The Balinese are Hindu yet their religion is very different from that of the Indian variety. The Balinese worship the Hindu trinity Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu, who are seen as manifestations of the Supreme God Sanghyang Widhi. Other Indian gods like Ganesha (the elephant-headed god) also appear, but more commonly, one will see shrines to the many gods and spirits that are uniquely Balinese. Balinese believe strongly in magic and the power of spirits, and much of their religion is based upon this. They believe that good spirits dwell in the mountains and that the seas are home to demons and ogres. Most villages have at least three main temples, namely: (1) the Pura Puseh, or ‘temple of origin’, facing the mountains; (2) the Pura Desa, or village temple normally found in the centre; and (3) the Pura Dalem, aligned with the sea and dedicated to the spirits of the dead. Aside from these ‘village temples’, almost every house has its own shrine. Some temples, for example, Pura Besakih on the slopes of Mount Agung, are considered especially important and people from all over Bali travel there to worship.

Offerings play a significant role in Balinese life as they appease the spirits and thus bring prosperity and good health to the family. Every day small offering trays (canang sari) containing symbolic food, flowers, cigarettes and money, are placed on shrines, in temples, outside houses and shops, and even at dangerous crossroads.

Festivals are another great occasion for appeasing the gods. The women bear huge, beautifully arranged, pyramids of food, fruit and flowers on their heads while the men might conduct a blood sacrifice through a cockfight. There are traditional dances and music and the gods are invited to come down to join in the festivities. The festivals are usually very exciting occasions and, if you are in the are, well worth observing.

divers bali


Although there are no artifacts or records dating back to the Stone Age, it is believed that the first settlers on Bali migrated from China around 2500 B.C. By the Bronze era, around 300 B.C., a fairly evolved culture already existed on Bali. The complex system of irrigation and rice production, still in use today, was established around this time.

It appears that the main religion around 500 A.D. was predominantly Buddhist in influence. In 670 A.D., a Chinese scholar (Yi-Tsing), on a trip to India, reported that he had visited a Buddhist country called Bali.

It wasn’t until the 11th century that Bali received the first strong influx of Hindu and Javanese cultures. With the death of his father around AD 1011, the Balinese Prince, Airlanggha, moved to East Java and set about uniting it under one principality. Having succeeded, he then appointed his brother, Anak Wungsu, as ruler of Bali. During the ensuing period there was a reciprocation of political and artistic ideas. The old Javanese language, Kawi, became the language used by the aristocracy, one of the many Javanese traits and customs adopted by the people.

With the death of Airlanggha, in the middle of the 11th century, Bali enjoyed a period of autonomy. However, this proved to be short-lived, as in 1284 the East Javanese King Kertanegara, conquered Bali and ruled over it from Java. In 1292, Kertanegara was murdered and Bali took the opportunity to liberate itself once again. However, in 1343, Bali was brought back under Javanese control by its defeat at the hands of Gajah Mada, a general in the last of the great Hindu-Javanese empires, the Majapahit. With the spread of Islam throughout Sumatra and Java during the 16th century, the Majapahit empire began to collapse and a large exodus of aristocracy, priests, artists and artisans to Bali ensued. For a while Bali flourished and the following centuries were considered the Golden Age of Bali’s cultural history. The principality of Gelgel, near Klungkung, became a major centre for the arts, and Bali became the major power of the region, taking control of neighbouring Lombok and parts of East Java.
The European Influence

The first Dutch seamen set foot on Bali in 1597, yet it wasn’t until the 1800’s that the Dutch showed an interest in colonising the island. In 1846, having had large areas of Indonesia under their control since the 1700’s, the Dutch government sent troops into northern Bali. In 1894, Dutch forces sided with the Sasak people of Lombok to defeat their Balinese rulers. By 1911, all the Balinese principalities had either been defeated in battle, or had capitulated, leaving the whole island under Dutch control. During World War II, the Dutch were expelled by the Japanese, who had occupied Indonesia from 1942 to 1945.
After the Japanese defeat, the Dutch tried to regain control over their former colonies, but on August 17, 1945, Indonesia was declared independent by its first President, Sukarno. After four years of fighting and strong criticism from the international community, the Dutch government finally ceded and, in 1949, Indonesia was recognized as an independent country.


