tag h2

Indonesia Tourist Destinations. Information about travel destinations, islands and culture festival.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Bali island

Bali Introduction
Bali dancer
Bali dancer

Bali is one of the thousand island that make up the Indonesian Archipelago. Bali has been famous world wide as a leading tourist destination, known for its exotic and vibrant art and culture, nature beauties and the hospitality of the people.
Bali has an area of 5.653 square kilometres. The island consists mostly of an Eas-West string of mountains and their alluvial that are widest on the south side. About 95% of Bali’s million people practise a form of Hinduism, blended with Buddhism, animism and ancestor worship. For the Balinese people, their religion is inseparable from everyday life. Nobody misses an opportunity to worship God in unending series of ceremonies that extend from birth to death, and far beyond.
Most Balinese people are rice farmers. Other important crops include; coconut, vanilla, cloves, and maize (corn). Bali also known for its wide variety of tropical fruits such as, mangoes, mandarin oranges, bananas, salak (snake skin fruit), grapes, and many others. Tourism and agriculture are not the only job opportunities. Small scale and home industries such as handicrafts are also flourishing. English is widely understood in major tourist areas. Japanese, French, Germany and other foreign languages are also spoken. But less commonly that English.
The Balinese philosophy of life is called “Tri Hita Karana". Tri Hita Karana dictates that happiness can only achieved if there are harmonious relationship between human and God, between human and their community, and between human and their environment. This philosophy is part of every aspect of the daily lives of all Balinese poeple.
Bali has year round mild and agreeable climates. In coastal areas the average daily from May through July are about 28 degree Celcius (81 degree Fahrenheit). It only little warmer between March and October, about 30 degree Celcius (86 degree Fahrenheit). The most pleasant weather is between May and September.
The Government of Bali tries to main tain and preserve the Balinese way of the life by developing tourism that is based upon Hinduism interwoven with ancient traditions.
Many nicknames have been given to this small island such as, The Island of Thousand Temples, The Morning of the World, Paradise Island, Island of The Gods, and many others.

Festivals And Special Events
Bali dancer
Bali dancer

Festivals are important features of Balines life. Most of these ceremonies occur on fixed dates within the Balinese calendar that is based upon a cycle 210 days. Some of these festivals are anniversary celebrations of temples. Many are lifecycle ceremonies that begin at conception and continue at major stages of an individual’s life, ending only with his cremation and subsequent installation as a defined ancestor in his family temple.
The provincial government of Bali tries to maintain and preserve every aspect of Balinese cultural life by sponsoring annual festival that emphasize the importance of the arts. The best known of these events is the Bali Art Festival that held mid June to mid July each year. The art festival featuring exhibitions of various kinds, cultural achievement, a kite festival, and many other activities.

Galungan and Kuningan
Galungan is the most important holiday. This symbolizes the victory of virtue (dharma) over evil (adharma). On Galungan every family puts a “Penjor" a tall bamboo pole, placed on the right side of the entrance to the house compound. Each penjor is decorated with woven coconut leaves, fruit, cakes, flowers and other the gifts of nature. People attire themselves in their finest traditional clothing and jewels to wear to their temple and over thanks.
Kuningan holyday takes place ten day after Galungan, bringing the holyday period to a close. On this day, special ritual ceremonies are held for the ancestral spirits.

Nyepi day
This important day is the Balinese Lunar New Year called "Saka" New Year. It is a day of total silent through the island. No physical activity is allowed, there can no be traffic at all on the roads, no fire may be lit and no amusement held all day long until next morning. Great purification and sacrificial rites are held the day before Nyepi so as to exorcize evil spirit s from every corner of the village. Nyepi falls on the first day after the new moon closest to the March equinox, usually in March to early April.

     This day is devoted to God’s manifestations as Dewi Saraswati, the beautiful Goddess of knowledge, manuscripts the Wedas are blessed and special offerings are made for them.

     The name literally means “iron fence", on this day ceremonies and prayers are held for strong mental and spiritual defence in welcoming the Galungan holiday.

