A Travellerspoint blog

Day 4

Babi Guling in Bu Oka

overcast 25 °C

Today is an important day. Komang picked us up at 11am so we can get to Ubud in time for lunch.

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This shop serves the best Babi Guling in Bali.

It was jammed packed when we arrived. We waited at least 10 minutes to get a seat.

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Look at that crispy skin

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Mmmmmm… They also serve this on Ingka.

If you haven’t try this, you have not been to Bali. (No offense to our Muslim friends)


  1. Photo courtesy of Damien Photography

Posted by Moonfish 21:45 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Day 3 - Part 3

Baturiti, Jatiluwih, Tebanan

overcast 25 °C

Baturiti highlighted the entire trip of Bali. A place I’ve never seen and experience before.

Baturiti is one of the world heritage properties. It's the most beautiful rice terrace in Bali that captured my heart as soon as we entered the village.

Baturiti may not be the most popular rice terrace compared to the one in Tegalalang. This is a place that no word can describe its beauty.

Komang had been here many times, he still likes it here as it was so peaceful he can forget about all his worries.

Alvin should put this as an individual album.

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The beautiful rice terrace.

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Mother and children walking to some place. Notice the youngest child is wearing the mother's slippers?

Balinese women are beautiful. Most Balinese girls get married young, some at the age of 18. When I thought she is 25, Komang thinks she is older.

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A patch of field with poor water supply, paddy around the drying patch are ok though.

Water is an important source for young paddy to grow. Every village will have an association to make sure every paddy farmer gets a fair share.

Sometimes, when there’s not enough water, they will change the date of seeding or harvest so every farmers will get some profit out of it.

In some place, which very rarely if happen, some farmers may barricade the water so more water will flow into their farm for better harvest. If the action found by the committee, the farmer will have to pay fine.

Other than water supply, they also pool money to purchase fertilizer and pesticides.

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Tugu

You will find many a tugu here. A tugu is setup to worship spirit(s) guarding the land. A tugu also means this piece of land belongs to a person or a family.

We’ve made a few stops so Alvin can take some photos. Everytime we asked Komang, “This is it?”

“No. This is nothing.” We looked at him like 'we are so going to kill you', he smiled, pointed at some far away corner and said, “The most beautiful site in on the other side.”

So we packed and hopped into the car, drove along the small and winding road and made another stop.

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We met a German couple with an elderly man and a driver working for a hotel. The elderly man is a German speaking tour guide. Komang and he started talking.

I overheard them talking about some course for tour guide. Komang asked him what is the qualification to take the course and how much.

“High school graduate will do.” The elderly man said in Balinese.

The man told him a fee and 3 years to obtain a Diploma.

Komang is a high school graduate but he can’t afford the fee and 3 years for not working.

Suddenly the Germen couple stopped admiring rice field and turn their attention to “touch me not”, a plant which you touch, and its leave will close like a shy baby. They've never seen it before.

I haven’t seen this plant for years since I was a child.

“The main terrace is up there.”Komang said, “But road there may not be very good. You want to go?”

Since we are here, why not?

He looks kind of worry but he took us there anyway.

As we approaching the end of the road, I finally understood why he looks worry.

“Put down your camera,” Alvin was told, “They might think you are locals.”

We passed by a ticket booth and no one stopped us. I don’t think they can see me with the sunglasses on my head.

Komang and Alvin laughed in unison.

Tourism is not just about service, it’s also about money.

Later we found out, not only we need to pay entrance fee, Komang may also give a small token to the people “guarding” the place. In Malaysia spirit, we call that “duit kopi”.

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Komang and me. We were just having some fun!

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Paddy

I also played with a cow. Alvin thinks the cow likes me. Maybe because I was wearing a green shirt. I certainly don't smell like food.

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Meet my friend - I Ketut Moo

My hands was so sticky after that I had to wash it off with some spring water flowing into the rice field.


  1. Photo courtesy of Damien Photography

Posted by Moonfish 21:34 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Day 3 - Part 2

Harmony

overcast 22 °C

Bedugul is a mountain village by the the lake.

We stopped by a market in Candi Kuning, where most vendors are Muslim. Komang told us that the Muslims here is Balinese Muslim.

“They live like Balinese, think like Balinese, talk like Balinese, only their religion is different.” He said.

