Thursday, August 28, 2008

pic: walking around Ubud.... so relaxing...

when we walked around Ubud city, i'm wondering am i spending time in Europe?! Really. because most of the building are so fasionable, moden, stylish. see it by yourself,ok? (^-^)

Majority of the building are single-storey and rarely we can see tall building, not even double-storey. According to our tour guide, they believe that God is from the sky and no way human can stand higher than god. that's why most ( almost all) the building are single-storey and well-decorated.

i like this very much. simple but nice

balinese traditional building can be seen anyway

image spending a night in this cottage, wouldnt it be a special experience? there are a lots of homestay or cottage in Ubud

English style coffee shop. many tourist likes to hang out here.

balinese temple

if we had the time, we really wish to spend more time in UBUD (@_@)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

legong dance... the dance of angels

Wayan Family homestay in Hanoman street is our pick in Ubud. The room is Rp 100,000 per night with breakfast. How much you pay is how much you get, so we also don’t expect too much from the homestay. But, the room is still ok and the owner was very friendly and helpful. They even sent us by motorbike to the central market.

Ps: Accommodation at this area is cheaper compared to the main road.

After we settle our accommodation, it was already 6.30 pm. The main agenda of that night was to enjoy the famous traditional dance in Ubud, the legong and barong dance. After a quick shower, two of us were already on motorbike going to Ubud Palace. Without having the time to grab ourselves any food for dinner, we already in the rather simple-looking theater.

Legong and barong dance
Tickets : Rp 80,000
Time : 7.30 pm – 9 pm

The Balinese dancers are very good and we really had an enjoyable time. In Bali, we had watched 3 dances which were Kecak dance, Barong dance and legong dance. Both of us also agreed strongly that this is the best show. The dancers both guys and ladies were skilful. The synopsis given is clear and we can follow the storyline. Legong dance is about pretty angels that help to settle a war by using their beauty.

she is one of the angels. after watching their performance, i think it is not everyone also can dance like that. if not, try out yourself..

Thursday, August 21, 2008

wow... it is soOooooooo wonderful!!!BALI...

29th July 2008 ( my 2nd day in Bali- part 2)

Finally, we were here!!!

We finally saw Mt Batur. I just cant describe my feeling at that time. I can just say, “wow “ .it looks gigantic, so marvellous and soOooooo ... it looks like it can accept anything. You should look at it yourself! Mt batur is 1,717 meter / 5,633 feet above sea level. Actually, it is lower than our Mt Kinabalu that is 4,095meter (13,435 feet). But, it looks so GIGANTIC compared to Mt Kinabalu. I think maybe it is because we looked it at a shorter distance.

Mt Batur is still an ACTIVE volcano and it last erupted in year 1994. Our tour guide told us about that when we were mesmerizing the view. What a shocking news?!Is it safe!!?? Well. To be frank, i am not that type of people that would take up the challenge of “Fear Factor”. When i think of parachuting, or swimming in deep blue sea, they really crept me up. Visiting active volcano is another fear factor for me, but i would say that Mt Batur really worths it! Hehe. I was slightly exaggerating here. Anyway, we were only overseeing Mt Batur from far, really quite far, from Kintamani.

We were supposed to have our buffet lunch in one of the restaurants overlooking at the great view. But, due to financial constraint, four of us decided to try other local food in a small restaurant. Hence, No great view while enjoying food and No unlimited food (for me, the buffet food looked very simple and don’t really attract me), but we can save Rp 60,000. Instead of high class restaurant, we had our lunch in a simple-looking restaurant that faces the main road instead of Mt Batur, but the food was nice. I had a noodle soup at only Rp 10,000. My friend ordered fabulous fried rice at Rp 25,000. As usual, what do we expect from tourist centre? The food is usually 2X or 3X more expensive than other places.

Ps: please bring your own mineral water because mineral water there is very expensive too. 1.5 liter mineral water costs about Rp 5,000 or 15,000 ???( sorry, forget already) while we can get it at Rp 2,500 at some of the convenient shop in town.

