Saturday, February 2, 2013


Nyepi is the Balinese, Hindu-based Day of Silence observed strictly in Bali, island of the Gods. This year the Balinese New Year falls on 12 March.

On 12 March, everything and everyone shuts down in Bali and even the airport is closed! If you have never been to Bali during Nyepi, now is the time. 

It is so strange and yet wonderful to be able to self-reflect and be introspective and quiet and peaceful from 6 am till 6 am the next morning!

Of course this only works when everyone on the entire island is doing the same thing! It cannot work in Kuala Lumpur if you decide to do your own Nyepi when everyone else is working and chatting away in your office and you have 3 meetings to attend and dinner with clients!

In Bali during Nyepi (which is the de facto New Year which is the exact opposite of the noisy Chinese New Year!), no one is allowed to work and you cannot even walk in the streets!

All forms of entertainment is forbidden, including texting, movies, TV, radio, partying, computer, dining out and yes, sex! No carnal intercourse is allowed so you must abstain from sex or your lan chiau might not get erect ever again as divine punishment or your chibai may be sealed permanently.

Lights and fires or any form of flames are forbidden. This does not mean electricity is cut but all lamps and bulbs are kept low or dimmed. Travelling is banned. And for many Balinese, this is also a day of fasting though it is up to the individual. Many do not even talk at all and maintain total silence. 

Tourists are not exempt though they can do pretty much what they like inside their hotel but are not allowed to walk out into the streets. Anyway why venture out from Le Meridien at Jimbaran when the shops, clubs, cinemas and offices and even the beaches are closed. The only men out and about are the Pencalang, traditional security guards patrolling the roads to enforce the ruling. 

The only exceptions are emergency ambulances carrying victims of life-threatening conditions and women about to give birth. 

Otherwise the usually busy and bustling Bali is cloaked in silence which is a major attraction!

The next 3 days are over-loaded with noisy festivities to make up for Nyepi with the parade of Ogoh-Ogoh, larger than life-sized demonic paper and bamboo figures representing negative elements, bad thoughts and evil intentions. These figurines are paraded through villages and streets before getting burned so everyone starts the New Year on a clean slate! 

The best hotel to stay during Nyepi is Le Meridien at Jimbaran. It costs RM 770 a night but you get 1 night free! 

The special rate in Indonesian Rupiah is 2.4 million which sounds like a death rate. I checked with the Universal Currency Converter and don't even know how many zeros to type in! The number 77 pops up so 1 night at Le Meridien is either RM 77 or RM 770 or RM 7,700 which is a bit steep or RM 77,000 a night! 

Why doesn't Indonesia, India, Japan and even Korea lop off a few zeros! Here RM 1 million or US $ 1 million or S$ 1 million is impressive but everyone is a multi-millionaire in Indonesia and the seriously rich have to be trillionaires! Think of the time wasted by banking officials typing half a dozen to a dozen zeros when making large transactions! 

Lagoon View Room.jpg
Lagoon View Room at Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran
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Lagoon Access Room


Discover the new perspective of celebrating the day of silence
at the Heart of Jimbaran Bay and get 1 night enjoy 1 night free.

This annual holiday of a year as well as the most important day of Balinese calendar falls on March 12 this year is also believed to be a very opportune moment for everyone to get together and discover the serene side of the island with family activities or meditation. Travellers who book ‘Free Night on Nyepi’ package on for stay at Lagoon View room during March 9 to 13 will enjoy a privilege room rate starting from IDR 2,400,000++ per room/night (subject to 21% service charge and government tax, terms and conditions apply) and get 1 (one) night for free.

Free Night on Nyepi package includes:
  • Book 1 night, enjoy 1 night free (free night will be applied on checkout)
  • Complimentary daily breakfast for 2 adults and 2 children below 12 years old
  • 25% discount on foods and beveragss
  • No penalty for changes/cancellations until March 8, 2013
  • No deposit required

Located on the secluded, tranquil Jimbaran Bay on the south-west coastline of Bali, Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran features majestic views of the Indian Ocean and Jimbaran Bay. Complementing the location, Le Méridien Bali will juxtapose traditional Jimbaran heritage against a contemporary creative space surrounded by serene and refreshing elements of water. The décor reflects a contemporary approach to Balinese from the modern Batik motives, to the artworks that completes the room and finished with the finest marbles. Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran also features a signature 1,300 square-meter uniquely designed saltwater Lagoon pool that is accessible from ground floor guestrooms; Serenity – a space of rejuvenation, with three signature spa treatment rooms, a fitness centre and yoga studio. Children will be engaged with an array of activities and programs with the Penguins Kids Club, equipped with the latest gadgets and completed with a dedicated outdoor children’s pool.

Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran also introduces a gastronomic journey to the Island of the Gods  offering discerning travellers four dining venues in a three-storey dining and entertainment complex: The brand’s signature all-day dining restaurant, Bamboo Chic featuring Pan-Asian fused with lost Balinese Cuisine; Smoqee Lounge & Sky Bar, an enchanting spot for cocktails and live music over sunset; Latitude 8, the resort’s lobby lounge overlooking the lagoon offering choreographed cocktails, light snacks and evening tapas; and, WALA, an indulgence of hand crafted gelato or taste of the perfect cup of Illy coffee.

For more information or reservation, please visit

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About Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts
Le Méridien, the Paris-born hotel brand currently represented by 100 properties in 50 countries, was acquired by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) in November 2005.  With over 80 of its properties located in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific, Le Méridien provided a strong international complement to Starwood’s then primarily North American holdings at the time of purchase. Since then, Le Méridien has gone through a brand re-launch, which included a large scale hotels product consolidation as well as redefining its brand strategy. By appointing a full-time Cultural Curator – French arts-provocateur Jérôme Sans – Le Méridien transformed numerous guest touch points, thus bringing unique and interactive experiences to its guests. Plans call for dynamic expansion of Le Méridien Hotels and Resorts within the next five years, concentrating in the U.S., Latin America, and Asia-Pacific markets, including destinations such as India, Thailand and China. Le Méridien recently opened new hotels in Mexico City, Istanbul, Oran (Algeria), Arlington (Virginia, USA), Coimbatore (India), Koh Samui (Thailand), and Taipei, and will open in the next 12 months in Bali, Zhengzhou (China), Mahabaleshwar (India), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Cairo (Egypt), Tianjin (China), and Dhaka (Bangladesh).  For more information, please visit  

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,134 properties in nearly 100 countries and 154,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and ElementSM. The Company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit

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