Music, Dance and Drama
bali dance
In Bali, no temple festival or ceremony is complete without accompanying entertainment for the God, attending guest and local people. Temple anniversaries are occasion for all-night drama and dance performance. This re found nowhere else in the world.
The basic accompaniment to any such performance is provided by the local gamelan orchestra, a group of bronze instruments, met allophones, tunes gongs, cymbal and hand drums. The instruments are generally owned by the village, as they are extremely expensive. They are stored at the village's meeting hall (Bale Banjar).
In times gone by Balinese music was passed from
bali dance
generation to generation purely by memory recently Balinese music has been written down or recorded on audio or videotape. Each particular dance and dramatic performance has its own special combination of instrument to built the nature of the ceremony. Melodious bamboo flutes (suling), reedy four stringed, violin like instrument (rebab) and twinging jew’s-harp-like instrument (genggong) are all used to provide their own special effect.

Legong Keraton
     Perhaps the most exquisite of Balinese dance is the classical Legong, a dance traditionally performed as entertainment for the king. The young female are wrapped from head to ankle in hand painted gold brocade, with
glitter gold and sparkling mirrors and are topped with trembling frangipani flowers. As they glide and sway they pantomime an ancient story about King Lasem and his unsuccessful girls. The dancers seem to be essence of all that is feminine and beautiful.

As a dance of war. The Baris is strongly masculine and yet also display at the same time an intense sensitivity of feeling in its myriad moods and expressions. The Baris Gede is a sacred dance that is usually performed at temple ceremonies. Ten or more dancers take part, they wear elegant head dressed and bear spiked shield or sword or lances. They dance in line, posing aggressively as a group before attacking each in simulated battle.


kecak dance
Kecak dance
This is relatively new dance has been created from a much older trance dance called Sanghyang that features a males chorus that chants rhythmically. Usually the chorus consist of over 100 men who provide the orchestral accompaniment with complex and varied chants their swaying movements. They create a living circular stage for the enactment by dancers an expert from the well known from Hindu epic poem, The Ramayana. Flickering torches provide an eerie lighting.

     The Topeng or mask dance, is one of the most demanding dramatic form that an artist can practise. In one form a single dance perform a series of several acts, each depicting a different set of movements and mannerism. Another form of Topeng is performed by a group of men. The action is based upon ancient literature and history, combined with tropical events, humour, and generous amounts of slapstick. The character are caricatures of all this and folly.

     Sanghyang trance dances were performed only as religious ceremonies that exorcise spirit that cause problems and to promote peach and heath within the village. They only have recently been performed to the public for entertainment. In this dance specially selected boys and girls are brought in to trance by a group of woman who sing a special, respective song variety, called Sanghyang Dedari (angel), involves very young girl who have never dance before. Yet they give skilful performance of a sort of Legong dance. In Sanghyang Jaran (horse), the man in trance ride a kind of hobby horse over red hot coals, while exhibiting characteristic horse like sounds and movements.

Barong And Rangda
     The endless metaphysical battle between good end evil is symbolically re-enacted by two weird characters, barong and rangda, who by their very performed reinforce the magic power of the village and restore the balance between these two contrary force. It is strange creature that dance by two man inside a highly
decorated framework that represents a stylised animal, often a kind Chinese lion. Barong adversary is Queen of the witches, un ugiy creature with a longtongue, fangs and pendulous breasts. The two opposite forces that Barong and Rangda portray as they fight is enough to send the followers of the Barong into trance as they try to attack Rangda with their Keris. But Rangda’s magical power turns their swords away and toward themselves. Barong's power saves them from harm and the result is draw.

Arja And Drama Gong
arja and drama
Arja and Drama
   A performance of Arja, Balinese folk opera, can hold an entire village engrossed from late evening until nearly sunrise. Love stories drawn from the classics of the of the ancient kingdom of Java are re -enacted with all of the tragicomic and romantics ingredients guaranteed to appeal. The Royal characters move in a slow stylised dance and sing and talk in high falsetto using high Balinese which is translated into the common language and which is much more easily understood by the audience.
     Drama Gong is developed of Arja that performed by actors and musical group without dance and has recently become popular in the community.

