The best time to go:
Bali is just 8 degrees below the equator, which mean always hot and steamy. High season is around Christmas and July (especially during Australian school holiday) and August, when it can get very busy and accommodation can be booked solid. April and September has the best combination of good weather and light crowds, But be aware if you are in Bali on Nyepi day, the whole island shuts down and you will be confined to your hotel for the day.
Festival and special events
There seem to be almost always a temple ceremony or village festival happening in Bali, so chances are you will encounter one at some stage during your trip. Two of the biggest are the 10-day GALUNGAN CEREMONY, when gods and ancestor visit the earth, good triumphs over evil and barongs dance from village to village amid general festivities and feasting. 10 day later is Kuningan ceremony, when god go back to heaven and temples, homes and street everywhere are decorated with bamboo ornaments.
NYEPI DA( the day of silence ) falls on the day following the dark moon of the spring equinox and marks the beginning of the Hindu new year, usually sometimes between mid-march and early April. For 24 hours starting at sun rise, the whole island shuts down. The airport closed, no vehicles can be operated, no light turn on. All businesses except hospital and hotel are close and no one allowed to walk to the street.
You can swim year-round in Bali, and you will never need a jacket, unless you are heading to the mountain –top village of Kintamani or candi kuning, where it does get cold. The wet season is officially October to March, but it can and does rain at any time of the year, although not usually for long. The best time for the surfer are between May and August.
A BRIEF HISTORY
- 7TH CENTURY Indian traders bring Hinduism to Bali
- Mid-11th century Java begins to have influence over Bali but remain, more or less semi-independent.
- 1284 Bali is conquered by Javanese ruler, King Kertanegara.
- 1292 Bali gain Independence from Java with the death of Kertanegara
- 1343 Bali is conquered by East Java under the Hindu Majapahit Kingdom, resulting in massive changes in Balinese society, including the introduction of the cast system. Those that did not like the changes fled to the mountain and becomes known as Bali aga(original Balinese). They still live separately in village like TENGANAN near Candidasa and maintain their ancient laws and tradition.
- 1520 The spread of islam across Java is complete. Bali remain an isolated island outpost of Hinduism.
- 1546 The first of the sea temple(pura uluwatu, pura tanah lot) was built by Hindu priest Nirartha.
- 1597 Dutch explorer Cornelis de Houtman is one of the first Europeans to arrive in Bali, near Modern day- Kuta.
- 1710 The royal court is move to Klungkung now called SEMARAPURA.
- 1846 The Dutch land military forces in the northern of Bali and begin pitching various distrustful Balinese kingdoms against each other.
- 1890s The Dutch exploit struggles between rival Balinese kingdoms in the island’s south and now effectively control the island.
- 1894 The Dutch take control of Lombok
- 1906 The royal family and the followers fight a suicidal PUPUTAN( fight to the death) rather than face the ignominy of defeat. An estimated 1000 Balinese were march to their death against the Dutch and their modern weapons.
- 1908 A similar massacre occurs in Klungkung, 4000 Balinese were killed.
- 1930 Western artist such as Walter Spies, composer like Colin Mcphee, and anthropologist Margaret Mead start singing the praises of Bali to the rest of the world. Bob and Louise build a couple of bungalows on deserted Kuta beach, name them the Kuta beach hotel.
- 1942 Japanese land at Sanur and soon occupy the entire island
- AUGUST 1945 Japanese surrender marks the end of WWII. Indonesian independence on August 17.
- NOVEMBER 20, 1946, Freedom fighter GUSTI NGURAH RAI dies, along with his entire fighting force knows as the Battle of Marga.( puputan margarana).
- DECEMBER 29,1949 The Dutch recognize Indonesian Independence.
- 1963 Mt. Agung volcano erupted killing thousand and hundred thousand homeless.
- 1965-6 Fall of Sukarno and rise of Suharto
- 1970s surfers discover the Bali beaches, followed by backpackers.
- October 10 2002 Bomb explode and the night club, killing 202 people
- October 1 2005 there suicide bombers blow themselves up one in Kuta square and one at Jimbaran 20 people died and 15 of them Balinese.
- 2009 Bali tourist number hit the record highs as the Balinese joyfully welcome more than 2 million visitors throughout the year.