And then he saw a friend so we roamed around on our own.

We found "Western Restroom", or "Deluxe Toilet" that cost RP5000 per entry per person!

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We are here, we are tourists, we must use the toilet! It’s nice, clean, beautiful, very 5 stars.

I told Komang about it and he was shocked.

"You mean just pipis is RP5000?! Crazy."

I think he just labeled us as “crazy tourist”!

I bought passion fruits for a friend, some strawberries and a packet of beetroot chips for me to munch. I shy to tell you how much I paid for them. But, I didn’t bargain to match the Malaysian standard.

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All the food we eat in local restaurant is from Bali. Be it rice, vegetables, meats, fruits (they also have avocado!!!!!), and coffee. This explains why we can’t go hungry in Bali.

Komang wanted to take us to the Botanical Garden. We sure it was a good idea but we like to go somewhere else.

So we went to Pura Ulun Danau Baratan, one of the iconic places of Bali.

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This is where Hindu, Budhist, and Muslims live in harmony. This is only a village temple, where there's a Buddhist Pagoda nearby and a few mosque on the hill not too far away.

There was some event. Komang guess it was after a cremation ceremony; or they are getting ready for cremation ceremony; or, they are having some ceremony to invite their ancestors to join them for some celebration.

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Men carrying offering to another place.

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Gamelan Players.

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Smoking.

Komang is a Gamelan player. He said musician never forget their cigarette even when they are playing. Think that’s when he learnt how to smoke.

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Women with head balancing act.

If you haven't notice grains of rice on her forehead, there's a patch on her forehead and on her neck. She just received her blessing. While receiving it, she also would eat few grains of rice then.

Komang need to sort out some matter so he excused himself when we roamed around.

There’s nothing much here. I enjoyed the cool air and Alvin can see the rain is coming.


  1. Photo courtesy of Damien Photography

Posted by Moonfish 10:59 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Day 3 - Part 1

It's been there for centuries...

overcast 26 °C

On the way to Pura Taman Ayun, we passed by Kerobokan, a town just above Semimyak. Although it's completely surrounded by paddy fields, Kerobokan is actually the center of wood carving furniture.

Many suggested that Balinese performed ritual before carving a piece of wood. Truth is it’s only done when the artist is working on a piece of carving for temple. To do so, the priest would choose an auspicious day and time before they could start work.

As for the rice fields here, water supply is becoming worrying since a few mineral water company was set up. Farmers have no choice but to adjust the time seed and harvest.

Anyhow, rice field is quickly vanishing as tourism eats into the faith of the place. Hotel and resorts are rising in a small village like this.

The faith of the local people is unknown.

As we move along, a village Gian Pasir, we found the oldest Protestant church in Bali. Along the road there were many shops selling stone carving.

Komang told me Buddha and Ganesha is now the favorite subject in carving.

A Catholic church is just a few feet away. Somehow, the architecture of Catholic Church seems to have more Balinese charm.

Pura Taman Ayun, belonged to the Royal Family in Mengwi, built in the 17th century. It is now the temple of village around it.

It was surrounded by baray to prevent Dutch invasion. Garden with carpet grass, banyan tree and fountains.

Like all temples in Bali, it is divided into 3 section – outer courtyard, middle courtyard and inner courtyard.

Outer courtyard is Jaba. An open, public area outside the entrance, entering through Candi Bentar (split gate). Performance will be carrying out here. In one corner of outer courtyard (might) have a bell towel called kulkul. The bell made of a hollow wood and is use to signal arrival and departure of deities.

It's also used to warning people if there's any emergency.

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Candi Bentar, looks like a triangle cut into half, symbolizes the splitting of the material world into male and female halves, like yin and yang, to enter the spiritual realm of the temple.

We found an artist in the outer courtyard painting his latest artwork.

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The middle courtyard is Jaba Tengah, has pavillion for the gamelan music ensemble and other structure to prepare offering and performances whenever there's a temple festival or odalan.

This Barong is an offering made of paddy, grains and beans.

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An offering near the temple complex.

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The inner courtyard, Jeroan, entered through a covered gate called Candi Kurung. It has monumental structure on both side of the entrance, and Boma on top of the gate with scary face and hands. It suggests that Boma is to frighten away the evil forces.

