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.

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