by ngorod elopement.

Nobody is too surprised when the young man spirits away his bride-to-be. Eventually the couple re-emerge, the marriage is officially recognised and everybody has had a lot of fun and games. Because of the burdensome cost of even a modest cremation ceremony, the deceased are buried, sometimes for years, and disinterred for a mass cremation with the cost shared among families. Brahmanas high priests , however, must be cremated immediately.

The body is carried in a tall, incredibly artistic multitiered tower made of bamboo, paper, tinsel, silk, cloth, mirrors, flowers and anything else colourful, on the shoulders of a group of men. The number of tiers of the tower depends on the importance of the deceased. The funeral of a rajah or high priest may require hundreds of men to tote the tiered structure. The Balinese tooth-filing ceremony closes with the recipient being given a delicious jamu herbal tonic , made from freshly pressed turmeric, betel-leaf juice, lime juice and honey.

Men keep fighting cocks as prized pets, carefully grooming and preparing them for their brief moment of glory or defeat. Look for their hoop-shaped baskets near houses. After the bout, the successful gamblers collect their pay-offs and the winning owner gets to take the dead rooster home for his cooking pot. The men are usually back behind the compound.

Although cock-fighting was once a method of keeping the small amounts of available cash in circulation, as more people in Bali hold jobs, wagering has exploded. It now diverts family income from school fees and credit payments. They shake the tower, run it around in circles, throw water at it and generally make the trip anything but a stately funeral crawl.

Meanwhile, the priest halfway up the tower hangs on grimly, doing his best to soak bystanders with holy water. A gamelan sprints behind, providing an exciting musical accompaniment. Finally, it all goes up in flames and the ashes are taken to the sea to be scattered on the waves. With the material body well and truly destroyed, the soul is free to descend to heaven and wait for the next incarnation.

Reality Check Balinese culture keeps intimacy behind doors. Holding hands is not customary for couples in Bali, and is reserved for small children; however, linking arms for adults is the norm.

There is a growing problem with drug use among Balinese youth and on Lombok, especially with crystal meth — yabba — brought over from Java and sold cheaply to teenagers with access to cash raised from the tourism economy. Local attitudes to sexuality differ to the Western misconceptions that still persist.

For example, in rural areas people still bathe naked by the side of the road. This is not a show of exhibitionism, but a tradition; while bathing, they consider themselves invisible. Begging has no place in traditional Balinese society — what you see in the south and at times in Ubud are either the mountain Aga people or families from Java. Though unmarried Balinese girls are ostensibly virgins, discreet premarital sex is common, but generally restricted to couples who intend to marry.

Sex workers and willing companions looking for some cash or merchandise on the side, however, are common in tourist areas. These people — of both sexes — are usually from another island, with Java being the primary source. In some cases they are from villages in the north and are counting on not being seen in the company of a foreigner by any one they know. Within the often-battered Indonesian economy, Bali is a relatively affluent province, with tourism providing a substantial hard-currency income, along with the craft and garment industries.

Economic problems and unemployment elsewhere in Indonesia have led to an increasing number of people coming to Bali from other islands, hoping for work or for some other way to make money, and this is a continuing source of tension. This is achieved through the provision of accommodation, meals, services and souvenirs to visitors. In many ways it underpins the economy, providing the funds needed for Bali to develop its infrastructure, educational system and more.

Shops and other businesses have closed by the score and the effects have been felt in the most remote villages as young people are no longer able to send home their earnings from tourism.

In , the total number of visitors was expected to be somewhere near 1. The entire industry is also undergoing a shift as the high end of the market continues to grow, seen in the hundreds of villas displacing rice fields north and west of Seminyak. Though visitor numbers remain depressed in many parts of Lombok, the Gili Islands, particularly Trawangan, have largely bucked this trend.

A range of socioeconomic factors render many children and young people vulnerable to such abuse and some individuals prey upon this vulnerability.

The sexual abuse and exploitation of children has serious, life-long and even life-threatening consequences for the victims. Strong laws exist in Indonesia to prosecute offenders and many countries also have extraterritorial legislation which allows nationals to be prosecuted in their own country for these intolerable crimes. Travellers can help stop child-sex tourism by reporting suspicious behaviour. If you know the nationality of the individual, you can contact their embassy directly. For more information, contact the following organisations: Child Wise www.

Something to remember when you think about leaving a tip.

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Other residents come from Java, Sumatra and Nusa Tenggara; the Balinese tourist industry is a magnet for people seeking jobs and business opportunities. The Balinese people are predominantly of the Malay race, descendants of the groups that travelled southeast from China around BC. In Lombok, the majority of people live in and around the principal centres of Mataram, Praya and Selong.

The Sasak are assumed to have come from northwestern India or Myanmar Burma , and the clothing the women wear today — long black sarongs called lambung and short-sleeved blouses with V-necks — is very similar to that worn in those areas.

