Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Balinale International Film Festival 2008

The 2nd Balinale International Film Festival 2008 will be held in October 21-31, 2008. Fifty films from twenty five countries are joining this festival. Deborah Gabinet, the festival director said, “The world film industry isn’t only Hollywood with their western culture. There’s a lot to explore is eastern side of the world. This festival is part of those explorations” The festival itself will be held in Galeria 21 Theatre, Oriental Theatre, Casa Luna Lounge, Tony Raka Gallery and New Media School. For the complete schedule and venue, check on this site.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Asian Beach Games

In October 18-26, 2008 the first ever Asian Beach Games will be held in Bali. Fourty five countries member of Olympic Council for Asia are expected to participated to this game. Fourteen sporting event will be included to this game, they are :
  1. Beach Soccer
  2. Beach Voleyball
  3. Bodybuilding
  4. Dragon Boat Racing
  5. Handball
  6. Jetski Racing
  7. Marathon Swimming
  8. Parasailing
  9. Power Boating
  10. Surfing
  11. Takraw
  12. Triathlon
  13. Windsurfing
  14. Woodball

More Information contact :
Bali Asian Beach Games Organizing Committee
SECTOR at Bali Beach Golf Course
Jl. Hang Tuah No. 58, Sanur
Bali 80227
Telp. +62 - 361 - 283 011
Fax. +62 - 361 - 282 281

Commonwealth Bank Tennis Classic 2008

The Commonwealth Bank Tennis Classic 2008 will be held in Grand Hyatt Bali Resort-Hotel, Nusa Dua September 7-14, 2008. Some players who participated to this tournament are Daniela Hantuchova (rank 12), Patty Schyder (rank 13), Nadia Petrova (rank 17) and Flavia Penneta (rank 18). The tournament itself was held for the first time in 1994 at Surabaya, Indonesia. In 2001, the tournament moved to Bali in order to promote Indonesia and primarily Bali to the world. Offering $225,000 as prize money, this tournament has become the biggest WTA event in Southeast Asia.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Barong Dance

Basicly the story of Barong dance is a fighting between good and evil. Good represent by Barong and evil represent by Rangda. According to Balinese mythology, the story goes that Rangda, a legendary queen who killed her husband because she was condemned for practicing black magic. After became a widow, she summoned all the evil spirit to come after Erlangga, son of her husband. Rangda and her evil troops were too strong for Erlangga. She casted a spell that made Erlangga’s soldier wanted to kill themselves. They are forced to stab their own keris (traditional Balinese sword) into their own stomachs and chests. To neutralized Rangda’s spell, Erlangga had to ask Barong’s help. Barong casted a spell that made Erlangga’s soldier resistant to the keris. In a Barong dance, somebody can die or seriously injured when performing this scene. Because the dancer are trully stab their own stomach and chess when performing this scene. They went into a trance by Rangda’s spell which casted by a priest. But the priest are also casted a Barong’s spell to made the body of the dancer resistant to the keris. But sometimes the Rangda’s spell are too strong. They may end up hurting themselves with their own keris.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Picture from Royal Ngaben 2008

This picture taken from the royal ngaben 2008 which considered as the greatest Ngaben ceremony ever in Bali. This ceremony held for two royal Ubud family. They are Tjokorda Agung Suyasa and Tjokorda Gde Raka. As we know Ngaben is a cremation ceremony in Bali. The Balinese believe that the death must be dissolved to let the spirit reincarnate.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Kuta Beach

Probably Kuta is the most famoust beach resort in Bali. It’s well known for its long sandy beach and funtastic sunsets. The calm wave and a lack of dangerous rocks or coral, makes Kuta as a perfect place to surf, especially for begginers surfer. Many surfing course from an accredited school are available here. The 3 days surfing course costs approximately USD 100, include surf equipment in a good condition and surfing introduction in swimming pool. Otherwise, you could rent surf equipment from locals on the beach for Rp 50,000 until Rp 100,000 (USD 5 until USD 10) per half day, depends on the quality of the equipment. Generally, the equipment are worse than in surfing schools. You can also learn some basic surfing lessons from these guys.

