Posted in Art & Culture, INDONESIA, Life, Tourism, Travel

Sanur, Bali

Sanur is one of the main beach resort areas on the south coast of Bali.  Sanur Beach is a beautiful white sandy beach with calm and warm seawater located in east part of Denpasar Town. The beach location in eastside and south part of Sanur Village is an edge of Indonesia Ocean. This place has famous since long time, especially when the happening of the Puputan Badung war on 20 September 1906, where that moment the Dutch colonist land its army in this coast. There is a stone monument found in this place as an inscription of Sri Kesari Warmadewa King with the palace in Singhadwala year 917, whereabouts now there are in Blanjong, southern part of Sanur Beach.

Sanur originates from two words, “Saha” and “Nuhur” which literally means the passion to visit a certain place. Sanur is famed for its beautiful strip of pure sandy beaches across the coastal line. It is also famed for its’ spectacular sunrises which literally marks a new day in the life of the Balinese. A talented laid back atmosphere is what is unique about the village of Sanur where hospitality is intertwined with the traditions of Balinese culture and religion. The atmosphere from sunrise till sunset provides endless opportunities of discovery into the daily lives of the Balinese, where each corner of the village provides a certain exploration for every visitor. Lines of shaded trees along the roads, a stretch of beach for sunbathing, a strip of shops for shopping and a variety of restaurants for wining and dining, the option is endless in Sanur.

Sanur also represents a name that carries important history for tourism in Indonesia, and Bali more specific. It was on the beach of Sanur that the first Netherlands troops set foot on the island of Bali in 1906. This was also the exact place that the first war occurred between Netherlands against the community of Bali in defending their land from colonialism. This war was later known as the Puputan Badung, a heroic event that is strongly remembered by every individual Balinese until today’s generation.

Places of interest in Sanur:

The Le Mayeur Museum in Sanur Bali
The Le Mayeur Museum is a house structure containing some examples of the work of Belgian artist Adrien Jean Le Mayeur de Merpes.

Turtle Facility Serangan:
Serangan island or Turtle Island is reached is connected to the mainland by a causeway and really only accessible at low tide. The island is also home to one of Bali’s six most sacred temples – Pura Sakenan.

Mangrove Information Centre Sanur:
Located on Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai at Suwung Kauh, the information centre is an education in itself on the ecology and management of Mangroves. There are two trails to choose from – a short route of about one hour, and the other, a longer route of nearly two hours.

Sanur Village Community Farmers Market:
Sanur Beach began offering shoppers a new way to do their weekly purchases of home-made breads and organic farm produce through the trial-launch of a new concept Farmers Market according to an article in the Bali Discovery.

Sanur Village Festival:
The Sanur Village Festival is a 5 day event runs from August 15th-19th and showcases some of the area’s favourite businesses and other activities such as Balinese kite flying and cookery.

Sanur Beaches:
Sanur Beach is a beautiful white sandy beach with calm and warm seawater located in east part of Denpasar Town and located only 18km from the airport.   Sanur is one of the main beach resort areas on the south coast of Bali. 

Sanur is located NorthEast of the airport in Tuban. Located 18km from the airport, Sanur is a a handy place for a new arrival.  Airport taxis might charge around Rp70,000 to Sanur and the journey is around 20-25 minutes. For people choosing Sanur over Kuta or Nusa Dua, the advantages are a less intense atmosphere than Kuta and a more genuine one than Nusa Dua.

Sanur has a reef making it ideal for surfers and also people with young kids inside the reef. Sanur does not get a strong beach break like Kuta / Seminyak. Swimming is only possible at high tide as low tide exposes the reef. Swimming outside the reef is not recommended.

One of the most pleasant aspects of Sanur is its large expanse of beach front. A footpath covers the entire 5kms allowing visitors to stroll along and explore, stopping when they feel like it for a drink or snack at a beach side restaurant. The sand quality is good in Sanur, yellowish in color and fairly clean. The best spots of beach are in the outside the Inna Grand Bali Beach hotel in the north and outside the Gazebo hotel in the south.

mamadou

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Posted in INDONESIA, Life, Tourism, Travel

Tanah Lot, Bali

One of Bali’s most important sea temples, Pura Tanah Lot (“Temple of Land in the Middle of the Sea”) is a spectacular sight, especially at sunset.  The tiny island was formed by the gradual erosion of the ocean tide over thousands of years.

Tanah Lot means “Land [in the] Sea” in Balinese language.   Located in Tabanan, about 20 km from Denpasar, the temple sits on a large offshore rock which has been shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tide.

Temple of Tanah Lot stands on a rocky island just off the southwest coast of Bali. One of Bali’s most sacred sea temples, Tanah Lot is dedicated to the guardian spirits of the sea. The temple itself is said to be guarded from evil by the sea snakes that inhabit the caves below.