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The sarong is held by a 4m scarf called a sabuk, trimmed with brightly coloured stripes. Women wear very little jewellery and never any gold ornaments. Most Sasak people are Muslims, and many traditional beliefs are interwoven with Muslim ideology. The Balinese of Lombok have retained their Balinese Hindu customs and traditions.

Ethnic minorities in Bali include the Bali Aga of the central highlands, whose Hindu traditions predate the arrival of the Majapahit court in the 15th www. This caste system derives from Hindu traditions on Java around , and the structure, which suited Dutch interests, was entrenched during the colonial period.

Most Balinese belong to the common Sudra caste. The rest belong to the triwangsa three people caste which is divided into: Brahmana, high priests with titles of Ida Bagus male and Ida Ayu female ; Ksatriyasa, merchants with titles of Cokoda males and Anak Ayung females ; and Wesia, the nobility with titles of Gusti Ngura or Dewa Gede male , and Gusti Ayu or Dewa Ayu female. In a traditional village, however, caste is still a central part of life, and absolutely essential to all religious practices.

There are Chinese in the larger towns, Indian and Arab merchants in Denpasar and thousands of permanent Western expatriate residents p The island is a model of religious tolerance, with two Christian villages, some Chinese temples, a Buddhist monastery and Muslim communities, particularly around the ports of Gilimanuk, Singaraja, Benoa and Padangbai.

Though Bali Hinduism largely defines the culture, in most cases, permanent residents professing other religions still refer to themselves as Balinese.

Ethnic minorities in Lombok include Chinese, brought over to serve as coolies in the rice paddies beginning in the 18th century. Many went on to set up their own businesses, which were singled out in the riots of The Arabs in Lombok are by and large devout Muslims, well educated and relatively affluent. In the late 19th century, Buginese from south Sulawesi settled in coastal areas and their descendants still operate much of the fishing industry.

Overly revealing clothing is still frowned upon though — few want to see your butt crack. To show more respect, pass something using both hands. The Western method of beckoning is considered very rude. However, it was short-lived. The courts have allowed defamation suits to be filed by government officials and businesspeople against editors and reporters using the Criminal Code instead of the Press Law.

A consequence of this has been an increase in self-censorship. Meanwhile, the influential Jakarta Post promotes a more humane civil society while serving the needs of its readers, both expatriate and Indonesian. In Bali visitors are likely to see scores of tourist-oriented publications which avoid serious controversy. The best source of local news in English is the Bali Discovery website www. You may also see copies of the Indonesian edition of Playboy on newsstands.

See p for details on broadcasting and other publications in Bali and Lombok. Try to find a copy in one of the many used-book stalls. Ususally, clean, tidy clothing and a selandong traditional scarf or sash to tie around your waist — some temples have these for hire for around Rp, or a donation — is an acceptable show of respect for the gods.

Priests should be shown respect, particularly at festivals. At this time women are thought to be sebel ritually unclean , as are pregnant women and those who have recently given birth, or been recently bereaved.

While the Bali Aga retreated to the hills to escape this new influence, the rest of the population simply adapted it for themselves. The Balinese overlaid the Majapahit interpretation of Hinduism on their animist beliefs creating the unusual Balinese form of the religion.

Balinese worship the trinity of Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu, three aspects of the one god, Sanghyang Widi. The basic threesome is always alluded to, but never seen — a vacant shrine or empty throne tells all. Balinese temples come to life at the regular and colourful temple festivals p The betel on top of every offering symbolises the Hindu Trinity, as do the three basic colours used — red for Brahma, black or green for Wisnu, and white for Siwa.

Conical shapes are models of the cosmic mountain and rice cookies represent plants, animals, people or buildings.

Lonely Planet Bali & Lombok (Travel Guide)

Islam The ancient Hindu swastika seen all over Bali is a symbol of harmony with the universe. The German Nazis used a version where the arms are always bent in a clockwise direction. Islam is a minority religion in Bali; most who practise it are descendants of seafaring people from Sulawesi. Mosques are most often seen at seaports and fishing villages. Gujarati merchants brought Islam to Lombok via the Celebes now Sulawesi and Java in the 13th century.

The traditions and rituals affect all aspects of daily life. Friday afternoon is the official time for worship, when all government offices and many businesses close.

Many, but not all, Muslim women in Lombok wear headscarfs, very few choose to wear the veil, and large numbers work in the tourism industry. Middle-class Muslim girls are often able to choose their own partners.

In east Lombok most people practise a stricter, more conservative variety of Islam, and there is evidence that more radical, anti-Western beliefs are taking root with some youths.

Wektu Telu This unique religion originated in Bayan, in north Lombok. The tenet is that all important aspects of life are underpinned by a trinity.

