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Balinese Culture

Language - Most Balinese people speak some English, however please take time to ensure you are truly understood and be gracious if the Balinese get it wrong. It does happen. If in doubt, please ask again until you are satisfied with the answer. It can be rewarding to make some effort to speak Bahasa Indonesia, the national language of Indonesia.

Respect for Local Customs

Balinese CeremonyThe Balinese people are deeply religious. Ceremonies are an integral part of daily life in Bali. When visiting local Hindu Temples please ensure you are appropriately attired. Always wear a sarong and scarf to cover your arms and legs when entering a local Hindu Temple. If you wish to know more about Hindu customs, then feel free to speak with our English speaking staff, Iluh, Anna, and Wayan Dolle, they will explain it in more detail.

There is one unique Hindu Temple on the grounds of Katana Villa that was crafted by a true artisan who was flown in from Java.  By Leslie’s request, Margi designed two snake dragons at the opening of the small entrance without either of them being aware of the old story that Katana Villa’s land is known to have Seven Snake Dragon Spirits that visit from the Valley of Bangle. This special Temple is located in the front gardens just outside the gate and new offerings are given daily by our sweet little Wayan.


Balinese remove their shoes when they enter a house. Don’t feel that you need to follow suit while at Katana Villa. The floors are less slippery if you keep your shoes on, and less exhausting for Western feet.

Bali Time

There is Western time and there is Bali time. In Bali everyone moves much, much slower than the normally stressed out Westerner. It may be difficult for some people to adjust to Bali time, but soon enough you will. After 2 or 3 days you will find your body clock slowly adjusting. You won’t be stressing out that easily anymore.

Money and Conversion

The Indonesian currency is the Rupiah. Best to change your money at your bank at home.

Lotus FlowerMost establishments accept credit cards, but not all do in Amed and Bunutan so make sure you bring enough cash before you leave Denpasar. The local currency, Rupiahs will be needed only for minor purchases or for small cafés and restaurants. Most currencies can be exchanged at the moneychangers as required. Major purchases can be done with your credit card, but again be aware that credit cards are not always accepted in our village and the nearest bank is a 35 minute drive away.

Currency conversion made easy; the best way to remember it is to remove the four zeros from the Rupiah amount. This changes it into the approximate USD exchange. Example Rp 100,000 nearly becomes USD$10.00 (which is approximately AUD$12.00). But please check the currency exchange rates on the internet because it changes daily.

Each Suite at the luxury villa is equipped with a safe. All valuables should be locked in the safe when not in use. Read the instructions on the inside wardrobe door before using the safe. If you require any assistance then speak with your Villa or Grounds Manager.

Shopping and Tours

Tanah Lot TourShopping - Local shopping in Amed is limited to basic food items, cheap clothing, carvings and trinkets. The local Amed Cafe (Supermarket) has it all at little prices. And "The Store" in Bunutan offers a wide variety of clothing, trinkets, beverages, spirits, and a small deli with the best Cappuccino in Bunutan.

If you want to go shopping for art and other assorted type goods then a trip to Ubud is a good place to shop for a variety of clothing, artworks, and jewelers. From budget items to high priced brands.  Ubud has an amazing vibrant village atmosphere with just the right amount of Western influence.

If you want to shop home style but on half the cost then a day trip to Kuta is a recommended Discovery Mall, which is a popular place to go. You can seriously save on your credit card charges compared to home at many designer stores in the Mall. You should also try Mal Galleria on the By Pass Road behind Planet Hollywood at the big roundabout in Kuta.

