Day 21: Ubud

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August 7th 2015
Published: May 21st 2016
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Daging WoodcarversDaging WoodcarversDaging Woodcarvers

When you arrive at Daging Woodcarvers, the artist are sitting outside, working on their art. Making this wood art, do take a lot of time. It can take upon 2 weeks to even a month for a very large piece.
Ubud is known as the Spiritual and or Cultural Centre of Bali. A lot of activities are to do in Ubud, or in the surroundings of Ubud. Therefore, the city is a best known tourist place, a travellers place and a backpackers place. In the evening, restaurants and clubs are booming, where in the morning and the afternoon a lot of excursions can be booked. Close by Ubud you find the Gunnung Kawi Tempeles and the Holy Spring / Tirta Empul. The (Tegalalang) rice terraces in Ubud are famous. But did you knew that Ubud was famous because of her craft carving?

Overnight, I stayed in the Mansion Hotel, a little bit out of the centre of Ubud. The Mansion hotel in Bali is defiantly a good place if you would like to spend some time in the afternoon. It has multiple swimming pools, and it is quite big. It contains a lot of arts, and there are different roads through the Resort. It seems like a big park. As told, the rooms does not have numbers, but does have names. My room was named as the Seribu Wood. There are different or “regions” in the Resort, and
Daging WoodcarversDaging WoodcarversDaging Woodcarvers

Here you see a close-up of some Arts they made. They do use only local Balinese Wood. There are different woods they do work with. However, in every piece of Art, they do work very detailed as you might can see on the picture. It is not allowed to photograph in the Art Studio.
each Regions is called to a Balinese special theme. Our region was known as “Woods”. And, the room is Seribu Wood. Another Room is called “xxx Wood”, until all rooms are covered by “Woods” and names. And this makes me curious about the Seribu Wood. The wood is also known as the Sakang Seribu. This species of wood is quite rare. According to the local people, the wood, and mostly the extract what can been made of, contains healing properties. In the afternoon, after the excursions we had, I spend some time in the swimming pool and the Resort. I was looking if I was able to do an massage, but they are here quite expensive, starting from 60 euro, over more than 200 euro. The breakfast is simple but mostly western at this Resort.

Today, I had an excursion day, with 4 excursions. Here after, I took a late lunch and went back to my Resort to relax. In Ubud, many excursions and activities can be booked. Fully excursions tours, but you also can visit some activities without having a tour. Ubud is quite famous by travellers, due the fact the city is known as the
Dagging WoodcarversDagging WoodcarversDagging Woodcarvers

A woman is working on her Woodcarving Art. As you see, the art is quite detailed yet. They start with unused blocks of wood. With chopping, cutting, carving, files and in some cases painting, the Wood is made until a very great art piece. All pieces in the Art Studio are for sale.
Spiritual or Cultural centre of Bali. The culture and the atmosphere here is totally Balinese – but this might disappear over time due the many tourist flows. There is a lot to do, for example sightseeing on the rice terraces, a lot of temples, it has bars and restaurants, you can go shopping. The only thing that Ubud does not have is a beach. But no worry, here are a lot of Resorts which have great swimming pools, so if you want to have a swim in the water, that is possible as well. In Ubud, you can find a lot of Restaurants. Many do offer the Western Kitchen and also many contain the Asian Kitchen. It is not a problem to become alcohol here. With around 60.000 citizens, Ubud is nowadays a city. In the past, Ubud was in fact a small gathering of small towns, and therefore, Ubud might feels a little bit still like a town for some people. Here is the question how long this does remain, because I am not totally agree with this argument. When Ubud still had these many towns, the area was mostly known due it’s craft carving, and arts. You can
Gunung KawiGunung KawiGunung Kawi

To reach the Gunung Kawi, you have to make a good decent to get down below for the temples. When you make this short trail, you encounter some rice fields. Because the decent, and especially the climb after can be quite heavy, the beautiful rice fields and terraces, as well as the nature is a great excuse to stop for a photo.
find many art studio’s here, with carving wood, statues, dolls, and you name it. Even if you are not totally in art, there are some great studio’s which you like. In some of these studio’s, you can see how people are working on art. Ubud is presenting them self as “the real Bali”. or the “Cultural Bali”. And that is true, you really can feel yourself in a Balinese culture, and due the many tourist the city nowadays have, this feeling and atmosphere is alive. And here, my main question still will be, for how long? More tourist are visiting Ubud – and of course they should do, because this is really a great place – but therefore, I am afraid the magic will once be lost. I honestly do hope Ubud will not become a second Kuta. Kuta is a populair beach city in the South of Bali. It is famous due its surfing culture, and most Australian people are going there to surf and party. A lot of bars, restaurants and clubs are here and it is totally one party: and in Kuta you also find people who wants to relax, for son holidays. Kuta totally lost the
Gunung KawiGunung KawiGunung Kawi