Life in Bali is very communal with the organisation of villages, farming and even the creative arts being decided by the community. The local government is responsible for schools, clinics, hospitals and roads, but all other aspects of life are placed in the hands of two traditional committees, whose roots in Balinese culture stretch back centuries. The first, Subak, concerns the production of rice and organises the complex irrigation system. Everyone who owns a sawah, or padi field, must join their local Subak, which ensures that every member gets his fair share of irrigation water. The other community organisation is the Banjar, responsible for arranging all village festivals, marriage ceremonies and cremations. Most villages have at least one Banjar and all men have to join when they marry. Banjars, on average, give membership to 50 up to 100 families and all Banjars have their own meeting place called the Bale Banjar. As well as being used for regular meetings, the Bale (pavilion) is where the local gamelan orchestras and drama groups practice.

the best "hot" spots on Bali


where the Sun Goes Down!

You've got the outfit, the tan, the energy and need to know where to go? Party Zone will take you through some of the best "hot" spots on Bali. If you like watching the sunset, make your way down to one of the bars on Kuta Beach for that exotic cocktail or ice-cold beer... For those who may be too red for comfort, visit Kori in Poppies Lane ... for the really serious night-lifers try some of the venues listed below...and as with everywhere, in crowded venues take care of your belongings.. enjoy...!
party zone...
Kuta Legian/Seminyak

Blue Ocean Boulevard - An exclusive club/lounge (with dress code) next to Double Six Club. Fancy and funky!

Jl. Oberoi – groovy commercial dance music, R&B, etc. Party hard in this air-conditioned venue. Open Daily 7.00pm-3.00am.

Jl. Legian - Home to the famous "Jam Jar". A popular Restaurant/Bar/Nightclub. Open 24 hours and feats. R&B, house, Techno and live music. Restaurant Happy Hours- 9-12 pm.; Club Happy Hours - 12 - 2am.

* DEEJAY CAFE @ Paradiso Bowling
Jl. Kartika Plaza – For party animals that want to keep going till dawn! Open daily 11pm-dawn.

66 Boulevard - Beach-front venue that plays the best sounds of this season, open from 5pm ‘til late. Bali’s trendiest crowd - from all over the globe!

Jl. 66 - Right on the beach, open every night 'til 6 am., this nightclub gets packed on Fri. & Sat. nights; (cover charge). Call 731266.

Jl. Dhyana Pura - Gado Gado beach lounge features the latest tunes, a varied selection of international wines, fine coffees, and creative cocktails, not to mention a view to die for!

Jl. Pantai Kuta - The place that Rocks! Packed full at weekends and feats. some great music memorabilia. Watch out for Int’l guest bands.

Jl. Oberoi, Petitenget - With a spring water swimming pool and chill-out lounge; it’s one of the best watering holes in town, #1 for Lychee Martinis! Hu’u feats. Nocturnal Fridays & P.O.R.N. on Saturdays! Call 736443.

* SEGARA FRESH SEAFOOR RESTAURANT (At beach front Discovery Shopping Mall)
Jl. Kartika Plaza Kuta-Bali 80361
Ph: 0361 769613
Fresh Seafood Grilled with nice sunset view

Jl. Pantai Kuta - This Club, Restaurant & Lounge follows a ‘divinely sensual’ Mughal theme. Live Bands, outstanding music, top class drinks all in a divinely aircon-ed venue puts it top of any list. Tel. 761999

Jl. Lasmana, Seminyak -This is the beach view. 3 well stocked bars gather a big crowd day and night, especially to the sounds of top Int’l DJ’s. Fun parties, this is the place to be. Call 736969.

Gg. Poppies II - Relaxed and cozy; imported wines, chilled cocktails and ice-cold beers. Cigar salon complete with pool table all available in an idyllic Bali garden. Best weekly deals on cocktails & beers on Bali! Don’t miss hearing Unplugged Traffic Blues Band on Ladies Night each Wednesday. Ph: 758605.

Jl. Legian - Kuta’s most fancy night club. Air-conditioned w/ beach couture fashion shows every Thurs. 9pm. - late. Look out also for their salsa nights!

Jl. Dhyana Pura - Bali's best World Music bar with live entertainment every night! Hot Latin nights on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Open from 6pm till late. Ph: 730 269

Discovery Esplanade, Discovery Shopping Mall
Jl. Kartika Plaza Kuta-Bali 80361 Ph: 0361 765027
Tapas & International Food
Oceans27 Signature drink “Summer Breeze Mojito”


LJl. Bypass Ngurah Rai – Live bands every night and regular performances by Indonesia’s jazz guest stars. Open daily 11am-2pm.

Jl. Hangtuah 58 – Has the best bar and lounge in Sanur! Open daily 6am-12pm.


Jl. Pengosekan Kaja – An upgraded warung featuring local bands every day.



On the southeastern side of Bali, Sanur beach is easily reachable from Denpasar, about a 5 to 10 minute drive. Sanur is an excellent site to watch the sun rises, as you jog along the white sandy beach. Being one of the first resort developed in Bali, Sanur maintains its traditions. Only a stone thrown away from the beach, ancient temples stand as solemn as they have been in centuries past.