On our way back, we visited an orchard farm. What is so special about this farm is all visitors have a chance to taste their drinks in their comfortable and relaxing garden. All the staffs were extremely friendly and kept on offering us to taste their product such as ginger coffee, chocolate, and others. As usual, after the free testing, we were welcomed to visit their sale department.


This was our second day in Bali and we decided to stay overnight in Ubud. The bad news was we dint book any rooms. Good news was we going to have an exciting evening, walking to look for a room again. Full of excitement and surprises but tiring...... too !! ^_^

we were standing in Kintamani, overlooking the breathtaking Mt batur. beside it, it is the Lake Batur. a very big lake and it looks like sea

Sunday, August 17, 2008

my 2nd day in Bali....

29th July 2008 (Day 2- part 1)

Today, we decided to take a guided-tour to see local villages, experience traditional dances and enjoy stunning views of lush tropical vegetation, picturesque terraced rice boxes and the spectacular lake and volcano of Kintamani. The package includes air-conditioned transports (every travel agent also stressed on this point, but i wonder are there transport without air-con in long distance journey ?? if like that, every passenger may swim in their sweat ), mineral water, free of sarongs when entering temple ( but actually it is included in the entrance fees ), and temple entrance fees .

Package : Rp 230,000 per person
Duration : 8.30 am to 6 pm

Our day started with a visit to Batubulan village to see the famous Barong Dance and kris dance, a story telling dance, narrating the fight between good and evil. A Barong ( mythological animal) represents good spirit and Rangda ( mythological monster ) is evil. Sound familiar? Yup. The characters are similar to Kecak dance, but of course it is with different storyline. Personally, i prefer Kecak dance than Barong dance. ( But , my favourite is..... Lenggong Dance). It is because the synopsis given was not clear, and both of us can not pick up with the drama, just look at each other and wondering what were them doing. Not to forget that, it is 18 SG. Quite violent. Fighting, and stabbing each others. I’ll show a video clip later.

this is the stage of Barong dance. on the right, is where music are played by local folks.

Ticket : Rp 50,000
Time : 9am or 9.30pm ( not sure.sorry ) to about 10.30 am

After that, we continued our trip with our tripmates, 2 South African to Tohpati which is the centre of Balinese hand weaving, Celuk where it is famous for gold and silver smith and Mas the centre of wooden sculpture. well. that was educational + shopping time. it is because at these places, they will show us how do to make the product and then we can pick up our favourite souvenirs.

At 1.30pm, we were on our way to see volcano!!! I had never seen a volcano before!!! .....

To be continued ..... (*_*)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

wanna see kecak dance?

kecak dance is a balinese musical drama which is primarily performed by half-naked man ( No la. They wear sarungs). It is based on hindu ramayana and it includes a dance to be more interesting. it is all about the battle between Ramayana and the evil king Rhawana. It is the battle between the good and evil. From balinese people, i learnt that for them, everything should stay in equilibrium and should be fair and balance. For example , they will pray everyday. They not only worship the god, they also do not forget the spirit. According to our tour guide, by doing so, spirits would be happy and will not disturb others. for me, this is an interesting theory because for us, we usually worship god & our ancestor and maybe sometimes spirit on the roadside. but, in Bali, they do it everyday, a fews times a day. that's why we can see small banana leaves baskets with flowers or sweet or......... on the roadside, outside our room... or just anyway

this is to worship the god. Thats why it is high up from the ground.

For worshiping spirits. aware and not to step on it ^_^

ok. back to kecak dance. want to see it by yourself? this is the opening of the dance. then, it was followed by balinese dance and drama. by reading the synopsis of performance provided, we can understand the performance. without that, we really cant really appreciate the dance because they dont talk, they only dance and there are many characters in the performance such as Rama, Sita ( Rama's wife), white monkey, red monkey, barong, many bad guys...

this is the opening of kecak dance. these guys will cak cak cak for dont know how many minutes. only after that, come to the exciting part of the performance. can you see it? full house. wanna watch more? then, buy yourself a ticket to the performance ^_^

Sita ( the beautiful laday) saw a golden deer dancing in front of her and plead her husband, Rama to catch it for her.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bali, here we come!!!