Tanah Lot is claimed to be the work of the 15th century priest Nirartha one of the last priests to come to Bali from Java.  During his travels along the south coast he saw the rock-island’s beautiful setting and rested there. Some fishermen saw him, and bought him gifts. Nirartha then spent the night on the little island. Later he spoke to the fishermen and told them to build a shrine on the rock for he felt it to be a holy place to worship the Balinese sea god.

The temple itself is not accessible to visitors, but magnificent views can be had from a variety of points nearby. Crowds especially gather on the terraces nearby to watch the glow of the sunset behind the temple. Naturally, there are plenty of souvenir shops and cafes with a view to keep you well-supplied while doing so.

The function of this temple can be realised from the function of the main temple building which is located in the temple main area. In this place, there is a main temple to worship the god in form of Dewa Baruna or Bhatara Segara, the sea power. The media of worship to this god is the temple building with 5 storied meanwhile the 3 storied temple building in north part of this area is purposing to worship to Dang Hyang Nirartha

To reach the temple, visitors must walk through a carefully planned set of Balinese market-format souvenir shops which cover each side of the path down to the sea. On the mainland cliff tops, restaurants have also been provided for tourists.

mamadou

Posted in Art & Culture, INDONESIA, Life, Tourism, Travel

Pura Ulundanu and Gunung Batur, Kintamani

Kintamani is the most favorite tourist destinations in Bali with the active volcano of mount Batur and beautiful lake. Kintamani is surrounded by the captivating nature and there are six ancient villages around cauldron of Batur Lake which is often conceived by Bali Age Village. The local people from these Bali Age villages own the unique cultures, houses and life style. Kintamani Area is consisted of some Villages those are Kedisan Village , Buahan, Abang, Trunyan, Songan, South Batur, Middle Batur, North Batur, Sukawana and Kintamani Village. The total of resident in these area are about 15 thousand who are mostly working as farmer, merchant, or work at industrial tourism.

Kintamani is beautifully seen at the day time around 10:00am until 15:00pm especially having fine weather where entire Kintamani area will be able to be seen clearly. Generally, all tourists who pay a visit to this place will arrive in the day time where they can enjoy the panorama or enjoy the lunch in the local restaurant with lake view. Mostly restaurants at Kintamani generally own very beautiful view where tourist merging into their lunch in this restaurant and meanwhile enjoy the panorama.

Kintamani is located in Kintamani sub district, Bangli Regency and about 50 km from Denpasar Town or about 2 hours by car. All roads are generally in good condition to access to this place. The fog will descend and blanket entire area of Kintamani with cold temperature in particular at late afternoon until the whole of night. The most amazing panorama at Kintamani can be seen in the morning time, when the sunrise emerges on the surface of earth precisely on the mount Batur.

Pura Ulun Danu Batur – near Batur village. This is the most important temple after Besakih, housing more than 90 shrines. Worth visiting at any time of year, especially during the Odalan festival, usually in March depending on the full moon, which is dedicated to the goddess of the crater lake, who is said to control the irrigation systems for the entire island. Lake Batur is the source of dozens of underground springs, which help regulate the flow of water for the farmlands and sacred pools throughout the whole south-central region. Farmers from all over the island pay homage here to Ida Batari Dewi Ulun Danu, the life-sustaining and highly venerated goddess of the lake, who supplies the 37 rivers, tributaries, dams, and irrigation canals between here and the sea with water.

Mount Batur is located at Kintamani; is the most active volcano on the popular tourist island of Bali and one of Inondesia’s more active ones. During the past centuries, Batur has had a number of small eruptions every few years. Mount Batur is actually just a small volcano and the peak height is 1717m, but its setting is in the heart of a huge crater 14km in diameter and it has erupted about 24 times since year 1800 and still active up to now. Since the mount erupting, it has impacted to the local society life around this mount, like removing altar (Temple), improve or repairing the village and re-arrange the tradition.

The volcano is still active today as Balinese all over the island who still remember the great eruption of 1917 will testify. It claimed thousands of lives and destroyed hundreds of temples. Old people might tell you this was “the year when the world shook” Other eruptions have taken place since, forcing the local population to be relocated, along with several of their temples including one of the main Bali temples, Pura Ulun Danu.

Adjacent to the volcano is the large crescent-shaped Batur Lake, all surrounded by the high walls of the crater rim. The sheer size of the crater conjures up images of the massive eruption of the original Mount Batur that occurred tens of thousands years ago.

Lake Batur is the biggest lake in Bali and functioning as irrigation source to all farmers around it and it is also for all Bali society generally.