It was said that as you proceed to Jeroan, your head should be as pure as clear water.

In Jeroan, there are many shrines and some chambers in respective spot.

The Pagona like tower is Meru. The roof numbered 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11. The roofs are made of palm tree fiber. It can last at least 30 years, be it rain or shine, except for bird nesting there.

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Komang did explain to me the amount of roof means something. If I remember correctly, the meru with 11 tiers is the tallest shrines and people of all castes are welcome to pray here.

There’s also a chamber for trinity – Brahma, Vishnu/Wisnu, and Siva, and some temple even have the lotus throne in the most sacred spot of the Inner courtyard, for the great priests known as Shanghyang.

Balinese do not worship any idol or sculpture. They believe sculptures of spirits and God are imagination of people. So in the temple, other than the stone carving like Boma as a symbol of uncultivated fertility, you can’t find any specific idol/sculpture in any of the shrines and chambers.

There is so much to learn about. I think I have to live here for awhile to really understand the way of life in Bali.

Komang response was, “You think so?"


  1. Photo courtesy of Damien Photography

Posted by Moonfish 10:44 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Day 2 - part 3

Chasing for Sunset

semi-overcast 25 °C

Last stop for the day was Tanah Lot. As we cruise along we stopped by Jimbaran beach, and then went to Sanur beach.

There was a village temple in Sanur and it was crowded when we arrived.

Komang got a little excited by the noises coming out from the temple.

“Cock fight!” He said, “It may be a temple festival.”

I quickly put on the shirt to cover my arm and shoulder, and run in with him, and left Alvin behind.

He found us shortly after that.

The temple was crowded with people. There was a row of basket with rooster inside, and people forming a circle watching cock fighting, an ancient game that was supposed to be illegal.

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“Election is coming.” Komang said, “So it’s ok to gamble now.”

It was a big contrast where behind the wall, there were praying and blessing going on despite the havoc caused by gamblers.

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I wondered how can places as sacred as a temple allow activity disapprove by norm. Komang told me there’s also God for gambling. That’s why most cock fighting is happening in the temple.

Interesting heh?

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A vendor selling satay outside the village temple.

We left the temple and walked to Sanur beach. Found a place to sit down for a beer.

We asked Komang to have a beer with us. The fact that we are not doing ourselves a huge favour that Komang is a driver and we don’t know how well he handle his alcohol.

We laughed about that but he seems to be ok with drinking a small bottle of Bintang shouldn’t do any harm to his driving.

There was only 3.7% alcohol in a Bintang anyway.

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Komang love this photo. He said it is true photographer can see some thing that normal people could not see.

It’s getting late, we need to get to Tanah Lot before sunset. So we paid up and rush off.

The journey would take at least 40 minutes to an hour from Sanur. Suddenly, Komang saw a park with a monument inside.

“We stop here for a while. You might be interested to take photo of this building.”

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This building is Bajra Sandhi. When Suharto was the president of Indonesia, he wanted to build a mosque here, but Balinese protested. Therefore, Bajra Sandhi rose.

Komang explained that the existence of physical building is strongly relating to the meaning of Hinduism philosophy. The purpose of this monument is to immortalize the soul and spirit of Balinese People struggle, to preserve its culture of generations to come, with the challenge and resistance.

It is open for visitor as one of the places of interest, but it was closed on Sunday. Locals loved coming here with their family to enjoy their weekend.

We rushed to Tanah Lot in the exchanged of disappointment. Not only we were greeted by cars lining up to get in and too many tourists. There weren’t any sunset.

Alvin and I found a place to settle down, watching the crowd swarming in like school of fish, and decided we should leave soon.

I saw a tourist following some devotees into the main temple in the middle of the sea (it was low tide) and got told to get out of the place by the priest.

Amazing how ignorant some people can be, or she was not told that we are forbidden to enter the main temple if we do not dress like them.

It was only 8pm, we are quite tired already, not as tired as the driver though. And then I saw this sleepy little boy on the motorcycle back seat.

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“It is not safe. The kid may be sleepy and that’s when accident happens.” Komang said.


  1. Photo Courtesy of Damien Photography

Posted by Moonfish 21:02 Archived in Indonesia Comments (1)

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