You may get tired of visiting so many temples, which all are unique in their own way. Pura Maduwe Karang or the Temple of the Owner of the Land at Kubutambahan is out of the way for most tourists. But if you spend time in northern Bali I think you should not miss it, together with the pura dalem in Jagaraga. Here you can see carved in stone the impression modern transport made on the Balinese mind.
Pura Maduwe Karang features a man on a bicycle, said to be a portrait of the Dutch artist W.O.J. Nieuwenkamp, probably the first to ride a bicycle in North Bali. A typical Balinese innovation is the rear wheel of his bike.
When you stroll around the temple, a bunch of children will follow you, and at the man-on-a-bike they will start a sing-song in several languages (English, German, French, Dutch, ...) to explain what you are seeing. Of course they expect some reward for their service.
Directions: Kubutambahan is 8 km east of Singaraja, the temple is right at the main crossing.
The orphanage is run by the Franciscan Sisters and like others subsists totally on the support of kind people.
About 100 young girls and boys are cared for at one time, no religious criteria apply for entrance. While we were there, we met up with the sisters who mentioned that the children are allowed freedom to choose their faith may it be Hindu, Muslim, Christian, etc.
The Tuka Orphanage is a very special place. With your first few steps inside you begin to realize that this is not just a place for kids to sleep and eat. Lives are changed here, and not just the lives of the children but surely the visitors as well.
We arrived in the morning and many of the children were at school. However do email the sisters to ask for directions and the best time to visit (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We instructed our driver Mr Webee to drive us here and it was quite an easy ride. The map to the orphanage can be found here (http://thebaliorphanage.com/map-to-the-orphanage/)
Most of the kids were at school & we were fortunate to meet up with some of the girls who returned early from school. After announcing that we were from Malaysia - they asked if we watched UPIN & IPIN! We communicated in Bahasa and they could easily understand us. The kids were in good spirits, laughing joking and being very cheerful during our visit. Most of the children have a single parent or could have lost both their parents.
The sisters showed us their guest book where the orphanage had received visitors people from all over the world & some as far as Alaska!
On 20 January, 1933, a tragedy struck, in the form of a fire that raged through the Tower-wing of the Bali Beach Hotel. The fire that started in KLM airline office at 13.15 at that day, lasted for more than 9 hours and destroyed 315 rooms in the Tower-wing with their contents. It was most certainly the largest fire ever witnessed in Bali. No killings, and the people of Bali grieved over the loss of the Bali Beach Hotel.
Something strange happened! Following the blaze, the Bali Beach Hotel was but a blackened shell of its former self. When fire-men and safety-people started to clean the mess, on the third floor one single room had not been damaged at all. Following suit to fire, blessings of the Gods were invoked by Hindu, Islamic and Christian priests. It is whispered RATU KIDUL, Javanese Spirit-queen, had protected the special room by the element of "w a t e r"! Sukarno, Indonesia's first President, always stayed in this particular room. It is well-known he was very fond of the Spirit-queen. Many ceremonies were carried out, and the 5 elements were trusted to earth to ensure a safe revival ...
The rebuilding of the hotel commenced shortly after the fire, and the reconstructed wing opened on 3 October, 1993 (9 months later!). The special room got specially prepared for the Javanese Queen, and nothing got removed from that room from that moment on. For the opening, the hotel's name was changed to the "GRAND BALI BEACH HOTEL", to reflect the extensive, high-quality renovation and reconstruction work carried out on the old property ... (on special request tourist may visit the room)
Grand Bali Beach - in Dutch
Fire Grand Bali Beach - in English
This is definately off the beaten track, and really only for the adventurous, however it is a great way to see and discover parts of Bali, still untouched by tourism.
It is something we must do with care so as not to spoil the ecology and the natural beauty of this unspoilt area of Bali, therefore there are only a couple of companies that do this properly.
However if it is something you feel you would like to do, then a very enjoyable day awaits you, exploring the flora and fauna in one of the most dense rainforests in Indonesia, through coffee plantations, cocoa plantations, there is a chance to see wild orchids and huge fern trees.
All in all a very special trip that not too many people do.
Remember "All you should leave behind is your footprints"
It is not that easy to find a place in Bali that is still off the beaten track, and if there is one, we might keep it as a secret.
Not this one, I have been there twice this year and every time I was the only one, and still, it is that interesting, I want to share it with you.
In 1997 they have opened an amusement park on Padang Galak beach, a few kilometers north of Sanur. I remember well, I went there about a month after the opening, had to pay an entrance fee, but actually nothing was really ready yet, everything still under construction. The operation has stopped a few months later, after Suharto was pushed off his chair as Indonesia's president. I guess the owner of the park was somebody from Suharto's family.
Anyway, I went there again this year, just to see what has happened with that place. Now, almost everything is destroyed, but it still gives you a good idea, how it was supposed to look.
But still, there is one big attraction, there is a pond full of crocodiles, I have never tried to count them, maybe 40 or 50, and even though I guess, that somebody is feeding them (or do they eat their brothers and sisters?), there was nobody around to guard them.
Really amazing to see that, imagine some kids are playing around there, falling behind the fence (what is not difficult at all), they would never be found again.
Imagine somebody goes there for a walk with his enemy...