Shops, boutiques, bars, restaurants and hotels are lined up in Kuta. The accomodations in Kuta start from cheap hostel to five star hotels. If you are a backpacker, try to find some budgeted cheap hostel in poppies lane. It’s internationally well known among backpacker. In the north, Legian and Seminyak is the place for many expat crowd live. It is somewhat quiter suburbs with cottage style accomodations. In fact, as one of Bali’s and Indonesia's major tourist destinations, some people thought that Kuta is to crowded now.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Centre

The Garuda Wisnu Kencana complex are located on a limestone hill in Jimbaran, Bali. This complex are planned to be an integrated cultural centre equipped with a 140m-tall Wisnu Statue as its landmark. The stautue itself consist of 70m-tall statue of Wisnu (believed by Balinese as the god who gives protections)riding the mythical bird Garuda and 70m-tall base. Currently, Only the torso of Wisnu and the head of Garuda have been completed due to budget constraint. When it is fully completed, the Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue will be the tallest statue in Southeast Asia. The park was also to be equipped with a performance centre with 7,500 seats, and amphitheatre, restaurants, galleries and other cultural artistic attractions as well as a spacious parking lot to accommodate visitors.

This park was initially the idea of I Nyoman Nuarta, a Balinese contemporary sculptor. Under the auspies of Soeharto, the former Indonesian president, he was commisioned to create this huge statue. Although it have not been completed, the park has been open to the public since 2000, drawing in a crowd of about 500 visitors daily. Nowdays, the park completed with art musseum, open air stage and amphitheater. As it located in a limestone hill you could enjoy the wonderful view of bali from high place.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Jimbaran Bay

Jimbaran located in just at the south of Ngurah Rai International Airport and also near to Kuta Beach. Formerly just a fishermans village that now has become a popular tourist resort. The Jimbaran bay is famous for its beach front grilled seafood restaurants. Due the location of the bay towards facing the west, it is a perfect place to enjoy the beautiful sunsets. Come at arround 5.00 PM, take a seat in one of the seaside restaurants. Order some grilled seafood and enjoy this beautiful sunsets while waiting for your orders.

Restaurants are packed all in a row along the beach. The tables of the restaurants are set up right on the sand. Choose your favourite fresh seafood such as various fish, squid, crab, shrimp, lobster and shellfish from the seafood tanks near the kitchen and choose the number and type of creatures you want to eat. Prices is depend on the weight of the seafood.

The beach itself is mostly calm, so it’s not suitable for surfing and motorized water sport. Finally, just like other beach resort in Bali, Jimbaran is surrounded by five star beach resort hotels.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Ngaben : The Cremation Ceremony

The Hindus Balinese believe that the body after the death must be dissolved to let the spirit reincarnate. Ngaben, the Balinese ceremony for cremation are held to frees the spirit from its temporary earthly body and facilities its journey to its next life. Before the cremation ceremony, the family will treat the deceased as sleeping. The nigth before the cremation, holy water will be collected from some main temple and used to prepare the deceased during the ceremony.

On the ceremony day, the body of the deceased is placed inside a coffin made of paper and wood. This coffin resemble a buffalo or a temple structure. This coffin will be carried to the cremation site in a procession. To confuse bad spirit and keep them away from the deceased the procession is not walking in a straight line. The ultimate procession of Ngaben is to burn the coffin by fire from a holy source. After the burning procces is over, the family of the deceased will collect the ashes and bones from the body. This ashes will placed in the sea.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Legong Dance

The word “Legong” is from the word “leg” mean elastic or elegance and the word “gong” mean the music, so the Legong is a dance which represent the epitomy of grace and feminity. Originally, music for legong accompaniment is Gamelan Pelegongan. It’s a kind of percussion instruments with bronze keys, cymbals, and drums, although it can also accompanied by gamelan gong kebyar, the modern version of Balinese gamelan. The Legong Dance has a very complex movement. The most memerizing movement is the hands. As the arms move up and about, the fingers are doing a dance of their own. At the same time, they can make individual pairs of fingers flutter simultaneously and their eyes are darting left to right.