Sanur is a mixture bringing together the two worlds of Kuta and Nusa Dua. For more secluded beaches and a calmer pace of life, the sleepy beach town of Sanur is a heaven. The main attraction of this beach are their white sand and the beauty of constantly calm water. The younger can go diving, windsurfing, parasailing, windsurfing, or scuba diving, but the preferred pastime here seems to be lying back, relaxing and working on a suntan.

Located on the eastern coast of Bali, Sanur is the ideal beach for snorkeling. The beach is safe here as it is sheltered by a reef. Sanur area has all level of accommodation and solid network of infrastructure. There is a good range of accommodation available, together with an excellent range of restaurants. If you do not always want to 'eat in', then there are plenty of restaurants offering a wide range of meals from the quite expensive through to the dirt-cheap prices of local warungs.

Nevertheless village life goes on and visitors can really experience the real Bali. Choose between Balinese or Western style accommodation, both with all the comforts of home. There are also many excellent open air restaurants and cafes offering every variety of food imaginable. The life style here is far different from Kuta and Legian with the accent on relaxation!

Guarantee, Sanur has everything for the holidaymaker and traveller with its travel agencies, money changers, supermarkets and shopping, selling everything you need to take back home, because Sanur also has a busy craft market and a good selection of art shops.



Don't expect too much here. We are not Ubud nightlife experts, but names frequently mentioned include PUTRA BAR, Jl. Monkey Forest (every night live music ranging from Reggae to rock), MAGIC BAR, Jl. Monkey Forest (live music and sometimes great atmosphere), JAZZ CAFE, Jl. Tebesaya (live music and jam sessions on different nights), EXILE BAR (Saturday nights only, great music), and FUNKY MONKEY (early hours cafe).

Have fun!

Visit also Food & Restaurants to Enjoy

Private Vacation Villas in Bali
You can rent a private villa in Bali with one to seven bedrooms, tropical garden with swimming pool, and trained household staff as an alternative to spending your vacation in a hotel.

Bali Hotel Bargain Finder
Take advantage of the GUARANTEED lowest rates at famous luxury resorts and budget hotels in Bali. Reserve on-line to save 70% and more on your hotel accommodation.

Cruising the Spice Islands
Step on a modern cruise liner or charter a private yacht from Bali to see fierce dragons from the Jurassic age in Komodo, and to visit ancient tribes and cultures in the Lesser Sunda Islands.



Night life in Bali starts late, which means around midnight. Many visitors wonder where crowds of expats suddenly come from around 1:00 in the morning – even when all of Kuta has been very quiet during the whole evening, the IN-places often become crowded after midnight.

There's a simple explanation: during the early evenings many of Bali's night owls either still work, visit friends at home, or simply sleep. Most of them visit pubs, bars, or discos only in the early morning hours. Therefore, if you plan a night out don't start your dinner too early. Between 9:00 p.m. and midnight there are not many places we can recommend.

Visitors looking for company don't need to worry. Wherever you go in Sanur and the Kuta area, there are many other single travellers with the same problem around – day and night. In Bali's discos you'll meet also many "kupu kupu malams" ("night butterflies" or working girls) and young boys who compete with the females and service all sexes. All taxi drivers know the more popular karaoke bars and massage parlours in Kuta and Denpasar, and the various "Houses of ill Repute" in Sanur's narrow back lanes.

As reported in the BALI travel FORUM: "Prostitution is illegal in Bali. However, like in many countries, everyone turns a blind eye. Many girls can be found in nightclubs and bars in most areas. They look usually just like the girl next door, albeit with a bit more make up on, and they usually dress to please the eye. For the most part, they are gentle, easy to be with, and a lot of fun if you want to dance, drink and have a little fun with. Most will be yours for the whole night for about 500,000 Rupiah although prices range from 200,000 Rupiah to 1,500,000 Rupiah and more – depending on the season, the time of night and the situation".


Some quite popular places in Sanur are the BORNEO PUB on Jalan Danau Tamblingan and the TROPHY PUB in front of the Sanur Beach Hotel. Both, however, close around 1:00 a.m.

The discos and pubs in Nusa Dua's 5-star hotels are often rather empty. They are mostly frequented by those visitors who stay in-house and are too tired to make the 30 minutes drive to Kuta.


Everybody looking for some action and fun in the evening goes to "Kuta" which nowadays means the area extending about 4 miles or 7 kilometers North from the original village of Kuta and includes now Legian, Seminyak and even Basangkasa. Here are most of the better entertainment places offering EVERYTHING single male or female visitors as well as couples might be looking for.

