10 Facts* About Bali

Mt Agung

  1. At 3,142 metres above sea level, Mount Agung is not only the highest elevated point on the island but also its most sacred place and it is home to Bali’s largest temple, Besakih Temple.
  2. On the Balinese New Year, otherwise known as Nyepi, the whole island shuts down for 24 hours – no working, no travelling, no noise.
  3. The Balinese names are mostly Wayan, Made, Nyoman and Ketut which respectively mean first child, second child, third child and fourth child. If a fifth child were born, it would have ‘Wayan’ as its first name again and so forth. The names are the same for both males and females.
  4. Balinese babies are not allowed to touch the ground until they are three months old. This practice comes from the belief that newborns are sacred and is not allowed to become unclean by touching the ground or floor.
  5. Almost everyone in Bali has had their teeth filed down. The practice is rooted in the belief that the six vices – anger, confusion, jealousy, drunkenness, desire, and greed – all enter the body through the top six teeth. By filing away the demonic ends, the vices are easily hindered.


  1. Most Balinese are Hindus but unlike Hinduism in India, those of different castes often socialise and intermarry.
  2. And unlike Hinduism in India, Balinese Hinduism is also influenced by traditional animist beliefs and has united the Indian belief in divine beings with the Balinese belief in the protective nature of ancestors.
  3. The Bali Starling, also known as the Bali myna is a bird species native to Bali. You can easily identify this unique species by its clear, white feathers, distinctive blue marks around its eyes, black wing tips and a striking plume of feathers atop its head.
  4. The Balinese irrigation system ‘Subak’ is listed as one of the UNESCO world heritage cultural landscape sites.
  5. Around 80 percent of its economy is related to tourism, be it leisure activities, hotels and restaurants.

* It’s a matter of debate which of these facts are true; it just depends on where the information comes from.

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