The Legong Dancer are selected among little girls in the village for their suppleness and beauty. The dancers start performing for public at a very early age. They will go on performing legong until the age of puberty. Exellent legong dancers are respected as master dancers at older age.

The Legong dance are performed in a stage called Kalangan, just like other Balinese dance and dramas. Kalangan is an open space stage with a kind of half circle tribune for spectators. Completed with a big tree, usually an enormous banyan tree which overshadow the stage. The backdrops are an elevated beautiful carved Candi Bentar gate, where the dancers emerge.

Some village in Central and Southern Bali such as Peliatan, Ubud, Saba, Bedulu, Sukawati, Binoh and Karambitan are popular as the home of the Legong. These villages posses long Legong traditions, and most of them still own high quality legong groups today.

Flight Information to Bali

Here's some airlines who flight to Bali :

Most of these airlines use Denpasar as a destination city, not Bali. Denpasar is Bali's capital city.

AdamAir - (0361) 227-999

Air Asia - (021) 8089-9000

Air France - (0361) 288-511

Air Paradise - (0361) 756-666

Australian Airlines - (0361) 758-686

Batavia Air - (0361) 254-951

Bouraq Indonesia - (0361) 241-397

British Airways - (0361) 288-511

Cathay Pacific - (0361) 766-931

China Airlines - (0361) 754-856

Continental Airlines - (0361) 768-358

Eva Air - (0361) 759-773

Garuda Indonesia - (0361) 270-535

Japan Airlines - (0361) 757-077

Korean Air

Lion Air - (0361) 236-666

Malaysian Airlines - (0361) 764-995

Mandala Airlines - (0361) 499-402

Merpati Nusantara - (0361) 235-358

Qantas - (0361) 288-331

Royal Brunei Airlines - (0361) 757-292

Singapore Airlines - (0361) 768-388

Star Air - (0361) 753-775

Thai Air - (0361) 288-141

Thursday, June 12, 2008

KINTAMANI : The Volcanic Caldera

Kintamani is a nature tourist resort which offers crater lakes and mountains. What makes Kintamani one of the must visits resort are their mountainous region which centering on the volcanic caldera of Mount Batur with its deep crater lake and bubbling hot springs. Actually Mount Batur is just a small volcano, but its located in the middle of 14 km in diameter huge crater. The crescent-shaped batur lake is adjacented to the volcano. The sheer size of the crater were made by the massive eruption of the Mount Batur that occurred tens thousands years a go. The volcano is still active today, and the last great eruption were occur on 1917. These series of eruption has forced local government to relocated the local population along with their temple. Including one of the main temples in Bali, Pura Ulun Danu. Initially this temple located inside the crater. Nowdays it has been relocated to the top of the ridge.

Pura Ulun Danu is the most important temple after Pura Besakih. Housing more than 90 shrines, its visited at any time by Balinese, especially during the Odalan Festival. Odalan is a festival which is dedicated to the goddes of the crater lake who is believed to control the irrigation system for the entire island. Other thing to see in Kintamani is Trunyan Village. This village are popular for their mortuary tradition. Most Balinese cremated the dead bodies, but the Trunyan leaves the bodies to decompose naturally in a special cemetery located on sheer mountain side.

pictures taken from :

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

POPPIES LANE : Accomodations for Backpackers

The Poppies lane is located near Kuta Beach. This lane are lined with budget hostel and guesthouse. Poppies lane I and II are popular among backpackers for its budgeted accommodations. As a cheap hotels, most of them can’t booked in advance online. But it’s not a problem because most of these cheaper places operate mostly on a walk-up business. In a peak holiday season especially in late times, sometimes it’s a little bit difficult to find a places to stay. I suggest you stay at least for your first night at the hotels that does online reservations, then you have enough time to find cheap hostel or guesthouse for the next day. The room rate in poppies lane started from Rp 25,000 ($3) per person per night.