Arts And Artisans
wood carving
Wood Carving
     Arts is very popular in Bali and has important meaning for the Balinese people. The focus of Balinese culture is art, the many form of which have been developed and studied intensively the Balinese people well as foreign students and artists.
     The famous traditional dancers are classifies by some in three groups, 1) Wali, very sacred religious dances, 2) Bebali, as ritual performance, 3) Balih-Balihan, dance for entertainment.
     Wood carvers, who previously concerned upon making statue for temple and decorating instruments, door ways and mask for dramatic show, are now making non-functional objects purely for tourist consumption. This has had an effect On the quality in some cases, but it has also meant a renaissance in the art of carving with a whole group of new subjects being explored by the natural talented artists.
     Painting has similarly undergone a rapid development as a commercial art in Bali. The traditional Kamasan style Wayang painting with their epic stories portrayed in stylised illustrations and rich brown and yellow colouring can now be found for sale all over the island. Ubud is still undisputed centre for painters, with road side galleries exhibiting the brightly coloured “young artisans” style of painting showing daily life in Bali painted in rich intricate detail. Less frequently found are the simple Wayang paintings with their delicates shaded colours. The concept of individualism is still relatively foreign to Balinese artist and it is usual to find a thousand minor variations on the same subject produced by one family of artists.
bali mask
Bali Mask
     Weaving is a cottage industry and the finely woven Balinese “Kamben", called Sarongs by foreigners, can be seen growing on the handlooms in numerous place along the Ubud road. Klungkung is the home of the exotic brocades, or Songket that are some times woven in silk with threads of gold and silver forming the design. In Tenganan one of the original Bali Aga (ancient Bali) in a process that takes many months, all treads being carefully dyed before the weaving to produce intricate design and patterns.
     Making metal object is also a well-developed art in Bali. For centuries the Keris makers have been some of the most respected community members, as the weapon their produce, resplendent with gold hilus and inlaid gems, are held to be a symbol of the family they belong to, heirlooms, processing magical powers. Many are the skills of the Balinese smiths, from making agricultural implements to the precision-tooled part of musical instrument and the accessories of priest (bells, incensed burner, etc). Exquisite gold and silver jewellery can be seen being made the simplest of tools in the workshop of Celuk.
     Everyday life nurtures a love of creative and artistic activities for the people of Bali. Offering making is real art, with the strictest attention being paid to such qualities as composition, colour and form making the high-piled structures of exotic fruits and brightly coloured cakes, topped with performed flowers and exquisite origami-like palm-leaf structures. Every religious ceremony has its accompanying extravagance of decoration improvised from local materials. No ceremony is more dramatic than that of cremation, with is brilliantly decorated tower and sarcophagus, all designed to go up in smoke.
     This transitory value, which is characteristic of much traditional art in Bali, makes it every pure form, selfless creativity dedicated to God and the community with no though of personal gain.
     Literature was the great cultural of source of other arts. Since a long time ago, Balinese valued handwriting and literally skills. Traditional works of Balinese literature were written in several related languages; Old Balinese, Hindu Balinese, a mixture of Balinese-Javanese, New Balinese, and Modern Balinese.
     The highlights of any holyday in Bali are those incidentals “happening" which inevitably and unexpectedly occur on any trip around the island. Each corner and bend in the roads promises something new and vital to experience. Changes are good of seeing a religious procession complete with mobile gamelan orchestra, or a colourful temple ceremony, or even just the local army of ducks waddling their way in regimental fashion to their day in the paddy fields.


By Air
bali airport
Bali Airport
   Bali can easily be reached by air. There are now way many International Airlines running scheduled flight
to and from Ngurah Rai, Bali International Airport. Garuda Indonesia is the national flag carrier. In addition to Garuda, international flight are offered by Qantas, Malaysian Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airline, China Airline, Thai International, Korean Air and some other, the routes of some of the international airlines take flights from foreign airports to Singapore first. It only takes two and one half hours to fly from Singapore to Bali.

By Sea
benoa seaport
Benoa Seaport
   Large International cruise ship and yachts can anchor at two of the four seaport in Bali; Benoa, which is south of Denpasar, and Padangbai on the northeast coast.
The harbour of Singaraja (Celukan Bawang) on the north coast now serve only a few Bugis schooners and smaller crafts that provide service between North Bali and Java. Gilimanuk on the northwest link Bali with Java. A regular ferry service, operating 24 hours a day connect Java and Bali.
PELNI, the state-owned shipping company has several ships that serve Indonesia's main ports. PELNI’s passenger ship call regularly at Benoa harbour.