28 July 2008 ( Day 1)

After several months of waiting, we finally boarded on Air Asia and headed to Bali- the tropical paradise. This was not the first time I flew with Air Asia, but this was the first time I tried their food. The food was really looking nice on the picture. The truth is...

it was maybe due to long hours of travelling?? Anyway, the food is quite tasty. Wondering can it be because that time , i was very hungry? ^_^ by the way, where is my cucumber??!!

When we reached airport, it was around 2pm. A very quiet Tuesday afternoon. Without wasting time, we quickly looked for transport to go to Kuta. Basically, in Kuta area, there are a few very famous + happening roads which are Kuta Beach, Gang poppies 1, Gang poppies 2 and Legian Road. We hopped on a taxi with 2 other Malaysians couples that we met in the airport and share the taxi fees to Kuta. The total fare was Rp 50,000 (RM 18) for about 20 minutes journey.

We didn’t book any accommodation beforehand. Well. Now, when i think about that, were we too brave and dont worry about sleep on the road side due to fully booked hotel especially July, August are the peak travel season in Bali. With our backpack on our back, two of us, walked and walked in a road (not sure the road name at that time), and tried our luck to get a decent and cheap accommodation. our friends gave us some recommendations on accommodation such as AP Inn in Kuta, and Nick’s homestay in Ubud. Our aim was to get a room with Rp 100,000 ( RM 37). The first Inn that we went in is Rp 250,000 per night with breakfast. Most of the hotels also provide breakfast. 2nd Inn was full. Third Inn looked nice and expensive, so we even went in and asked the price. With our heavy luggage and time running out, almost 3.30pm at that time, we happenning saw AP inn. Rp 175,000 ( RM64) per night with air-con and breakfast. Deal.

Our schedule for the first evening was to witness the nice sunset in Uluwatu . We rent a car and begin our journey. Excited.

First stop:

GWK- a cultural park with some big statue and one of them is the highest in the word. there are very huge and glamarous.

Admission fees : Rp 15,000

ps : Since we went there with our driver, and he just waited for us in our car, we don’t know the history and even the names of all the statues. too bad for that.

2nd stop:
Uluwatu temple

- an amazing temple that was built on the top of cliff and facing the Indian Ocean. Here, we had a chance to catch the wonderful sunset and not to forget the famous Kecak Ramayana & fire dance or in short Kecak dance. For those who wearing short pants or skirt, sarong will be provided at the entrance of the temple. so, feel free to wear hot pant ^_^

Admission ticket : Rp 3,000

What is it called as Kecak dance? The reason is very simple because a group of singing man chorus chant ‘chak-ke-cak, ke-cak..’ throughout the 1 hour performance. To be frank, i really dont really appreciate the chanting, anyway, those balinese dancers are really great. A leaflet about the dance was given away in order to let audience to be more understand the performance. If not, i doubt that anyone can understand what is going on. As we know, Bali is a Hinduism island and if im not mistaken, all the stories are about their legend- Rama, Barong, monkey ....

I really admire the Balinese dancers. They are very very good!!!! Bravo!! When they dance, they can control every single of their fingers, their eye balls, their facial emotions. Please give them a big round of applause.

Kecak dance ticket : Rp 50,000
Time : 6pm – 7pm

3rd stop

Jimbaran seafood- a famous place to have romantic seafood dinner. There are many restaurants along the beachside. so, we just picked one and we were quite happy with that. Imagine having dinner on the beach, facing the sea and with live musical band playing romantic songs, wow..... i could only say that it was so nice. We really enjoy ourselves, but the price that we got to pay was Rp 220,000 for our small squid, small fish (about 1kg) and 2 fruit juice. Not to forget rice + a plate of vegetables that were absolutely FOC as a complementary of the seafood. In that restaurant, there are a price list on the doorstep and we can pick our own fresh seafood from baskets. Hence, we dont have to worry that we maybe 'slaugthered' by the restaurnat when we pay the bill.