At these Rice Terraces, local people are at work as you see here. Ubud is not only famous by it's Arts, the Cutlure and the temple, also due the beauty of her many Rice Terraces and nature.
Balinese atmosphere. Nowadays, a lot of people want to see something of Bali, and Ubud is great city to do this, and it is possible to do this from Kuta. Therefore, I do hope Ubud will not become a city like Kuta and can be remain it’s atmospheric and cultural atmosphere, even depute a lot of tourists are visiting it. Probably, some atmosphere will get lost soon, and some people do agree it already started. The name is coming from the Balinese Medicine “Ubad”, which is in fact a herb. The herb seems to have healing properties and it grows at the side of the river Oos.

As told, I did a combination excursion with 4 activities. One of these activities started with one speciality of Ubud and Bali: Art. To be specific: Woodcarving. I visited the Daging Woodcarvers. When we arrived, around 12 people were working outside on these beautiful arts. They only do use local, Balinese wood for their crafting. They started with blocks of wood, and from here, everyone has a task. They do start with the “rough” work, where a lot of wood is been chopped. Hereafter, the wood is cut, carved, files
Gunung KawiGunung KawiGunung Kawi

5 Temple Monuments are carved out of the rocks, which are dedicated to King Udayana, his queen Mahendradatta, and their three sons Airlanga, Anak Wungsu, and Marakata.
and in some cases it is painted. During this work, they all have eye for many details. Not all art is going through the same process. The Artist are inspired by the nature and the Gods. They do believe that the gods give them inspiration for the Arts they create. And they do create beautiful arts. When you are going inside in the Art Studio, you are not allowed to make any pictures. However, on the pictures I made outside, you probably can see the beautiful art. You can buy everything what is standing here. Do not expect to buy good art for a very cheap price. This is real art, handmade with love and passion, and you pay for it. Otherwise, it also would not been fair for these people. Some of these people do work 2 week on a big Art of Wood. A small art can be 2 to 3 days week. So therefore, you can expect it might be expensive. However, do ask for a good deal, and you probably get a deal. I told myself that I would not buy something. Just like the standard Dutchie: looking, looking and not buying. However, when I was
Gunung KawiGunung KawiGunung Kawi

Everywhere, you see these small temples, used as ceremony places. You are not allowed to enter them all. This temple is standing on the same plateau as the 5 monuments which are carved out of the rocks.
standing there, I saw some great arts. And then, I would buy something. There are some great arts in the store. But you also have a section about your Chinese Horoscope sign. I do that mine sign is a Dragon. Therefore, I wanted to buy a Dragon, carved out of wood. And I did found a great dragon and I bought it. I ask the sail man what a purpose is of a Dragon in the Balinese Culture. A Dragon is a very important animal. When a important people die, when they have a clean, gold soul, people can offer him with symbols of a Dragon. I really liked this place, to see how these people are working and you can see the great art they do produce.

From here, we went to the second activity of this day, which is the Gunung Kawi. This temple was build in the 11th century, and was probably used as funeral complexes. When you come here, you might find 10 candi’s, cut out of the rocks, and can reach a height of 7 meters. A Candi is a Hindu or a Buddhist Temple in Indonesia, and you have many from
Gunung KawiGunung KawiGunung Kawi

Cross the bridge to enter the other side of the temple complex. The river and the small jungle which is carefully kept here, gives a very great touch to this area. At some points, you can make some great pictures of the monuments and the jungle.
them. The local name for a temple is Candi, and therefore, you might find a lot of temples which do have the “Candi” in their name. You can find some funeral monuments, which are dictated to the king Anak Wungsu of the old Udayana Dynasty. Not only the king, also his famous queens do have the monuments. You can find, in the east of this complex, five other temples, which are dedicated to King Udayana, his queen Mahendradatta, and their three sons Airlanga, Anak Wungsu, and Marakata. You might find one inscription on one of these rocks "Haji Lumahing Jalu”, which do means: “The king made a Temple here”. According to the funeral place, it does not look to a very sad place. In contrast, this is a very living and blooming place in my opinion. At first, you have to enter the temples. And, this is not a very good to do if you have problems with walking. Even with very small kids, I would not recommend this. For children in general, I think, you might find better temples to visit. The decent is a hard slope, it contains also some stairs. The climb back is even harder. But,
Gunung KawiGunung KawiGunung Kawi

