Bali only has one Buddhist Monastery so I went to see it. It's located on the north shore a little bit up a volcano. I rented a motorbike for the day and rode up. (I am SO getting one when I settle back in SanFrancisco - I'm addicted)
The monastery is pretty close to a local hot spring, so after the mornings heat walking around the monastery I went to the springs for the afternoon. It was a great day, super relaxing.
I've decided to use TravelPOD instead of this site for my blog. Sorry!
Here is the link to the active blog I'm using for Asia '08:
Former TravelPod Member: suzettesp
Joined: January 4th, 2008From: Massachusetts lives in New York,United StatesProfession: Internet Software Project Manager... full info
e - Brahma Vihara Monastery StupaStupas are really common Buddhist features; you can see them at most monasteries and other holy sites. Here's some more on them, I think they are pretty fascinating. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stupa
g - Meditation HutThese huts are scattered all over the monastery grounds and no two were a like. I really liked this one; it was tucked into a corner by the stupa. The thing I liked about it was the soft cushion in the center of the hut/gazebo (called a 'bale bengong´ by the locals) was covered by a paper umbrella that was draped in mosquito netting. When the wind blew the umbrella swung from its hook and the netting brushed the skin on my arms and knees. It was really soothing, like God stroking you while you are resting.
h - Another buddha statueYou know how Buddhists think ALL life is sacred and they don't kill anything ever? Well the proof was in these bushes, HUGE scary OMG I can't take it I'm freaking out - spiders. Like 2 inches across, I'm not kidding. The kind with the scary markings on their backs from my guide book that say "Don't touch!". OK, we'll just see this statue from the path over here, thanks very much. And moving on.....
j - The largest temple on the topLovely carved stone temple, surrounded by lotus ponds. This is the front, and there are entrances on the other three sides to the prayer chamber inside. I didn't see any monks around the grounds, but I could imagine them all gathered here for a big ceremony.
o - View out into the worldIt was such a HOT morning, muggy too. Even when the clouds came in, it was still stifling, but inside the temple with the cool marble and shade it was really comfy. I can see why you'd want to spend all day in here meditating. It's the most comfortable place for miles.
q - Statue of a MonkThis statue looks really, real. It reminded me of the wax covered Popes they have interred in glass caskets at The Vatican in Rome. Only thankfully this was not a real body, just a really, really realistic statue. There wasn't a sign, so I don't know who he was =(
r - Aww isn't it cool? NO!These beetles were flying everywhere in swarms, they're interesting until one kamikazes into your forehead because they are suprisingly clumsy in the air, and on the leaves for that matter. Not cool.
s - RoadsignProbably should have posted this first, but I whizzed by the sign on my way in and got this pic on the way out. These roads are so much fun to ride on my motorbike, it's better than Six Flags and Disney put together!
u - Close up of a dragon spoutThese hot springs had three pools of varying heat and depth. There were lots of locals here and only a few tourists. Cool spot. There was even a little cafe adjacent to it that had Gado-Gado for Rp10,000! That's like a dollar for a lunch. Gado-Gado is a staple dish in Bali, like Fish N Chips in London or pizza in the States. Its steamed rice and veggies covered in peanut sauce. Yum! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gado-gado
v - Dragons in a rowThe pool above is only about 3 feet deep, perfect for kneeling in the water and directing the hot water onto your neck and back. The lower pool goes from 1M to 2M deep for proper swimming. There is a side pool with the really hot water, but I didn't go there. Funny that once the sun set all the locals were in the hot pool within minutes. Brrr it's like only 81F in the shade aren't you freezing?!?