Here is some hostel and guesthouse in Poppies Lane :

AP Inn (Poppies I)

Phone : +62 – 0361 - 765662

Ayu Beach Inn (Poppies I)

Phone : +62 – 0361 – 752091

Fat Yogi Cottages (Poppies I)

Phone : +62 – 0361 – 751665

Komala Indah (Poppies I)

Phone : +62 – 0361 - 751422

LA Inn (Poppies I)

Phone : +62 – 0361 – 750616

Mahendra (Poppies I)

Phone : +62 - 0361 – 752371

Masa Inn (Poppies I)

Phone : +62 – 0361 – 758507

Poppies Cottage (Poppies I)

Phone : +62 – 0361 – 751069

Puri Agung (Poppies I)

Phone : +62 – 0361 – 750054

Taman Ayu Bungalows (Poppies I)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Visa to Indonesia

Visa to Visit Indonesia

The Department of Justice and Human Rights has officially determined that as of August 2005:

Indonesia Government had granted visa on arrival favor to 52 countries to be able to purchase the visa on arrival facility upon their arrival in Indonesia's designed “International Gateway” at 15 airports and 21 seaports.

They are:

1. Argentina 18. Hungary 35. Oman
2. Australia 19. Iceland 36. RRC
3. Austria 20. India 37. Poland
4. Bahrain 21. Iran 38. Portugal
5. Belgium 22. Ireland 39. Qatar
6. Brazil 23. Italy 40. S. Arabia
7. Bulgaria 24. Japan 41. Russia
8. Cambodia 25. Kuwait 42. S. Africa
9. Canada 26. Laos 43. S. Korea
10. Cyprus 27. Liechtenstein 44. Spain
11. Denmark 28. Luxembourg 45. Switzerland
12. Egypt 29. Maldives 46. Sweden
13. Estonia 30. Malta 47. Surinam
14. Finland 31. Mexico 48. Taiwan
15. France 32. Monaco 49. Netherland
16. Germany 33. New Zealand 50.
17. Greece 34. Norway 51. UK


And started per 28 May 2007, Indonesia will be added its Visa on Arrival (VOA) favors to more 11 countries joined with previous 52 other favored countries according to the Directorate General of Immigration recent released paper.

The 11 countries are Algeria, the Czech Republic, Fiji, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Panama, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Tunisia.

Tourists from those selected countries will not oblige to apply abroad for a visa but can purchase a visa on arrival at 15 gates of Indonesia's international airports and seaports. The fee for this visa, payable upon landing, is US$10 for a 7 day visa and US$25 for a 30-day visa.

The official entry requirements for the issuance of a 30 or 7 days day visa-on arrival:

  1. Passport must be from one of the countries listed above.
  2. Passport must be valid for a minimum of 6 (six) months from the date of entry into Indonesia.
  3. Payment of US$10 or US$25 must be paid at the gateway, depending on the length of visa required.
  4. Onward or return tickets are compulsory.
  5. Visitors must enter and exit through one of the 15 airports or 21 seaports officially approved as an “international gateway” by the Indonesian Immigration department.

11 countries and territories are eligible for a "Visa Free" facility. Those holding valid passports from the following countries will be granted a non-extendable 30-day Visa-Free Short Visit Permit upon arrival at an Indonesian international gateway without charge:

  1. Brunei Darussalam
  2. Chile
  3. Hong Kong SAR
  4. Macau SAR
  5. Malaysia
  6. Morocco
  7. Peru
  8. Philippines
  9. Thailand
  10. Vietnam
  11. Singapore

Others nationals that not granted with either visa on arrival favor nor visa free favor from Indonesia government may apply for tourist visa at Indonesia embassy abroad.

