Nyepi, the Day of Silence, when the island Bali has come to a complete shutdown. A day of reflection and quiet.

by Maarten Rol

March 30, 2015
Last week we were in Bali, and witnessed Nyepi, the "Day of silence". A day for which a lot of tourists leave the island, as they are not free to go where the would like to.
From 6 AM in the morning till 6AM the next day all the Balinese people stay inside. The airport Ngurah Rai is completely closed during that period, not a single airplane goes in or out, as are all the ports. The streets are empty and the only sounds you will hear are the sounds of nature. Or maybe only an ambulance for those who really need to go to the hospital.

In my opinion the people who leave the island miss a lot. It is a day to completely wind down and if you are in a villa like us, you are being well taken care of. Also it is possible to move around, as long as you do not leave the villa grounds.
When it has become dark it is even more special: because of the lack of light from the island, you can witness the sky in a way that is normally only possible in very remote and uninhabited places in the world. An unbelievable carpet of stars was shown. Truly a feast for the eyes!

It is also a day of self-reflection. And, as Komang says, something really keen of the Balinese people. The majority do not have a holiday, but on a day like this they will be able to relax. It would be a good thing to have this in our western world, but I realize very well it is totally impossible. It reminds me a little bit of the days of fuel shortage in the seventies, when no cars were allowed to drive on Sundays in The Netherlands.
The peace and quiet on Bali during Nyepi is guarded by the village police in their traditional clothing, the 'pecalang'. If a tourist tries to sneak out into the streets, he will be friendly but decisively escorted back inside.

And the day before Nyepi, as we traveled from the coast (villa l'Orange in Cucukan) to the highlands of Tabanan to Komang's birth village Desa Apuan in Tinungan, we witnessed the many sculptures that had been specially made for the Ogoh-Ogoh parades. But more about that in a next post, together with some pictures we took.

This weekend have we put some discount prizes on our website for Villa Damai Manis and Villa Puri Temple. Two nice villas we checked out last October and that we can really recommend, each with its own qualities!

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