There are several places such as CASABLANCA etc. – down-market open-air pubs and very noisy discos full of stoned Aussies courting Javanese "Kupu Kupu Malams". PEANUTS Discotheque on Jalan Raya Legian at the Jalan Melasti corner (about the border between Kuta and Legian) has been re-opened very soon after it was gutted by a fire. The huge (air-conditioned) dance floor is often crowded, guests are a mix of locals and younger foreign visitors.

Closer to the center of Kuta you find the BOUNTY SHIP with a noisy, over-air-conditioned disco in the basement and the re-built PADDY'S not far from the original PADDY'S. Much more "IN" nowadays is the newer M-BAR-GO which features really good music and a better crowd than most other places. SKY GARDEN is also on the main road and an interesting place to go. The bar is on the top floor, the three storeys below feature all different lounge areas. The menu is huge but the food is often disappointing. When most places close around 2.00 or 3.00 in the morning, night owls of all kinds continue drinking at nearby MAMA'S until sunrise.

For a somewhat more civilized evening out, you can have dinner and a couple of drinks at the bar at either TJ's or KORI in Kuta, at the open street side bar at NERO Bali right opposite AROMAS Restaurant in Kuta, at the re-built MACCARONI CLUB in Kuta, at MADE'S WARUNG in Basangkasa (see BALI - Restaurants to Enjoy), or at the trendy HU'U Bar & Lounge near the Petitenget temple, LA LUCIOLA and THE LIVING ROOM.

One of the most "in" venues in Bali is KU DE TA right on the beach adjacent to the Oberoi hotel. This is the place to see and be seen, and from late afternoon there is a DJ providing rather noisy entertainment for Bali's beautiful people. This is a great place to watch Bali's famous sunsets, but expect to pay for a cocktail around US$10 and more.

Something more outrageous and only for open-minded people are the HULU CAFE shows in Garlic Lane between Jalan Padma and Jalan Melasti in Kuta/Legian, a place which called itself the "only real gay bar in all of Bali" with drag shows starting at 11:00 p.m. three times per week. The performances are actually kind of funny! Since the original HULU CAFE burnt down in 2008, the shows are now performed at 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at the BALI BEACH SHACK in the same lane

You'll find a large and quite popular HARD ROCK CAFE right at the beginning of Kuta's beach road with live music from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Expect to find many singles of all kinds here looking for company. If you think this is too noisy, too crowded, or the air-conditioning too cold for you, try the CENTER STAGE at the HARD ROCK RESORT located in the back of the CAFE. As the name implies, the band performs on a raised stage in the middle of the huge round lobby bar until 11:00 p.m. Both HARD ROCK outlets are expensive by Bali standards.

The JAYA PUB on the main road in Seminyak features also live music and attracts many Indonesian customers who don't mind the chilling air-conditioning and the sometimes horrible bands and singers. MANNEKEPIS, a pleasant Belgian pub/restaurant right opposite the QUEEN'S TANDOOR in Seminyak, features live Jazz on Thurdays, Fridays and Saturdays and serves good meals at reasonable prices.

Seminyak's best place to have a drink and some fun after 11 p.m. are nowadays probably OBSESSION World Music Bar and SANTA FEE Bar & Grill, Jalan Abimanyu (also known as Gado Gado Road or Jalan Dhyana Pura). Life music, reasonably priced cocktails and the friendly girls attract many visitors until the early hours. Other popular night spots nearby in the same street are SPY BAR, LIQUID, Q BAR and MIXWELL ("for the alternative lifestyle"), SPACE and THE GLOBE. New bars and "Chill-Out Lounges" are opening all the time, and most of them feature DJ's and/or live music on certain nights. Just walk down the road and check them out !

Later, from 2:00 a.m., it's party time at the SYNDICATE, BACIO and DOUBLE SIX, a large open-air disco with several bars, big dance floor, and many tables. All three are located next to each other on the beach in Seminyak and charge an entrance fee of 30,000 to 100,000 Rupiah (depending on the day) for which you get a voucher for a free drink. Here and in nearby DEJA VU and LA VITA LOCA you'll find most of Bali's night owls drinking and dancing the night away until 4:30 a.m. or so. (The legendary GADO GADO Disco has been re-converted into a restaurant.)

Also, watch out for notices and small posters in Kuta and Seminyak announcing special events such as Full Moon Parties, House Warming Parties, Body Painting Parties, etc, etc. If these "parties" are announced to the public (even if only by word-of-mouth), they are open for everybody. You'll have to pay for your drinks, therefore, don't be shy.