Imagine one of the trees (it's in a forest) falls into the pond and makes it easy for the crocodiles to escape to the nearby river...
Go for a look, it is interesting, but be careful with your children, don't let them alone around there.
Made "Leo" Mardika is a guide who used to work for a German Travel Agency and lost his job after the downsize due to the bombings on Bali.
He is now an independent tour guide and provides Tours in English and German. He will drive you around in his own car, so you don't need to worry about transportation.
We paid about 40 EUR for a day trip.
He is very knowledgeable and will show you the nice spots on Bali.
The temples of northern Bali are famous for their elaborate reliefs carved in the sandstone of which they are built. Most tours bring you to Pura Beji at Sangsit, but fail to go the short distance inland to the pura dalam at Jagaraga.
Here on the outer wall is depicted modern transport of the 1930's: cars, a bicycle, airplanes seemingly in a dogfight, and a steamer at sea.
Directions: Sangsit is 5 km east of Singaraja. Here turn south for another 4 km to the pura dalem which is on the left side of the road.
I know your not too excited about museums. But, you definitely have to see these in Ubud.
There are three fantastic museums in Ubud that you need to to stop in. The prices to go in are about $3 to $5. all worth it.
I am not going to write a long narrative about them, look them up in your tour guide book and definitely go.
Neka Museum - there are two in Ubud. One is outside of town (thats the one we went to)and right across the street from Naughty Nuri's restaurant ( a good place for ribs) The Neka is just beautiful and the view is outstanding.
Blanco Museum - same direction as the Neka. The father has recently passed away and now the son is the main star. Just an outstanding museum. There Temple area is just beautiful.
Arma Museum - the museum is great and there is also a restaurant that specializes in Thai food. Both are outstanding.
You definitely are not going to walk to the Neka Museum from the center of Ubud, but if you are in good shape you can walk to the Blanco and the Arma. But they are both long, healthy walks. Take a cab.
If you have more time do visit Tenganan Village. Situated in the eastern part of Bali, About 17 km from Amlapura, of Karangasem Regency, and approximately 65 kilometers drive from Denpasar. You can see for yourself how hand weaved cloth was made & learn more about the Bali Aga people. You’ll be asked to sign in the guest book & your donation will be greatly appreciated as an entrance fees (No fix amount it’s all up to you) The Aga people are prohibited to marry other than their clan. Anyone from Aga clan that married an outsider will be deprived from their rights to inherit anything and their parents will also have to pay the penalty!
There is a salt making place at Kusamba, after Goa lawah. Here you can witness the everyday life of Balinese locals harvesting salt. Harvesting salt is a long and tiring procedure! The quantity of the salt actually depends on the weather. If the weather is good, they can produce more kilos and vice-versa. You can also ask the locals to explain the procedures of making salt!
While staying in Pacung, David very kindly gave us a guided tour of the nearby area. This is definitely a house with a difference! Can't say I've seen any other houses with a birds head attached quite like this one.
I just heard the Pantai Geger, or Geger Beach, is hot and trendy today.
The Geger Beach you can find on the East of Bali, close to Nusa Dua. The beach is clean and comfortable, has yellow-white sand and nice, clean water. Western people with kids love to come here, because there is no undercurrent like on the West coast of Bali (Kuta, Legian, Seminyak).
So there are not those high, large waves and you cannot surf either. If you do like a quiet beach (not that much beach vendors, no shops) with a nice restaurant, sunshades, topless sunbathing, come to the Pantai Geger during the week. In weekends lot of crowds and popular time for tourists ...
Another speciality is the ceremonial rites for the cremation. I heard that and made me some privat rituals here ...
I just finished off reading a wonderful book (part biography part cookbook) written by an Australian woman called Janet De Neefe who married a Balianese man and who runs her own Cooking school in Ubud. Although I have never been to the school, it makes me want to return to Bali and visit the places that I only passed through and stop and soak in the atmosphere a bit more. It even has me tempted to find out what it would be like to teach English over there.
Janet's book is a delightful read and I loved her index filled with all these different ingredients found in Balinese cooking. I ended up making a yummy sticky black rice recently and was very impressed with the way it turned out. This book is a must for a foodie like me and I was so surprised that I got a copy in near perfect condition at my local Salvation Army shop.
To sign up for one of Janet's cooking classes or to read more about Janet and her book read my contact details below.
Jalan Bisma Ubud, Bali - Indonesia
We got up at 6 am to take an early morning guided walk through the rice fields of Ubud. One of the bungalow's staff served as our guide, and he showed us his backyard, literally. The rice fields were just a five minute walk from the hotel. Every plant, every tree, every flower, every animal, was pointed out and explained. It was a very unique and pleasant experience.
Dreamland located at the south of Bali. A secluded beach with basic accommodation and warungs (eating places). Sandy beach and clear blue waters. Place to surf and swim or just lazing at the beach. Hire a driver to bring you there. Economical if go in a group as need to pay entry fees.
Where can I begin? I will keep this brief though: 1. NO hot water in rooms 2128 or 2134 (I had both...more
Jl Abimanyu (Dhyana Pura), Seminyak, Indonesia
Good for: Couples
I have now stayed at Tegal Sari 6 times, my husbad and I discovered it about 8 years ago when...more