The river needs to find her way through the many rocks. The threes are hanging over the river. A small piece of jungle, just in the middle of the temple complex.
therefore you have a great excuse to stop for some rest. The great view. There are some points here you can rest and to watch the rice terraces and the rice fields. They are build against these hills and mountains, where you can see the jungle was growing here. They are green and the colour pops up. Local people are working here, and you might spot some animals around here as well. This walk to the temple itself is really nice. You can enjoy such great places and the rough landscape formed by hills, tropical trees and the rice fields are really great to stop and to watch and enjoy. When you do reach the temple, you see a shield with the text “Sprinkling this holy water before entering the temple area”. They do have two shields, and both side for the entry and an can is standing with the holy water. One can was empty, but the other did contain some water. I did Sprinkling some water, but I found I was the only one of the group. As the “old friend”, which I kicked out of the room due issues, told to other one this was “bullshit” to
Gunung KawiGunung KawiGunung Kawi

One temple, you can enter, without shoes. You can see here it is very old, but it still is in use. The temples here are almost 1000 years old, build in the 11th century.
do. I was quite angry at this point. If you go to this kind of cultures, where you want to see temples and want to see how they are living with their culture, you should have respect for their wishes if you enter one of these temples. And not calling it “bullshit”. Some other people did not had interest to do this, or thought it was not necessary. The problem here was that no security or people of the temple were standing, so they could control if this wish was been hold to. As you see by many temples in Indonesia, wearing a sarong is advisable, and in some cases even required to wear. Then, most people do wear a sarong. But, if there is a shield with the text and wish to sparkling some holy water before entering and no one is controlling this, it is “bullshit” or not necessary? Calling this “Bullshit”, is for my eyes a reason to pack your bags and catch the first plane and get your fucking arrogant ass back to home and never ever visiting another country. Other, or even kind words to express this asocial behaviour I cannot give. When entering the
Gunung KawiGunung KawiGunung Kawi

Here, an offer is been placed at a very old small ceremony place. A lot of ceremony places and offer places are at this temple complex. Some are in use, and you might encounter on a real ceremony.
temple area, you do recognise the 5 small temples which are carved out of the rocks. They do are around 7 meters in high. You can see they are quite old. They are not in very top condition, but they are very well kept. To the middle of the wall, a small stair is been made. Close hereby, there is a ceremony place, only containing a roof. It is not allowed to enter this temple. But on this temple complex, there are more temples which you can enter if you would like to. You can find some other small temples, where you can see that ceremonies can been performed. To reach the other side of the temple complex, take the bridge. A small stream of water is flowing here. From the bridge and to the river side, you can make great pictures. You can see the jungle influences. From here, you might can make some pictures with the five temples gathering through the trees. Therefore, this place is quite living and special. The green of the jungle, the river, it does blend great with these ancient temples and monuments. Even because these are funeral monuments, I do believe this place
Holy Spring & Tirta EmpulHoly Spring & Tirta EmpulHoly Spring & Tirta Empul

When you walk at this stairs you can enter the pools and the area's around these pools. If you wish, you can go in the water and take a shower.
is defiantly not sad or feeling lifeless. This place does feel alive with a lot of energy. The River here is streaming quite nice to the jungle. A lot of rocks is blocking the road of the water, and therefore, the river is streaming a little bit wild for this kind of small stream. From the other side you also can make great pictures of the five monuments. If you are on the other side, you can visit some other temples. Ceremonies are performed and offers are brought to these small temples and offer places. You can find a lot of incense which is burning by these offer places. There is one old temple, which you can enter. However, it is forbidden to wear shoes. Because the place is al little bit wet and it contains dirt, you better can do this barefoot and wipe your feet clean with a tissue afterwards. You enter via a stairs and you go through a small gate. As you might see, some parts are carved out of rocks. There are offer places, which are currently still in used. Moss is growing at quite a lot of places of the rocks, which gives the
Holy Spring & Tirta EmpulHoly Spring & Tirta EmpulHoly Spring & Tirta Empul

Balinese people believe that the water is Holy. Hindu rituals are performed with this water, and Balinese people are blessing themselves with water: to wash of the evil spirits, to reach prosperity and to purify body & soul.
place an ancient feeling. There are also small chambers, but you cannot enter all of them because they are too small to enter. They are pretty dark. Walking around here is great, especially if you are here alone. There are not many tourist visiting this place. However, you are here not alone, you might find most local tourist or small groups. After visiting these temples, you can start with the heavy climbs. Oh, and do remember that if it gets tough, making a photo of the great views and sights is a great excuse to take some rest!

