Blogs from Indonesia, Asia - page 12

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Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud February 25th 2014

Transport arrived to pick us up from the hotel. Oldest. Minibus. Ever. We meandered through Legian and Seminyak, picking up folks and their huuuuge bags as we went. there was a seat for all passengers (7) but not so much room for our luggage, so we had our feet on a Chilean backpack for the entire journey. No, Sam would not move and sit in the back. Mimicked retching noises to reinforce the point. On arrival in Ubud, the driver said he wouldn't go down Monkey Forest Road - too much traffic, and the very forthright and not-helpful-at-all Dutch lady in the front said she would pay him the 10,000 requested to do so. Chorus of disapproval at this, led by us. The agent had said he would stop at 3 places along it, and others ... read more
Ubud market
Poor birds in cages at the guesthouse
Rice paddy and buddha in the restaurant

Asia » Indonesia » Bali February 24th 2014

We left Nusa Penida early in the morning. The wonderful staff at the Ring Sameton Inn gave us lifts to the harbor on the backs of their motorbikes, and even packed us breakfast. We took a public speedboat over to PadangBai back on “mainland” Bali and from there tried to catch a shuttle to Ubud. Ubud is perhaps the most revered spiritual destination in Bali; it was recently named “The Best City in Asia” by some-or-the-other magazine. It was also popularized by the infamous “Eat, Pray, Love”. In addition, it’s highly praised in nearly all travel literature for its lush tea fields, boutique hotels, backpacker hangouts, yoga classes, spas, gurus, monkeys, villages, handicrafts, cuisine, fire dancers, etc. With such a reputation, perhaps my expectations were set a little too high. At first, I was fairly disappointed. ... read more
Masks for sale
Dancers
Tegalalang Rice Terraces

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud February 23rd 2014

Arma was opened by the Indonesian Minister for education and culture. It is more than a museum, it is a centre for visual and performings arts and provides opportunities for the visitor to enjoy the collection of paintings and temporary exhibitions. To name just a few of the work exhibited: classical Kamasan paintings on tree bark; pieces by Banian artists of the '30 and '40's; the only works to be seen on Bali by 19th century Javanese artist Bastman and German painter, Walter Spies. Foreign artists who lived and worked in Bali are represented by, Willem Hofker, Rudolf Bonnet, Adrien Mayeur de Merpres and Willem Dooijewaard. The buildings are Balinese style, amidst gardens, lotus ponds and fountains. There is also an Arma Resort, located on the grounds along with two restaurants. It is surrounded by lush, ... read more
Making our way to the purification waters
Warriors
Balinese firedancer

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Kuta February 23rd 2014

Bali is very near to Australia. It is cheap in comparison. The laundry list in the hotel features 'singlets'. Not everyone feels it necessary to wear this garment for breakfast! We are always asked if we are Australian. There are three main obvious differences: We lie and fry in the sun all day, they stay in the shade We do not drink bintang from 10am and everywhere - in the street and in the pool (glass bottles!) We READ as we fry, not one Australian appears to have brought a book with them Kuta is most definitely the Balinese equivalent of Benidorm for the Aussies. I still like it though! We went down to the beach for the sunset - great atmosphere, really chilled.The sea here looks great for bodyboarding - maybe another time. The swimmers ... read more
Crowd on Kuta Beach for the sunset

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Jakarta February 23rd 2014

I love celebrating holidays. There’s nothing better than getting together with good company, eating tasty food and laughing. Valentine’s Day is no exception. A bunch of us got together Saturday February 15 for breakfast. Someone made heart shaped pancakes and the rest of us each brought a topping to share. The spread was delicious and covered a variety of choices. Every Sunday afternoon community members come together to play a game of ultimate Frisbee. All ages are welcome and it’s always a good time had by all. By the time 4 o’clock arrives, I’m usually too exhausted to get myself out the door or I’ve started something and am in the middle of it. Last week was different. I made time and even got a ride there on the back of a friend’s bike. We played ... read more
The group got smaller after the women’s hockey gold medal match…only a few stayed to watch Team Canada take on Team USA in semi finals of men’s hockey.
Playing marbles from half across the globe!
Game view from my end.