Penelokan village provides spectacular views of this crater lake and Mount Batur, set in a vast volcanic caldera. Photo opportunities abound, but try to be there as early in the morning as you can manage before the cloud inevitably starts to gather.

mamadou

Posted in Art & Culture, Flora & Fauna, INDONESIA, Tourism, Travel

Unique Rice Field at Tegalang, Bali

A normal scene of rice field as seen in Denpasar, Bali

Tegalalang located on the north side of Ubud around 20 minutes drive. This area is famous tourist attraction for beautiful rice terraces, many tourists who travel to and from Kintamani stopped at this place to witness the beauty of the verdant terraced rice field scenery or having lunch at the restaurant while enjoying the beautiful scenery of terraced rice fields. Tegalalang Rice Terrace is one of the tourist icon in Ubud Bali.

Unique terraced rice field at Tegalalang, Bali

The rice terrace is designed very beautiful with exquisite hollowing rice field and precisely located on the hill bank. In this place, you will see the Balinese farmer do their rice field in oblique area complete with its system irrigation. You will enjoy the beautiful panorama of valley with rice terrace and coconut trees ornament it.

You should not missed of this unique scenery at Tegalalang if you travel to Ubud or Kintamani.

The northern part of Ubud, there is one area called Tegalalang, where many great home industries. Hundreds of miscellaneous crafts of cat and mouse, dolphin, giraffe, etc. that are made of wood or iron were manufactured here.  Other handicrafts produced are bags of different models from a variety of materials, stone carvings, cheap wooden carvings, wooden masks, all sorts of glass handicrafts is formed into a vase, unique bottles or plates. Everything is here. Shop and showroom is lined up along the 10 km, if we’re shopping here, of course depends on how thick is your pocket.  It’s endless.

With a pleasant weather, you can relax, drink, eat and enjoy the scenery in one of many huts

mamadou

Posted in Art & Culture, INDONESIA, Life, Tourism, Travel

Kecak Dance, Uluwatu Temple, Bali.

Uluwatu Temple Ulu in Balinese mean heart, Watu it’s mean stone. This temple built in 11th century by Javanese priest Empu Kuturan or well known with Empu Raja Kerta. The temple located in south western tip of peninsula, up to the blue sea cliff approximately 100 meters high, the best place to view of the sunset. In 16 century another Javanese priest Danghyang Nirartha visit this temple and add more building, he retreated to this temple for his final life, when he attained Moksa or freedom. Entrance ticket cost at 3,000 rupiahs/person.

Kecak Dance at Uluwatu Temple – A Kecak performance is very simple. The men’s chorus chants the words Cak ke-cak ke-cak ke-cak ke-cak ke-cak, in rhythm, over and over again, For this reason they are called the Kecak or Cak dance. The Kecak dances consist of about fifty men wearing only a loin-cloth, the upper part of their bodies left bare. They form rows of circles, in the middle of which is a coconut oil lamp. The Kecak dance is performed for dance-dramas and the story presented is take from the Ramayana epic. Ticket fee at 70,000 rupiahs/person

Kecak Dance is a kind of dance of Bali’s most unique, and not accompanied by musical instruments / gamelan whatsoever, but accompanied by a choir of about 50 men. This dance originated from the sacral dance (Sang Hyang). At a dance Sang Hyang’re intruding spirits communicate with the gods or ancestors who are sanctified. By using the dancer as a media liaison of the gods or ancestors can convey his saying. In the 1930s began an epic story of Ramayana is inserted into the dance.

In brief, the story is as follows:

Because they sense evil goddess Kakayi (Stepmother) Sri Rama, the crown of the Shah’s son from the kingdom of Ayodya, exiled from his father’s palace and the King Dasaratha. Accompanied by his younger brother (Admiral) and his wife (Goddess Sita), a faithful, Sri Rama went to forest Dandaka. By the time they are the forest, they are known by the King Dasamuka (Ravana), a king who did wrong, and Ravana was captivated by the beauty of Goddess Sita, he then made an attempt to kidnap Sita, and he is assisted by patih, Marica. With his spiritual power was transformed into a giant Marica beautiful golden deer and agile. Thus, they succeeded in separating from Rama and Sita Admiral. Ravana then use this opportunity to kidnap the goddess Sita and took him to flee to Alengka Pura. By conducting this scam is trying to help Rama and Sita from Admiral cengkaman a cruel king. The assistance under the commander of troops tentera monkey Hanuman then they managed to beat a giant army led by Meganada Ravana, his own son. Rama finally managed to take back his wife safely.

The Kecak Dance tells you about the Indian story of Ramayana.  Rama, a warrior and rightful hier to the throne of Ayodya, is exiled with his wife Sita to a faraway desert.  There, an evil king spies Sita, falls in love with her, and sends a golden deer to lure Rama away.  Sita is captured, and Rama rounds up his armies to defeat those of the evil king and rescue her.  Rama is the man in green dancing in the center of the circle, the golden deer is in yellow in the back.

mamadou

Posted in Art & Culture, INDONESIA, Tourism, Travel

Bali, Indonesia

Aerial view of Denpasar, Bali.

