Posts Tagged ‘Bali’

Sitting in a small warung beside the lapping waters of Bali’s Lake Batur, in the fishing village of Toya Bungkah, we tucked into steaming bowls of fried rice to prepare for our early morning rise. The village, one of eight ‘bintang danu’ (stars of the lake) dotted around the water’s edge, is the main starting point for trekking up Gunung Batur – one of Bali’s most photographed active volcanoes. Built alongside sulphurous hot springs that bubble into the lake, even the village’s cheapest home-stays boast a constant supply of hot water, perfect for easing the aching limbs of weary hikers.

img_batur1_jan2007

The crescent-shaped Lake Batur is set within the gigantic caldera of an extinct volcano. It is reminiscent of a huge soup Read the rest of this entry »

img_dep_barong1_sep2007Undeniably, the barong has a special place in the hearts of the Balinese. It can easily be found in nearly all corners of the island. It may be in the form of masks sold in the art markets, in the form of paintings hung in galleries, or as part of a dance performance, either for sacred purposes or merely as entertainment for tourists.

In his Mengenal Barong dan Rangda (Introducing Barong and Rangda), I Nyoman Yoga Segara S.Ag. explains that etymologically the word barong derives from the Sanskrit b(h)arwang. This is cognate to the Malay word beruang, a mammal native to Asia, America and Europe with a short tail and thick fur – the bear. In Indonesia, bears live in Sumatra and Kalimantan. The word beruang is treated similarly to the names of other animals, such as singa (lion), macan (tiger), babi (pig), and gajah (elephant).

The word b(h)arwang is also Read the rest of this entry »

karangasem1

To the credit of the local government, the roads linking Bali’s major places are maintained in ways that make traveling by car a pleasant undertaking.

We’re not talking here about three-lane highways or toll roads, of course, but sufficiently smooth and moderately wide asphalt-layered surfaces.

A case in point is the roads connecting Ubud with Karangasem, one of Bali’s nine regencies on the eastern part of the island.

It offers a variety of scenic green landscapes, high mountain ranges, the island’s signature terraced rice fields and beautiful beaches, you name it—all of which are the foretaste of exciting things to come.

Along the way on the coastal road your senses and sensibilities are feasted by Candidasa and its shiny white sand, with the Read the rest of this entry »

bali1First things first, an update on Bali: the island’s tourism officials have revised their 2009 target of foreign tourist arrivals, from 2,1 million to 1,8 million, over their concern with the impact of the global economic crisis, whose end is still nowhere in sight.

It remains to be seen whether the latest projected figures will become a reality. For last year, the very same officials envisioned 1,6 Read the rest of this entry »