Friday, October 28, 2005
Bali is an island that is about 60 miles wide and 40 miles long. It sits about 8 degrees south of the equator. It is north of Australia (3000 miles from Sydney); Southeast of Thailand (1,800 miles from Bangkok); and southwest of Tahiti. From Los Angeles, it is about a 18-hour plane flight (about 9,000 miles).
This is a very old civilization. The earliest known writings are from the 9th century. By this time, the island had its irrigation system in place and the agriculture matches, pretty much, what you see today.
Costs and the best time to visit? The high season, in terms of costs and crowds, is considered to be July, August, and December. Beter if you stay at Bali Villa
The water temperature is just a little cooler than the air temperature.
One of the things I think is most interesting about Bali, is the insect problem. In fact, there is no insect problem on Bali. How can this be on an island that is covered in water filled, rice paddies? On Bali, they have the closest thing I have ever seen to a ‘perpetual-motion machine’. It’s called DUCKS! They take their ducks out to the paddies during the day. The ducks root around for insects and larvae. They also relieve themselves in the paddies. So, to start, they are an insecticide and a fertilizer. Then later, the ducks are eaten! This takes care of a great deal of insects. But they also have insect eating birds, lizards (geckos), fish, eels, and bats. The majority of places we stayed had fishponds around the rooms to help take care of insects. (Mostly, this is for the wet season, we really were not bothered by insects, at all). One night we were having dinner in a nice place, which, like all places in Bali had open walls. I looked up and noticed several light bulbs up in the ceiling. Then I noticed that these light bulbs had no insects flying around them and no spider webs to catch these insects, like they would be back home. A little later, I found out why. Bats! About every 30-45 minutes a bat would fly through and, I guess, pick off a few insects. Natural insecticide!!
Language. Since Indonesia and Bali are so close to Australia, English is taught in the schools as a second language. Usually, folks want to practice their English with you. However, the language of Bali and Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesian. It is a very beautiful language. Just learning a few phrases in the local language will get you more smiles and warm feelings than you could imagine. Try this site (Learning Bahasa Indonesia) to help you learn the few words or phrases you'll need (they even have sound clips, so you can hear the word or phrase).