Travelling All Over Bali
     Visitor can explore the tiny island by using various means of transportation such as; taxi, bus, minibus, angkot (local minibus), and motorcycle.
Bicycle in Bali
Taxis operated from all major hotels and the airport with rates varying according to destinations. The taxi companies, in Bali are Bali Taxi, and Koperasi Taxi Ngurah Rai. Taxis are metered unlike the cars that belong to travel agencies. Public minibuses or big buses are available in everywhere to take and drop off local passenger, so that such a trip will give you the experience of travelling with the locals. For those who prefer to travel more privately, self-drive rented cars or motorbikes may be the choice. The prices, however, do not always include insurance and the vary depending upon the type of vehicle and the duration of hiring.
Petrol pumps and service stations are available at every large towns. In emergency there are always roadside kiosks fuel out of drums at a bit dearer price.
Benoa Bali
Benoa Bali
     While driving yourself, please take outmost care since the traffic rules may be somewhat different from
those observes in your own country. An international driver’s licenses is required, but one can apply for temporary permit in Denpasar and go for a test drive at the tourist driving licenses office in Bali.
     It is compulsory to wear a crash helmet while you are on the road on the motorbike. Helmets are available at motorbike hire outlets. Small horse-drawn carts called “Dokar" serve as convenient transportation during off hours and off the beaten track.


Identification and point of attraction.
Bunut Bolong
Bunut Bolong
     “Bunut Bolong" is literally a “Bunut" (ficus) tree growing very big under which tree was then built. This
Tree is quite specific for having a very big hole (as wide as the asphalted road passing throught it) in the midle of its bottom part, that even a big bus can pass throught it, so the big tree is just like an entrance gate.
On the southern part of the tree is located a temple called: “Pujangga Sakti" temple The tree instead of having a very unique natural characteristic in also believed to have magical power by the local.
On the western part of the big tree is an extensive forest as natural attraction, while on the eastern part is hectare of clove plantationas another point of interest

     “Bunut Bolong” is located on a highland belongs to Manggis Sari village, district of Pekutatan, Jmbrana Regency. It is about 86 km in distance from Denpasar and it is easily be erached by any kind of motor - vehicle.

     As a place of interest, “Bunut Bolong” is still very simple and natural, so facilities like: parking lot, toilet, accomodation, restaurant or souvenir kiosk have not been available yet. However, the road going there (come out to Buleleng regency on the north) is quite splendid.

Tourist visit.
     The cool weather and peacefull atmosphere of Bunut Bolong makes every visitor, doestic or from overseas enjoy his/her time there. Visitor will be friendly welcomed by an officer in charge to note down the number of visitor arrival.

     There is no definitive information noted down about the history of Bunut Bolong and Pujangga Sakti Temple near it. According to the legend, long time ago there was a very big stone at the location and when Dang Hyang Sidhi Mantra (one of Hindu hollymen coming from Java) passed the place he then decided to do meditation there.
The people respecting the hollyman then build a temple for him there later named Pujangga Sakti Temple.
When Manggis Sari village initially existed in 1928, some peculiar incidents happened. The people who once lived on the northern part of Bunut B'olong and those who lived on the south of the village cemetery infected by an epidemic disease.
Through a magical guidance from the temple, the villagers were then intirely moved to the southern part of Bunut Bolong for safety, and it was true. So that is always religious relationship between the village of Manggis Sari and Bunut Bolong, the temple and its suroundings.

KLUNGKUNG REGENCY “Puputan Klungkung” Monument.

Identification and point of attraction
     This monument stand 28 meters in height in the centre of Semarapura, the capital town in form offflinga - Yohi” (male and female symbol) built on an area of 123 square meters in extent and named as "Puputan

Klungkung Monument" (Puputan literally means: “fight till the last drop of blood" / total war).
     It is made of black stone entirely and it is relevan to Hindu philosophy: “Puputan” or fight till last drop of blood” commited by te best warriors of Klungkung with their loyal people.

     The monument can easily be reached from major places of interest like Besakih, Candi Dasa or Denpasar, the capital city since it is located right by the main road (the center part of Semarapura) with the old tradisional court “Kertha Gosa" / Taman Gili nearby, traditional market, shopping centre and government offices.
     Since it was formaly opened by the minister of Home Affairs on 28 April 1992, the monument has been visited by a lot of visitors either domestic or foreign visitors.

