Participating in a Ceremony -- No matter where you are staying in Bali, you can, if you wish, get yourself invited to a ceremony either through a friendly villa staff member or your hotel concierge. Don't forget your sash and sarong. Pick up the spiritual vibe, keeping in mind that "ceremony" is often just a word that replaces "celebration."
Watching a Balinese Dance Performance -- Bali's highly stylized traditional dances have evolved from ancient Hindu rites and often take the performer into a trancelike state. The best way to see it is in a temple but performances at public theaters and even on hotel grounds can be equally entrancing. Don't pass up an opportunity to see the rarely performed Oleg Tambulilingan if you get the chance. It is a sexy virtuoso duet depicting a randy male bumblebee courting a coy lady bee.
Calling on a Balian -- What is a Balian you say? The simplest explanation is a medicine man or a spiritual healer. Balinese see them for illness, emotional distress, and all manner of problems. At the moment you will hear the name Ketut Lyer bandied about as the healer made famous by Elizabeth Gilbert's book, Eat, Pray, Love. Eager seekers form lines running round the block of his Ubud home-cum-practice, so don't bother going there. Instead ask a Balinese friend or someone at your hotel where they recommend you go, as every good Balinese has a Balian. Appointments aren't necessary and there are normally no phone calls you can make to even find your special healer. It's all about just showing up on a first-come, first-served basis, trying your luck, and leaving a donation. Any good Balian worth his salt doesn't discuss money with a client. What you leave is what you decide to leave and many Balinese without much spare cash leave rice and simple offerings.
Eating with Locals at a Warung -- Warungs, or roadside cafes, serve up some of the best local food on the island. Pull up a well-worn wooden stool to a group table and pick your food from the buffet. One of the best warungs is in Seminyak, the Warung Sulawesi, where flavors of Bali are mixed with the piquant offerings of far-flung Indonesian islands. In Ubud, even though it is well discovered, go for the suckling pig at Ibu Oka. Ask anyone where it is and they will point you in the right direction.
Strolling in a Village in the Morning -- Local color is at its brightest in the mornings in a village in Bali. Take a leisurely stroll and you will see children in uniform walking hand in hand to school, moms bringing back the day's provisions from the market, and men and women placing offerings throughout the village and in the temples. It's a stunning start to your day in paradise.
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