Hereafter we visited another temple complex. This complex was more touristic. It was the Holy Spring & Tirta Empul temple. The temple does contain a natural (large) water spring, which is named “Tirta Empul”. The spring is a source of an river, known as the Pakerisan River. In 962, a temple was build, founded these spring. It was build in the Warmadewa Dynasty. This Dynasty reigned over this area in between the 10th and the 14th century. The temple is dedicated to Vishnu, which is a Hindu God for the supreme consciousness Narayana. During centuries, it was and currently
Holy Spring & Tirta EmpulHoly Spring & Tirta EmpulHoly Spring & Tirta Empul

By these pools, great statues are standing. In fact, a lot of statues are standing everywhere around these temples. This statue was guarding a temple where only people which would like to pray, where able to enter.
still is believed the “tirta” (holy water) which is coming out of the spring is holy and therefore used in many Hindu rituals. Most o these rituals contains the holy washing. Balinese people, and currently many tourist, want to was themselves with the water coming out of the showers. Therefore, they ask for blessing and expire the sensual experience along with it. The Tirta (holy water) is important in the life of many Balinese. Three different purposes are known of a Tirta: First, the Tirta Gering, for cleaning and washing off bad and evil spirits. Second, Tirta Mertra, for reaching prosperity. Last, Tirta Sudhamala to purity the soul and the body. The temple does contain 3 sections of gardens. 1. Pura (front yard), 2 Jaba Tengah ( Central yard), which contains 2 pools 3. Jeroan (Inner yard). In the two pools of the Jaba Tengah, there are 30 showers, devided into three sections: 1. Pengelukatan, 2. Pebersihan, 3. Sudamala dan Pancuran Cetik (which means poison). When you enter the temples, you first enter via the first part, the Pura. In the Pera, you find some statues, the grass is well kept and it is a nice walk to the temples.
Holy Spring & Tirta EmpulHoly Spring & Tirta EmpulHoly Spring & Tirta Empul

You can enter some temples, and here is one inner side. As you can see, it is great detailed with yellow, gold and red paint.
There are some temples and offer places which you can enter. But before, you really can enter to the Jaba Tengah, there are some rules. In general: you have to be careful what you are wearing. It is not allowed to wear a short pants, and wear much naked skin with a dress. When you are going in the water and you are going out, it is not allowed to walk freely around with this wet dress. Which means, you need to wear other clothes when you want to visit the temples. Long hair should be tight together and for woman’s it is not allowed to enter the area in your period. Climbing at the buildings is also not allowed. Some temples are closed for tourist and are only able to been entered if you would like to pray. When you entering the Jaba Tengah, you can take a pool. A lot of Balinese are doing this, but I also saw some travellers doing this. I did not do this, because I am not a Hindu. At the side of the pool, you find great statues. Everywhere you can find great statues. If you go to the Jeroan, you can walk through different gardens and temples. Some temples are form the inner side great detailed with art, mostly out of gold and red colour. I also saw one ceremony which took place. At much places, you see park security, to check if people are not climbing on the buildings and keeping on the rules. If you are hungry, there are many people which want to sell you banana’s. Even if you do not hungry, they are quite good with letting you buy a lot of banana’s. Just like me. And, 3 more people in the bus also bought for the complete bus banana’s. This is a nice temple to visit. Also for kids. Please, keep the rules in mind. It can be touristic, but there are some temples where not all tourist are coming to watch them.

