Saturday, October 6, 2012

More Bali pictures - see previous post

Resort pool

Some Bali Pictures
Read my previous Bali post for more information about the pictures.
My room at Besakih Resort -Sanur Beach

Stepping stones in a former King's Water Garden

Sanur Beach at Besakih Resort
Another picture from the Mahayana play

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bali Daze

View through a Bali museum window
In a Balinese garden
                                                         Bali Daze

I find Ubud a SE Asian Disney World for adults.  Other than the artistic qualities of the Balinese and Indonesian people, as a whole its authenticity is based solely on tourism. Ubud has everything, didgeridoos from Australia, totems from the northwestern United States, Batik from Java; Japanese clothes designers, spas, yoga, aromatherapy, crystals, tarot cards and seers.  You can be rejuvenated, or enlightened and enjoy a few full body massages and foot reflexologies on your path to the new you.

The original attraction to Bali was of course the climate and the pleasantness of the people.   The Balinese are warm, loving, peaceful people.  Along side all of the tourism hype is the strong and very unique Balinese Hindu culture found throughout the whole island.  

This indigenous culture takes over the community during the full moons, and also the Kuningan Festival (an ancestral celebration during which the people bring food and offerings to the temple early in the morning for their gods and ancestors.  There is also individual prayer by each family member within the temples in their private homes.)  In the evening both locals and tourists parade through the streets in traditional clothes led by a Gamelan band and a mythical monster.
My Bali friends in their family temple

My friend Brownie the dog in the family temple 

Relating to their Saka calendar, much of the community gathers for the Sarong Dance, a beautifully costumed, masked dance that lasts about an hour and happens every 210 days.  Galungan is another major religious festival relating to the gods.  While Nyepri is a sacred  day of introspection during which everything on the island shuts down for a day of total silence.
A Mahayana story

Shadow Puppet show
One can attend Balinese Gamelan musical performances, plays depicting stories from the Mahayana, and shadow puppet shows.  

Musical preforamce
Bali painting of a old tale

A recent survey of tourism found that only 11% of tourists took an interest in Bali’s museums.  Yet Ubud has two outstanding art museums, which not only give overviews of the history of Balinese art but also the influence of western art on its society and artistic traditions

musical instrument
old astrological paintin
Even as I realize how much of a tourist despot Ubud is, I can’t dismiss the fact that with each visit, the great climate, nice people, wonderful restaurants, museums and music do get under my skin.  Yet I think I still prefer the British Virgin Islands to any other warm climate playground I have as yet visited throughout the world.  Guess it’s time to explore the out islands of Indonesia for another viewpoint.  Am I up to it? I think yes!  

Note:  The touristy Kuta Beach area still remains in my eyes one of the worst tourist destinations I have ever visited, with unpleasant beaches and shopping areas overcrowded with packs of weekend tourists. 

Although The Besakih Beach in the Sanur Area is nicer and it has a wonderfully long boardwalk along the beach, the beaches do not compare to south Florida's or the Caribbean beaches I have enjoyed.

The Tulamben area along the east coast is one of Bali’s tourist saviors. It has really nice dive resorts and my daughter who has dived at many international sites, enjoyed some great diving.   Tulamben is a definite do!    
                                   Views of Bali
Pizza sign
Petting their fighting cocks in hopes they will later win for their owners

View looking down on a Balinese temple
With my friend Katut
Great food

World Heritage rice fields