Western Food

Local Dance at Sunset RestuarantIf you feel like shopping for Western food you may want to go to Carrefour on Sunset Road before heading out to Amed.  If you wish to only dine, you may want to enjoy Dijon or Bali Bakery in Kuta, or Bali Deli in Seminyak, on your way through from the Airport. They have a great selection of Western foods at moderate prices. There is also a McDonalds and KFC in Kuta and Sanur but they’re just not the same as the real thing at home (if you like that kind of food). As you drive out, you will reach a village called Candi Dasa, which is the halfway point from Denpasar to Amed, and there are a variety of Western style restaurants to choose from.  Then once you arrive in Amlapura (30 minutes before Amed) there is a Hardy’s supermarket, which is the closest to a Western style supermarket in our area.  Once in Amed and Bunutan, our staff will direct you to the local restaurants that serve Western Style food.


When it comes to find inexpensive wine it is a difficult find in Bali. If you are a wine drinker, it is recommended that you either bring your own bottle or buy once you arrive at “The Store” in Bunutan or at “Amed Café" in Amed. Both stores have a choice of wines. However "The Store" has the largest selection, as well as spirits at a reasonable price.

The local drink Arak

The local alcoholic rice drink "Arak" is an uncontrolled spirit. It has been known to cause severe medical problems for some people. It has an extremely high alcohol content. Therefore, drink “Arak” in moderation and with extreme caution.  And if you are interested to try it, we will be happy to show you how to make the famous  "Arak Attack" drink.

Security and Safety

Police - When visiting Indonesia, you will need to register with the local police. There is no need for you to attend in person. We will handle this for you. All that is needed is a registration form and a photocopy of the photo page of your passport and the Visa page. The purpose of this registration is to keep a check on your whereabouts in Bali. Just in case of an emergency of major proportions. The police would know where to find you in order to safely evacuate you back to your home country.

Beaches and Surf

Bali BeachThe beach is only a few hundred meters in front of Katana Villa Bali. Due to the local volcano Agung, the beach has fine black sand and in some parts there are small rocks, so it is recommended to wear rubber shoes to avoid stepping on small lava rocks and corals. If you prefer lighter colored sand beaches, there is one only a three-minute scooter ride away at a nearby lagoon, and each beach is famous for its excellent snorkeling.

You will find a Dive Shop and Scuba Diving outfits at nearly every corner in every village all along the coast. Two famous shipwrecks are a favored local attraction amongst our guests. The Japanese Shipwreck is only a seven-minute scooter ride away. The American Liberty Shipwreck is about a half hour scooter or car ride away. Both Shipwrecks are in shallow crystal clear waters and can be seen with snorkeling gear or by diving with a full tank. The local diving shops will be happy to assist you in your choice of diving. They will also organize private tours, certify you and or be available as personal dive and guide master for your own dive. The waters are very safe to swim in. However, it is an unpatrolled beach so please be very careful at all times when on the beach and in the water, particularly when you are in the care of children.

General Security

The Balinese people are very easy going, honest and friendly by nature, it doesn’t mean that everyone is safe in Bali. Like all countries, Bali has some share of crime. So it doesn’t hurt to be careful with your valuables just in case. When not in use, you could always lock your valuables away in your bedroom safe.


In Bali, doing drugs is a criminal offence. Possession and use of drugs is not allowed at  Katana Villa. The government in Indonesia does not take drug possession lightly. The punishment is severe and not Western like; if caught you will go to jail and possibly hanged. Our staff are instructed by law to immediately report any evidence of such possession or use to the local Police.


When you come to Bali it feels like all you see are Palm trees. But you should know that most of them grow coconuts, which often fall to the ground. For your own safety do not walk or sit under coconut trees. Always be careful when you walk around them, you don’t want to get knocked out while on vacation!

Cleaning up Amed and Bunutan

Katana Villa is actively involved in helping a beautiful French girl by the name of Charlotte Fredouille who has single-handedly been cleaning up Bali by starting in our villages of Amed and Bunutan. See: Cleaning up the Island. She is slowly getting notoriety around the world and recently got an award for her efforts in France. She has set up trash containers that now appear in several villages along the coast and is educating the local children so they will better understand the importance to protect nature for the future of our planet. But funding is still needed to help her to continue with her life mission. Any contributions, no matter how small, are appreciated for her foundation. Please check out her website.

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