Sep 21, 2015

Gemstone Ring in His Every Finger

This is Richard from US. He told me that he liked to collect gemstone. In every country he visited, he usually bought a gemstone ring for collection. But it has to be cheap, because it is just for collection, he told me.

In one of the visit in Bali, we got to visit a house in north Bali. It happened that the host also sold gemstone rings. So, he tried to put them all, just for fun. I took his video, and asked him if I could use this video in my blog. He said yes. So, here it is.. The video where he tried all the rings.

In Indonesia, and including Bali, there are gemstone fever at the moment. All important people, artists, and many people collect gemstone. So, it is quite a special moment to find one of my traveler is also interested in gemstone.

Do you collect gemstone?

Sep 19, 2015

Purification .... when the soul needs spiritual cleansing

At some point in their life, a Balinese would do a spiritual cleansing ritual. It's the ritual for cleansing their body, mind and spirit.
Why do we need a spiritual cleansing? We believe in balance between physical and spiritual. When the physical body is dirty, we can wash it by water and soap. When the spiritual body is dirty, we do it by purification ritual.
One of the place for this is the temple of Pura Tirta Sudamala in Bangli. Located by the river with a spring, it is an ideal place for such ritual.
The spring temple of Pura Tirta Sudamala.

To do this, first we pray to the God or universe for blessing and guidance at the temple. The prayer is lead by a Pemangku or priest.
Next we will go to the river, wash our face and body, and then go to each of the water sprout available close to the temple.
The water sprouts. 

The river just in front of the temple. Some people were cleansing themselves there.

The end of the ritual of cleansing is the blessing by the pemangku or priest.

Finally the priest will sprinkle us with holy water and bija as the mark of the end of the ritual and sign of blessing.

At the end of the ritual in the river, the local would go to the main temple, located also at the same area, to pray for thanking the God.

Sep 18, 2015

Piles of Skulls at The Cemetery of Trunyan

One of the village you can visit in Bali is called Trunyan village. 

Head to Kintamani, and drive down to Lake Batur. There is a pier by the lake where you can take a boat and ride for about half an hour crossing the lake to reach the other end of the lake, where Trunyan village is located.
Arriving at Trunyan Village by boat.
You will arrive in the village of Trunyan, You can visit the village. You will see a village that's a bit different from the rest of Bali village. Their farming is limited because they don't have enough resources. But many locals would say they worked as farmer and fishermen. 

The path among the houses in Trunyan village.
You can finish your mini trekking around the village in about fifteen minutes.
From the village to the cemetery of Trunyan, you can go on the boat again. It will take about 5 minutes ride.
The entrance of Trunyan cemetery.
There are some locals in the graveyard who sit behind desk waiting for visitors. You can pay donation here before entering the grave yard.
Entering the grave yard, what will you see?
The bodies were placed on the ground but protected by bamboo frame.

It will take around 5 minutes to explore the graveyard,  Depending on your interest, you may spend more time there. It is amazing how the locals their passed away.

The dead body can be easily seen. They are wrapped in white fabric, but the face is still visible. The body is placed on the ground, not buried, but it is protected by framework made of bamboo, This is to protect it from animal.

When the body is completely decomposed, the skeleton will be thrown away. You can see some skeletons lying the graveyard along with some garbage. The skull, on the other hand, was taken and put on a platform together with other skulls.
Pile of skulls.

 You can also see many personal stuff, such as plate, coffee, money, comb, and lots of other things scattered around the grave, Dying is like a journey to the next world that the family equip the dead with things they would probably need during the travel.

Sep 2, 2015

How to be a funny person and make your friends laugh with Bali masks

Wayan Muka is a mask maker who live in Mas Village, Bali. I went there with a groups of travelers and a friend of mine, Emanuel. Wayan showed us some masks. He put on those masks and then danced according to the masks he wore.

When he wore king mask, he would become a king and danced as a noble person. An old mask would turn him into an old man. And when he put on a princess mask, he would dance like a lady.

He is mask maker and also a dancer. Now, that's really a good combination. He can perform the masks by himself and no need for him to ask other dancer to perform.

A mask or masks are really important part for temple ceremony in Bali. There is a special mask called Sidakarya, which would be performed as a dance at the end of every festival. It is believed that without this ritual, a festival would never be completed.

In this video, my friend tried to put on some several masks. And he instantly become funny and make some the travelers laugh. It would also surely at leadt smile.

