Oct 28, 2014

The Other Side Of Jimbaran

Jimbaran bay is a great place for spending time relaxing by the beach.  You can go there in the evening at about 6 and enjoy the sunset on the beach. Your kids probably likes running around and playing around the beach.  You can order the food at the restaurant or cafe where you stop for dinner.
One of my favorite place for dinner in Jimbaran is in Kelan village.  This is toward northern end of the bay.  It's located closer to the airport,  but far enough that you can't hear the sound of the planes.
I like this place because it's more quiet.  There are not many cafe near by so there are less people.  There are music,  but they are not so loud.
In the main area of Jimbaran, where most of the cafes or restaurants are located,  there are usually lots  of traffic. Traffic in Kelan is less,  hence it's easy to drive around.
This photo is from one of the cafe in Kelan.

Oct 22, 2014

Tegalalang Rice Terrace Not For Sale?

Sometimes ago if you passed Tegalalang and wanting to see the view of the rice terraces, you'd be surprised with the huge letters spread out on the main hill of the rice fields. It says "NOT FOR SALE".
For some of the tourists who would like to take photo of just the rice terraces, that would be a problem. So, anyone wanting to take photo of the rice field will have to include the letters.

The letters not for sale was actually from one of a Bali artist who also concerned about the environmental issue in Bali. I have no more information about this, nor that I have the capacity to talk deeper about this. But one thing for sure, that there is a fast decrease of the rice field area in Bali every year.

A lot of the rice field in Bali has been converted into housing area. With more people, as the population grows, Bali needs more housing. And for this we converted rice field into housing.

Another reason for a conversion, because people build more hotels and villas around the rice field. Soon we will no longer have enough rice field to produce rice for our people. Even now we have imported rice from other countries.

The word NOT FOR SALE serves a reminder for us not to blatantly sell our rice field. This is one of the reason why tourists come to Bali. What do you think?

Oct 18, 2014

What's New in Ubud Market?

I still remember when I first went to Ubud marrket in early 2000. This was before it was renovated. Now everything has changed.
In the past, once you get into the market you would see the sellers were everywhere, they would lie down their merchandise in the ground. As I walked around the market, you walk down path where you need to walk carefully at certain point so you don't step into any merchandise for selling.
Most of the sellers just lie down their sellers in the open. Can you imagine what happen to them if it was raining? They would probably packed up their merchendise.
I enjoy watching those merchandise for display everywhere. It was colorful. They were mostly souvenirs. You could see wood carving, wind chimes, table decoration, fans, wall decoration, painting, ash tray, bottle opener (which usually very obscene, but it is a different kind of sense of humor).They were all differet in colours and it is a real treat for the eye, and walking in the forest of souvenir making me thinking that was the part of the Ubud market which was very interesting.
Nowadays, those are gone.  Ubud market has been changed, all the sellers now have their own stalls or little shops. These shops are located in a big building where the sellers could rent or buy their place for selling their merchandise.
When you arrive in the Ubud market, you can enter the two stories building where you can see these little shops. The sellers do not have their stuff for sale in the open air, but inside the building. For me, it is less fun to walk inside the building, it felt like walking in shopping center. But that's just me. I am a tour guide, I am not a tourist who go there for shopping. Just for taking my clients or the tourists. You will probably will think differently than I do.
One thing that remain the same is the bargaininig. You will have still bargain if you want to buy art in this market. But, a word of warning, because it is indoor, and there is no AC at the time I write this post, it can be a bit hot. So your bargaining skill maybe compromised because you can not stand the heat.

Oct 15, 2014

Learning Balinese Dance

Maybe you come to Bali for not just holiday, but you want to learn about the local culture. One way to do it is learning Balinese dance. There are many studio where the Balinese kids learning to dance. They are scattered all over Bali. One that I would like to present here is Sudi Dancing School in Blahbatuh.
Every afternoon boys and girls from 4 to 15 years old come to the house of Mr. Sudi. Mr. Sudi and his wife, Made, were both dancers. They call their home Sudi Dancing School. But it is not like a formal school where you see many children studying in class room. This is very informal way of learning.

The idea to start this school, according to Mr. Sudi, more than ten years ago, was to prepare the Balinese local children so they can perform dancing at the temple ceremony at their village. That's the main reason. In Bali, there are three kind of dances: dance that dedicated for God or sacred dance, next the social dance, and the last is public performance dance. As you can see, the first was the reason the school was started.

Now they do not just teach religious dance, but also public performance dance. Probably you have seen Legong dance performed somewhere before. This is one of the many dance they teach.

While Made is soft when teaching, Mr. Sudi is more energetic. Sometimes he can be overwhelming for those who are not used to him. But they have their distinctive style. Some students may enjoy soft way and others may need more energetic teachers.

Here is a photo of Mr. Sudi and his wife teaching the local girls dancing. The photo is taken by my friend, Thant Zaw.