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Balinese culture has its roots in the Majapahit Kingdoms of Java, which date back to the 8th century, so it stands to reason, Jamu, Java’s traditional healthy and beauty system, has blossomed on Indonesia’s last remaining Hindu island. Just as the point of Balinese spiritual life is to cultivate harmony by balancing light and dark energy, Jamu balances hot and cold elements within through a regiment of tonics made from indigenous plants. Some tonics induce sweat, others relieve stomach problems, and kunyit or turmeric is a popular daily tonic used by millions to detoxify the blood and stimulate healthy circulation. Even in today’s modernizing Bali, this ancient art thrives as it’s often more affordable for folks to consult with a Jamu healer than a medical doctor. And Jamu tonics are available from herbalists and in some cafe's throughout Ubud, the island’s cultural heart. (photo by Dinuraj K: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kdinuraj/)
Welcome to Gpbalitour.com, Bali Tours - Trekking Adventures - Travel Guide - Bali Holidays It is about what we feel and see in our island, the beautiful Bali, Consisting of images and stories about people, Bali culture and nature, art and performance, Balinese ceremonies and daily life, Bali landscape as well as what we can offer you to experience. Able to share the beauty and uniqueness of Bali always make we proud. We offers best established world class tours services for your holidays in bali and trip in bali. Very flexible tours itinerary and very much based on your interest and it will be a great pleasure to organize your tours itinerary, We cover from holidays in bali, cultural tours, activities to adventures, trekking, cycling, water sport adventures and cruise. Join us and lets explore the truly Bali...
Bright and early, just before the sun comes up over Mount Bromo, Mount Semeru and Mount Batok, with ample rolling fog and an epic eruption for good measure. We climbed Mount Penanjakan in our Toyota 4x4 pre-dawn in the headlights of some 1,200 other vehicles. Once at the viewpoint my travel partner and I decided against the same shooting vantage as everyone else - all 3,000 tourists, gah - and climbed down the hill for a better look (and a few square feet to dig in our tripods). As soon as the sun started to shine and illuminate the volcanoes in the distance, all the nuisance and discomfort of the day, all the pain and suffering associated with actually making the trip to Bromo, it vanished. We spent the next hour shooting one of the most incredible sunrises I have ever witnessed. Getting here is a bit of a package-tour nightmare, but so very much worth it in the end.
It took three years to realize this passion project: a spa retreat built mainly of bamboo. Book a riverfront suite, or the hotel can arrange a stay in a rural family’s home. From $475. 62/(0) 36-146-9206. Image by Djuna Ivereigh/Fivelements. This appeared in the January/February 2013 issue.
This is Coffee. In Bali we were lucky enough to meet a man who actually loves coffee more than me. He generously offered to take us to his business partners coffee plantation and show us around for the day. I learned more about the growth, processing, selling, roasting, and creating of this nectar of the gods than I ever knew was possible in those hours. This is our friend picking a ripe coffee fruit.
After experiencing the more aggressive monkeys of Ulu-watu, I enjoyed the experience of walking around the quiet Sangeh Sacred Monkey Forest, just outside Ubud, and seeing the monkeys that call this small forest and its temples home. Mothers were holding babies close, feeding and grooming them, while juveniles ran around and large males watched from above. The guide, who meets you as you enter and takes you through the park, was very friendly to us and respectful toward the monkeys. Apparently, the monkeys have lived there for a long time, and the place and its monkeys are considered sacred (hence the temples). A great day is to combine going to the Bali Bird Park and Sangeh Monkey Forest. A driver can be hired to take you to both places if you are not staying close enough to bike there.
Climbing Mount Batur, one of the sacred volcanos of Bali, is a mind-warping experience if done before dawn. The volcanic sand runs away beneath your feet like an hourglass and the tassels of pine trees flow by you in the dark. My friends and I raced the sunrise to the peak, and arrived just in time. Here, Tyler does a triumphant handstand with the neighboring Mount Agung behind him.
Flowers and offering to the Gods are everywhere in Ubud, Bali - a peaceful, beautiful and simply lovely place. In Bali you cannot help but make local friends in Bali. The Balinese are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet.
At Bali’s newest Alila hotel, villas are sandwiched between emerald rice terraces and a black-sand beach. The spa, a temple of lava rock and marble, offers traditional Balinese massage. From $510. 62/(0) 36-1894-6388. This appeared in the January/February 2013 issue.