The Wektu Telu p believe they have three main duties: to believe in Allah; to avoid the temptations of the devil; and to cooperate with, help and love other people. The Wektu Telu have three days of fasting and prayer for Ramadan. They pray when and where they feel the need, so all public buildings have a prayer corner that faces Mecca. And, they believe that everything that comes from Allah is good, therefore pork is good.

The purest forms are the depictions of Dewi Sri, the rice goddess, intricately made from dried and folded strips of palm leaf to ensure that the fertility of the rice fields continues.

Until the tourist invasion, the acts of painting or carving were purely to decorate temples and shrines and to enrich ceremonies.

Today, with galleries and craft shops everywhere, paintings are stacked up on their floors and you trip over stone- or woodcarvings. Much of it is churned out quickly, but you will still find a great deal of beautiful work. Balinese dance, music and wayang kulit a leather puppet used in shadow puppet plays performances are one of the reasons that Bali is much more than just a beach destination.

On Lombok you can find excellent crafts, including pottery in villages such as Banyumulek p There are many shops and galleries with good items in Mataram p and Senggigi p Enjoying this purely Balinese form of art is reason enough to visit and no visit is complete without this quintessential Bali experience.

Performances typically take place at night and although choreographed with the short attention spans of tourists in mind they can last two hours or more. Absorb the hypnotic music and the alluring moves of the performers and the hours will, er, dance past. Admission to dances is generally around 50,Rp.

Music, theatre and dance courses are available in Ubud, where private teachers advertise instruction in various of the Balinese instruments see p A great resource on Bali culture and life is www. They are presented with offerings throughout each day to show respect and gratitude, or perhaps to bribe a demon into being less mischievous.

A gift to a higher being must look attractive, so each offering is a work of art. The basic form is fresh food arranged on a palm leaf and crowned with a saiban palm leaf decoration.

While offerings come in many forms, typically they are little bigger than a guidebook. Expect to see flowers, bits of food — especially rice — and a few more unusual items such as Ritz crackers. More important shrines and occasions will call for more elaborate offerings, which can include dozens of citrus fruits and even entire animals cooked and ready for eating.

One thing not to worry about is stepping on offerings. In fact, at Bemo Corner in Kuta p95 offerings are left in front of the shrine in the middle of the road where they are quickly run over by taxis.

And across the island, dogs hover around fresh offerings ready to devour a bite or two, especially the crackers. Given the belief that gods or demons absorb the essence of an offering instantly, the critters are really getting leftovers.

His house of antique carvings became a museum see p Many tourist shows in South Bali hotels offer a smorgasbord of dances — a little Kecak, a taste of Legong and some Barong to round it off. Some of these performances can be pretty abbreviated with just a few musicians and a couple of dancers.

Balinese love a blend of seriousness and slapstick, and this shows in their dances. Some have a decidedly comic element, with clowns who convey the story and also act as a counterpoint to the staid, noble characters. Most dancers are not professionals. Dance is learned by performing, and carefully following the movements of an expert.

It tends to be precise, jerky, shifting and jumpy, remarkably like Balinese music, with its abrupt changes of tempo and dramatic contrasts between silence and crashing noise. Every movement of wrist, hand and fingers is charged with meaning; and facial expressions are carefully choreographed to convey the character of the dance.

Watch the local children cheer the good characters and cringe back from the stage when the demons appear. Kecak Dancing Out of Bali, by John Coast, tells of a ground-breaking international tour by a Balinese dance troupe in the s.

In the s, the tourist version of Kecak developed. Kecak dances tell a tale from the Ramayana, one of the great Hindu holy books, about Prince Rama and his Princess Sita. Then, when the princess is alone, he pounces and carries her off to his hideaway. Fortunately, he is able to call upon a Garuda mythical man-bird creature who helps him escape. Finally, Sugriwa, the king of the monkeys, comes with his monkey army and, after a great battle, good wins out over evil and Rama and Sita return home.

Throughout the dance the chanting is superbly synchronised with an eerily exciting coordination.

Lonely Planet Pocket Bali (Travel Guide)

Add in the actors posing as an army of monkeys and you have unbeatable spectacle. The Barong is a strange but good, mischievous and fun-loving shaggy dog-lion. The widowwitch Rangda is bad through and through. The story begins with Barong Keket, the most holy of the Barong, enjoying the acclaim of its supporters — a group of men with kris traditional daggers.Ususally, clean, tidy clothing and a selandong traditional scarf or sash to tie around your waist — some temples have these for hire for around Rp, or a donation — is an acceptable show of respect for the gods.

Looking for more extensive coverage? The word wayang means shadow and can refer to the puppets or the show. Many of their decisions still resonate today. Free download Laos travel guide - Rough Guide - Laos. Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet. Women wear very little jewellery and never any gold ornaments. Friday afternoon is the official time for worship, when all government offices and many businesses close.