Ubud: A Photo Essay


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Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud
July 17th 2019
Published: July 18th 2019
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I wasn’t planning on returning to Ubud so soon after my 2017 visit, but my friends Ryan and Anthony were getting married there, and my friend Trixie was also attending the wedding, so we decided to make a trip out of it. As this was my fifth time in Ubud, I didn’t really try to see or do many new things... I just let Ubud suck me in as always. So, here are some photos - with commentary - about... Read Full Entry



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Photos: 47, Displayed: 21


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Tirta EmpulTirta Empul
Tirta Empul

Our second stop in Tampaksiring was Tirta Empul. Here, water from a holy spring is channeled to this pool. Worshippers cleanse themselves in the water.
Tirta EmpulTirta Empul
Tirta Empul

While foreigners are welcome to participate in the bathing ritual, I never have despite this being my third visit to this site. I don’t feel as if I have internalized Balinese culture enough to make this a meaningful act. So, instead, I choose to observe from a respectful distance.
Another WeddingAnother Wedding
Another Wedding

Weddings in Bali feature doorway decorations such as these. There seemed to be many weddings going on that week.
PetuluPetulu
Petulu

Our last stop of the day was the village of Petulu, where herons roost in a few trees. Unfortunately, there weren’t many herons at that time as most of them had migrated elsewhere for the season. Legend has it that the area was the site of a massacre during Indonesia’s tumultuous times in the 1960s (as depicted in The Year of Living Dangerously). The herons started appearing after that massacre.
PetuluPetulu
Petulu

There were several free viewing platforms in the area. One of them was the village temple. At the temple, we discovered the aftermath of a cremation... ashes and other body parts are housed here until the next stage in the cremation process.
Cafe Lotus, UbudCafe Lotus, Ubud
Cafe Lotus, Ubud

Trixie and I shared this meal at a dinner organized by the wedding party. This was good, and cheap by western standards, but it was still the most expensive meal I’ve ever had in my nine visits to Indonesia. As an added bonus, our table had a view of the Legong Dance performance being staged next door.
Threads of LifeThreads of Life
Threads of Life

This is a shop specializing in ethically sourced textiles. While I was in Tana Toraja, I was half tempted to buy an ikat at a village I trekked to. But, I didn’t have the cash on me. Pictured here is Thread of Life’s ikat collection from Tana Toraja.
Monkey ForestMonkey Forest
Monkey Forest

Grooming.
Monkey ForestMonkey Forest
Monkey Forest

This monkey stole a water bottle but he couldn’t figure out how to open it.
Monkey ForestMonkey Forest
Monkey Forest

I believe this is the reformed witch Rangda with her giant boobs.
Monkey ForestMonkey Forest
Monkey Forest

Oh my. PG13 sculpture.
Monkey ForestMonkey Forest
Monkey Forest

This civet cat was the star attraction at a Coffee Luwak stand. Luwak coffee is made from beans that the civil cat eats and poops out. It is crazy expensive. I refuse to buy kopi luwak because of reports of inhumane practices. Apparently, the civet cats are kept in cages and fed mostly coffee beans instead of their natural diet which is more varied.
Neka MuseumNeka Museum
Neka Museum

Painting depicting village life.
Neka Museum.Neka Museum.
Neka Museum.

The museum grounds are very pretty and dotted with sculptures such as this one.
Neka MuseumNeka Museum
Neka Museum

Arise Smits, a Dutch painter, lived most of his life in Indonesia. This is his take on village life.
Neka MuseumNeka Museum
Neka Museum

A more modern painting of Balinese life.
Neka MuseumNeka Museum
Neka Museum

A Balinese dancer. In Balinese dance, every movement, including eye movements, signify something. Back when Jeff and I visited in 2013, the eyes movements scared him. I made sure I texted this photo to him!
Kecak DanceKecak Dance
Kecak Dance

The Kecak dance was the only performance I really wanted to go to. It involves a mostly male cast of "monkeys" chanting and singing acapella (no instruments). They tell the story of an epic battle from the Ramayana. There is also a fire walk done by a man in a trance. The first time I saw this in 1993, all the performers were in a trance. This time, only the firewalker seemed to be in a trance. And, there was audience participation, which I wasn't a fan of.
Tegallang Rice TerracesTegallang Rice Terraces
Tegallang Rice Terraces

We stopped by the Tegallang Rice Terraces on our way back from Trunyan. It was quite the tourist trap. I didn’t know that tourists were allowed onto the rice terraces (I thought there would only be restaurants overlooking the terraces). We joined several hundred other people traipsing through the terraces.



24th July 2019
Penestanan

Adorable
Pure joy
24th July 2019
Penestanan

Adorable Indeed!
Yes, I suspect this pup has a good life!
27th August 2019

Photo Essay
Wow, a truly unique way of writing a blog, and very well done Siewch! Thank you for bringing Ubud to life for me through this. I spent three nights in Bali in 2007, but unfortunately saw nothing of it as I became so sick that I only got to see the inside of my hotel room. Thank you for opening up a bit of Bali for me, it looks beautiful! 😊
28th August 2019

Ubud
On my first trip in 1993, there were rice fields in the middle of town. Ubud is now way commercialized and crowded. The villages on the periphery are still very pleasant, though. Give it a try. Maybe go during Galungan, or when a major cremation is planned. I watched a 20+ person cremation back in 1993 and it was one of the highlights of that trip!

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