And then, we had the last activity of our tour. It was the Tegalalang Rice terraces of Ubud. Ubud is also famous because of these Rice terraces. Due the hill and mountain landscape, the rice terraces which are build, are really beautiful to watch at. The problem here is, it is quite touristic. Most tours are stopping besides the road
Holy Spring & Tirta EmpulHoly Spring & Tirta EmpulHoly Spring & Tirta Empul

Another statue, close by some temples. You can see here the beautiful arts the local people use to detail the temple complexes and the area.
and the watch points are crowded. I do believe there are other routes to visit this rice fields, or even other rice fields in general if you would like to skip the busy touristic viewpoints. The viewpoints here are beautiful and from here, you might have a walk through the rice terraces. In fact, a terrace is a sloped area of a mountain or a hill, which is been flattened in different of surface and platforms. The water, mostly rain water, should be kept so long as possible on the terraces, due soil conservation. Therefore, you see that a lot of water is standing on these rice terraces. The sights of the Tegalalang Rice terraces are beautiful. Around the roads, you do see a lot of shops and souvenir shops. Keep in mind when visiting this place it is totally touristic.

We went to the centre of Ubud, and I took a lunch by Cafe Lotus. Hereafter, I spend some time in the souvenir shops before going back to the Resort Hotel for a swim. In the evening, we had our farewell dinner. Bob, our Travel leader, reserved a restaurant for us. One of the members had
Holy Spring & Tirta EmpulHoly Spring & Tirta EmpulHoly Spring & Tirta Empul

When you are here, you might encounter a real life ceremony. Here, a ceremony was started.
her birthday today, and that is why Bob went to a special restaurant. It was the Cafe Wayan & Bakery. I ordered the Ribs and it was served very good. It was one of the best ribs I ever had. The Flesh was in very good state, it came totally lose from the bone and was great marinated in good sauce. Also the vegetables were quite nicely made. It was a tomato, in a tomato with some herbs. The potato, filled with cream, was wrapped in aluminium foil. The potato and the vegetables were very good. You also can get here good Asian meals. Because it was the birthday of one of the members, Bob ordered two cakes. The cakes were also from good quality. Hereafter, we visited a small pub. Here, I spoke with some Australian backpackers. They told us some flights were cancelled. Cancelled? It seems like that one of the Volcano’s in Bali was getting active and released smoke. This smoke is drifting to Australia. Airplanes cannot fly in the smoke, because the volcanic small parts can get stuck in the motor(s) of the airplane, which can lead to (huge) problems with the flight. Therefore, flights will
Tegalalang Rice Terraces Tegalalang Rice Terraces Tegalalang Rice Terraces

Ubud is laying in a hilly and mountain environment. Therefore, the Rice Terraces are build against these hills and mountains.
be cancelled when a Volcano is smoking. If the smoke would turn to Europe or North Asia, it means that our flights will been cancelled as well. That means, I could not leave. Is that a problem.... no, I like it here. In this pub, a Jazz band was playing. The Jazz singer Jim Larking and his Saucy Soil Band were playing. A lot of backpackers and travelers were dancing in the pub and it was a good atmosphere. It was very good music and it was very great to have an ending like this. A little late, we went to back.

The next morning, I did not much. I took breakfast and I slept a little bit longer. Because, it was time to leave Indonesia. In the afternoon, our flight will leave. I took also a small lunch, before we had to leave at 12. Bob also talked to the Australian backpacker yesterday, so he was quite busy to find out if our flights would be going or not. If not, we should find a new hotel and a place to stay, because we should be checking out at half 12. However, our flights
Tegalalang Rice Terraces Tegalalang Rice Terraces Tegalalang Rice Terraces

The viewpoint from these Terraces are at the side of the road. The Local people are living here in small and poor houses, and the people do work here no the rice fields. From the houses, you can walk besides and in to the fields.
were not been cancelled. Only the flights to Australia and the South were cancelled due the activity of the Volcano. That means, that we could go home as expected. So, no extra extension. Too bad, because I really liked Bali! Maybe, I should return one day. Thank you Ubud for this great last days!

Additional photos below
Photos: 23, Displayed: 23


Tegalalang Rice Terraces Tegalalang Rice Terraces
Tegalalang Rice Terraces

As you see here, the terraces are plateaus, straighten on the hill. The water, mostly rain water, should be kept so long as possible on the terraces, due soil conservation.
Balinese ClothingBalinese Clothing
Balinese Clothing

In our Hotel Resort, these two woman's wear traditional Balinese Clothing.
Jim Larking & Saucy Soil Band Jim Larking & Saucy Soil Band
Jim Larking & Saucy Soil Band

What is better to end you trip with a little bit soul and jazz?

23rd May 2016

Natural Pics
Beautiful pics . Really wanna try this a time , Good for those who likes natural as well as Spiritual

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