Bali is and still one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.  However, there are many people who do not know in depth about the uniqueness of Balinese culture. Life in Bali is always related to “Tri Hita Karana” or a tripartite concept that include the spiritual relationship between human and God, and their environment. Outside of India, Bali is the largest Hindu outpost in the world. On Bali Hinduism has developed along lines all its own. In fact, the way in which Balinese practice their frontier Hinduism is still their greatest art.

The rapid growth of development in tourism has had a big impact and influences to Bali tradition and lifestyle. Interestingly, Balinese culture is still as what it was, growing along with globalisation.  The Balinese culture makes the island different from the other destination.

Just landed at Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali after 17 years

Bali is one of the 33 provinces of the Republic of Indonesia, and among 17,500 islands across the Indonesian archipelago.  Situated between Java and Lombok, the island of Bali is located 8 to 9 degrees south of the equator with the Java Sea to the north, the Indian Ocean to the south. Bali’s covers an area of 5,636 km2 or 0.29% of Indonesia total area.

The province of Bali is divided into nine regencies (eight regencies and one municipality) with its own capital. Buleleng, Jembrana, Karangasem, Badung, Denpasar (capital city), Gianyar, Klungkung, and Bangli.

Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali.

The topography of Bali is formed by a mountain chain that stretches from west to east splitting the island into two parts. Some of the volcanic peaks are active, including Mount Agung, 3,142m, the tallest point above sea level, and mount Batur 1,717m. Some barren peaks include mount Merbuk, Patas, Seraya, Prapat Agung, Klatakan, Sanghyang, Mesehe, Musi, Lesung, Tapak, Adeng, Pengiligan, Catur, Penulisan and mount Abang. The north side of the mountain slopes is fairly steep, creating narrow lowland along the coastal area.

Bandar Udara Ngurah Rai, Denpasar, Bali after I have given clearance by the Immigration

Meanwhile, the south slopes are much leaner, forming a fertile plain that becomes the main center of Balinese culture. Some of the most beautiful white sandy beaches are in the south, including Sanur Beach, Kuta and Nusa Dua. The south slope also is home to four lakes, i.e. Lake Buyan (367 hectares), Lake Tamblingan (115 hectares), Lake Beratan (376 hectares) and Lake Batur (1,605 hectares).

Monument of Patung Satria Gatotkaca

Bali’s population of over 3,000,000 souls spread over the whole island, including those in the smaller islands of Nusa Penida, Nusa Ceningan, Nusa Lembongan, Serangan and Menjangan Island. The overwhelming majority of Balinese are Hindus, with the increasing number on non-Hindu migrating from the closest neighboring islands of Java and Lombok.  Yet with the fast growing of tourism since past few decades, young people start to build up a new touch in their living culture.

Monument of one of many Indonesian warriors in Denpasar, Bali.

Life in Bali is very communal under the organisation of villages. Temple ceremonies, marriage, cremation, farming and even the creative art festivals are decided by the local community institution called “Banjar”. The responsibilities in the day-to-day life are normally administered by both the Banjar and the government. The local government mostly responsible for schools, health clinics, hospitals and roads, and Banjar is responsible for all other aspects of life.

A normal scene that you will see at many of road intersections in Bali.

Balinese Hindus will celebrate a religious day known as Hari Raya Kuningan on Saturday 22nd May, 2010 the day before I arrived in Denpasar, Bali. This ceremonial occasion falls exactly 10 days after the Hari Raya Galungan rituals and is a time to commemorate ancestral spirits as they return to heaven after dwelling on earth for an extended period.

In Ubud I noticed plenty of penjor as a sign of Hari Raya Kuningan. 

On the day of Hari Raya Kuningan, preparing a yellow rice is a must, a symbol of prosperity and an offerings in-form of clothing materials and food, being arranged as a sign of gratitude as a human beings received a gift from Hyang Widhi all of which were delegated by him on the basis of love – his love to his people. Some typical offerings on Hari Raya Kuningan are: Endongan as a symbol of a gift to Hyang Widhi. Tamyang as a symbol of resistance of catastrophe. Kolem as a symbol of Hyang Widhi resting place.

Penjor, as I seen at Denpasar, Bali.

Worshipers express their gratitude through prayer and offerings to the Gods for the ultimate gift of life.  During Hari Raya Kuningan you will notice in front of each Balinese home decorated with arched bamboo poles referred to as as penjor. White cloth is replaced with yellow cloth at the base of the penjor’s temporary shrine as an indication of prosperity.

In Ubud I saw a woman carry an offerings to the temple

mamadou