Balanced on the edge of Bali, high overhead the crashing waves of the Indian Ocean at what almost seems to be the edge of the world...is Uluwatu Temple. There, every day at 18:00 a Kecak Fire Dance is performed which is the Balinese telling of the Hindu legend of Prince Rama. However, this version relies more heavily on the character of the monkey: Hanoman. A chorus of men chant in a circle in which the drama is performed and visitors sit just outside the chorus surrounding the entire production. The fire is real, the heat can be blinding and the drama... most definitely entertains. Uluwatu is still a functioning Hindu temple so visitors do need to follow traditional custom by wearing a sash or sarong (if your legs are not already covered). Entrance to the show is the equivalent of 5 USD. The Kecak dance lasts for about an hour and it's recommended to arrive well in advance to get a seat and see sunset over the ocean before you do.
Located just off the eastern shore of Bali, Indonesia, is a small island called Nusa Lembongan. It is a great place for a day trip if you're vacation on Bali, and it's only a 30-40min boat ride from Sanur. There is a boat that will take you between the two islands a few times a day. Once arriving on the shores of Lembongan, it is best to rent a scooter for the day (US$6). There are only a few roads on the island so it is impossible to get lost and the beaches are well marked by signs. Unlike Bali, there is no traffic on the island! We set out around the island in a counterclockwise loop. We stopped and watched the villagers drying colorful seaweed along the shore (this is used to make ice-cream). We stopped at the mangroves for a fresh seafood lunch, some beach time, and some snorkeling. And then explored the many picturesque beaches around the island. Our favorite was "Dream Beach," and it lived up to its name. Be sure you don't lose track of time on this paradise of an island. It is easy to do and we almost missed our return boat back to Bali that afternoon!
When he sold his jewelry company in 2007, Canadian expat John Hardy and his wife reinvested much of the money into the Green School, an innovative K-12 school in Sibang Kaja, Bali. The curriculum is very experiential—the international and Balinese students learn everything from aquaculture to Balinese puppetry. The school, named greenest school of 2012 by the U.S. Green Building Council, is worth a visit, if only to see the far-out architecture. Many of the complex buildings are constructed entirely of bamboo. Jalan Raya Sibang Kaja, Banjar Saren, Abiansemal, Badung, Bali 80352, Indonesia
The monkeys that live here are very mischievious!!! Be careful...they will snatch water bottles and food right out of your hands and even sunglasses straight off your head! We even saw one with some unlucky visitors slippers !!!
One of the most important celebrations in Bali is Galungan. Beginning in or around late March, the festival symbolizes the victory of virtue (dharma) over evil (adharma). Hear the mysterious clangs of gamelan music; see women and girls in elaborate dress; and don’t miss the Barong Dance, in which young boys parade around as a dragonlike creature to fill the village with holiness. Photo by Mast Irham/EPA/Corbis. This appeared in the January/February 2013 issue.
Entering this temple, we had to put on a sarong for modesty. It was an amazing complex of temples, gardens, water gushing out of the walls where locals purify themselves. I love the intricate decorations on the temples, vibrant colors. The area of Ubud is such a magical place where you can hang out with the locals, go to temples, watch craftsmen create works of art and great private villas that are still affordable. I went to a cooking class to learn basic traditional recipes and I had the best Babi Guling (roast pig) in my life. It was served with spices and rice and that was enough to send me to food heaven. I spend days dreaming about going back to Bali someday, maybe I was a prince in another life!
Taking a 3 day/2 night Rinjani trek at the end of wet season is not the most brilliant idea I’ve ever had, but it is one of my most memorable experiences. After climbing up what felt more like a riverbed than a trekking path, we shed our wet shoes and socks and warm our feet by the fire as our guides prepare Nasi Goreng. The following morning, we awake to clear skies and trek a further two hours to watch the sunrise. Mount Rinjani sits majestically in front of us, the Gili Islands dot the coastline to our right, and Lombok sprawls out to the left. We savor the view and watch Mt. Barujari gurgle and smoke below us. We begin the hike down to the sulfur springs, and moments later hear a massive blast. Our guide calls out for us to look ahead. As I lift my head, I watch as Barujari erupts, sending a massive cloud of smoke into the sky. I am giddy and in disbelief at what I have just witnessed. Dark clouds roll in, and we spend another afternoon trekking uphill in persistent rain. Not much can dampen our spirits though. The following morning, we rise early to clear, starlit skies. We begin the Rinjani summit trek in darkness, watching as the lava of Barujari illuminates the dark lake pit below to a fiery red. Black sand seeps into our shoes, and the last steep steps are trying, but we reach Rinjani’s peak. We are standing at the highest point in Lombok, looking down on the dawning of a new day.
