Archive for January, 2012

On a short trip to Bali (Part 3)

Posted in Blogroll on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 by Colin Quek

The final instalment of our Bali trip. Apologies though for the delay in getting this post out.

A trip to beautiful Bali will not be complete without a visit to the Barong Dance. More details about the Barong here.

I would love to retell the tale behind the dance, but I’m not that expert on the matter to properly spell it out. But it is really a must see for those who plan to visit Bali.

The show we went to was apparently one of the higher end ones, with the costumes being more ornate.

The show started well and ended with some black magic display, where the actors stabbed themselves with knives and didn’t get hurt. That’s something we don’t see everyday.

That’s a portrayal of the Barong.

A close up.

Yes that’s the stabbing, imagine all the actors doing that to themselves.

The next stop for us is the Temple by the Sea. Called the Tanah Lot Temple, it is situated by the edge of the cliff, actually the cliff is cut off from the main land. Hence the temple might not be accessible during the high tides.

An overview of the temple from afar.

There seems to be a holy event going on during our visit, with a priest blessing the devotees and even some tourists with the holy water from the spring.

With this post heavily focused on the spiritual and religious aspects of Bali, I would like to conclude with a small segment on the Garuda Wisnu Kencana, or GWK Cultural Centre.

Wisnu or Vishnu is one of the Hindu deities, similar to the Trinity concept in the Christian faith. In GWK Centre, there is this huge statue dedicated to the deity Wisnu.

Just before entering the area where the giant Wisnu statue is.

Missing the arms? Yes, they are being built off site and according to my driver, should be up for attachment soon.

Yes, one of the arms of Wisnu’s statue.

Of course my favourite Balinese creature, the Garuda.

In all, our stay in Bali was a very enriching and eye opening one. We learned about the Hindu faith, about the way of life in Bali and of course basked ourselves in the warmth and friendliness of the locals.

Who can forget the rich Baliness food? It is certainly an island rich in culture and steep in history.

The people of Bali love their decorations ornate and their temples lavish. If you a a culture traveller, be sure that Bali is in your plans.

Till then…

On a short trip to Bali (Part 2)

Posted in Bali, Blogroll, Food with tags , , , , , , on Sunday, January 1, 2012 by Colin Quek

This part of the series brings us to around the sights and sounds… and of course food of Bali.

In the morning, our driver, Made (whom we hired via http://funwithsila.blogspot.com/), drove us to Kat’s Kitchen. Breakfast was western. With bacon and again my favourite Balinese coffee.

My breakfast set, just the way I like it, meaty!

Close up of my first coffee of the day!

A little note about our driver: Made is a very friendly and honest driver. With excellent command of the English language, he explains in detail the places where we visited. Highly recommended. (*Update: a friend of mine already hired him for their own Bali trip)

First stop of the day, Made drove us to visit a Batik crafts shop. Batik Bali is one of the more popular Batik brand in the whole of Indonesia.

Some of the tools used for making Batik.

Here’s the wax for masking out the areas to avoid by the dye. The pen-like instrument is a Tjanting tool.

The intricate art of Tjanting.

I splurged on myself in the place, buying over $300 (SGD) worth of Batik products.

After that, we went to visit a village. All the households are surrounded by brick walls. Inside the perimeter are several houses, a temple for the household, a mini-farm, a kitchen and of course the loo.

The stove, fire is fuel by firewood.

This is one of the 3 ~ 4 houses typically found in a family. According to Made, this unit is for young married couple.

With the sweltering weather in Bali, you must be wondering where’s the aircon? Well they got better…

The walls are made of mud, accordingly it keeps the heat out.

Thatched roof, this keep the heat out too.

And yes the insides of the houses are sufficiently cooled by the above mentioned techniques.

Parts of the family temple.

The altar.

Each family has its own temple, where they worship the Hindu gods of Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva. Each temple is handed over to the male child of the family. Together with the style of worship, this forms a vital anchor for each family.

Here’s the the PUB, Private Utilities Board. The well where each family has its water source. That’s Made at the side of the well.

Speaking of religion, Bali is dotted with numerous temples, with Hinduism being the main local religion. Of course the mainstream public temples are huge and very intricately adorned. Just take a look at the following.

Just outside the temple, a towering statue.

I especially like the following 3 carvings. Excellent paint job as well for the first 2.

Part of a pillar.

This is found beside a wall. Examine the details in the stone carving.

The temple we visited is some special cleansing temple. Hence we see groups of devotees washing themselves in the temple’s holy water.

On that note, we headed for dinner, I believe it is the famous flat-chicken rice. Where the chicken has been cooked until the bones are crispy and can be eaten.

Sambal Bali, super spicy chillies of Bali. Mixed with coconut oil and a dash of fried onion. Delicious!