While the Island of the Gods has grown incredibly cosmopolitan, it is still Bali’s unique culture and warm people that make the most lasting impression. To this day, ancient Balinese traditions have lost none of their magic. Here are the best ways to immerse yourself in the island’s unique way of life.
Learn the local language
For visitors to Bali, language essentially operates on three levels:
Level 1: English
English is widely spoken in Bali and you will get by just fine with English alone. At Chandra Villas, all our staff speak fluent English and Indonesian.
Level 2: Indonesian
Knowing some Indonesian or Bahasa Indonesia will help you better immerse yourself in the local way of life. It’s also an easy way to show your appreciation for the local culture.
Level 3: Balinese
If you know any Balinese (Basa Bali), you will truly impress the locals as very few visitors learn Balinese!
To get a head start, learn these 10 Indonesian phrases before landing in Bali:
- Terima kasih / Sama sama
Thank you / You’re welcome
- Apa kabar? / Baik
How are you? / Fine
- Selamat pagi / sore / malam
Good morning / afternoon / night
- Selamat makan!
Enjoy your meal!
- Nama saya…
My name is…
- Berapa harganya?
How much is it?
- Saya suka Bali!
I like Bali!
- Sampai jumpa!
Learn to make Balinese offerings in your villa
As soon as you land in Bali, you can’t help but be captivated by the delicate offerings which dot the beaches and pavements and adorn shrines and entryways. These daily offerings known as canang sari are an essential part of the Balinese way of life. A sign of gratitude for peace bestowed on the world, the offerings are intricately made using palm leaves and flowers. Each component of canang sari holds a special meaning. Learning to make these beautiful offerings will give you a deeper understanding and appreciation of the local culture. Let us know if you would like to learn to make Balinese offerings during your stay at Chandra. Our team will be happy to organise this special experience for you.
Visit a local temple
Bali is often referred to as the Island of a Thousand Temples but in reality, the island of thousands of temples would be more accurate! The most famous among Bali’s countless shrines include Pura Uluwatu which is built on a dramatic clifftop; Pura Tanah Lot which appears to be rising from the sea; and Pura Besakih which has stood on the slopes of Mount Agung for centuries. We highly recommend including any – or every! – one of these iconic landmarks into your Bali itinerary. We can also take care of all the logistics for you.
Join a cooking class
“Enak sekali” means “very delicious” in Indonesian. This phrase will come in very handy when you’re sampling Balinese cuisine! While there are plenty of great restaurants where you can try delicious Indonesian food, the best way to truly immerse yourself in the local flavours is through a hands-on cooking class. A dedicated cooking lesson will introduce you to the unique ingredients and authentic cooking methods that make Balinese food so special. All of our villas come with fully-equipped kitchens so you can enjoy a cooking class right on site if you’d like.
Be inspired by traditional Balinese dancers
Besides its beautiful scenery and unique spirituality, Bali is known for its rich culture and artistic traditions. The beauty and precision of Balinese dance in particular is bound to leave you in awe. Balinese dance is steeped in age old traditions that go back for centuries, weaving together culture, religion and history. Donning beautiful costumes and dramatic makeup, the dancers move with incredible grace. Even the most subtle movement holds a special meaning. Watching Balinese dancers perform in your private villa garden is sure to be one of the highlights of your stay in Bali.