the old culture from balinese and all i know will show in this blog

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Bali Travel Tips

Bali Travel Tips

How to get there (including how to book airfare to Bali), how to get around, where to find stuff and how to ask for it. These are tips from the local insider to make your stay here a breeze.
Temples of Bali: Pura Kebo Edan

On the road north from Bedulu towards Tampaksaring you will pass by the Museum Purbakala (worth a visit) on the right-hand side. On the left-hand side not far from there you will see the ‘Mad Buffalo Temple’ or Pura Kebo Edan. Very little is known of this temple. However, Archaeologists have approximately dated the large statue, ‘The Pejeng Giant’, as 700 years old. Urs Ramsayer wrote in his book ‘The Art and Culture of Bali’ that Pura Kebo Edan was most probably a Balinese version of the East Javanese Singosari magic temples. Interestingly these temples were built in the 12th C in Java. Containing some of the oldest statuary in Bali, one amazing and awesome example is that of a giant 3.60-meter tall figure. Quite startling is his huge phallus pierced with four pins, said to increase a woman’s sexual pleasure. Another rather unusual statue is that of a fat, crouching demon. This figure holds an inverted skull to his chest while in his curly hair is an ornament of tiny skulls.

Date: October 15th, 2008 | No Comments
The Kids of Bali

Without a doubt the Balinese have the best facial structures for portrait photos and, especially the children. Like most kids around the world they have their shy moments and avoid the lens like the plague, yet others are quick to pose, proudly. Then there are those that like to play games coyly as you attempt to take their photo. I remember one time up at Pura Ulu Danau Bratan I had this child’s parents in fits of laughter as their son decided to play hide-and-seek with the lens but, he really wanted his photo taken and it wasn’t until I caught him off-guard that I snapped the image. In general, you will find children will let you take their photo and you will find the parents are more than happy to allow you. If you are unsure then just ask the parents politely. Here is a few of the numerous images that I have taken over the years.

Date: October 8th, 2008 | No Comments
Tears at a Funeral

The other day I attended a funeral of a dear friend of the family and I was happy, celebrating in the life of the deceased person and what she had ahead of her. As a practising Bhuddist this was the norm for me. But, as it was a western funeral there were tears flowing, men sobbing and the general ambience of the place, depressing. I have been to many funerals around the world and all in varying cultures, but it was this western culture with its sadness in death that blew me out. Sure, the person they loved for so many years had departed the planet but they should have been happy for this person and being celebratory in their attitude to death. There then I suppose is the difference between ancient cultures and that of the western culture with regards to death and burials.

Date: October 6th, 2008 | 1 comment
Security Measures in Place at the Airport and Sea Gateways

I have to admit then when I saw the headline of this article Coming to Bali, Bring Your ID Card, I thought to myself not more rules just to get into Bali. It’s bad enough having to pay excessive airline fees and airport charges, and, visa fees. Fortunately, when I continued reading the article it had nothing to do with westerners visiting the island. Whew! With the upcoming mass invasion of domestic tourists arriving on the island in the next week to holiday there because of the Idul Fitri celebrations and kids holidays it is only natural that officials are eager not to allow those people with another agenda on their minds entering the island. Without writing it you all know what I mean. October is not a good month for a lot of people who lost a loved one due to certain tragic events on Bali. Anyway, it’s good to see that the gateways into Bali are being covered efficiently. As the article in the Bali Discovery mentions, Tough security measures are now in place at all entry points to Bali including supplementary personnel from the police and armed forces, transportation department officials, medical teams and local community security teams.

Date: September 29th, 2008 | No Comments
Monkey Business

Probably the cutest attraction on Bali has to be the numerous troupes of monkeys that are found in the jungles and temples across the island. I’m quite sure you have all seen them, had your photo taken with them or taken hundreds of photos yourself of these delightful creatures. The most popular place on Bali or these simians being the Sangeh Monkey Forest and a place inundated on a daily basis by hordes of camera toting tourist. The monkeys here are friendly, to a point, downright thieves and can be aggressive especially if there is a baby monkey in the vicinity. It’s a cool place to go but has more to offer than just monkeys. The other well-known place is the Monkey Forest in Ubud. I am not particularly fond of this place as I found the resident simians to be outright aggressive. However, there are several other places on the island where you can see our nearest relatives, or so Charles Darwin has us to believe.

Date: September 27th, 2008 | No Comments
Will the Global Economic Crisis Affect your Travel?

It was only a few weeks ago that foreign exchange markets were doing a flourishing trade and the AUD$ was up around Rp9,000 but, along came the global economic meltdown and all hell broke loose. Foreign exchange rates slumped. It is indeed a worry for those travellers who booked their holiday six months ago or more feeling confident that could go to Bali, chill out and enjoy a lot of shopping. If you are flush with cash then this may be true but a majority of tourists visiting the island are basically budget travellers out for a good and cheap holiday. Now, instead of being flash-with-the-cash and liberal in shopping it has become a matter of economising and playing it safe whilst on holidays. That is only one aspect of travelling not only to Bali but also globally.