Klungkung Monument
Klungkung Monument
     "Great nation are those who show honor to their heroes merit” is the proverb refered by the government of Klungkung regency in building the monument as to show respect to their heroes who had lost their lives during the struggling time againts the Dutch colonialist taking place on 28th April 1908 fright on the site where the monument erected, a heroic moment known as "Puputan Klungkung", a war till the last drop of blood of Klungkung people and their King at that time againts the Dutch troops.
     The monument as mentioned above, s in the form of "Linga-Yoni" (male and female sex symbol) erected on an area of 123 square maters in extent, completed with “Bale Bengong" (resting place) on every corner. On the base part of the monument is a wide square hall with four entrances facing four directions. The height from the base up to the top is 28 meters, while between the base hall and the “lingga" (male sex symbol/phallus) is an octogonal space layered by nineteen lotus petals. This is to symbolise and illustrate the date of 28th April 1908 to be commemorated every year. Inside the hall is the diorama showing the details of the great war.


     In the seventeenth century durig the golden time of Kingdom of Mengwi, the King of Mengwi.i: Gusti
Agung Ketut Karangasem, son of I Gusti Agung Made Agung built a temple in the middle of nutmeg forest, later called: Bukit Sari Temple. The nutmeg forest is a holly area very'much respected by the local people of Sangeh traditional village and the villages nearby, so that it is considered sacred, meanwhile it then developes into a place of interest multi national visitors with hundreds of tame monkey innabitants inside the evergreen tropical forest.

     Sangeh is located about 20 km, north of Denpasar on the way to Pelaga village (the northest of the regency) or it is about 30 minutes drive from Denpasar by public transport.

     The place of interest is completed with a parking lot, souvenir shops, foodstalls, footpath etc. Transportation to the place is quite easy since there is a public transportation service available for Denpasar - Blahkiuh (the district capital) route.

Brahma Lelare Statue

Identification an point of attraction
     Among plenty of statues decorating the roads of Gianyar, Brahma Lelare is the most peculiar statue because it is performed as a naked small child, sitting in a respected manner on lumps of stone filed in such an artistic way by an artist named: Wayan Sugata.

     This statue is located at the junction road at Sakah village, Sukawati district, Gianyar regency. As it is located in the tourist route, then it has been always attracting tourists passing the route.

     Gianyar regency is well-known as an artist area, therefore, the Regent of Gianyar Regency (Mr. Cokorda Raka Dherana, SH. At that time) proposed to place statue at every junction of Ginayar jurisdiction. The statue of Brahma Lelare contains a philosophy of "Pinaka Ratuning Wisesa" which means that the lower level of government officials must be responsible to the upper one, and the upper government must be responsible to the above level, and so forth.

Uluwatu Temple and Surroundings.

     Legend says that the lump of lime stone found on the. location of the temple is the metamorphosis of the Lake Goddes or the water Goddes.

   Uluwatu Temple and its neighbourhood is supposed to be built around the eleventhcentury, the same time as when Mpu Kuturan (one of Hindu holy highpriests coming to Bali at that time) built some shrines within the mother temple, Besakih. This location was chosen by Highpriest Danghyang Nirartha to achieve "Moksa" (to unite with God almighty).
     The bush surrounding the templeis occupied by groups of monkeys protected by the locals nearby.

     Uluwatu temple is located on the cliff of coral hill, the most southern tip of Bali. The area belongs to Pecatu village, ditrict of Kuta, the regency of Badung.
     It is about 30 km to go to Uluwatu from Denpasar to the south through wellknown tourist resort of Kuta, Ngurah Rai International Airport and Jimbaran village. The beach is best for surfing all the year round, however since the soil is so barren that fresh water is scarce to be found.

     There is an extensive parking lot available close to the temple as well as souvenir shops and drinking/food stalls and public toilet

Kuta Beach

     Three hundreds years ago, a Chinese temple was built by the river of "Tukad Mati" which was used to be sailed over by traditional rowing boats or schooners up to the village of Kuta, so since then Kuta had
kuta beach
Kuta beach
become a commercial port.
     A Danish sailor/merchant named Mr. Mads Lange built his store by the river in 19 century. While living in Bali, he often acted as messenger between the Kings of Bali and the Dutch colonialist.
     Mads Lange died because of uncertain cause of death and he was burried next to the Chinese temple by the river of Tukad Mati, Nowadays one can find Mads Lange grave right by the bypass road to Nusa Dua.
     Kuta, once, was a quite fishermen's village which was then developing in to a small international town completed with various public facilities while its crescent-moon shaped beach is known all over the world with rows of luxurious hotels adorning it.

