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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