Tag Archive for Bali

Indonesia: the wrap-up

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Days in country: 45 Average cost per day: $67 Indonesia is cheap. Two tickets to the Ubud monkey forest cost us $0.41. Dinner at a restaurant with communal tables and a nice mix of locals and tourists cost us $3.17, for two meals. We spent an average of $25/night on lodging, which was a nice break coming from our super expensive New Zealand experience. What we did: We flew into Bali two days before the Balinese New Year and spent five days in Kuta before heading to the cultural center…

Bali’s Ogoh-ogoh and a Noisy New Year’s Eve

Nyepi, Bali’s new year, is celebrated in total silence. All shops, bars and restaurants on the island close – even the international airport is shut down – and no one is allowed out on the streets. This is so that any evil spirits who visit Bali will decide the island is uninhabited and leave it alone for the coming year. But the night before Nyepi, new year’s eve, is a different matter. Silence is definitely not called for. New year’s eve, the ‘Day of Great Sacrifices,’ is marked with ceremonies…

Ubud’s Monkey Forest

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Ubud, a town on Indonesia’s island of Bali, is a popular destination for tourists. Ubud is a bit of a cultural hotspot, with dance performances, temples galore, and more batik classes than you can shake a sarong at. And it has a monkey forest. The Padangtegal Mandala Wisata Wanara Wana Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is a temple complex and a nature reserve. The monkey forest is a sacred site for Balinese Hindus, who believe that forested areas like this one are a place where important human and animal spirits remain.…

Bali Diving and the Economics of Happenstance

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Toward the end of our time in Bali, we traveled to the east coast of the island and the small village of Tulamben, where I took my advanced scuba course. Tulamben is an interesting place.  It’s a tiny village of just a few hundred people, located on a strip of beach that is significant only because of something that happened here more than 70 years ago. In January 1942, the USAT Liberty, a US Army transport ship, was headed from Australia to the Philippines with a shipment of railroad parts…

Three conversations in Bali

Widya: batik master and *huge* Whitney Houston fan

Three interesting conversations we had in Bali: 1.With our cooking instructor, Nyoman.  On the eve of an important Balinese festival, Galungan, Nyoman was telling us about the different meals that members of his family will be preparing.  Chicken, pork, seafood, and, it goes without saying, rice.  Lots and lots of rice.   “I know that Hindus in India don’t eat cows,” I said.  ”Are there any animals that Balinese Hindus aren’t allowed to eat?” He thought about this for a second, and then shook his head. “No,” he said.  ”No,…

The making of a sarong

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One of my goals for this trip was to make my own batik. There are a quite a few places offering classes on batik in the Ubud area, but we had to search a bit to find one that offered both canting (drawing in hot wax) and stamping. We settled on Widya’s Batik and ended up coming back for 3 days we liked it so much. We highly recommend you go there if you ever make it to Ubud.  This is the making of my Sarong in pictures, the process…