The culture of Bali...Ubud!

Trip Start Jan 07, 2008
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Trip End Jul 22, 2008


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Flag of Indonesia  , Bali,
Friday, July 18, 2008

Ubud is known for it's culture, vibe, and the massive Hindu ceremonies, and the lovely people. Bali is a lot different from rest of Indonesia...the population is mainly Balinese Hindu rather than muslim. It's obviously very touristy basically everywhere on the island so they welcome the tourists and treat them well, no more getting lied to or ripped off! I like the atmosphere of Ubud, locals are friendly and helpful but don't bother you..ya know what i mean?

After finding my way out of Denpasar which proved the be the most challenging part of my 1 1/2 hr journey as they are signs everywhere directing you to whichever city. I found a great, cheap, nice bungalow in Ubud to stay and felt at home right away. And already could tell i would like Ubud. My bungalow had a sink, a proper toilet and a hot shower, all for 60 000 rupiah ($6)..wow! And breakfast and tea serverd to my porch...lovely!

The one day i just mooched around the town looking at the all the shops and another day i took my motorbike and rode with it to check out some scenery. I went to Gunung Kawi (temple), aboot 30 min drive and that was absolutely lovely, lots of beautiful rice terraces, an ancient temple carved on the side of rock, lots of local men. One took me for a walk up to the local village which was lovely to see, all the locals were laughing at my for some reason. One evening i went to see a fire show with singing, dancing, and one man literally walking in and out of the fire, his feet were scorching afterward!!

Then my final day i saw a huge Hindu burial/cremation ceremony, also called Ngaben of about 30 peeps (dead ones i mean). It was fabulous. It was held in Monkey Forest Sanctuary, just close by and it truly is a sanctuary, lovely paths and forest. Cremation is the most expensive and sacred ceremony in their culture. So many people have been dead for months or years before enough money is gathered for the extravagant ceremony...and also why many families usually come together for a mass ceremony, to save costs. And it truly was a celebration, it was grand!! There were hundreds and hundreds of people there, half of which were tourists. They are apparently used to all the foreigners as the crowd didn't seem to bother them at all, even at this scared ceremony.
It lasted all day and was still going when i left...i held out until they actually light all these beautiful, expensive, handmade dragons or lions on fire and everything goes into flames. I will hopefully let alll the many, many pictures do the talking...as i felt a little like the paparazzi.

As it finished i hopped on my bike, and headed to my next destination, on the east coast just for a quick look. Bali is the first i felt rushed and didn't have enough time to do everything...as i could have stayed in Ubud for a week i reckon but you can never see everything. And i had to decide at some point when to book flights for so it was obviously inevitable that eventually i would have a timeline. What a time it's been though!!
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