Monday, May 26, 2008

BESAKIH : The Mother Temple

This temple located on the slopes of mount Agung. It is one of the six “supreme holy” temple in Bali. The other supreme holy are, Lempuyang Luhur temple, Gua Lawah temple, Batukaru temple, Pusering Jagad temple, and Uluwatu temple. The Besakih temple is the holiest among those six temple. Not just because it sits over 3000 feet above the ocean, but because it is more sacred to the Balinese. It is said that Besakih is the only classless, castless temple on the island where any Balinese can come to worship. Balinese believe that their gods visits the temple on a particular dates. Festivals to honors the gods are held during this date. Just like most Balinese temples, Besakih is not closed building but it is mostly as open air building.

Besakih is really a collection of temples, sprawling down the hillside. Temples at Besakih are fit into various groups. For examples 5 temples are included in the panca dewata ( the 5 gods of the 4 directions and the center). The Trimurti are made up of 3 temples, Batu Madeg temple representing Vhisnu, the Preserver, Kiduling Kreteg temple representing Brahma, the creator, and Penataran Agung temple representing Shiva, the destroyer.

The largest temple on the area of Besakih is Penataran Agung . Know as the geat temple of the state. It possese of 7 tiered terraces, and over 50 structures including bales, thrones and shrines. The entrance stairway is lined by 7 levels of carved figures.

The temple’s anniversary, odalan, is an excellent day to visit if you are looking for pageantry. But you should expect a crowd of several thousand people. The ceremony is held in the tenth month of the Balinese calendar, usually in April. To avoid the crowd of several thousand people, early morning and late at night is the best time to visit Besakih.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Seawalker (the sea bottom experience)

Have you ever think about walking at the bottom of the sea and wondering what is going on there? Bali Seawalker is the answer. This Japanese technology is a uniquely diving system. It is a safe and exciting underwater adventure which provide you an opportunity to discover the underwater world. Dive to 15 feet underwater without any certification requirement.

You will have 30 minutes of actual underwater time to gain new experience by walking in the bottom of the sea. With a unique full face seawalker helmet you will have a close up view to numerous exotic fish and sea life surround you. This large helmet provides fresh air as much as you get in surface.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Tanjung Benoa (Benoa Bay)

Tanjung Benoa is located in Nusa Dua, Bali. It is also well known as Benoa Peninsula. The beach is famed for its scenic views comprising white sandy beach, coconut groves and mountain. The calm waves made this beach as a perfect place to enjoy water sport activities, such as banana boat, wind surfing, jet skiing, parasailing, reef fishing, snorkeling, and much more. Rental equipments that are required for different water sport are easy to find in Tanjung Benoa.

The former traditional seaside village are now been transformed into highly developed tourist resort. A large number of upscale hotels, exclusive private villas, restaurants, café, and other facilities to enjoy water sport activities is available there.

Things to see and do in Tanjung Benoa are not just confined to beach activities. There’s also Batubulan village, famed for its stone carving. Thousands of stone statues are displayed on the street from Batubulan village to Tegaltamu. Just like Ubud, Batubulan is a center for shopping items such as handycrafts, textiles, and traditional clothes. Some shops are also performing traditional Balinese dance sucha as Rangda and Barong.

In the north of Batubulan village, there’s also another popular tourist destination named Taman Burung. Taman Burung is an incredible bird park with more than 1000 birds of 250 different species. A reptile park which collects crocodile, piton snake, turtle, comodo, mega snakes and monitor lizard can also be seen there.

Sanur Beach

Sanur is one of many beach resort in Bali. It is well known for its sunrise. The soft sand of this beach are comfortable to sunbathe. Located on the east coast, Sanur has quite coral reef which fit to snorkeling. Although it isn’t as amazing as Nusa Penida, the calm currents are perfect for begginer diver.