     Is is about 11 km south of Denpasar and can easily be reached by ■ public transport from Tegal terminal whitin 15 minutes.

The neighbourhood.
     Kuta nowdays is the central of entertainments in Bali and has become a favourite resort for multinational visitors. It has everything a tourist looking for i.e; white-sandy beach, rows of excellent bars and restaurant, discoutheques and other places of intertainment for enjoyable nightlife.
     Rows of kiosk selling souvenirs and the other tourist needs like garments, cassetes etc. are available along the mainroad with agreeable prices.

Le Mayeur Museum

     Sanur beach is the most beautiful and attractive recreation for tourist. In the history of “Puputan Badung"
Le Mayeur Museum
Le Mayeur Museum
(Badung war) on 18 November 1906, it was the anchored harbour of the Dutch troops to attack the King of Badung
     Sanur beach was proclaimed by a foreign painter, A.T. Le Mayeur. He came to Bali in 1937 because of the beauty of Sanur beach, he then decided ti live permanently on this beach by building a place to paint. Le Mayeur married his model girl, named Ni Polok. She was also a dancer who had been famous at that time.
     Le Mayeur gallery are full of painting and interesting books which are kept in a building with a Balinese architecture. It was too difficult to get a canvas to paint at that time, so he used traditional cloth made of woven jute to paint. Le Mayeur passed away in 1959 in Belgium and his gallery was then given to the Indonesian government as Le Mayeur Museum.

     Le Mayeur Museum is located 6 km east of Denpasar, 200 meters to the north of Grand Bali Beach Hotel and it can be reached by motor
bike or public transport from Kreneng terminal.

Archaeological Museum

archeological museum
Archeological museum
     500m north of the junction in Bedulu village, along the road to Tampaksiring, sits the Museum Purbakala. This archeological museum contains a collection of pre-Hindu artifacts, like stone axes, copper plates,
megaliths, bone decorations and more. Some kilometers further north is the Pejeng village with some famous temples; Pura Kebo Edan, Pura Pusering Jagat and Pura Penataran Sasih.

Taman Ayun Temple and its Surroundings

     It is a royal temple built in 1634, surrounded by moat full of water lilies and is about 300 meters of the
Taman Ayun Temple
Taman Ayun Temple
former palace of the King of Mengwi.
     The temple yard is always green and fresh with well-cared flower plants and grass, while in the inner yard row of "Meru" (multi storied shrine), the ancestors shrine of the royal family of Mengwi called “Paibon" and the shrine to worship Ida Sang Hyang Tri Murti (God with His Three manifestation) called "Padmasana”.
     Across the temple is the “Museum Manusa Yadnya" (museum of human life cycle rituals) where displayed series of rituals to be undergone by Hindu Balinese starting from the time inside the mother’s womb up to cremation ceremony.
     Taman Ayun temple is located at Mengwi village, district of Mengwi, Badung regency. It is about 19 km, North-West of Denpasar on the direction to Singaraja on the north through Bedugul, the mountain resort.


     This place of interest is located on the northern tip of Badung regency, about 48 km in distance from Denpasar. This place can be easily reached by two and four-wheeled vehicles from Denpasar to the north through Sangeh, the Monkey Forest and Petang village.
     From this village there is a cut-through road headingtoKintamani Tourist resort through a small village named Belok Sidan.

     There is a big temple on the slope of Mt. Mangu oh the northern of the village completed with parking lot, however up to this time there have not any tourist facilities been built yet on this area.

     This area located on northern tip of Badung Regency, at the border area of Badung, Tabanan, Buleleng and Bangli regency.
     Its natural beauty and cool weather has been known since long time ago and it has been a favourite place for holyday retreat and refreshing, proved with resting-house bult there by the Dutch government and now managed by the local government of Badung regency.
     Range of mountains, valleys, terrace of rice paddyfield, waterfall and evergreen coffee-plantation will amuse visitors while visiting this area.