Temple in the forest
Pura Lahur Batukau is known as the garden temple. It sits at the foot of Gurung Baatukau, the second highest peak in Bali.
The temple is very important to the Balinese because of its geographical position.
The fact that Pura Luhur Batukau is an important temple is further stressed by the set of directions visitors are given.
I hope they don't consider us ' mad gentleman/ladies.'
The first thing I noticed were the male and female figures guarding the main gate, you see this all over and its repeated inside the temple. I think it means the male and female forces in the world are kept in balance.
There are 20,000 temples on Bali and this is one of the best examples of an untouristy one.
- Religious Travel
- Road Trip
Another nice place a few miles out of Ubud is to the Bali Botanical Gardens.
They are on the slopes of Gunung Pohen.
You can take a nice hike around to look at the flowers and trees or you can drive around on the paved road.
There are some very unusual statues in the gardens. An interesting stop if you are around Bedugul
- Road Trip
Walking to Ubud
If you are staying at Klub Kokos, like we did, you must hire a taxi to take you to Ubud by way of the gravel road or you can walk.
There is a dirt walking path that will take you into Ubud's bustling commercial centre. Traffic is virtually non-existent in this beautifully tranquil rural setting. It is 1.5 km by taking the path. It goes beside some rice paddies, lovely Inns, the river, and other suprises on the way.
- Road Trip
Starting from the Beggar's Bush pub at 9 am
several days a week you can go on a Bali Bird Walk.
It is a very interesting walk around the rice paddy fields. it lasts 3 hrs and costs $33 per person.
We had a very knowledgable lady lead our tour. We saw several birds and many ducks.
Every farmer seems to have his share
The herons (and dance master) of Petulu
Petulu was initially not part of my itinerary, but who could refuse an invitation to a Balinese home, much less to the home of a Balinese dance master. So, sans any protective helmet, off I rode with Kade on his scooter to visit his family in Petulu.
Besides having the pleasure of meeting Kade's family - mother, wife, kids and other members of the extended family - I did have the opportunity to witness a spectacle that unfolds every sunset above Kade's house - the thousands of herons scrambling for perching places on the trees in Petulu.
The spectacle has become an attraction of sorts, and the at the time of my visit, there were three busloads of Japanese tourists who came there to watch the herons.
The herons, which are Java pond herons characterized by their large sizes and white color, started to perch on Petulu's trees around 1965 for no apparent reason at all, and have since entertained visitors and delighted villagers, who believe the birds bring luck (not to mention hordes of tourists as well).
And while the Japanese tourists scramble for strategic places to watch the birds, I had the best seat in the village, sipping good Balinese coffee, and basking in the warm hospitality of Kade and his family.
An artsy surprise at Bangkiang Sidem
To make the most of your Ubud experience, venture into the nearby villages. It's the best way to really soak in the local culture, mingle with the locals, sample real Balinese food, and be surprised by peculiarities of the local customs (read my 'Invisible to the naked eye' tip under Local Custom, and you will know what I am talking about).
One of the walks I took was through the small village of Bangkian Sidem. To go there, pass through the Ibah Luxury Villas, following the concrete path to Pura Gunung Lebah, along the Campuan Ridge, where two rivers - Sungai Wos and Sungai Cerik - meet. You pass by fields upon fields of elephant grass, scenic rice paddies, and on to Bangkiang Sidem.
Along the way, I stopped by a shop (mainly to take shelter from the searing midday sun) by an artist named Made Sudarsana who invited me to see his works, obviously with commercial intentions. But the conversation went beyond commerce and his art - we talked about life in Ubud in general, traditions and family life. His wife used to work for a large hotel in Ubud as a spa specialist but had since moved to another of the hotel chain's property in the Caribbean.
I also got the honor to be invited to Made's house to meet his family - his father, mother, sister, and two kids. Over cups of aromatic Balinese coffee (and some leftover cake from the kids' birthday party), we chatted about the Philippines and Indonesia, about local customs in Ubud, and showed me the family compound. I took snaps of the Made and his family and would like to invite you meet Made and his family in one of my Ubud travelogues.
There is no better way to completely engage yourself with the gentle and very hospitable local population.
Balinese Coffee 101 with Free Drink
Fancy a free drink?, unlimited :-) Choice of ginger tea, lemon grass tea, ginseng coffee, balinese black coffee or hot chocolate...Or you can try all...
BAS Agrowista, its the so called, coffee plantation, that still do it the old Balinese way of making coffee. They have a small plantation in front and at the back of the store, where they gather the coffee beans.
It is along the uphill road to Kintamani, a pit stop along the way.... I like the lemon grass tea.