As a tourist area, Sanur is equipped with fine hotels, restaurants, boutiques, etc. Those modern venues are merged with traditional balinese village. As one of Bali’s biggest traditional village, Sanur is an important religious centre and the venue for many colourful Hindus ceremonies and balinese traditional dances.

In the late afternoon, explore Sanur’s shady lanes and discover traditional markets, shops and local life. The nightlife of Sanur is a bit different with Kuta’s nightlife. It is more relaxed than in Kuta. Restaurants fill up in the early evening, meanwhile bars and disco starts in the late afternoon and generally wind up arround midnight.

The mixed of modern and traditional side of Balinese culture has makes Sanur as a good places to enjoy the delight of tropical island and gain a real appreciation of Balinese culture and local life.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Nusa Penida : The Diving Paradise

Nusa Penida is the largest island of the three sisters island along with Lembongan and Ceningan in south east of Bali. You can reach Nusa Penida by boat for less than an hour (from Sanur Beach). The main attraction point of the island is the maritime activities such as surfing, snorkeling and diving. Diving in Nusa Penida offers you the chance to see mola-mola, turtles, shark (yes shark!), and amazing coral reefs in fantastic visibility. One of the favourite spot for certified diver is the dream cave”. It is an amazing under water bat cave, all with corals and various wild fish such as sharks (in relatively shallow water), jack fish, baracuda, manta rays, and sometimes sun fish. However, the currents are fast and unpredictable. So diving with a reputable dive operator and guide who knows how to “read” the currents is a must.

For those who doesn’t want to get wet, you can view the amazing coral reef formations from the semi submersible vessel. It is safer but much more expensie. This vessel package include visit to the village of Toyapakeh where you can observe turtles, traditional cockfighting, sample of Balinese dress, refreshing coconut drink and enjoy tropical buffet lunch. The islands are also has famous temple, Pura Penataran Ped on the north coast of Nusa Penida which known for its magic.

Those amazing offers has made these island as an alternative choice to spend your holiday in Bali.

PS : Banana Boat also available.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Ubud Village

Ubud is a village in the middle of Bali which considered as the arts and culture center of the island. Most of the villages seem to consist of artist’ workshop and galleries. There are some remarkable balinese architectural sights and artistic gems to be found. If you are looking for culture, comfort, nature and inspiration Ubud is the perfect place. It is located arround 600 meters above sea level and surrounded by rice fields. So it has cooler temperature than coast.

Ubud is famous for it’s regularly traditional dance performance which mostly performed at night. As it’s arranged for tourist attraction, it has a daily regular schedule. The villages are also well known for its bamboo crafts and furniture, wood-and stone carving and many other crafts which mostly retailing cheap reproductions for tourist. Plenty museum and art gallery are easy to find in Ubud. Beside those art and culture sights, Ubud also has a small forrest named monkey forrest. It is a small nature reserve houses over 200 long tailed monkeys. Stroll through to find Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal, a Temple of the Dead.

Just 3 kilometers away from Ubud there’s a cave named Goa Gajah (Elephants Cave). The entrance of this cave is an ornately carved demon’s mouth. Inside the cave are some fragmentary lingam and yoni (phallus and vagina) statues. The statues stand guard arround pools near the entrance and a little path leads to a waterfall, ricefileds and some Buddhist stupa fragments. It is interesting because the majority of Balinese are Hindus.

Stay in Ubud is easy. There’s a lot of hotel, villa, and homestay ready to accomodate you. Many tourist simply base their entire stay in the city and travel to other destinations from Ubud because of its strategic places in the middle of the island and of course the reasonably priced than stay in the beach towns of Bali.

Ubud is 33 kilometers away from Ngurah Rai International Airport. There are pre-paid taxi from Ngurah Rai International Airport. Check current price on the notice board in the taxi office just outside the arrivals hall. There’s also a shuttle Bus which offers regular direct transfer to Ubud from Ngurah Rai International Airport that are convenient and inexpensive.

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