Aug 27, 2015

Trip to Ulun Danu, Tegalalang, and Ubud with French Clients

Here is a short video that I made for the trip I took with French speaking clients. I don't speak French. Not one word. But it's not a problem.

Sometimes I work for local travel agent in Bali who have French clients. But this time they also assigned one of their staff, a French girl, named Orianne to go tour with me. She translated what I explained to the clients. I think she also added some of her own stories. I think that's great.

Aug 26, 2015

A Bali Adventure You Will Never Forget

Here is my my adventure as local guide in Bali with a friend of mine who acted as trip leader, Emanuel. Emanuel is from Java (or Jawa as he likes to pronounce it). He had been with the travelers (who appeared in this video) in Java. And when in Bali, I took over his job in guiding them for Bali portion.

In this video, you will find snapshots of some activities the travelers do in Bali. Some days were quite busy with many activities including dolphin watching in Lovina, or learning Balinese dancing. Some days were more loose with free and easy activities like walking around Ubud market and doing cooking lesson.  Well, for me cooking is not my strong point.

Watch the video to get some inspiration for your next trip in Bali.

Aug 6, 2015

Quick Trekking At Ceking Village Tegalalang Bali

In the past, people can only enjoy the view of rice terraces at Ceking village. Nowadays, beside the view, people can walk on the rice field paths leading to the hill top.

If you decide to walk, here is what you can do.

From the main street where you get down from your car, there is a way to get down to the field.  There are many ways to get down to the path, one of them, is through a restaurant named Rice Terrace Cafe.

Pass the restaurant, you will get path going down. Don't expect well constructed pavement here, just soil path. It can get muddy and slippery when wet. It is okay on the dry season.

Once you get to the bottom, you will see a bridge that will lead you to the main hill where you can start walking up to the top of the hill.

It takes about 20 minutes more or less to reach the top. You can rest any time if you are tired. And there is a lady who sells coconut somewhere on the path. You can rest there and buy young coconut to drink,

So, there it is. Start walking up, and you will be there in no time. On the top, you can see beautiful areas of the surrounding area.

What do you think? You're going to get up there or just pass it?

Aug 3, 2015

Really Important (Seriously!) Guide of Visiting Monkey Forest in Ubud Bali

I was in the monkey forest in Ubud with my clients from Denmark. They enjoyed their stay there. Besides the monkeys, they enjoyed the walk around the forests.

There are about six hundred monkeys who will entertain you once you get in the forest. It is not a forest like you may think a forest where it is hard to walk around. Since there are many visitors coming to this forest, the local government has made path around the forest.

These are the "polite monkeys", they don't snatch your glasses, earring, hair clip, or your credit card.

They have enough to eat so that they don't have to take your belongings and force you to buy food to exhange with stolen items. They don't have that kind of mentality.

Local provide them with sweet potato to feed them for several times a day. Of course, they will not refuse banana. Monkey and banana are just not to be separated. Close your eyes and say monkey to yourself, and your brain will think banana.

Please don't give your biscuit, coke, and peanut to them. It's not healthy for them. They can get sick. Especially the coke, they contain lots of sugar and who knows what's in the coke. It tastes nice, monkeys like it, but it is harmful for them.

You can buy banana at the entrance of the monkey forest. Small bunch wich consist of four bananas, cost about rp 20,000 and big bunch cost 50,000 rp. Bringing a bunch of banana to the monkey forest will attract the six hundred macaques. And that's not fun. So, hide them in your bag, but don't let the monkeys see you as you put them in your bag. And feed them one banana at the time.

When you feed the small monkey (ow, so cute!)  the big monkey will come. The small monkey will run away. Okay, you probably think that you need to teach valuable lesson the big monkey how important is to share. But, please, don't.  The rule of the jungle applies here.

Forget about talking to the monkeys, they won't talk to you back. You know why? Because their moms told them not to talk to strangers.

Jul 31, 2015

Visiting Calm Quiet Beach in the North Bali

This is a video I make during my visit to Lovina beach, just outside a restaurant and hotel named Aditya. The beach was calm, and the wave was not that big. Not so many people when I came. It's lunch time, and was quite hot day.

Lovina beach is not like the beach in Kuta or Nusa Dua. It has black sand. And being in the north, it is not as popular like Kuta beach.

From south Bali, you need to spend 2 to 3 hours to go here. But on the way, there are many beautiful places to visit along Bedugul and Gitgit.

So, when you have time you can go tour to Lovina or just spend overnight at hotels around Lovina.