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Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Sanur February 19th 2014

We were glad when the journey was over and we finally arrived in Bali, Indonesia’s most popular tourist destination. One major difference here is that around 90% of the island’s 4 million inhabitants are Hindu rather than Muslim like the rest of the country. It’s fascinating to observe how this religion manifests itself into everyday life; the air is often thick with the dense, delicious smell of burning incense and beautifully ornate temples abound. The ramshackle pavements are permanently carpeted with thousand upon thousand small, square boxes hand crafted from banana leaves and containing offerings to the gods. These offerings could be anything from fruit or flower petals but many also contain weird things like rice, coconuts, mentos, spliffs (!!) or mini cheddars - honestly!! Our first stop was the bustling town of Sanur, known for ... read more
Rock and Roll......!!
Sanur - A Beautiful, Colourful Start
I Was Only Half Listening........

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Amed February 18th 2014

I was invited, by a few neighbors at my home stay, to join them and go to Badang Bai, a small village and a dive destination. You can also get the ferry to Lombok, Gilis and Nusa Penida islands from here. Our driver took the scenic route from Ubud and I enjoyed the many villages we passed through, and green rice fields, with Mt Agung very prominant. Mt Aguing is one of the highest volcanoes on Bali and adds some drama to the scenery. We each got a room at the 'Kerti Beach Bungalow'. The rooms were very clean and comfortable, overlooking the sea; had lunch at Kerti's restaurant, which was good. We walked down the road and up a hill and came upon the 'Blue Lagoon', a good size lagoon with turquoise water, white sand ... read more
'Blue Lagoon
Enjoying swim with friends
Kerti Beach swimming pool

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Jakarta February 16th 2014

Sunday, 16th February 2014 Since I was in Jakarta over the weekend, I decided to join in the morning walk along Jalan Thamrin towards the direction of Grand Indonesia Shopping Town. Between 6-11am every Sunday, the main boulevard would be closed to all traffic save the exception of Trans Jakarta Buses which I happily hopped into one after my walk to bring me to the National Museum. It was 7am in the morning when I started out from my hotel and I was greeted by a huge crowd of enthusiastic joggers and cyclists on their weekly workout. The mood was quite jubilant. This was unlike the rest of the days where the roads were clogged with heavy traffic. Because of the road closure, I had the opportunity to get as close as possible to the Welcome ... read more
The National Museum of Indonesia
Works of the local people
A wonderful breakfast place

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Bogor February 15th 2014

Saturday, 15th February 2014 My Perfect Saturday in Jakarta Happily, I hopped onto a commuter train from Gondangdia Train Station to the city of Bogor about 60km south of Jakarta. This was a sort of adventure for me given that train announcements were made only in Bahasa Indonesia and I was probably the only foreigner throughout the 90 minutes commute. But as a train lover, I always cherished those times on the trains during my overseas travels. It was fun even though the crowd was a bit overwhelming at times. In fact, on my journey back to Jakarta Kota Station, I had to stand throughout the whole journey. My legs were tired but this was probably the only chance for me to experience train travel within Greater Jakarta region. The train cars that plied their routes ... read more
The Grand Old Dame
What I had for lunch @ Cafe Batavia
Commuter Trains from Japan

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Jakarta February 14th 2014

Congested traffic might be one of the dampers. Yet in my opinion, the city boasts some of the most beautiful traffic roundabouts in Asia as I shared in one of my Facebook postings recently. These group of pictures were taken around the Welcome Monument in Central Jakarta during one of the Car-Free Sundays in February 2014. I liked that the main Jalan Thamrin thoroughfare (think Orchard Road in Singapore) is converted to a traffic-free boulevard much to the joy of cyclists and pedestrians. I'm happy to sacrifice a couple hours of sleep on a Sunday to join in the early morning walk from my hotel to the National Monument (Monas). Certainly, this was one of the rare treats in this crowded city. ... read more
Plaza Indonesia - the first high end shopping mall in Indonesia
Car-free Day on a Sunday with the exception of Transjakarta Busway
National Monument - Monas




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