The school kids of Nyuhkuning
Nyuhkuning is one of the quiet villages surrounding Ubud. It could be accessed through the Monkey Forest Sanctuary.
It was a schoolday when I visited Nyuhkuning. As I reached the village center, I was warmly greeted by pupils in the village school - some speaking very good English. I had a great time chatting with them - they know a lot about the Philippines! - and taking snaps.
I wish I had brought candies and chocolates with me for these kids - I'm pretty sure they would have appreciated these tokens.
The green, green grass of Katik Lantang
Rice (Oryza sativa), is perhaps the most vital of grass species, at least in Asia. It feeds billions from China, to some parts of India, and almost throughout of Southeast Asia.
It is no wonder that farming in Southeast Asia is synonymous with the planting, growing, and harvesting of rice. As this cycle is repeated throughout the year, the rice paddies go through a colorful transformation that is truly a visual treat - from dull grayish muddy fields during preparation, the verdant green fields after planting, to the golden brown hues just before harvesting.
Tourists who venture out into Katik Lantang are in for this special treat. The rice paddies were particularly verdant green at the time I visited this small village near Nyuhkuning. It is so refreshing to see swathes upon swathes of rice paddies, so verdant, so alive.
Mr Ngurah KK - a renowed artist
We were definately lucky - we met Mr Ngurah KK, a renowed artist, not only in Bali but also a painter for Unicef. Mr Ngurah KK is in his 50s and looking every bit of an artist - he has a pony tail. We were walking along Campuhan when Harry spotted an artist painting beautiful art pieces at the verandah of a gallery. We stopped to look and Mr Ngurah KK stopped painting and looked up at us. We must have been scrutinizing so fiercely into his painting because his painting is so detailed and fine - was he annoyed by us ? Harry asked a couple of questions and Mr Ngurah KK got up and invited us into his gallery. Mr Ngurah KK was kind enough to share with us his life history and some beautiful exhibits that he has done in other countries. He also showed us some of his photograhs when he was younger - yeap, he has his pony tail since then but he also kept a moustache (he was much thinner then). Mr Ngurah's wife is also an artist, so is his son. We stood at his gallery hall and admired his "young artists" pieces - very detailed, fine, colourful (lots of red, orange, yellow & green) & vibrant. Most of his paintings tell stories of Bali and the daily lives of Balinese. Eventhough we didn't buy any of the art pieces (which we love to if we have the money), Mr Ngurah KK, being a true artist, shared with us his love for art so generously.
Mr Ngurah KK's art pieces are also being displayed in the Neka Museum and in Agung Rai Museum. Upon our return from Neka Museum which is about 20minutes away from Mr Ngurah KK's gallery, we stopped by at his gallery again. We had a cool evening drink of beer together.
- Arts and Culture
- Luxury Travel
- Business Travel
The Rudana Gallery was born 25 years ago in Sanur, and was moved to its present location in Peliatan in 1978. Its major purpose has always been to support living artists throughout Indonesia and particularly those of Bali. It continues to exhibit and promote contemporary paintings in Indonesia, classic , traditional, and modern. The Gallery's collection includes the works of I Gusti Nyoman Lempad, Affandi, Supono, Antonio Blanco, and more.............. .Peliatan, Ubud 80571, Bali - Indonesia
we found this lotus pond accidentally. a local told us about this. it was so beautiful: a huge pond, filled with lotus with bridge in the middle.
the pond can't be seen from the street, it's behind the lotus cafe.
- Food and Dining
Try to see a cremation.
In Bali a cremation is not a morbid event it is a celebration of the persons life & family save up what they can to fund the carnival like event.
There are tourist trips to these but that is not something I felt comfortable doing. If you are in Bali for a while you should be able to find one happening a nearby town.
Check out my travelogue for more photos of the one we observed in Ubud.
- Arts and Culture
Thousands of Cranes
In a village near Ubud, thousands of crannes arrive at sunset and roost in the trees. We were the only "visitors" there on the evening we went. Children take a small entry fee-a dollar will do-and keep track of where people have teaveled from....the the birds arrive...huge and by the hundreds...fantastic! Any hotel in Ubud could arrange for a car...unfortunately we never learned the name of the village, but all the staff at our hotel knew about it.
Gunung Kawi is one of the oldest temple complexes in Bali and we visited it on one of its 6-monthly festival days! The entire village had turned out and were carrying huge amounts of offerings to the temple for blessing (Can you see the roast chicken?)
Every temple of any size has at least one festival every year so it well worth visiting one if you get the chance.
- Historical Travel
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