The oldest batik village in Indonesia, Laweyan in Solo is fun to explore and to shop! It is located at west part of Solo, Solo is about in the center of Java. Before entering the village, there is a useful map on the main street. Because they don't provide a printed map (I couldn't find it), so I capture this map for easier navigation.
Pura Luhur Uluwatu caps the steep rocky cliffs of Bali's southern shore. The spectacularly perched temple is one of Bali's holiest locations as it is one of the nine directional temples believed to protect the historically Hindu island from evil spirits. The placement of the temple high above the pounding surf below makes this temple the most beautiful of the main Balinese sacred sites. The hollow waves breaking at the base of the promontory are regarded as world class and highly sought after by skilled surfers. Sunset creates a magical atmosphere at the temple as the cliffs take on gold and orange hues and the ocean with its rolling waves shimmers and glistens in the receding sun's final rays. From Kuta Beach, Uluwatu is about 18 km south towards the Bukit Penninsula. Beware of the feisty macaques guarding the entrance!
Sanur is a beautiful and quaint part of Bali with lushes hotels along the boardwalk that lines the beach. The boardwalk really makes Sanur special as walking in Bali can be treacherous in most of the towns with narrow streets and tiny sidewalks, but this pathed path in Sanur is great for biking and long walks along the beach. Walk to the south end of the boardwalk for a great view of the sunset and find a nice little cafe to have a Bintang (beer) or a Bali kopi (coffee).
A colorful Garuda statue stands guard in a traditional Balinese house-turned-art-gallery in Ubud. Garuda is a giant mythical bird and the national symbol of Indonesia.
Bali is famous for its traditional dances. One of them is the Kecak (pronounced "kechak") dance. The performance at the Uluwatu Temple is not to be missed. The temple is located on a cliff by the sea and it goes without saying the view is breathtaking. The show starts around 6pm and lasts for an hour or so. It all happens as the sun sets. If you don't have a camera, don't bother going :)
One of the best places to watch the sun set is from the cliffs of Pura Uluwatu, or the site of the old Ulu-watu temple on the island of Bali. The dramatic cliffs overlook the ocean, and arriving before sunset allows you to explore the grounds before the sun begins to go down. The temple grounds are inhabited by a large number of monkeys, which are fun to watch but can be aggressive, so avoid wearing sunglasses or jewelry and bringing food, and be careful with your camera. Expect to wear a provided sarong over your pants/skirt/shorts, which is a sign of respect at religious sites in Indonesia (true here for men and women). At one end of Ulu-watu is the place where the rhythmic kecak dance is performed every day at sunset, so you can stay for that, but expect it to be crowded. Ulu-watu is easily reached by car from most places on the southern part of the island. Drivers can be hired from hotels or villas.
This is what I think of when travel comes to mind. I think untrammeled territory, wide open country, bits and pieces of the world I've never seen before, people doing things I didn't know they still do or ever did, and a big, booming landscape. Lake Maninjau ticked off every box on my list time and again. We went on quite the harrowing bike ride around the lake (it was supposed to take half a day, but lasted roughly ten hours), but we had plenty of time to pick rice with locals, sample fresh cinnamon bark, and try our hand at fishing from a canoe. I found out that I am a terrible canoe fisherman, but my new friend didn't really mind. He thought it was funny that I could hardly balance myself on the felled timber, never mind his tiny skiff. If you visit Maninjau, I highly recommend that you rent a bike or a scooter and get lost on the western shore. It was a fantastic experience, and one I'll cherish forever. Maninjau is one of the largest crater lakes in the world, and exists as a place that time forgot. Bikes can be rented from most hotels in town for less than $5 a day. Ditto for scooters. Hotels range from $6 a night (no joke), to more than $75.
This day was one of the most brutal days of my life. Day 1 we hiked 4 1/2 hours in the heat to base camp. We camped for the night, got up at 1:30am, and hiked for 11 1/2 hours, to the summit and all the way back down again. We could hardly see anything with only our headlamps, and it was windy with sheets of rain. Yet then the winds blew off the clouds and this was what we saw. It was probably the only thing that kept us going all the way back down again. Full account here: http://aliscottwhatwegetupto.blogspot.ca/2012/07/mt-bastard-trek-day-2.html
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