Incense sticks like this and small baskets and leaves with a variety of offerings are found everywhere in Bali. And I mean everywhere. They are typically placed on the ground in front of homes, businesses, busy intersections, and parks. It would be normal to step over 10 – 20 of them in every city block you walk along.
We enjoyed our brief time in Bali immensely. Our first few days were spent in Kuta which, for many, is synonymous with being party central and there certainly were many bars and restaurants to take advantage of. After Kuta we embarked on our fantastic diving tour around the island with Blue Season Bali. If you would like to read about our first week of diving in Bali,
click here. Other than the outstanding diving, the best part of the tour was it took us around the island so we had a chance to get a taste of some of the different regions. After Kuta and our first week of diving we headed to Sanur.
While staying in Sanur we had an opportunity to watch the morning blessing ceremony for a Muslim wedding. From what we understood everyone had travelled over from the island of Java for the wedding. The ceremony was held at the hotel in the morning for about 2.5 hours then the wedding itself was going to take place at another venue in the evening.
While in Sanur we had our first real “beach” day. It was wonderful being able to relax on an uncrowded beach and enjoy the sun. I do have to admit though that my personal dislike for jet skis was heavily reinforced as throughout the day everyone had to listen to the scream of rented jets ripping back and forth just off the beach. Oh well, the good with the bad.
These colourful fishing boats could be found on most beaches. These had been converted for taking tourists out on rides around the shoreline.
Hard to find a better place to read a book.
Sometimes you just have to play full on tourist and order lunch delivered to you on the beach.
These fellas were just happy to find a place out of the sun. Plenty of street dogs in Bali but we never had a single problem with them.
We headed up to Ubud for the final six nights of our stay on Bali. An interesting change of pace from the coastal areas. But honestly no less commercial in the city centre. Certainly a more rural feel, but just as many people with something to sell you.
The personal touch when we arrived at our hotel in Ubud was very nice. One thing I have become very good at is accepting my role in our travels. As Karen does all our bookings and organising, whenever we arrive somewhere I am always “Mr. Karen?”
A neat area just outside of Ubud that allowed you to get an understanding of how the locals use the severe elevation changes to manage irrigation on the rice terraces.
Wearing a sarong is required at all Balinese temples. This was at Tirtha Empul, Holy Spring Temple in Ubud.
Locals and tourists alike line up to bath in the pool at Tirtha Empul, Holy Spring Temple. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site and charges an admission fee for upkeep. A whopping 15,000 rupees ($1.50CDN)
I know it is somewhat improper, but I do see the humour when the translation for signs hasn’t been proofread prior to manufacture. However, I am the first to admit that their English beats the hell out of my Indonesian.
Probably my favourite temple we visited was Tanah Lot. Mainly due to the location which is right on the coast. At high tide you cannot access the temple. Fortunately we were there at low tide and got a chance to check out the water blessing offered by the temple.
I have seen fellows like this at tourist attractions around the world. I find it wonderful that technology has allowed local entrepreneurs to operate a full service photo business from their shoulders. 15 minutes tops for a personalized photo to be taken, printed and delivered to you in a frame while you are standing on a beach.
As the sun sets at Tanah Lot the bats come flooding out of a cave. We just happened to be walking by when we saw what had to be hundreds of thousands of bats pouring out. So cool to witness.
This was a total tourist restaurant with average food. However the setting was very cool and made it worthwhile. You definitely didn’t want to drop anything as the pond was directly below your feet.
We had the chance to watch one of the traditional Balinese dances. These ladies were part of the Barong Dance performance.
While in Ubud we had the opportunity to do a number of walks in and around the City. This glimpse of the work that is behind those beautiful rice fields was quite humbling.
The awareness of the hardships these workers endure is heightened even more when you see where they sleep. These are incredibly tough people.
The Campuhan Ridge Walk is one of the best activities in Ubud I believe. Lightly exerting (go early before it gets hot) with beautiful views, and a selection of small restaurants at the top of the ridgeway.
Take the time to rest and enjoy a swing as you make your way along.
Just down from the Ridge Walk we witnessed some impressive motorcycle skills as men were moving construction material up a pathway into some rice fields. Yes that is 5 sheets of full size 3/8in plywood on his head.
We took in a Balinese cooking class while we were in Ubud. A lot of fun and great food.
The class included a trip to the local market and a guided introduction to most of the ingredients we would be using. The ladies who run the stalls are very understanding and have a great sense of humour.
Business is obviously pretty good in the cooking class business. The classes are held in the owners home. While we were there, there were about a dozen craftsmen carving new stonework in the front yard of the home.
Our hotel was located right beside the Sacred Monkey Sanctuary in Ubud. Which meant that we got to walk by the never ending show every time we went into the city centre. I personally am not a huge monkey fan, but I will admit there was rarely a time when they didn’t get Karen and I to laugh as we were walking by.
One of the other sources of entertainment is watching the scooter parking. We have seen this throughout SE Asia. The gentleman in the blue shirt is rolling the customer’s (she is the one with the helmet) bike out onto the street. Riders just pull up and hand over their bike and get a little slip of paper and the parker puts the bike wherever he has room. When you return the worker rolls your bike out to you.
While we were watching the bike parking we observed this local setting out the afternoons offerings. She set burning incense and baskets down around the bikes, at some businesses and one out on the road. From what I understand it is a offering so the Gods will look generously and benevolently on the area.
There are no lack of statues and references to the Gods in Bali. This imposing figure stands over a traffic circle in Ubud.
It is obvious why Bali is such a popular holiday destination. There are tons of sights to see and activities to do. One thing we are fairly sure of is we will be back to this island paradise.
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Looks lovely….reminds me of Thailand…. are you close to the rumbling volcano?
We were close to it, but would have been outside the evacuation area. We are in Fiji now.