Blogs from Ubud, Bali, Indonesia, Asia - page 13


Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud June 29th 2013

Note: I wrote this at the end of the stay in Ubud, Bali. It is not intended to be a generalization of the island, nor the religion of Hinduism, in general. _____________________________________________________ I think Jenn captured it best, “I want to subscribe to the Balinese religion”, referring not to the island’s majority religion, Balinese Hinduism, nor to the country’s dominant religion, Islam. (At this point, if you haven’t yet done so, check out my blog entry on Jakarta, then come back and follow along. The Indonesian islands of Bali and Java are vastly different places). There is something so seemingly simple, yet fundamentally obvious about how the Balinese people live their lives. Strangers, upon greeting you, clasp their hands together against their chests. This symbolizes harmony between good and evil at the moment. They will also ... read more
Typical Balinese greeting

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud June 23rd 2013

A Primer on Balinese Naming Conventions: In this entry, I make reference to three people named Made (pronounced "ma-deh"). A quick discussion of Balinese naming conventions may be in order first. Balinese names usually begin with "I" (for males) or "Ni" (for females), followed by Wayan, Made, Nyoman or Ketut to signify birth order, and then followed by their given name(s). Our guesthouse owner, I Wayan Karja, for example, is a man and he is the firstborn in his family. Prologue I first visited Bali 20 years ago when it was mainly a backpacker destination and long before Elizabeth Gilbert hit that midlife crisis that led her to write Eat Pray Love. I planned on staying only a day or two thinking it was a tourist trap. Arriving into Ubud late at night after a long ... read more
Ganesha Statue, Penestanan
Day 1: Walking Into Ubud
Day 1: Penestanan

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud May 28th 2013

Despite our late night, we had to be up at 2am for our drive to Mt Batur. It was very exciting and exhausting at the same time. Both of us slept through the bumpy car ride to the base of the mountain. When we got there, it was about 4am and I was freezing cold. I was so glad that I wore jeans and a jacket. We quickly embark on our hike as we hoped to reach the summit before sunrise. The initial trek up was very easy. However, more than 3-quarter up the slop, I was hit by altitude sickness, and it was so awful. It was at that point that I realized how terrible for my preggy friends to be feeling constant nausea and my heart decided to be more gentle and sweet towards ... read more
Collage - Bali Exploration May 27-30 2013 -7
Collage - Bali Exploration May 27-30 2013 -8
Collage - Bali Exploration May 27-30 2013 -9

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud May 24th 2013

Geo: -8.51927, 115.263A very, very relaxing day at the villas. We swam, read, nibbled, drank lots of water, played games, and maybe checked email periodically. In the evening, we were driven through town to the Indus restaurant, which sits on a long, narrow canyon. We had actually planned to go to a smaller café, but it was completely crowded and had no place to wait. Since it was pouring rain, this seemed inadvisable. So the driver recommended Indus, and it turned out to be delicious, especially the redang, a local specialty, which both Paul and Keegan ordered. When we returned the rain had lessened to a light drizzle, but we all went to bed.... read more
Our pool
Our villa
Our villa

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud May 23rd 2013

Geo: -8.51927, 115.263A great, partially stormy day, traveling around Bali. We began around 9:30am, and the day was hot. We began by driving southeast, to the temple of the Royal Family (Taman Ayun). The parking lot was full of tourist buses, many from Java. The temple complex has the standard three main areas: the outer courtyard, the middle courtyard, and the inner courtyard. The inner courtyard was full of beautiful pagodas, with 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 dimensions. The funny thing was, the one with 1 layer actually had 2, which represented 1. Go figure. We also thought it was interesting that Balinese Hinduism has 11 dimensions, just like some versions of string theory. The temple was built in 1938, when the royal acted as governors under the Dutch. (We learned a funny story ... read more
Temple ready for festivities
Temple ready for festivities
Temple ready for festivities

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud May 22nd 2013

Geo: -8.51927, 115.263Another lazy day. I could get used to this. After another delicious breakfast, we were taken to town. This time, we asked to be dropped at the Monkey Forest, which is a temple complex and extensive grounds, overrun by macaques. The monkeys were very funny and not nearly as aggressive as is their reputation. None threw sticks at Paul, so I'm not sure I believe they are real monkeys. The monkeys have a reputation for being thieves (and, in some stories, are in league with the vendors who sell bananas to tourists), but we encountered no difficulties. The monkey forest was relatively cool, being shady and organic.We walked along various roads up to town, doing a bit of window shopping. Actually, doing some real shopping, as Keegan bought a couple of batik shirts. We ... read more
Carving at Lewak Villas

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud May 21st 2013

Geo: -8.51927, 115.263Happy 25th Wedding Anniversary to us! We had a lazy day today. After brekkies, we were driven by the hotel shuttle service into town, getting dropped at the main tourist information center. We first visited the royal palace, which dates back to 1917 or so. Most of the palace is closed, but you can visit two courtyards. Then, we went shopping for textiles. Instead, we found a wonderful art gallery, Infinity, which has marvelous photographs of water droplets. I was compelled, and we bought one for our bedroom. I also found a piece of silver, for our silver wedding anniversary. We had lunch at a wonderful café … the food was fine (Italian for a change) but the terrace on top both allowed for a great view of town and captured the breeze. And ... read more
OUr villa
Our villa
Our villa

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud May 20th 2013

Geo: -8.51927, 115.263A long but interesting day touring Bali. Paul and I woke up around 5am, to the sound of the rooster next door. And a few lovely birds. It was a little buggy outside, so we enjoyed the view from indoors. At 8am, we went for our tasty breakfast at the restaurant, with a view of the ravine. It was cool and pleasant and very good. Kyla could even get an iced coffee with milk.At 9am, we met Anwar and began our day. Our first stop was a Balinese dance, depicting the conflict between good and evil. Evil looked a bit like the creature from the Black Lagoon. Good was a lion covered in gold and mirrors. We were given a sheet of paper that described the different scenes, which was helpful for understanding the ... read more
Our villa
Our villa
Our villa

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud May 17th 2013

There have been a handful of extra special places on this trip which we have really, really enjoyed and stayed longer than planned in; places that we felt so comfortable in we didn’t want to leave, places that seemed nice but quite ordinary at first glance but turned out to be amazing, and places that we want to go back to again one day. Ubud was another one of these magical places. It totally charmed us and captured our hearts and we loved it, spending a relaxing 5 days there. It’s the kind of place where time flies even if you are not doing very much, because there is just something about it that feels so…easy. When we arrived we were dropped off by Coco Supermarket (which is great for supplies) and soon found a gorgeous ... read more
Delicious Indo tapas
Hanging out in Monkey Forest
Cheeky monkey!

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud May 1st 2013

Bali was a jinx trip. I reached the wrong terminal and because of uncooperative KLM staff, I also missed the flight despite reaching there 45mins in advance with a web check-in done. I decided I shall still fly and not succumb to stupid rules. I took another flight and landed in a relaxed Bali as planned. At the Bali airport, I felt as if I was in mini Europe with whites everywhere as I was standing in the queue to apply for visa on arrival. I slowly lifted my left foot to see a pink chewing gum stuck. Welcome to Indonesia! Bali is a carefree land. I noticed that Ubud on volcanic rocks is so fertile that wherever you look there are terrace farms of rice. There are temples too made of dark rocks characteristic of ... read more

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